Technicolor and Marseilles Demo "4K Image Certified" Upscaling - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-26-2013, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Last month, I wrote about Technicolor's "4K Image Certification" program, which is designed to identify and recognize products that excel at upscaling 1080p to near-native UHD quality. This is critical for the burgeoning UHD market, since there will be very little native-4K content available to consumers for quite some time. Yesterday, I got to see a demonstration of the first video-processing chip to receive the Technicolor certification, the VTV-1222 from Marseille Networks, and I have to say, I was very impressed.

 

The demo was held at Technicolor's Hollywood offices on the lot of the Sunset Gower Studios. Two Sony XBR-55X900A UHDTVs were set up side by side, calibrated to look and measure as close to identical as possible.

 

First up was a demo loop played from a high-powered Windows computer with two HDMI outputs, both of which were sending UHD to the TVs. The last part of the loop was a comparison of native 4K and upscaled 1080p. Native 4K footage of a cowboy silhouetted against the sunset had been downscaled to 1080p, then upscaled to UHD using the Marseille processor and encoded in H.264. The upscaled file was played on one screen while the unprocessed 4K footage (also encoded in H.264) was played on the other screen.

 

 

It was nearly impossible to tell which was which, at least from a normal viewing distance. When I got up close, I did see a bit of edge-enhancement ringing around the stalks of grass in the upscaled footage, which was not visible in the native 4K image. I wish they had used different footage—there wasn't all that much fine detail in the image as it was. Still, the end result was pretty impressive.

 

 

Next, we looked at the output from two Sony BDP-S790 Blu-ray players—one with its UHD upscaler enabled and connected directly to one of the TVs, and the other with its upscaler disabled and passing its 1080p signal through a Marseille processor on a circuit board (seen here) on its way to the other display. With copies of Baraka in each player and using one remote, jumping to specific chapters synchronized the playback quite effectively.

 

 

In each scene, it was immediately apparent that the Marseille processor was doing a better job—there was simply more detail in its image than in the image upscaled by the Sony player. For example, in this scene of the Muslim Hajj (the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in which the faithful walk around the Ka'aba counter-clockwise seven times), the individual people were much more distinct and well-defined in the Marseille image, and I saw no hint of ringing or other artifacts, even up close. I realize it's difficult if not impossible to see this in a small photo, but it was obvious on the screens.

 

Finally, we looked at an Oppo BDP-105 Blu-ray player with its two HDMI outputs, which can be set so that one of them outputs upscaled UHD and the other outputs 1080p. The purpose of this demo was to compare the Oppo's Marvell Qdeo upscaler and the Marseille chip processing the text of the player's user interface, which is generated at 1080p, unlike some other players that generate the UI at a lower resolution.

 

 

As you can clearly see in the composite photo above, the Oppo's internal scaler (on the left) leaves lots of jaggies in the letters, while the Marseille processor (on the right) smoothes out the letters much more effectively.

 

 

In addition to the demo, I learned a few things about the VTV-122x family of video processors, which includes the VTV-1221, 1222, and 1223; the only difference between them is in their I/O configuration. As illustrated in the diagram above, the chip accepts an HDMI 1.4b input, applies a variety of processing modules—including noise reduction, detail enhancement, edge correction (jaggie reduction), and color space and formatting as well as UHD upconversion—and outputs an HDMI 1.4b signal. The chip has its own CPU and requires no external memory, and it introduces no perceptible latency.

 

The incoming signal is analyzed on a per-pixel basis, and the strength of each processing module within the chip is adjusted accordingly in real time. This context-adaptive processing, which Marseille calls UVD (Ultra Visual Detail), allows each part of the image to be processed independently, rather than applying the same processing to the entire image equally. In addition, each processing module is highly programmable, allowing manufacturers to set the strength of each one as they wish, and to provide the end user with as much—or as little—control over each one as they see fit.

 

The first product to incorporate the Marseille chip is the BDX6400 Blu-ray/media player from Toshiba, which I plan to take a close look at as soon as I can. Meanwhile, I'm sure we'll see other Blu-ray players, media streamers, AV receivers, set-top boxes, and maybe even TVs with this chip and Technicolor's "4K Image Certified" logo at CES 2014, if not sooner. I, for one, can't wait!

 

For more on Technicolor's 4K Image Certified program, click here.

For more on Marseille Networks, click here.

 

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post #2 of 18 Old 07-27-2013, 12:58 AM
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Very interesting article. I do have an Oppo 103 but was always pretty sure that once affordable 4k projectors are released I will go for a new and better player especially in that price range. For me 4k in that player was just a nice add-on without any extra cost. What would be interesting to know how a more long term investment like the Lumagen Radiance 204x competes? The question is if it is already worth buying a 4k product (in the higher price segment) now or wether to wait and go with pure HD products?


