SDI vs HDMI 480i - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

Ok, thanks, Dave...That might just be enough for me to figure it out!

I think I'll open up the 970H first and check things out to assess the work involved. Twelve wires might not be too bad at all depending on how everything is laid out in the 970H.

Thanks for the work Bob, It will be interesting to find out if we as a group stay on the line 'sdi is best' or that we can point to a few hdmi 480i players and say that is just as good. I mean even the biggest fans of sdi would feel a $150 hdmi player would be easer .

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post #92 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by danielo View Post

Thanks for the work Bob, It will be interesting to find out if we as a group stay on the line 'sdi is best' or that we can point to a few hdmi 480i players and say that is just as good. I mean even the biggest fans of sdi would feel a $150 hdmi player would be easer .

Daniel.

That's the idea. SDI is, even when you use a cheaper player as a transport, a rather expensive thing. There will certainly be a financial tipping point where the gains to be had aren't worth the money required.
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post #93 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 08:53 AM
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Ok, I am going to provide a rather meaningless report to you people, but it is good enough to satisfy me. Last night, since I have both an Oppo 970H and a SDI modded Panny RP-82, I decided to do a little a little comparison even though I know full well that it is not in any way fair. I only used one test DVD The Fifth Element Superbit, as I know every little nuance about this particular title (or at least the parts that I watch over and over again).

Also let me preface it by saying that I ran both units through a Crystalio 2 using Gennum processing and fed as 1080p to my Sony Ruby's DVI input on a 114" High Power screen. The 970H was outputting 480i over HDMI and the RP-82 was outputting SDI that was performed by Immersive back when they were selling SDI cards for PCs (the Holograph 3D).

At first I preferred the Panny by a small margin...It was more detailed, yet smoother overall with better color saturation and a slightly more 3D look to it. But then I thought to myself that maybe I could make the 970H look just as good if I worked on the PQ via the C2's excellent set of tools. Well, what do you know...the biggest difference between these two could be chalked up to calibration!! By using the GetGray calibration disc I tweaked up the Y/C delay (one was off by 0.25 pixel and the other by 0.5 pixel) so that they were both perfect. I adjusted the color saturation and hue to make them as identical as possible, as well as performing a careful job adjusting black and white levels so that they were as identical as possible.

Once I adjusted the calibration on the 970H to look like the Panny as much as possible, I could not reliably tell which was which any more...They looked, to my untrained eyes, virtually identical, enough so that I am convinced that the 970H can be every bit as good as the SDI modded RP-82, orr at least so close that I really don't care which one I watch. If I were to really scrutinize for differences, the RP-82 might still be a hair more detailed and transparent than the 970H, but I really don't know if it is just because I convinced myself that it should be, or if it actually is.

A few caveats here:

1. I only used one test source, and maybe differences will show up using different material.
2. I am not the eagle-eyed viewer that some of you are. Though I think my ability to evaluate PQ is fairly good, I am sure that there are the "golden eyed" among us that will be able to see things that I can't.
3. The Crystalio 2 is an EXCELLENT processor and can bring out the best in any source. People with no external processor or a lesser processor might not be able to attain the same results.
4. Maybe I am just plain nuts!

The thing that I came away with after my little experiment was that even though there were visual differences between the two when simply plugged into the same processor/display, those differences could be wiped out through careful calibration. After matching the two sources as well as I could, I saw no reason to prefer the picture of one over the picture of the other - both of them looked absolutely incredible! If there are any differences, they are so small as to be meaningless to someone like myself. I also proved to myself just how important good processing is - I could have never equalized the two pictures if I didn't have a phenomenal processor to help me out, and in that case I would have definitely preferred the SDI, though still not by a HUGE margin.

Oh, so I have decided not to bother SDI modding my 970H...It simply is money and labor not well spent in my case.
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post #94 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 09:01 AM
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You're preaching to the choir Bob. That's why they make isf guys like me!!! I thought you had a VHD scaler?

