dimax grex vs sima ct-2 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 04-27-2007, 12:38 PM - Thread Starter
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for the multitudes out in ht land wanting to know which is the best video "enhancer" the results are in! (i know youre all holding your breaths).
i used a toshiba 5970 (tosh s-vid circuitry produces the cleanest looking s-video images that i've seen) into either the grex or ct-2, into either toshiba dr2 or pan. es15. the grex gave a darker (not better black levels), and softer image while the ct-2 was sharper and more detailed using the same content.

i had hoped the grex would be better but it was not to be. i will, however, contact dimax to see if their devices image can be sharpened/brightened. i was able to determine these things on just a 13 "crt, never mind my hd pj/108" screen. most discs using the ct-2 look anywhere from good to very good on the pj. this is sd material, of course.
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-10-2008, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

for the multitudes out in ht land wanting to know which is the best video "enhancer" the results are in! (i know youre all holding your breaths) i used a toshiba 5970 (w/ very good s-vid circuitry) into either the grex or ct-2, into either toshiba dr2 or pan. es15. the grex gave a darker(not blacker), and softer image while the ct-2 was sharper and more detailed using the same content.

i had hoped the grex would be better but it was not to be. i will, however, contact dimax to see if their devices image can be sharpened/brightened. i was able to determine these things on just a 13 "crt, never mind my hd pj. most discs using the ct-2 look anywhere from good to very good on the pj. this is sd material, of course.

bump
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-10-2008, 04:34 PM
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westgate, let me know if Dimax responds. I am debating getting the grex amongst a few video filters.

Any info you get would be greatly appreciated by me in helping me make my decision.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-10-2008, 09:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberfly502 View Post

westgate, let me know if Dimax responds. I am debating getting the grex amongst a few video filters.

Any info you get would be greatly appreciated by me in helping me make my decision.

thanks for response, but i just 'bartered' my grex away. check out firebird-systems.com

u can email dimax grex at xdimax.com
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post #5 of 31 Old 05-13-2009, 02:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westgate View Post

thanks for response, but i just 'bartered' my grex away. check out firebird-systems.com

u can email dimax grex at xdimax.com

Hi , couldn't find on those site any similar to xdimax GREX device (it's a DVD protection remover) . Is there one? I want to compare.
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post #6 of 31 Old 05-16-2009, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by March Hare View Post

Hi , couldn't find on those site any similar to xdimax GREX device (it's a DVD protection remover) . Is there one? I want to compare.

There is nothing to compare with Grex
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post #7 of 31 Old 05-16-2009, 02:57 PM
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March Hare, all of these filters are considered (for lack of a better word) "questionable" products, so you aren't going to find many head-to-head comparison web pages or multiple shopping-vendor recommendations. These things are basically flying under the radar and don't want to draw unwelcome attention to themselves.

There are perhaps a dozen such devices remaining on the market, discussed heavily in related threads here on AVS. Google the site for "video filter" and look for the most recently-active threads. The Grex has been the most heavily-promoted (by its mfr) filter, so it scores the most mentions on websites. It does seem to work, although depending on the video material and your hardware it sometimes needs its tiny switches to be adjusted several times until you get an image you like out of it. It can be a bit fussy for some people, but its now the default choice for those who don't have the patience to sift thru endless posts to learn about other options.

The Sima CT-2 is an earlier unti that was mass-marketed thru Best Buy, etc, until Hollywood had it pulled. Before disappearing it was updated to the CT-200 model, which had marginally better quality control. If you find one on eBay for a good price, they're great little boxes that hold onto their resale value. Like the Grex, depending on your sources and hardware the Simas either work perfectly out of the box or need to have their mode switch played with. Here and there you discover a setting that looks awful on some material but great on others. There were followup Simas marketed without the Sima name, I forget now but they may have been the DiMax 5000 and 7000 mentioned by others here.

