HUGE NEWS! Sony Announces a 1080P/60 Input Upgrade for the Qualia 004!!! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Just announced today at the Sony Open House in Vegas....the Sony Qualia 004 R2 which will now accept 1080P 60. There will be an upgrade for R1 owners at a price of around $3,000 to upgrade (install fees may apply), and as of today, it appears your unit must be sent in. Jason White, a Qualia-certified installer and hardware engineer, is working on being able to field installs for Sony directly, and let's all hope this happens since Jason has installed the majority of 004s in the field, and it will save all of us the trouble of having to ship the units in. I am working closely with Sony on making this happen, so keep your fingers crossed.

This is exciting news as this has been the single largest request I have had from customers who have an 004. I will keep everyone posted on updates as they happen.

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post #2 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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If you are going to want to get this done in home, please PM me here and I am going to submit a list with Sony. This is VERY IMPORTANT to make this happen.

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post #3 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 02:05 PM
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I think it is good news overall. Can anybody else think of a case where a FP manufacturer charged for a firmware update? Maybe this is a hardware update. Can you tell us if that is the case DocDVD?

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post #4 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I should have been specific. It is a hardware change and a firmware upgrade. That's why there is a charge.

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post #5 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 02:28 PM
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Any other differences between R2 and R1?
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post #6 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Some other small improvements that will be included in the upgrade. Considering how phenomenal the Lumagen Vision Pro HDP looks at 1080P/60, this is a huge feature. It is a true 1080P input, not doing any 540P upconversion! Imagine Doom 3 on a NVidia 6800 Ultra running at native 1080P/60. Awesome....

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post #7 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 02:58 PM
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I think it is a nice offer, BUT...

Wasn't the whole purpose of the Qualia line of products to put customers first?

The only thing I can think of that would cost $3000 + install is the Non-Recurring Engineering to come up with the solution.

But, if the R2's are going to have it, the design has already been done. So we are talking about a $3000 replacement part? There is no way that is the "at cost" charge for any circuit board even a primary motherboard. And since a field installable solution is around the corner, it doesn't sound like the hardware change is that extensive - maybe a daughter card.

With the level of bureaucracy at Sony who knows what their overhead is for an upgrade like this. But it sure sounds like they are trying to make money of their current installed base. The beta-testers, umm..., I mean original owners, who got on the bleeding-edge and put down $25K are now getting hit up again. The upgrade cost sounds excessive.

Also, since it looks like Blu-ray won't have a spec for 60p, the only 1080-60p source is going to be video games (and outboard $$calers I guess)

Its this is an option I can't say the news is bad, but it isn't all that good either.

Qualia level support just mean more money not anything special.

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post #8 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
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According to Sony, the whole reason this is expensive (the board by itself is not cheap according to Gefen) is because the projector must be taken apart to get to the input board, re-assembled and the alignment of the panels adjusted after the disaassembly. Keep in mind, this is not a requirement, but this is something that the good folks on here have asked for over and over, and many of us, including myself, have offered to pay for this if it was a hardware upgrade. High end companies like Lexicon and Meridian have always charged comparable rates for hardware upgrades, so why should this be different? Free would no doubt be better, but $3,000 to me is a no-braiiner to insure future compatibility for upcoming formats for the next several years.

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post #9 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 03:51 PM
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I am sorry Doc I don't buy it.

Who is going to allign panels in the field? Better yet, why are panels integrated with circuit design to begin with. The beam splitter x-block etc. is connected to the circuit card? The input board is behind the opto-mechanical assemblies? None of that makes sense.

Also the price you mentioned was $3000 and "install fees may apply". Realligning panels is labor. What are we looking at $3K + $2K?

Like I said, this isn't bad news because no one is forcing R1 owners to pay for $3K. It is just that those who had to live with the quirks of the original Qualia's and were supposed to get unmatched customer service indictative of the Qualia brand, don't appear to be getting it here.

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post #10 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Again, don't shoot the messenger. It is voluntary, and the whole reason I said fielf install fees may apply is because they want you to send it in. It will take an engineer to do this in the field that will be factory trained, and to me, the convenience of getting this done in my own house without losing three weeks of my Qualia is worth spending whatever it costs within reason to get it done in my home. No one is going to force that option either, you will be able to send it in for $3,000 (and shipping to them, I assume) and it will be done there. This is completely voluntary. The panels can be aligned in the field by an engineer, as JVC has done it when necessary. That person needs the right training and the right tools to do it.