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post #3 of 18 Old 07-27-2013, 09:51 AM
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IMHO nothing will be worthwhile until there is an updated HDMI cabling spec that allows for 3840x2160@60Hz with itu REC. 2020 and 120hz 1920x1080p too. Say by the end of 2014 HDMI 2.0 will be a real shipping standard, a "4K" blu-ray spec is updated and 10bit or 12bit "deep-color" can be passed , then will be a good time to look at displays.

By that point , regardless of the brand , the displays will be able to handle and display any of the updated formats or standards over HDMI 2.0 so (in theory) one would be safe getting UHD products instead of something only taking rec 709. Once the players and displays can handle the bigger gamut and the greater dolor depth UHD content can really start to provide a good reason to upgrade other than only resolution.

Many of the current systems have to upscale and "fake" the "mastered in 4K" improvements but once HDMI 2.0 is out and "real" 4K or UHD material can be played back it will be much better overall than trying to upscale rec709 8bit color and at least the players and processors should be able to pass the upscaled content as REC. 2020 instead of processing the material then sending it as rec709 then scaling it back to REC. 2020 inside of the display.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-27-2013, 10:35 AM
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[/quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by undermined View Post

IMHO nothing will be worthwhile until there is an updated HDMI cabling spec that allows for 3840x2160@60Hz with itu REC. 2020 and 120hz 1920x1080p too. Say by the end of 2014 HDMI 2.0 will be a real shipping standard, a "4K" blu-ray spec is updated and 10bit or 12bit "deep-color" can be passed , then will be a good time to look at displays.

The only issue with 60p is that it will be much longer than 2014 before we get any 60P 4K material worth watching. Sure there will be some short features and demo loops but the movie industry will stay at 24fps for a while. The DCI standard limits 4k to 30p.

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post #5 of 18 Old 07-27-2013, 05:30 PM
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Very interesting and informative article Scott thanks.
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-27-2013, 11:10 PM
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The only issue with 60p is that it will be much longer than 2014 before we get any 60P 4K material worth watching. Sure there will be some short features and demo loops but the movie industry will stay at 24fps for a while. The DCI standard limits 4k to 30p.[/quote]

DCI has already documented it's intent to update the spec for 60hz 4K. here is a quote from the wiki:

"DCI has additionally published a document outlining recommended practice for High Frame Rate digital cinema.[5] This document discloses the following proposed frame rates: 60, 72, 96, and 120 frames per second for 2D at 2K resolution; 48 and 60 for stereoscopic 3D at 2K resolution; 48 and 60 for 2D at 4K resolution. The maximum compressed bit rate for support of all proposed frame rates should be 500 Mb/sec."

the 60hz suggestion isn't about native content as much as it is about the bandwidth and for use with computers and for future compatibility with 3D standards.

Nothing on broadcast is 1080p/60 and blu-ray movies are mainly 24fps, but I wouldn't only want HDMI to be limited to 24Hz input. Even if the only thing a 60hz input would get me is 4 1080p/60 channels or better PC use and gaming there is a good reason to have it and since it is looking to be the later half of 2014 for HDMI 2.0, the standards will be setup for the 8K portion of the UHD spec too.

Even if it isn't used for 60hz input, the bandwidth will be use for 10bit or 12bit color with a gamut much closer to DCI, if not the same
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-28-2013, 02:24 AM
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Hello Scott,

Thank you for Sharing, i use jvc x30 + Lens on a 140 Screen, so that you think this Chip vs e Shift ?
I Look for something like "a stand alone "e Shift as Long 4k is in the Way .
Because i dont want /can change all before 4k is ready .
Or think i'm wrong and this Chip Works only with 4k Displays ?
Best regards dirk
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-28-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
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DCI has already documented it's intent to update the spec for 60hz 4K. here is a quote from the wiki:

"DCI has additionally published a document outlining recommended practice for High Frame Rate digital cinema.[5] This document discloses the following proposed frame rates: 60, 72, 96, and 120 frames per second for 2D at 2K resolution; 48 and 60 for stereoscopic 3D at 2K resolution; 48 and 60 for 2D at 4K resolution. The maximum compressed bit rate for support of all proposed frame rates should be 500 Mb/sec."

the 60hz suggestion isn't about native content as much as it is about the bandwidth and for use with computers and for future compatibility with 3D standards.

Nothing on broadcast is 1080p/60 and blu-ray movies are mainly 24fps, but I wouldn't only want HDMI to be limited to 24Hz input. Even if the only thing a 60hz input would get me is 4 1080p/60 channels or better PC use and gaming there is a good reason to have it and since it is looking to be the later half of 2014 for HDMI 2.0, the standards will be setup for the 8K portion of the UHD spec too.

Even if it isn't used for 60hz input, the bandwidth will be use for 10bit or 12bit color with a gamut much closer to DCI, if not the same

You have some good points. 60fps will be used for more than just movies. Gaming for example and that could easily be by 2014.. I agree the new HDMI standard must support it, and it will. But even if, actually when, the DCI is amended to include 60fps at 4K it will be more like 2018-2020 before it's wide spread, especially in the home environment. It's based on the production costs - storage which will certianly come down in price but today and for the next few years, it's just too high for widespread 4K 60fps.

