DVDO Introduces iScan Micro UHD/4K Upscaler/Enhancer - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
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DVDO Introduces iScan Micro UHD/4K Upscaler/Enhancer



The latest iScan processor provides VRS ClearView for upscaling to UHD/4K and enhancing less-than-perfect video.

UHD/4K TVs are quickly becoming mainstream as prices fall and manufacturers migrate UHD's higher pixel density to their mid-range and lower TVs. But most of the content being viewed on all those UHDTVs is still HD or even (shudder!) SD, so a high-quality upscaler is a must for those taking the UHD plunge. Many UHDTVs have excellent upscalers built in, but some don't.

If your UHDTV isn't up to snuff in the upscaling department—and even if it is—DVDO has an inexpensive solution that is likely to improve the look of HD and SD content, even highly compressed online-streaming content. The company just introduced the latest in its highly regarded iScan video-processor line called the iScan Micro, which implements the acclaimed VRS ClearView technology with adaptive scaling, detail and edge enhancement, mosquito-noise reduction, and video smoothing. In addition, it processes video and graphics independently, optimizing each as needed.

Of course, most AVS members scoff at edge enhancement, but there are a few exceptions—for example, the DarbeeVision Darblet DVP 5000 is found in many AVS members' home theaters, though it does not upscale to UHD/4K. Similarly, the various versions of DVDO's iScan with VRS have long been regarded as superb image processor/enhancers, and I imagine the newest iScan is no different.

The iScan Micro is a tiny device that supports HDMI 2.0 at 18 Gbps and plugs into one of the TV's HDMI ports. (It does not support HDCP 2.2, but that's not important, at least not for a while, since it's only expecting to receive HD and SD signals.) It comes with a remote that lets you select the level of processing, and it sports a port for the included IR sensor, which is important since the unit itself is hidden behind the TV. Even better, it will carry a price tag of only $129 when it ships by mid-year.

Many readers will notice that the iScan Micro is very similar to the Seiki U-Vision, which sells for around $50. Is the iScan Micro 2.5 times better? Only a direct comparison will tell, an exercise I intend to conduct when the iScan Micro becomes available, so stay tuned for that!

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post #2 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post


The latest iScan processor provides VRS ClearView for upscaling to UHD/4K and enhancing less-than-perfect video.

UHD/4K TVs are quickly becoming mainstream as prices fall and manufacturers migrate UHD's higher pixel density to their mid-range and lower TVs. But most of the content being viewed on all those UHDTVs is still HD or even (shudder!) SD, so a high-quality upscaler is a must for those taking the UHD plunge. Many UHDTVs have excellent upscalers built in, but some don't.

If your UHDTV isn't up to snuff in the upscaling department—and even if it is—DVDO has an inexpensive solution that is likely to improve the look of HD and SD content, even highly compressed online-streaming content. The company just introduced the latest in its highly regarded iScan video-processor line called the iScan Micro, which implements the acclaimed VRS ClearView technology with adaptive scaling, detail and edge enhancement, mosquito-noise reduction, and video smoothing. In addition, it processes video and graphics independently, optimizing each as needed.

Of course, most AVS members scoff at edge enhancement, but there are a few exceptions—for example, the DarbeeVision Darblet DVP 5000 is found in many AVS members' home theaters, though it does not upscale to UHD/4K. Similarly, the various versions of DVDO's iScan with VRS have long been regarded as superb image processor/enhancers, and I imagine the newest iScan is no different.

The iScan Micro is a tiny device that supports HDMI 2.0 at 18 Gbps and plugs into one of the TV's HDMI ports. (It does not support HDCP 2.2, but that's not important, at least not for a while, since it's only expecting to receive HD and SD signals.) It comes with a remote that lets you select the level of processing, and it sports a port for the included IR sensor, which is important since the unit itself is hidden behind the TV. Even better, it will carry a price tag of only $129 when it ships by mid-year.

Many readers will notice that the iScan Micro is very similar to the Seiki U-Vision, which sells for around $50. Is the iScan Micro 2.5 times better? Only a direct comparison will tell, an exercise I intend to conduct when the iScan Micro becomes available, so stay tuned for that!

