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Sony DVP-S7700 upgrade question

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by VirusKiller, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. VirusKiller

    VirusKiller
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    I love my Sony 7700 (whirrrrrr!) and the interlaced picture is good, but I'm seeing too many motion artifacts going into my Panasonic AE300 PJ. The sound is excellent - low jitter digital output into a Meridian G68. I don't need SACD. I don't need DVD-A.

    The obvious serious upgrade to fit in with my system would be a Meridian G98DH (with on-board video switching/scaling), but from posts on the Hitchhikers forum, I have too many concerns over it's quality, temperment, upgradeability and, frankly, value for money.

    I assume I could buy a replacement £500-£1000 player and get a better, more recent, machine, but I don't really want to.

    So what do I do to improve what I already have? I could get the player modded with a prog scan card (which one?) or add an external switcher/scaler. The latter is more appealing as it can handle other sources. Can anyone suggest any alternatives to an iScan Ultra (£500)? DVI/HDMI is not a requirement at the moment.

    Many thanks,
    Joel
     
  2. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    The iScan Ultra is not a scaler, only a straight deinterlacer. The cheapest option is a Lumagen VisionDVI (£800) or iScan HD+ (£1000 but can be sourced cheaper I'm sure), I definitely prefer the Lumagen of these two for picture quality and for other features such as having two DVI inputs (may not be important now but could easily be later).

    As a resolve for your situation now the VisionDVI does all it needs to. I would consider though the VisionHDP product at £1300 which does add 10-bit processing, full 1080i inverse telecine processing (very soon to be added....) and better a-d converters. You will see a better image from this compared to the DVI (noticeably sharper and cleaner of noise), but as a processor to survive through the next few years of perhaps changing projector or adding a plasma it will also give 1080p output to newer digital displays, and do much more work with the soon-to-be-here HDTV services, even benefitting lower resolution displays.
     
  3. VirusKiller

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    Thanks Liam. I realized it was just a de-interlacer shortly after posting...

    I'm only after an interim solution at the moment (consumer video is changing so fast at the moment) so big spending (£1000+) on a scaler is not my preferred option at this point. To put that into perspective, in spite of my reservations, I can pick up an ex-dem Meridian G98 with on-board switcher/scaler for £2200. I can pick-up an iScan Ultra HD (IIRC 720p and 1080i) for £723 or an iScan Ultra HD+ (IIRC 1080p) for £823.

    However, keeping with my current kit only, am I right in thinking that a de-interlacer would substantially improve things and scaling doesn't make any sense to a 540 line PJ?

    Thanks,
    Joel
     
  4. Liam @ Prog AV

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    The only deinterlacer is the original Ultra which is really quite dated now. THere will be improvement but not much in terms of the outlay really, and considering that a few hundred more gets you so much more it isn't really the best solution. Going up to the HD+ will give you better deinterlacing, integrated scaling, audio delay etc I still think the VisionDVI (£800) is the better option still as it has the two DVIs, better calibration tools, better deinterlacing and scaling overall. But either is more appropriate than a basic deinterlacer. The scaling side isn't specifically with regard to getting more lines together. Scaling is goign to happen within the projector, and giving it a signal which minimizes the amount of mosquito noise this will add all goes toward having the cleaner, sharper image. A processor scaling up to 720p (leaving an easy 2/3 downscale for the panasonic) I would say will get a better image than the same processor doing no scaling at all. Ideally the Panasonic would accept 540p as an input signal hopefully meaning for no scaling done by the projector at all.
     
  5. VirusKiller

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    OK. I think I'm convinced. I just need to sort out what modes I should use in my current setup.

    The AE300 has a "quarter" HD panel (960 x 540). Looking at its list of compatible signals, there is no 540p though the following input signals are marked as "maximum picture quality achievable":

    576i at 50Hz (presumably, 36 lines are discarded from 576i signals?)
    1080i at 50 or 60Hz

    All other modes are "converted by the image processing circuit". I'm assuming this means the internal scaler as de-interlacing would still need to take place internally for interlaced signals.

    My main concern now is what mode would I want to use for NTSC and for PAL. There is neither a 576p input, nor 720p at 50Hz. There is 720p but at 60Hz only. Is this fatal for PAL prog viewing or would it be simple enough to configure the scaler to output 720p at 60Hz no matter what the input?

    Finally, how do prog scan devices cope with difference frame frequencies (50 and 60Hz) and is there a preference for best PQ? I can see lots of (PC/DVI) modes with non-integer frequencies. Some of the key NTSC input modes (480i, 480p) operate at 59.940Hz!

    Many thanks,
    Joel
     
  6. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    60Hz is actually 59.94 and this is what you would set as your output resolution for 60Hz signals.

    Conversion from 50-60 is more than watchable, but those more sensitive to judder won't enjoy it on fast moving sports, or fast panning material.

    1080i would seem a good idea as the scaler will simply cut the picture in half, so it will be a very good scale. However, the projector may introduce new errors when it tries to deinterlace all 1080 lines of information!! 720p would be cut to two-thirds, again a quite easy scale, but 60Hz conversion may annoy. My guess is that 576p is simply cropped to 540, which if true does mean there will be no scaling or deinterlacing going on in the projector.

    If it were me I would start out with 720p @ 59.94Hz for all NTSC material, and 576p @ 50Hz for PAL (the Lumagen will automatically select the output based on the incoming signal). For PAL (576p) I would then bring up the test patterns in the scaler, and see if the Panasonic is cropping or rescaling. If it's cropping, you may be able to compensate by using the scalers resize function and retain what is essentially 1:1. If it's scaling I would experiment with 720p and 1080i options and see what is best to your eyes - 576 rescaled, 720 easily scaled but with 50-60 conversion, or 1080 easily scaled but with deinterlacing errors.
     
  7. VirusKiller

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    Many thanks Liam!
     
  8. VirusKiller

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    Anyone know if the 7700 can be SDI modded?

    Thanks,
    Joel
     

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