There's a custom-built filter made by an AVS member, its expensive but reputed to be quite good especially if you need to preserve 16:9 formatting flags. A variety of others are sold by assorted overseas suppiiers and can be found via sites like World Import or 22electronics. Other options would be an old Polaroid recorder used as a passthrough filter, or a full-fledged miniature TBC such as the AVT-8710. A daisy-chained recorder or TBC is less likely to require adjustments or cause image artifacts than a filter, and can be a better value depending on the price and your needs. Depends on what you can afford and whats available at the moment. None of the possible solutions are what you'd call "cheap", they start at $80 and shoot up to over $250 in some cases. Used Simas run about $100, a used Polaroid $80, etc.
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post #8 of 31 Old 05-16-2009, 03:47 PM
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I few people here that have compared different filters have found the Grex to soften the picture a bit more than the others. If that's true, it could be why it goes for a little less new.

On the same note, the 'Video Filter' keeps the widescreen flag intact, so that could be one reason why it costs more.

(Also, that one site that was selling the refurbed Polaroids a couple of weeks back for $80.00 seems to be out of them now.)
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post #9 of 31 Old 05-16-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by znatok View Post

There is nothing to compare with Grex [IMG]http://www.*****************/trafficreport/img/3721/k09f0423lglc/b.gif[/IMG]

+1 with that!
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post #10 of 31 Old 05-17-2009, 06:08 AM
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With the 5000 and 7000 you can lighten or darken the picture. I never do and I don't notice a difference between those and the CT-200 but they are all on separate recorders. So not exactly head to head.
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post #11 of 31 Old 05-17-2009, 07:13 AM
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The Sima CT-2 also has several adjustments: Darker, Lighter, B&W. Personally I always leave it on normal, if I want to darken the picture a little I use the Darker setting on my Panny DVDR's line input, it's not as drastic as the Sima's settings.
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post #12 of 31 Old 05-21-2009, 02:01 PM
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I have a Sima CC2 that I originally purchased to convert my videos to DVD, but now use between my satellite receiver/dvr (DirectTV DVR plus) and my Panasonic DVD Recorder (Model EH50) with the signal then going to my TV since when I switched from Dish to Direct TV I found I wasn't able to record shows I wanted to keep (got the old can't record this program message - and I guess the CC2 strips out this signal).

Recently, though, a type of grey ghosting/shadowing has shown up. The strange thing is it not only shows up on what I'm watching now, but items that I had recorded on the DirectTV DVR and left there which were fine when I viewed them previously. So I'm wondering if a new digital protection signal has been introduced, or perhaps my Sima is about to go to electronics heaven.

Thanks for any input. Hope it was OK to put this question under this thread rather than start a new one.
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post #13 of 31 Old 05-21-2009, 03:09 PM
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I don't have sat. or cable PPV, but I've never ran across a DVD my CT-2 would not duplicate. According to the original literature the CT-2 was supposed to remove all current and future CP. Something about how it totally rebuilds the VBI which is where the CP signals reside.
When you said "CC2" did you mean CT-2? if your Sima is a older VHS tape filter it will not remove DVD CP or maybe even sat. or cable CP. I know my older Sima VHS filter only works for VHS tapes and not DVDs.
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post #14 of 31 Old 05-21-2009, 03:30 PM
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Its officially "Color Corrector Pro Series, SCC-2) as printed on the unit. I purchased it in 2004.
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post #15 of 31 Old 05-21-2009, 04:15 PM
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Ah OK I misunderstood your first post and thought you were currently getting the "cannot copy" signal.
If you're not getting a CP warning but you are getting the "grey ghosting" I'd suspect something more to due with bad cabling or worst case scenario your Sima could be going bad. On my CT-2s(also called Go DVD) I like to unplug the block power supply when not in use, I've read of others who leave theirs always plugged in (and therefor always powered on since the CT-2 doesn't have a ON/OFF switch) and some people are starting to have problems.
I do get a very slight area of the screen that's slightly lighter than the rest of the screen(I think it's the bottom 1/2) but this is only visible when the screen is almost black and the room is quite dark. Again this is barely noticeable and since I set my DVDRs line input to darker it's basically impossible to notice except under ideal circumstances.
I'd try different cables both to and from the Sima (preferable S-video if your devices support that) and if you happen to have a different brick power supply (same voltage and at least the same amperage) you could try swapping it out. It's possible if the power supply's capacitors are failing it may not be fully filtering the output which again can cause display problems.
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post #16 of 31 Old 05-21-2009, 07:22 PM
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I'll give those suggestions a try. I am guilty of leaving the unit plugged in and on standby. Perhaps the old boy needs a rest; hope I haven't worn it out by leaving it plugged in. Thanks very much for the suggestions. I had thought because of the way the image was ghosting that it was a new form of copy-protection.
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post #17 of 31 Old 05-21-2009, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
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nice to see this thread revived.
i bought a 2nd ct2 about a year or so after i got the first, ~'05.
i always unplug both of my ct-2s when done. i also don't use them half as much as i used to.

