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Want to get the best from your pj ? read this !!

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by 008, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. 008

    008
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    Eighteen months ago I set about improving the image quality from my Sony G70 crt projector. At that time I had no idea of home cinema computers (HTPC) and PAL progressive was just a distant wish for. I had already played with Iscan pros but was always dissapointed in the way that the processing softened the image. Scanning the internet I came across an American product called a PD 1100 which is basically a htpc with an internal DVD drive. It was purchased, tested and sent straight back! A great looking product but issues with blocking, stuttering and a push on green where huge dissapointments not to mention the sound quality which was totaly two dimentional, lets say 6/10 vs a normal DVD player. I then considered a Rock but at 4k plus a further 1k for the plus which if I recall was the one to have was pushing my budget too far. I then managed to borrow a Lumagen Vision and a Denon A1 and compared the progressive output from the Denon to the scaled image from the lumagen at 720p. The Denon produced by far the sharper image but added a big chunk of its own edge enhancement which could be removed by reducing the sharpness but again the image became too soft. The Lumagen (using the Denon as the source player) on the other hand produced a beautifully colour rich and filmic image but I was still not convinced as again it was still too soft for my liking probably caused by the additional D/A,A/D conversion processes. By this stage I was pretty fed up and found myself scanning the av sites both the UK and avs's sister site in the USA for the answer. This went on for months. I just couldnt help feeling that there was more to get out of my modest DVD collection. Then I came across what was then the upcoming HD Leeza. I waited with baited as the first units where shipped and tested. The feedback from early users expressed concerns about PAL handling which I believe is ongoing to this day. All my collection is PAL and at 4k it was a no goer. Through this forum I heard of a new product being hand built by one of its members (jenz). Two months ago I took the plunge and placed an order on a Clarus . It soon arrived. The Clarus is basically a htpc without the hassle. In its most basic form its a set up and forget video processor which will handle composite, s-video, component, sdi, dvi, and high def sourses like D-theater and output in either digital or as in my case analog to my Sony crt pj. For those interested it will output to any resolution and therefore suitable for Pixel perfect use with plasmas. Under the hood theres a Holograph 2 scaler with onboard Faroudja de-interlacer plus a high def auxilliary card from Immersive. This is hand built, configured and set up by (jenz) with all controls accessed via remote. Hooked up to a Panasonic RP82 DVD player via SDI and running at 720p through my G70 the image is simply staggering. There seems to be two BIG differences compared to everything I have seen and tested before. Firstly this is without doubt the sharpest image by far that the G70 has been able to display, secondly background noise that has frustrated me for years dissapeared. Details where being revealed from my DVDs that I never knew where there. The overall image you get is sharp, truly three dimentional with an amazingly filmic quality especially with camera pans. The Clarus sports a quality machined black faceplate with an on/off button, thats it ! looks great amongst other high end kit. Round the back you have all the connections for hooking up pretty much anything as detailed above.
    So why am I writing this post ? well its taken 18 months of searching for an image that I am happy with and at last after much research, borrowing equipment, travelling to shows, not to mention hours and hours on the internet, I can sit back and watch a film and not a video. If this post helps others find their holy grail without going through all the hassle that ive had then great.

    Finally, why I bought the Clarus;

    1) Fully upgradeable as any pc
    2) At 2k its miles cheaper than a HD Leeza
    3) It looks the biz
    4) I know very little about computers
    5) Its compatible with crt lcd dlp plasma, you name it
    6) The support I have had is second to none (three free upgrades so far !)
    7) As far as im concerned it produces the finest images on the planet

    Here are my image quality rankings;

    PD 1100) 0/10 I just couldnt get it to work
    Denon A1 DVD player at 576i) 3/10
    Denon A1 using progressive) 6/10
    Lumagen vision at 720p) 7/10
    Clarus at 720p) 8/10
    Clarus at 720p using SDI DVD player 10/10


    HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL !!
     
  2. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Hi 008,

    Sounds like a great bit of kit, glad your happy with it.

    Any details on price ?? Any www links so we can have a look at it ??

    Look forward to more info soon.......

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  3. 008

    008
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    Contact jenz on this forum, its £2000 well spent
     
  4. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Hi 008,

    Thanks for the info......Mmmmmmm £2k, i'd rather have the hassle of setting up a HTPC for now !! I'd love one, but it's a bit out of my price range !! :(

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  5. buns

    buns
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    but Jenz is seriously experienced, you are unlikely to get a pc looking as good as he can......

    ad
     
  6. cosmic023

    cosmic023
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    Yeah i agree buns, it's money well spent........but i don't have £2k to blow on such as system........

    For now i'll keep dreaming.......... ;)

    Cheers

    Cosmic023
     
  7. Jenz

    Jenz
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    Whilst the Clarus contains PC components all of the processing/scaling and deinterlacing is done in Hardware. This is not a HTPC, in fact it's more a black box. It isn't applicable to people who want to use "PC" type features. It processes Video only.

    We do not use the PCI bus so avoid the usual issues that that brings like lipsync/timing. Nor do we use a graphics card so avoid all the overlay/driver/softening. This is applicable to any input whether it be 480i/576i, 480p/576p, 1080i, 720p, 960p. The latter resolutions are only available via the DVI and Component Inputs obviously.

    This is a private product for personal reasons and is built to order and can be had for less than the £2k stated. They can also be purchased from B4 Projection. Email or PM me for further info.

    Regards Neil.
     
  8. Baggy

    Baggy
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    Hi 008,
    Thanks for the review.
    Any chance of posting some photo's?

    I use a PD1000 which is the earlier version of the PD1100 and it's interesting to read your comparison.
    I also use D-VHS into my Barco 1209s, using Port 3 for the PD1000 and Port 8 for the D-VHS.
    What are the inputs and outputs on the Clarus?
    As it's built to order do these vary?

    Kevin
     
  9. 008

    008
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    Baggy, sorry dont have a digital camera but its basically a black machined faceplate at the front with a chrome on/off button. As I say it looks great with other high end gear.
    I dont have a 1209 but you can connect D-VHS to the high def auxilliary card direct and let the Clarus scale to any res you want.
    At the rear you have one set of component inputs plus sdi and svideo plus as mentioned access direct to the aux card.
    Output is via the high def aux out in either digital or analog form which can be selected from simple menus
    Hope this helps.
     
  10. Jeff

    Jeff
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    At the last bug count Dtheater was a problem, haven't tried it yet so I can't say what the problem is.
     
  11. Jenz

    Jenz
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    DTheater works fine at 1080i and 1080p or 960p. Its when you go lower than those that it gets tricky.
     
  12. gorkitek

    gorkitek
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    Jenz,

    The BB will not permit either e-mails or pm's to you. I simply want to know where I can get more information on the Clarus vp mentioned in this thread. Website?

    G
     

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