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Scott,

I seem to recall there are some limitations on the Seiki. For instance, doesn't it have a limit of upscaling to 4K at 30 Hz, not 60 Hz? In fact, maybe you could help us challenged techies by surmising what the difference is between this picture enhancement and that found on the Darbee Darblet.

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post #3 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 06:00 PM
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Hmmmm...time to get rid of that buggy Darblet...!
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post #4 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by stef2 View Post
Hmmmm...time to get rid of that buggy Darblet...!
I was thinking of getting a Darblet. What's buggy about it?

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post #5 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 06:12 PM
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Would that help a Samsung HU9000 or doesn't make sense?
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post #6 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by stef2 View Post
Hmmmm...time to get rid of that buggy Darblet...!
completely different devices / processors ....
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post #7 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 07:47 PM
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This is all rather new to me and my only real reference is from working with still images (photos). When I work with some less than quality images, there are times when working with higher resolution than the original makes a great deal of sense. There are more options to improve the image including edge/border adjacency smoothing and also selective improvements on shadow detail, overall contrast and colour (both full image and selective).

I mention the above in that I believe it should be possible to take a 1080p movies (Blue Ray) and potentially arrive at a screen presentation on a higher resolution screen that is on par or superior than a 1080p screen. The only thing I can say is that not all movies are created the same and I honestly can't imagine a device that can on the fly improve all movies that are 1080p or less perfectly. An ideal processor* of sorts would have to analyze at minimum each scene and make some adjustments.

If I am off the mark here, please let me know as again, I can only go from a still image background which is mostly image restoration and correction/optimizing.
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post #8 of 64 Old 05-01-2015, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB View Post
I was thinking of getting a Darblet. What's buggy about it?
I have owned a Darblet 5000 since they first came out and I have never had one problem with it.

No bugs in mine


m
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post #9 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 06:35 AM
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completely different devices / processors ....
? in my setup, both would still serve exactly the same purpose...imporve the picture quality through digital processing between my source and my display. Which proprietary algorithm will I prefer best? i dont know. But I know that in my setup, the Darbee does its job by (slightly) improving the picture quality.
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post #10 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackB View Post
I was thinking of getting a Darblet. What's buggy about it?
Im my setup, it does its job (darblet5000 owner for 2 years) but every so often, I have to completely disconnect it (reset) and reconnect it (every couple hours) because suddenly, it makes the picture jump, or flash, if I dont. Doing this temporarily fixes the problem, and I believe its effect on the PQ is still worth the hassle.

The darbee (stand alone) is known to be finnicky at times depending of your other devices and/or hdmi cables. It doesnt seem to be the case when the darbee technology alone is integrated into another device (oppo or video processor).

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post #11 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 08:21 AM
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My 2 Darblet has been rock solid......1 on my 60 inch Panasonic GT50 plasma and the other on my Sony 55HX850 LED tv. I cant say enough great things about Darbee.........
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post #12 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 09:06 AM
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Some UHD owners deny this issues,they claim that SD and HD source on a UHD display looks 100% better than on a 1080p display.
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post #13 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post
...
I hate to be the pessimist, but why couldn't they put an HDMI plug on BOTH ends (Joe Six-Pack would install it backwards?). It would save a connection point, and a cable. Of course, then they would have to make it in 3 ft., 6 ft., 12 ft,. and 50 ft lengths, I guess.

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post #14 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 11:48 AM
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I hate to be the pessimist, but why couldn't they put an HDMI plug on BOTH ends (Joe Six-Pack would install it backwards?). It would save a connection point, and a cable. Of course, then they would have to make it in 3 ft., 6 ft., 12 ft,. and 50 ft lengths, I guess.
Despite it saying TV OUT on the Unit, they should also print TV IN on the HDMI end.
When you have all kinds of wires behind your system, might be a good idea.
(Any length of cable up to the unit, but what about the 6' rule coming out of the unit?)
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Gee wizzzzzzz! Like the audio up scaling trend and now video up scaling, just what I need is another device to screw things up!
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post #16 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 12:54 PM
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^^^^ Have you witnessed this product in action? No? So how can you come up with that conclusion?