on my ct2 #2, sometimes i see a very light ghosting effect and it moves from bottom of screen to top. it has done that since new so i use it very rarely. ever since i bought it its image was never quite as good as my ct2 #1.
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post #18 of 31 Old 05-22-2009, 09:45 AM
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ABSOLUTELY unplug these "filters" when not in use! The enemy of all electronics is heat, and these Simas get very hot while connected to power. When overheated, they are more prone to image degradation.

Granted, this makes them difficult to use in a "permanent" connection as a cable/satellite filter. If that is your primary use for one, you'll need to rewire things in such a way that you can easily switch over to an "unfiltered" line input when the Sima is powered off. Most decoder boxes have two or three video outputs, if you have the Sima patched from the decoder into your recorder Line 1, just connect a secondary decoder feed to your recorder Line 2 or Line 3 so you can instantly flip to it when you don't need the filter.

The only alternative thats OK for an "always-on" filter is the rather overpriced DataVideo TBC-1000. This "full fledged time base corrector" sells for $495 new or about $200 used. Its very ruggedly built and does not get hot if left powered on. It includes a distribution amp, so it can feed up to 4 recorders from a single input. Back in 2007 when these sold for $295 new they were a good deal, at $495 they're ridiculous but if you can afford it and don't want to worry about overheating...

I think the Sima actually works a little better, though, to filter CP flags.
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post #19 of 31 Old 05-22-2009, 03:08 PM
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When I pulled back the cabinet to disconnect the power source, I discovered that the plug was partially pulled out; when I plugged it completely in, the ghosting problem disappeared, so I'm guessing the unit wasn't getting full power.

But, I will follow the suggestions and unplug the unit when not in use.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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post #20 of 31 Old 05-22-2009, 04:11 PM
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Would these filters like the Grex and the Sima allow moving the recording on a copyguarded VHS tape I own to a DVD? Or would I need a different type of filter?
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post #21 of 31 Old 05-22-2009, 04:25 PM
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Yes a filter like these will not only remove DVD, Satellite/Cable CP but will also work for older VHS tapes. It's just the older VHS filters(still available new at some places for ~$20) that won't remove the newer DVD etc. CP.
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post #22 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 02:19 AM
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Thanks to all for help, especially to CityBear!
I went on grex after all, cuz as i understood sima is not supported anymore
and they lowered grex price to 89$.
Got it shipped already and copied 11 tapes, well i am pretty satisfied with it,
didn't face any overheat problem...
Thanks to all again
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post #23 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 05:48 AM
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You got a good deal at $89!
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post #24 of 31 Old 05-28-2009, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

ABSOLUTELY unplug these "filters" when not in use! The enemy of all electronics is heat, and these Simas get very hot while connected to power. When overheated, they are more prone to image degradation.

Granted, this makes them difficult to use in a "permanent" connection as a cable/satellite filter. If that is your primary use for one, you'll need to rewire things in such a way that you can easily switch over to an "unfiltered" line input when the Sima is powered off. Most decoder boxes have two or three video outputs, if you have the Sima patched from the decoder into your recorder Line 1, just connect a secondary decoder feed to your recorder Line 2 or Line 3 so you can instantly flip to it when you don't need the filter.

The only alternative thats OK for an "always-on" filter is the rather overpriced DataVideo TBC-1000. This "full fledged time base corrector" sells for $495 new or about $200 used. Its very ruggedly built and does not get hot if left powered on. It includes a distribution amp, so it can feed up to 4 recorders from a single input. Back in 2007 when these sold for $295 new they were a good deal, at $495 they're ridiculous but if you can afford it and don't want to worry about overheating...

I think the Sima actually works a little better, though, to filter CP flags.

