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Which scaler???

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by jdaunton, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. jdaunton

    jdaunton
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    I am looking to upgrade the video quality of my system using a scaler. I have read lots (and lots and lots) over the past few weeks and am now more confused than ever about what I can/cant do and what works/doesnt work.

    My current system is:

    Pioneer 868AVi DVD player
    Panasonic TH37PV500 Plasma
    Pioneer AX10i Amp
    Xbox
    PS2
    Sky+

    I route both audio and video through the amp. The connections are:

    DVD -> Amp : iLink + Component
    XBox -> Amp : Optical + S-Video
    PS2 -> Amp : Optical + S-Video
    Sky+ -> Amp : Optical + Component (via Keene Aptus1 Scart to Component convertor)
    Amp -> Plasma : Component

    I have a Pioneer AX4AVi on the way which will support HDMI (as do the DVD and Plasma). I will use this to switch all audio and video.

    As I would like to take advantage of the Plasma's 720p / 1080i support I am wondering which scaler would best meet my needs.

    The questions:

    Do I pass everything from the new amp as HDMI and scale that (and worry about HDCP conformity) or just stay with scaling the component signal which I pass to the plasma at the moment.

    Which scaler would be recommended. I want to stick with the amp switcing everything (although this may not be the best solution).
     
  2. KraGorn

    KraGorn
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    IMHO you'd want to look at a scaler capable of accepting 480i/576i via HDMI, ie. more or less straight off the MPEG decoder and therefore not use the 868's deinterlacer .. I have a LumagenHDP which is fed in this way from an 868 (which is one of a very few players which can be set to output 'i' via HDMI) and the PQ is considerably better than when the Luma is fed 576p.

    If the AX4 for some reason won't allow this to be switched then personally I would forego the AX4's switching for the better PQ .. the Luma has multiple inputs so that wouldn't be a major problem, especially if you employ a programmable remote that can drive the Luma as well as the other devices.
     
  3. jdaunton

    jdaunton
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    Thanks very much for that info.

    Its all clicking into place (I think :confused: ). I spent last night fiddling with connecting the 868 to the panny with HDMI and selecting varying resolutions. The quality of 1080i doesnt seem any better than 720p (or could even be worse).

    I see that its much better to get a scaler to do the work and just feed it 'raw' video (as you said) and let it do the scan conversion to 720p for the panny to display so simply display.

    So, one final question: am I right in thinking that there is no point in getting a scaler which outputs 1080i/p as the panny only has 720 lines, so 720p would be perfectly ok, otherwise the panny could be degrading a perfectly good picture????

    Many thanks.
     
  4. Liam @ Prog AV

    Liam @ Prog AV
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    Yes a projector that can do more than 768 would see wasteful, but consider what you are actually losing as limited output resolution is a sign of limited overall performance. Take the Lumagens for example. The VisionDVI is an 8bit box which can do 768p output but not much more, however it is also incapable of deinterlacing 1080i signals into 1080p for eventual downscale to 768p. It will use a more basic process which effective halves the processed resolution of the 1080i signal before rescaling for display. This is what all processors in this price range do. However, the VisionHDP and HDPPro on the other hand are 10bit boxes and have been made able to take 1080i signals, correctly apply inverse telecine to generate 1080p, and then downscale from this. The result is a far better image than using the VisionDVI. (this is not the only difference, the HDPs use higher grade DACS and apply 10bit processing to all signals, so the result is an image far cleaner of artefacts than the DVI).
     

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