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post #17 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 01:20 PM
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Gee wizzzzzzz! Like the audio up scaling trend and now video up scaling, just what I need is another device to screw things up!
This is laughably misinformed
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post #18 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 01:40 PM
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Hand shaking, hand shaking, hand shaking, etc!
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I would be shocked if this had a better upscaler than what is built into most of these 4K sets.

I have an oppo darbie edition and love the sharpening techniques of darbie. I would be surprised if this compares.

If it does, I would gladly give it a go!

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post #20 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 02:33 PM
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Darbee and upscaling are two different technologies. They are mutuslly exclusive
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post #21 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post
Darbee and upscaling are two different technologies. They are mutuslly exclusive
I believe people are referring to the detail enhancement and edge enhancement capabilities of this product, not the upscaling, as far as their comparison point.


Of course that said, you're right in that unless the techniques being used here are vastly different from prior DVDO products ... they are essentially mutually exclusive. The algorithms being employed by Darbee and the 'effect' it produces are quite different.
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post #22 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 03:22 PM
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Scott,

Thanks for the preview, looking forward to the full review. It would be great to see a comparison of this 'dongle' style upscaler vs. 'built-in' scalers in some of the best upscaling 4k displays/recievers on the market today, i.e. X950B, JS9500, Oppo.
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post #23 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wilkinson View Post

The latest iScan processor provides VRS ClearView for upscaling to UHD/4K and enhancing less-than-perfect video.

The iScan Micro is a tiny device that supports HDMI 2.0 at 18 Gbps and plugs into one of the TV's HDMI ports. (It does not support HDCP 2.2, but that's not important, at least not for a while, since it's only expecting to receive HD and SD signals.) It comes with a remote that lets you select the level of processing, and it sports a port for the included IR sensor, which is important since the unit itself is hidden behind the TV. Even better, it will carry a price tag of only $129 when it ships by mid-year.



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This unit looks to be only a couple feet at most. That seems very problematic for those who have wall mounted TVs, and conceal the HDMI/power cords in-wall.

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post #24 of 64 Old 05-02-2015, 04:19 PM
 
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I own Sony VPL-vw600ES. Would it do a better job that what the projector is doing?
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No. Your Sony 600 have a much better upscaler than the DVDO. The DVDO is very helpful if you use displays with bad upscaler such as Seiki, Vizio, LG. Once you're at Samsung and Sony level (I'm referruto this year's model), there is no more need for this scaler. I can't comment on Panasonic internal upscaling as I haven't tested them yet.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post
No. Your Sony 600 have a much better upscaler than the DVDO. The DVDO is very helpful if you use displays with bad upscaler such as Seiki, Vizio, LG. Once you're at Samsung and Sony level (I'm referruto this year's model), there is no more need for this scaler. I can't comment on Panasonic internal upscaling as I haven't tested them yet.
Thx David.
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post #27 of 64 Old 05-03-2015, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post
Darbee and upscaling are two different technologies. They are mutuslly exclusive
I do not think you actually read the text of the article. It adds enhancements like darbee.
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post #28 of 64 Old 05-03-2015, 06:01 AM
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Different methods, still mutually exclusive. I actually have the iScan Micro in my possession and they have NOTHING like Darbee. Nothing in the article insinuates that it does anything like Darbee (if you know how Darbee works)

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post #29 of 64 Old 05-03-2015, 02:52 PM
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I do not think you actually read the text of the article. It adds enhancements like darbee.
They are not the same at all
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post #30 of 64 Old 05-03-2015, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Susilo View Post
No. Your Sony 600 have a much better upscaler than the DVDO. The DVDO is very helpful if you use displays with bad upscaler such as Seiki, Vizio, LG. Once you're at Samsung and Sony level (I'm referruto this year's model), there is no more need for this scaler. I can't comment on Panasonic internal upscaling as I haven't tested them yet.
I'm not so sure about that. My Vizio 70P 4K panel does a great job of scaling.

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