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post #11 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocDVD
The panels can be aligned in the field by an engineer, as JVC has done it when necessary. That person needs the right training and the right tools to do it.
Just because JVC has done it doesn't mean that Sony can. I don't have any special knowledge of what they can do in the field now, but if Jeff's (thebland) Qualia with the misalignment had been an HD2K they could have shifted things with special software. Why would Sony have gone to all that expense of replacing the whole projector if all they had to do was send somebody out to align things?

As far as panel alignment, if they are off a small even amount across the screen I think it is pretty much a waste to go in and physically move panels when all they really have to do is build them with a few extra pixels around and then shift electronically. Then all that are left as problems are the misalignments that aren't uniform enough.

As far as the fees, I have no problem with that. And as far as Qualia owners being beta testers, I disagree. I was never promised 1080/60p. I bought the features that were offered and don't feel the Qualia has had special problems compared to most. It just costs more.

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post #12 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Keep in mind, Darin, Jason is the one installed Jeff's piece both times, and they did NOT have an alignment fix to fix the 3 panel aligment, and from what I was told today, that's not what this alignment calls for. It is someething that can be done in the field by a trained tech, just the same as it could be done at the factory. That's what they told me. Again, the "field' upgrade option has not happened yet, this is something we are working on with Sony to make happen because, so far, every customer with a Qualia has said the only way they do this is in-home.

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post #13 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocDVD
Keep in mind, Darin, Jason is the one installed Jeff's piece both times, and they did NOT have an alignment fix to fix the 3 panel aligment, and from what I was told today, that's not what this alignment calls for.
Okay, if it is a different kind of alignment then it is a different issue of course. I agree about the in-home thing. At the size of the Qualia shipping is not something that would make me comfortable. Especially with good 3-panel alignment it would worry me that something would get bumped in shipping.

And if people are paying shipping both ways on top of the $3k, with shipping insurance that could add another pretty penny.

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post #14 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
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I wouldn't think we'd pay both ways, maybe to them. 90% of the installs we have done though, customers have tossed the box :( This has to be done in home, or they will find VERY few customers will to do this for 1080P in and minor improvements in processing.

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post #15 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocDVD
90% of the installs we have done though, customers have tossed the box
Interesting. That may keep people from being able to use William Phelps' services if he requires shipping the projector to him.

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post #16 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I haven't seen what William's done with the Qualia, but I do know for a fact that there are no hidden menus or adjustments that I do not have access to, and I do not think he could be doing something beyond what a good, thorough calibration can accomplish. I have not had any of the 25+ Qualia calibrations I have done complain one drop as of today, and I just don't seem room for improvement on a digital device that has limited adjustments.

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post #17 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 07:01 PM
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However, giving William his due.

It would be an interesting thing to get an early R2 to William to see what he thinks about it compared to the "beloved" HD2K. This way we can make sure that to EVERYONE'S eyes, the Qualia 004 is still top-notch (at least for this week.)


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post #18 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I agree. I just know from my factory training, my fixed pixel training and my long discussions at length with Sony engineers that it would be tough to do anything outside a thorough calibration as you would physically have to write new software to make any new changes, and you would need a way (either 232 or USB), to communicate those changes to a LOCKED firmware which wouldn't allow it. The only thing that could be a minor improvement might be some real gamma software that you would use with a new piece of equipment to adjust gamma on its own, instead of adjusting grayscale to affect gamma (which is what is done now).

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post #19 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 07:33 PM
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"Considering how phenomenal the Lumagen Vision Pro HDP looks at 1080P/60..."

Seems like it would be more sensible and convenient to put the $3K toward an HDP.

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post #20 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Noah:

Without the upgrade, you can't output the Lumagen's 1080P/60 into the projector. You'd need both :)

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post #21 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocDVD
I haven't seen what William's done with the Qualia, but I do know for a fact that there are no hidden menus or adjustments that I do not have access to, and I do not think he could be doing something beyond what a good, thorough calibration can accomplish. I have not had any of the 25+ Qualia calibrations I have done complain one drop as of today, and I just don't seem room for improvement on a digital device that has limited adjustments.
Interesting that you "know for a fact"... There are in fact many commands that are not documented in any manuals available to the general public. I spent weeks developing a shading uniformity tool for the Qualia, an adjustment that this projector appears to need badly. The tool can be used manually or with an SBIG CCD camera, and it does a great job. I also ported over my proprietary gamma LUT calibration that was originally developed for the JVC HD2K, and the results are excellent.