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post #95 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

.... Once I adjusted the calibration on the 970H to look like the Panny as much as possible, I could not reliably tell which was which any more...They looked, to my untrained eyes, virtually identical, enough so that I am convinced that the 970H can be every bit as good as the SDI modded RP-82, orr at least so close that I really don't care which one I watch. If I were to really scrutinize for differences, the RP-82 might still be a hair more detailed and transparent than the 970H, but I really don't know if it is just because I convinced myself that it should be, or if it actually is......

That is very good news Bob. It does not surprise me that Oppo would get it right. It may seem like I am a SDI fanboy, but I am not, I am interested in the best picture I can get - I don't care if is via SDI, HDMI, or carrier pigeon. So far SDI inputs are not available on the upcoming Lumagen Radiance scalers, so I was hoping this mess would get straightened out before then. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I would like to see a little more scientific comparison of SDI vs HDMI before I call it a closed case. I think the ultimate test is to record the raw data streams from SDI and HDMI and compare them. I know you can do this with SDI capture cards on a computer, but the HDCP paranoia police would make this difficult for HDMI. Looks like we are kind of stuck with subjective opinions of image quality, and I can accept that.
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post #96 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 10:24 AM
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I thought you had a VHD scaler?

Yes, I do, but it has been moved to system #2. My primary VP is now the Crystalio 2...
Quote:


Please don't take this the wrong way, but I would like to see a little more scientific comparison of SDI vs HDMI before I call it a closed case. I think the ultimate test is to record the raw data streams from SDI and HDMI and compare them.

Absolutely! My little experiment was anything but scientific and not meant to be anything more than a casual observation. When I ran my tests, I did so with the simple intention of deciding what was right FOR ME, and I simply posted my results to share my experience. Since I already owned both players, no investment in either time or money was necessary, and I really didn't care what was the outcome, as I already own and can use either player any time I want.

I just wanted to know for my own sake, and I recommend that each person perform the experiment for himself if he can get the opportunity. In my system, I plan on leaving the Panny connected so that I can perform more comparisons in the future, but my primary player will be the Oppo for a number of reasons unrelated to PQ:

1. It plays both SACD and DVDA discs and I have a fair collection of both. This saves me from keeping another dedicated player in my system just for audio purposes.
2. It plays back other video and audio formats that I may or may not have use for in the future, but since it is already there, I will always have the option.
3. Oppo has a very good track record of providing updated firmware, so I feel confident that this player will only get better with time.
4. It has less wear on it than my Panny.
5. Since the drive mechanism is newer, it reads a considerably larger portion of my home made DVD-Rs - the compatibility is higher.

Please do not take my report for anything more than it is meant to be - a casual observation. I'll leave the high tech comparisons to the people who are qualified to make them.
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post #97 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

Absolutely! My little experiment was anything but scientific and not meant to be anything more than a casual observation.

I knew that my post would come across with a different tone than I intended.

Your post was clear that it was your observations and not a scientific experiment.
I greatly appreciate you sharing your observations with everyone. This is the kind of information that is very useful to me (and others I am sure). Thank you!
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post #98 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 11:11 AM
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usualsuspects, I fully understood your tone and was not put off by it in the least. My constant reminders of my unscientific approach are due to comments I have received in a lot of other threads in the past, not this one. Sometimes people expect more from me than my limited knowledge and experience allows, so I've learned to constantly remind people of my lack of qualifications...
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post #99 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 12:09 PM
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I have compared the Pioneer 868 SI and the Arcam 29 with interlaced HDMI and SDI. SDI wins. I also have the Oppo 970 and rather like it.
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post #100 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Nic Rhodes View Post

I have compared the Pioneer 868 SI and the Arcam 29 with interlaced HDMI and SDI. SDI wins. I also have the Oppo 970 and rather like it.

Could you please be more specific about what you like about Oppo 970? thanks.
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post #101 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 03:07 PM
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Bob,
Great job. You have a combined knowledge that is more than most of us, coupled with the equipment and excellent callibration skills - I trust your report. The tendency to justify the cost of SDI mod can sometimes make us see what is not there and I'm glad you can see thru that.
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post #102 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 05:35 PM
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Great to hear!

Did you have a chance to run the resolution patterns on Avia or DVE?
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post #103 of 175 Old 07-26-2006, 08:40 PM
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Did you have a chance to run the resolution patterns on Avia or DVE?

