SDI modification


Established Member
Oct 21, 2004
Reaction score
A quick question people, :smashin:

a friend of mine has a Denon 2910 sending a 720p signal via dvi to his Benq 8700+. What difference would he see if he bought a Phillps 963sa(I think)and an Iscan HD+ that both had the SDI modification? Anything at all? Slight difference? Massive difference?

Any info would be much appreciated. :D


To my eyes the difference would be massive, and I saw that ad in the classifieds too and have to say it's quite a bargain!! To some the 2910 is good enough, it's a clean digital signal running the native res of the projector. But using a dedicated processor, and the fantastic SDI output of the Philips, is another step up again in detail and depth of image.

Plus you're mate will also get to run digital TV through it which will be a massive step up in performance over TV direct to the projector.
Are SDI mods generally still worth it? The very soon to come new Pioneer flagship DVD player is going to add a "pure direct" output mode to give out 480i without any further processing over HDMI. Shouldn't that be more or less similar to SDI quality?

Btw, what is that classifieds ad about?
Looked a good price to me as well :)

I currently have an HDMI equipped player (with 480i / 576i) output capability via HDMI, when plugged into a new monitor (HDMI) I think I prefer the SDI link that has been attached to this player. Can't explain why, in theory.... :eek: .As I use CRT front projector for most of my serious viewing and I have been unable to crack the Arcam yet, SDI rules here, but that is also so on the HDMI panel.
Thanks for the info guys, much appreciated. :thumbsup:
don se how..the SDI signal from the Philips is the best SDI picture around at the moment...well so says Liam and me anyway..

buy wiv confidence
SDI is the only gauranteed route to processing free output from a DVD player, and yes the Philips is quite unstoppable in this regard! With any half decent SDI input scaler the picture is going to be showstopping.

I hope the Pioneer works, and gives other manufacturers clues on how to do this as the only drawback of SDI I can think of is the warranty issue. I only know one manufacturer that offer SDI as a simple plug-in card (Primare). A totally clean HDMI output would avoid warranty issues (although unfortunately retains copyright issues).
Out of interest,how does a SDI picture compare to a dvd playing through a HTPC?
This is down to the quality of the SDI modded DVD player and the quality of the scaler, versus the quality of build of the HCPC. It's a bit like asking how does DVD compare to DVD!

But I must say I don't think I've seen better than a good scaler fed SDI from a good DVD player. TBH it is usually the other "media centre" type functions that would put a HCPC over a video processor solution
The computer's ahem'quirkiness' is a tad annoying.Freezes,lock-ups,and it's not like a dvd just put in and play,if I tweak anymore i'll go blind!I can't remember the last time i just watched a film.......
That is pretty much the number one reason for getting a scaler. It just works. End of.

Based in Kent?? I can show you SDI into a Lumagen if you like. Or just take Dilshers word for it!!! It is the ultimate picture.
LOL so did a lot of people!! I do remember a HT200dm though, not a lot of people with those.
Haha I know I can't get rid of it!!Haha,would lurve a nice shiny H79 though.....
Hmmm a H79 and a Lumagen.... 720p to both displays.... jaw-dropping image.... :D
Well have to say - SDI modded Philips DVD only bettered by a SDI modded Denon 2900, fed into a Cinemateq then to a Pioneer 43MXE1.

Actually I've never seen the Philips/Lumagen combi so I'm only guessing ;) . But the Denon/Cinemateq is great PQ. The point is a good DVD player , well modded for SDI and fed through a good scaler is as good as it gets PQ wise until HD comes along (and maybe even then??). And the display matters too.

Now this is getting me thinking about scalers,new projectors,,aaarrrrggghhh!!
I have resisted upgradeitus for ages,then this happens.......

The missus is gonna kill me.........
Well if you want the best....
Would it be worth getting my the pany S97 SDI modded?

I just bought a H79, should be here this week, didnt have the patience to wait for a 1080p based projector (or the need just yet) so i am looking out for a scaler now but dont know if i should wait for somthing from lumagen that is HQV based? or should i just get a current model and upgrade to a higher spec unit once we have more reasons for 1080i/p.
Liam, I think we've touched on this before. However, from what you've seen of the PHD8 thus far, do you think it would be wise for me to SDI mod my arcam dv27a?

The SDI connection could either go straight into an SDI terminal board or a suitable scaler. What would be the scaler output (HDMI/component/SDI)?

I had intended to connect the dv27a via component to the integral VGA.

This assumes I actually purchase a PHD8! :D


Re picture quality I felt the Philips 963 SDI was the one to beat, I think I was one of if not the first to write about it here. I have got now a Arcam DV29 SDI which I think I prefer for video (audio much much better). It looks more 3D and vibrant in colours to me. I love the former and recommend it to anyone but I ‘think' I will be living with the Arcam from now on (bye bye Tag and Philps). I know the MPEG decoder isn't in theory as good but I prefer the picture. :clap:

I would take the Philips over any Denon SDI I have seen / done (I have done 1600 and 3910 for my brother) and the two Pannys I have, 62 and 82s.

There is one player I am told is better again but I can't afford a 1.1 with twins :(
I think then the Panny players (97?)are great base machines to mod for piccy quality but it is the audio that disappoints me a little which is why I have moved on.
I would certainly mod the Arcam if you want the best. I wouldn't bother if this is going SDI direct to the screen though, you will be bypassing all the processing in the Arcam!! This is a good thing when using a scaler, but not so when feeding direct to the plasma.

SDI in itself isn't a gaurantee of quality, it's a gaurantee of no loss. You still need the decent video processor to make the most from it.

Don't know about the S97 - but seems Nic does. I agree on the Denon 3910 comment, but until I see a 2900 SDI modded I'm holding comment as the 2900 was and still is the best player pound-for-pound Denon ever made. A1's are nice, but pricey (and Arcam is far better at that level). But the 2900 really was a gem.
I have never seen the 2900 modded but it remains my favourite Denon as well but I felt the 3910 wasn't entirely sucessful as an SDI player. The 1600 was a cheap as chip Panny clone with better sound from memory so wasn't to bad but it ain't a 963.

I gave my 97 away, a decision I have always regretted but I think I have seen somewhere someone modding it.

Can anyone explain why SDI appears to be better than interlaced through HDMI?

The latest video from AVForums

What makes a 10/10 MOVIE?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Top Bottom