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post #22 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 08:12 PM
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Oh, this has the potential to be good. Where's my stadium chair? :)

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post #23 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Again, William, the only menus that we will ever be given as not being Sony employees (you know what I am getting at). Without a doubt, there are multiple level design menus, but those are not given out, and unless you have found them, it seems out of possibility to me. Your new tool sounds interesting; PM me and let me know the details, and if it is something of interest to my Qualia customers, I will gladly endorse it for you.

Regardless, this thread is not for you and to banter about the SMs of the Qualia, or what you can do to improve it. This is an annoucement thread, that's it.

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post #24 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 08:58 PM
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"Without the upgrade, you can't output the Lumagen's 1080P/60 into the projector. You'd need both "

Ah, I thought you meant with a Qualia.

"Regardless, this thread is not for you and to banter about the SMs of the Qualia, or what you can do to improve it. This is an annoucement thread, that's it."

Good luck trying to keep a thread from straying :)

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post #25 of 203 Old 03-09-2005, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a clarification, after speaking with William privately, William's tool does sound helpful as a tool above the normal ISF calibration, and certainly I look forward to seeing this in person as sounds marvelous. Since I do calibrate the majority of 004s and 006s, I'd love to have this tool to make a great calibration even better. And, I do owe William an apology which I gave him privately, he does seem to be working on a menu I also have access to, and I can see how his changes could make improvements in white uniformity if you had the right tools. Good stuff!

....Now back on topic! Bring on 1080P! I have had several emails tonight about the idea of still using the 1080 24sF mode out on the Lumagen for film-sources and 1080P 60 for video. If the Qualia scanned natively multi-sync at both modes, then I'd say "yes," in ideal world, this might be the ideal way to accomplish this. However, since the R2 will be 1080P in and out, I'd say 1080P in will be better for both and let the Lumagen do film detection instead of the Qualia. I will be working on some "Qualia Only" enhancements for future software upgrades for the Lumagen Vision Pro HDP, that should make this 1080P upgrade a bit easier on the setup once you get it back from Sony.

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post #26 of 203 Old 03-10-2005, 01:45 AM
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Docdvd
Will new sales be R2 from now on?

Great news for Qualia 004 owners but it now seems clear that any contrast increasing modifications will have to wait for R3? Perhaps the hs51 thing will never be implemented in the Qualia 004 series.

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post #27 of 203 Old 03-10-2005, 06:42 AM
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Yes. The really big news is when will the R2 be available? :)

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post #28 of 203 Old 03-10-2005, 07:28 AM
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I assume however, that we are not loosing 1080p24sf in the R2.

Correct?


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post #29 of 203 Old 03-10-2005, 07:30 AM
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I think this is great news. I don't own a Qualia but I just want to defend Sony here, why should the upgrade be free? How many 3-chip DLP projectors that compete with the Qualia in this price range can be upgraded to the latest model for what amounts to the price of a (albeit expensive) bulb?
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post #30 of 203 Old 03-10-2005, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DocDVD
....Now back on topic! Bring on 1080P! I have had several emails tonight about the idea of still using the 1080 24sF mode out on the Lumagen for film-sources and 1080P 60 for video. If the Qualia scanned natively multi-sync at both modes, then I'd say "yes," in ideal world, this might be the ideal way to accomplish this. However, since the R2 will be 1080P in and out, I'd say 1080P in will be better for both and let the Lumagen do film detection instead of the Qualia. I will be working on some "Qualia Only" enhancements for future software upgrades for the Lumagen Vision Pro HDP, that should make this 1080P upgrade a bit easier on the setup once you get it back from Sony.
My understanding is that with 1080/24PsF the Qualia will play this back at 48Hz (or at least a multiple of 24Hz), while with 1080/60p it will play back at 60Hz. So, extra judder. I haven't actually seen 1080/24PsF to confirm though. There is no difficult "film detection" for a device getting 1080/24PsF as far as I know. Just a very simple deinterlace. The "film detection" would still need to be done externally (like by the Lumagen) to get to 1080/24PsF.

--Darin

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