No, but I'll be glad to check them out for you. Since I have only looked at resolution patterns in passing in the past and really don't know what to look for when examining them, could you tell me how to evaluate resolution performance properly?
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post #104 of 175 Old 07-27-2006, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Sorel View Post

No, but I'll be glad to check them out for you. Since I have only looked at resolution patterns in passing in the past and really don't know what to look for when examining them, could you tell me how to evaluate resolution performance properly?

Basically, if the point at which you can still make out discrete lines on the resolution bars, rather than just a blurry fuzz, is the resolution of your display. The more the better, naturally.

Of course, remember that it's measuring the res of your entire system, not just the DVD player, so things are going to seem worse than they actually are.
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post #105 of 175 Old 07-27-2006, 11:24 AM
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The 970 isn't as good as the bst SDI players out there (Arcams, Onkyos, Philips etc) but it will happily take on the more basic SDI modded player and beat them, like the Pioneers and latest Denons. I don't think this is all down to the SDI / HDMI interfaces but allot has to do with the quality of the MPEG decoder used, and the Oppo one is very good. Think of it as a the good value end with top performance. tbh I prefer it most things I have seen outside the top SDI mods. It does have HDCP however
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post #106 of 175 Old 07-27-2006, 12:14 PM
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I believe the Mediatek MPEG decoder in the 970H is generally regarded to be as good or better than what's in the other players you mention - unless you can be more specific.

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post #107 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 01:10 AM
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No that is pretty much it, the mk is a good chip, some in other players are less good. The 970 won't satisfy the 963SDI crowd but for many others it will be more than fit for purpose.
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post #108 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Nic Rhodes View Post

No that is pretty much it, the mk is a good chip, some in other players are less good. The 970 won't satisfy the 963SDI crowd but for many others it will be more than fit for purpose.

The Mediatek would probably be my third of fourth choice when it comes to MPEG decoders (behind ST, old Matsushita, and possibly Mitsubishi). It's a good chip, very user friendly too, it just lacks that last 5% of perfection. It'd definately take one over an ESS or an LSI.
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post #109 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 03:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Carled View Post

The Mediatek would probably be my third of fourth choice when it comes to MPEG decoders (behind ST, old Matsushita, and possibly Mitsubishi). It's a good chip, very user friendly too, it just lacks that last 5% of perfection. It'd definately take one over an ESS or an LSI.

Where would you rate the Sigma Design and Broadcom decoders? Thanks!
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post #110 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 06:30 AM
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Where would you rate the Sigma Design and Broadcom decoders? Thanks!

I didn't think the Sigma's were modable (don't they have a non-defeatable deinterlacer built in?), and I'm not familiar with the latter.
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post #111 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 09:51 AM
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PMS hinted a while ago that the HD MediaBox is SDI modable, but it's gone quiet since.
That features the Sigma MPEG decoder.

The Broadcom is the ones that Casper has modified on the Toshiba HD-DVD player and the SKY HD box.
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post #112 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Now that is interesting about the PMS HD Mediabox perhaps being SDI modable !
I will post over at the PixelMagicForum to inquire further.

My current thinking was to get the XCARD with SDI output and see how that goes into the likes of a Lumagen.
But methinks I would prefer the likes of the Mediabox with SDI.

- Andy
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post #113 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 12:06 PM
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It's also got an auto-EDID function so I wonder if the Lumagen can get 480/576i out of the HDMI socket a la stoomonster's technique.
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post #114 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by tryingtimes View Post

PMS hinted a while ago that the HD MediaBox is SDI modable, but it's gone quiet since.
That features the Sigma MPEG decoder.

The Broadcom is the ones that Casper has modified on the Toshiba HD-DVD player and the SKY HD box.

Well, it should have come with SDI already coming from a scaler company......
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post #115 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Nedtsc View Post

Well, it should have come with SDI already coming from a scaler company......

