|Originally posted by tim
It was my great pleasure to pick up John W., a.k.a. "The Depot Dude", at Sky Harbor Airport this morning and drive him up to the E-Tech shop and show him both satellite HDTV and regular DVD on the "BlendZilla" system; he left this afternoon with a big grin, and indicated he would post here upon returning to Toronto tomorrow. I hope to upload some new pictures also. Many thanks to John Orr from Folsom Research for his help in setting up on Wednesday. With any luck we will have DisplayPro on display at CES in Vegas in January!!!!!!!! :D
It was a pleasure meeting you Tim, and thanks for the demo on such short notice..
An unexpected business trip to the US, gave me the opportunity to make a little detour and see the Folsom unit in action..
Tim is correct - I did leave with a big grin and I'll explain why - however this won't be a total cheerleader type post - the criticisms are mainly directed to Folsom who I hope are following these threads and taking note of the feedback..
I am very seriously interested in getting the unit and with this in mind came with a critical eye..
First the good stuff....
Tim had HD satellite playing - as expected HD always looks good so after a brief viewing we switched to DVD..
The only disc I ever use to evaulate video is the 5th Element SB..boring I know, but it's the best way to compare by having a consistent transfer to use..
As the tag line says - it does what it claims VERY WELL!! In the center blend zone, it is seamless - the contrast and brightness levels match the sides..colour uniformity is excellant..in short, you cannot tell that there are 2 blended images..
The other thing that made me personally happy, is that it accepts multiple input resolutions from 480P up to 1080P..the significance for me is that I use an HTPC with the Immersive Holo II card - specifically, I love the ability to quickly adjust the cont/bright/gamma/saturation on a DVD by DVD basis..the Folsom unit doesn't appear to have these types of adjustments..so hopefully I'll be able to feed it a resolution like 1600 x 1200..
Now the criticisms..
We demoed the current 2 piece setup..some of these criticisms may not be applicable in the final product..
There was a very thin line visible from the right side at the point where the 1/3 center portion starts to blend..I could only see the line in very bright daytime scenes..I'm sure this is easily fixed..
The left side of the image was brighter than the right side..Tim stated this was due to the right CRT having more hours on it plus there some visible 16:9 wear on the tubes..I couldn't see anything related to the 16:9 wear on the screen..I imagine the contrast on the right CRT can be increased to equalize the brightness on the screen.
I would have liked to compare the total image of both CRT's vs one CRT filling the entire screen to get a feel for the Folsom contribution, but this isn't easy to do unless we set up a 3rd Crt..
Actually the real test would be a comparison of the Folsom vs a standard stack..
The 2 units are VERY noisy and are unacceptable in a HT environment - I didn't have an SPL meter but the noise was considerably louder than the 2 CRT's..even shoving the Folsom unit in a rack would not help much..I can hear the fan on my HTPC and after silencing my 1292, I wouldn't be happy hearing the loud noise out of the Folsom..I have to assume though that a one piece box would be alot quieter.
3- Memory Settings
When Tim switched from HD satellite over to DVD he had to dial in some of the various settings - this didn't take long but it had to be done every time we switched between satellite and DVD..too much of a hassle to expect a consumer to do this each and every time they switch inputs..
4-External test patterns
The unit requires that the crts be able to be converged using test patterns generated by the Folsom box..I'm not sure if mine can do this or not - I'll have to confirm this - I don't know how critical this requirement will be..I imagine you could recalibrate either crt if the image is off a bit.
There was no remote with the unit..not a big issue as once it's setup there's not much needed to do on the Folsom..it does have a RS232 port and I assume remote control could be done with a Pronto etc..
6- No Digital Input
If it were my product, I would incorporate both a digital input and output prior to the initial release, even if it means a reasonable delay. The reason is to expand the market potential of the HT segment and appeal to digital PJ owners. I don't know how the blend zone would look with the "bulb always being on". The Folsom could be a very good solution for someone who wants a big screen - adding a pair of inexpensive digital projectors, could be a better solution than say a 3 chip DLP or SXRD. Attracting the digital market would also get the numbers up and help ensure it doesn't go above the current proposed retail price of $15K..
I took a few screen shots and will post em when I get home..