Just for a data point, last weekend I did a lengthy project making personal copies of a set of commercial DVDs. These (a series) were particularly annoying in the amount of non-skipable content and advertisments. It took WAY too long to get to the actual program I paid for. Anyway, I was using the Video Filter (from Logic Design) and left it plugged in for something like three days continuous. When I was done, and picked it up to unplug it, it did not seem warm to the touch at all.

You would have to check with the manufaturer and ask how they feel about extended periods of being ON, but my experience last weekend definitely suggests that it does not get warm, even after days of continuous power on. It was definitely working, because without it the CP flag would not allow recording, but with it, not a problem.

The Vieo Filter is pricy by comparison, but this just might be another feature.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #25 of 31 Old 05-29-2009, 05:45 AM
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If the manufacturer thought they should be turned off why wouldn't they have provided them with a switch.
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post #26 of 31 Old 05-29-2009, 09:06 AM
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Because mfrs often make colossally stupid engineering decisions, thats why. You'd think after 30 years selling consumer video accessories Sima would know better, but no. You would be surprised just how many small electronics items that rely on wall wart power bricks don't have an on/off switch. Whether its saves a penny for the switch or the mfrs cluelessly believe these things don't get warm, who knows. But its a common, and bad, idea not to have a switch. The Sima filters and the AVT-8710 TBC have no power switch, and after an hour you can fry an egg on their metal cases (I'm not exaggerating). Their power systems must be very inefficient to throw off that much heat, so I'd strongly advise unplugging them when not directly in use: especially in warmer weather. Give them a lot of breathing room, don't shut them up in a cabinet.

I don't know from the Grex, I didn't keep the one I borrowed long enough to see how hot it gets. If ChurchAVGuy says it stays cool, I'll take his word for it, and that certainly indicates good design. Nonetheless its still not a good idea to leave ANY small sensitive specialty item like a Grex powered on indefinitely: even if the unit itself doesn't get warm, the wall wart might, and regardless of heat these little devices can be fried instantly by a power surge or other mishap. Treat them with care.
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post #27 of 31 Old 05-29-2009, 11:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

I don't know from the Grex, I didn't keep the one I borrowed long enough to see how hot it gets. If ChurchAVGuy says it stays cool, I'll take his word for it, and that certainly indicates good design. Nonetheless its still not a good idea to leave ANY small sensitive specialty item like a Grex powered on indefinitely: even if the unit itself doesn't get warm, the wall wart might, and regardless of heat these little devices can be fried instantly by a power surge or other mishap. Treat them with care.

You are implying that I was using a Grex. I was using the Video Filter (from Logic Design).

I agree that it is a bad idea to leave these things powered on continuously. Thy were not designed for that. If they had been, there would be a fan in the housing.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #28 of 31 Old 05-30-2009, 08:11 AM
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Sorry for the error, ChurchAVGuy: I don't know where I got the idea you were talking about the Grex and not the Video Filter, I must have gotten two posts confused. Anyway the gist of my point was, "if ChurchAVGuy reports something, pay attention". Glad you've had success with the Video Filter, we don't hear as much about it as some of the other choices.
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post #29 of 31 Old 05-30-2009, 11:50 PM
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Well, it isn't mentioned as much because the Video Filter (note the caps) is more costly than the Grex or the Sima (which I also have) so fewer people own it. Also, there was a time when if I so much as mentioned it, I was accused of advertising for Logic Design, even though others could recommend the Sima and Grex, and others without such accusations. I never understood the logic. Anyway, after that, I decided to not mention it, until your post and my experience which was not along with the thread title, but was in line with this current topic of overheating. I am neither endorsing or recommending the product, I am just reporting my experiences with it.

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Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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post #30 of 31 Old 05-31-2009, 02:37 AM
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Actually, this is one of the few sub-forums around here that I find doesn't have it's share of shills hanging around it. I like coming here when I need a break from having to be so paranoid and defensive about that and I can just relax amongst the "regular" folk. People here are for the most part very honest, fair and respectful when talking about products and giving advice (I said for the most part ).

I find that any forums around here having to do with TV, movie and music programming or broadcasting are inundated with "industry people" or people with some kind of vested interest or agenda - sometimes hidden, sometimes not so much (even the seemingly innocent "fanboys" can get to one, too, sometimes). Some are genuinely helpful and unbiased, some of the time - but it does pay to be wary.
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