It has a HDMI output on it, I think the HDCP police don't like it if you have an un-encrypted digital output. Apparently (for now) you can have an un-encrypted digital input, but not an output. I have never seen a consumer electronics device that came from the factory with a SDI output. Professional stuff - yes - consumer - no.
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post #116 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by usualsuspects View Post

It has a HDMI output on it, I think the HDCP police don't like it if you have an un-encrypted digital output. Apparently (for now) you can have an un-encrypted digital input, but not an output. I have never seen a consumer electronics device that came from the factory with a SDI output. Professional stuff - yes - consumer - no.

Interesting! Then it should have sdi input so we can record 480i SD or HD
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post #117 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Nedtsc View Post

Interesting! Then it should have sdi input so we can record 480i SD or HD

I don't see a problem with that, HD-SDI input would be fine.
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post #118 of 175 Old 07-28-2006, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Nic Rhodes View Post

The 970 isn't as good as the bst SDI players out there (Arcams, Onkyos, Philips etc) but it will happily take on the more basic SDI modded player and beat them, like the Pioneers and latest Denons. I don't think this is all down to the SDI / HDMI interfaces but allot has to do with the quality of the MPEG decoder used, and the Oppo one is very good. Think of it as a the good value end with top performance. tbh I prefer it most things I have seen outside the top SDI mods. It does have HDCP however


What about the older Denons like the 2900 which I have SDI modded? I did a short comparision just a week ago using my VP30. Note that i have calibrated my PQ with the Pio player, greyscale and all but just did some basic brightness contrast calibration for the Denon.

On my SDI Denon 2900 out to the VP30, the initial impression was that it had almost no EE and was less noisy. But it defintely did seem softer then the Pio. I could increase the sharpness using the VP30 to almost equal Pio but then it would introduce too much EE that defeated the purpose. Perhaps a better sharpness control or the Edge Enhancement feature in the Vantage would do much better. The picture overall had that smoother film look.

On my Pio DV79 480i out via HDMi to the VP30, it did seem that the picture was more 3D and sharper. But EE was there even at minimum sharpness. I was using a set memory mode that already decreased the chroma enhancement but 2 steps. I find that anything more and EE is even more obvious. This 3D pop sharpness did seem to come with more noise in the areas with flat colours. Picture did at times seem very videoish..

So now I am deciding between keeping the Denon 2900 or selling it off and just keeping the Pio. But I still love the speed and layer switching of the Denon. It just beats the Pio hands down in usability.

Oliver
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post #119 of 175 Old 07-29-2006, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by usualsuspects View Post

It has a HDMI output on it, I think the HDCP police don't like it if you have an un-encrypted digital output. Apparently (for now) you can have an un-encrypted digital input, but not an output. I have never seen a consumer electronics device that came from the factory with a SDI output. Professional stuff - yes - consumer - no.

The HDMI output on HDMB doesn't have HDCP. For you to get anything onto a harddrive, you would have had to have stripped it anyway.
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post #120 of 175 Old 07-29-2006, 01:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliverlim View Post

What about the older Denons like the 2900 which I have SDI modded? I did a short comparision just a week ago using my VP30. Note that i have calibrated my PQ with the Pio player, greyscale and all but just did some basic brightness contrast calibration for the Denon.

On my SDI Denon 2900 out to the VP30, the initial impression was that it had almost no EE and was less noisy. But it defintely did seem softer then the Pio. I could increase the sharpness using the VP30 to almost equal Pio but then it would introduce too much EE that defeated the purpose. Perhaps a better sharpness control or the Edge Enhancement feature in the Vantage would do much better. The picture overall had that smoother film look.

On my Pio DV79 480i out via HDMi to the VP30, it did seem that the picture was more 3D and sharper. But EE was there even at minimum sharpness. I was using a set memory mode that already decreased the chroma enhancement but 2 steps. I find that anything more and EE is even more obvious. This 3D pop sharpness did seem to come with more noise in the areas with flat colours. Picture did at times seem very videoish..

So now I am deciding between keeping the Denon 2900 or selling it off and just keeping the Pio. But I still love the speed and layer switching of the Denon. It just beats the Pio hands down in usability.

Oliver

The 2900 is different from the majority of Denons in that it uses a Mitsubishi chip rather than an ESS one. IMHO the Mitsubishi is the better chip.
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