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Upscaling DVD players.

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by pwood, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. pwood

    pwood
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    I only seem to see machines with the Faroudja DCDi chipsets and was wondering if they are like Microsoft in that they have no real competition. What other chip sets are better and if so any recommendations on machines that use them.

    I wonder who will produce a transport only DVD player as if using HDMI there should be no need for most of the video processing internals.
     
  2. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    No Faroudja have plenty of competition, and plenty that are better implemented too!! It's just gotten to a point where clever marketing people want you to think you're getting more from one product than another, so Faroudja DCDi (the DCDi bit being a video mode process only so next to useless for DVD) is made a big thing of, as is 720p output etc. Many manufacturers own chipsets or implementations of other chipsets are just as good good, Silicon Image is a well known one still generally regarded as the best chip within a half-reasonable budget, the HQV stuff being awesome but also awesomely expensive. However as always it's in the implementation not the chip. Unfortunately you cannot single down a list of players to what chips are in them as you may miss a blinder, or assume all is well with a Faroudja based deck and find you suffer Macroblocking with your Panasonic plasma!!!

    The transport only theory is being used in practice - it's called SDI modding!!! A 3rd party card is installed on your DVD player which seeks a feed directly from the MPEG decoder and passes this raw, digital, signal out into a seperate unit which does your scaling and deinterlacing (i.e. a dedicated video processor). The player then still handles the audio. (even interlaced HDMI will go through an amount of processing before being output though, so in fact requires the whole job lot of internals)
     
  3. pwood

    pwood
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    Cheers Liam. I'm still waiting on my Pv500 to be delivered and was tempted by the Samsung 950 player but the macroblocking thing with Faroudja was what prompted the question if there was anything else about. I'm told Panasonic will have a new model out soon so I'll hang off ( easy as the Pv500 has cleaned me out for a bit) and by then no doubt there will be more choice.
     
  4. Likvid

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    I do not advise you to buy a Faroudja based scaler or DVD player if you are using a Panasonic plasma, i had the Denon 3910 and it looked terrible in many scenes with macroblocking.

    Buy a simple SDI modded player and add a good scaler to it without Faroudja.
     
  5. pwood

    pwood
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    Curiously the HDMI Panasonic player is listed as having a Farouja chip. Has anyone noticed macroblocking with this player on their Panasonic Plasma?
     
  6. rushers

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    Sorry, excuse the newbie question, but what exactly is macroblocking and how does it manifest on the display/audio? I have seen multiple references to this wrt denon dvd players on the AVS forum? I ask because I was really keen on the 1910/ Sammy 850 .
     
  7. kurtz

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    Macroblocking is an unwanted artifact of MPEG compression (as used by DVDs and digital Tv) where groups of adjacent pixels (usually blocks of 8x8 or larger multiples) are displayed with the same colour and brightness. This can be an aftifact of the MPEG source being over-compressed where gradual changes in shading/brightness become coalesced into a single value applied across a bunch of pixels.
    See the example on the blue carpet in this picture

    MPEG encoders analyse the picture and look for similar pixels to compress; they analyse it in groups of 8x8, which are known as 'blocks' - and a 'macroblock' is made up of 6 blocks: 4 containing luma values and 2 containing chroma values.


    However, with reference to a DVD player, the term "macroblocking" has also become used to denote a blocky artifact being introduced by the deinterlacer/scaler chipset. This term arose when the problem was first seen on the Faroudja 2310 chip used in the Denon A11 DVD player. The artifact appears the same as a macroblocked disc - so the term stuck even though it can appear on well encoded discs such as shadowy backgrounds in Lord of the Rings.

    Although a player may exhibit macroblocking it can be somewhat masked or highlighted by the display - I've never really understood why; presumably because some displays detect and preserve edges in the picture better than others which may mush them up a bit and hide the macroblocks. Hence some combinations of DVD players and displays (such as Denons with Faroudja 2310 and Panasonic plasma displays) are notorious for highlighting this fault.
     
  8. rushers

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    thanks for info as well as excellent link
    rushers
     
  9. pjskel

    pjskel
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    Superb link - amazing some of the original images looked okay, only to realise the are awful compared to what you can have. Really brings home some of the crap we put up with and even enjoy watching.
    :shakes head in disbelief:
     

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