Example how long has "deep color" been available on BluRay players. Yet do we have 12bit BluRays on the shelf? And here even the masters are most often 12bit or higher.

P.S. I work in the Hollywood industry.

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post #9 of 18 Old 07-30-2013, 12:37 AM
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Since the demo was held at Technicolor's Hollywood offices, can we see some independent tests in avs, about the Marseille VTV-1222 chip.

Great article, thanks scott

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post #10 of 18 Old 01-06-2014, 06:41 AM
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I must say that i am very disappointed with this Marseille video processor/scaler after reading the very detailed review of the Toshiba BDX6400 done by Secrets Of Home Theater And High Fidelity website, www.hometheaterhifi.com, which undoubtedly has the most extensive testing for video processing and scaling available online, a whole battery of tests.
The Marseille chip scored fairly poorly overall failing with chroma upsampling errors, 4K jaggies in scaling, ringing introduced in high contrast areas of images, etc. It even managed to crash one of the test discs.
I own an Onkyo Integra DHC80.2 A/V processor that has served me beyond reproach for almost three years that uses the highly regarded HQV Reon video processing chip and i figured the only reason for me to consider replacing it for another would be for better video processing/scaling and an improvement of the built-in Audyssey XT-32 room analyzer/equalizer; I have been impatiently lurking around the internet to see which company would bring to market the first product to use the Marseille chip and now i see that i don't have to rush to buy another A/V processor.
Either Toshiba did not fully use and implement all features of the Marseille VTV-122x chip in its blue ray player or the designers of the chip failed miserably on their claims of literally best-in-class video processing solution compared to other chips, and the proof is in the test report.
Apparently Seiki will be introducing at CES 2014 a HDMI to USB cable with the Marseille VTV-1222 chip built as part of the cable with a m.s.r.p. of only $40, for those out there willing to give it a try at such low cost....
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-10-2014, 09:42 AM
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Thanks for a very informative post.

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post #12 of 18 Old 06-25-2014, 04:42 AM
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VTV-1222 Seiki cable vs HQV VIDA VHD1900/marvell Qdeo in Onkyo TX-NR809

I'm using the Onkyo TX-NR809 AVR with HQV VIDA VHD1900/marvell Qdeo chips on a Mitsubishi 82" DLP 1080P display WD-82737. It has ISF settings and does a good job of improving the picture. Would I notice an improvement using the VTV-1222 Seiki cable in addition too or instead of the Onkyo's chips?
This cable sounds too good to be true, but technology does advance quickly.
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post #13 of 18 Old 06-25-2014, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynezo View Post
I'm using the Onkyo TX-NR809 AVR with HQV VIDA VHD1900/marvell Qdeo chips on a Mitsubishi 82" DLP 1080P display WD-82737. It has ISF settings and does a good job of improving the picture. Would I notice an improvement using the VTV-1222 Seiki cable in addition too or instead of the Onkyo's chips?
This cable sounds too good to be true, but technology does advance quickly.
Also I may want to consider using it on an Xbox 360 Media Center extender.

Any opinions or advice will be appreciated.
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post #14 of 18 Old 07-13-2014, 01:15 AM
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Example how long has "deep color" been available on BluRay players. Yet do we have 12bit BluRays on the shelf? And here even the masters are most often 12bit or higher.
Last I checked, all Blu-ray mastering is still at 8-bit and 4:2:0 encoding. We have a long way to go before we could even get near 10-bit 4:4:4, let alone beyond that. And there's not a single 10-bit consumer monitor I know of (yet). HDMI can technically handle it, but the software isn't there yet. The masters are fine, so it could all be redone... someday.

I think they should be worrying more about color accuracy than 4K/2K. To me, consumer 4K is just more hype to get everybody to buy new stuff. I think 4K has a lot of advantages for professional production and post, but it's just pie-in-the-sky stuff for consumer video. As far as I'm concerned, we still haven't gotten really good HD at home yet. And HD is easy.
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Looks fairly interesting to me although I cannot find any professional testing review/previews for the Seiki U-Vision cable online, I won't mind spending $40 if the cable is indeed better than my Sammy EH5003's internal upscaler both in image quality and input lag.

Just waiting for more reviews and professional testing all resolution upscaling from 480P to 720P, 720P to 1080P and 1080P to 4K.
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post #16 of 18 Old 07-17-2014, 09:46 PM
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The problem does not improve picture 4K 60HZ to 60HZ 4K
Only improves picture 1080P 24HZ -60HZ to 30HZ 4K

Another two months out 4K video card 60HZ
So what is it worth?

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-03-2014, 01:43 AM
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thanks for the article!
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-03-2014, 03:28 AM
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No 4K upscaling here only 1080p sets best DVD to 1080p upscale in the house (6 sets) are discrete PC video card and PS3 here better than BD players *here . Maybe 4K PC video card will be equally good .

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