Time to crown a new SDI DVD king! - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 400 Old 04-30-2007, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Ron thank you for the oppurtunity, the 970 should be back to you later this week

thanks again it was my pleasure, if only I got paid to do these reviews and comparisons as a job, I wouldn't be truly working a day in my life as a great man once said

-Gary
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post #182 of 400 Old 04-30-2007, 06:58 PM
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Thanks for the review, I've been waiting it for days

Do you know if the 981 hdmi has the same "troubles" of the 970? Just connected mine through VP50 (576p->prep->720p) and comparing to a 3910 output I didn't like colors. (I'm waiting for VP50 SDI daughterboard).

Bye,
Z.

P.S. As someone said somewhere: judging video quality on screenshots it's like judging audio quality on telephone
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post #183 of 400 Old 04-30-2007, 08:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Z, your welcome

yes sadly all Oppo video outputs on all 3 of their players, 970, 971 and 981 suffer from the color decoder issues, I have no idea why? it seems to be related to green hue mostly, but red hue is effected as well, you can see in my screenshots the slight difference between Chewie's hair on the 2 players, the 981 is more natural and brownish golden, where the 970 is reddish brown, I took every step I could to ensure identical screenshots between units, the camera was never touched for any shots, I wish I could get more out of screenshots, but like you say, they are beating a dead horse, luckily stuff like the green color decoder issues will show up

I have tested the Oppo 981 via 480p HDMI using the absolutely amazing prep feature on the VP50, the prep feature works pure magic on sources it can be used for, I am a big fan for sure

If I had to pick which was better I would probably say the Oppo 970 via HDMI over 981 at 480p HDMI

-Gary
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post #184 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 01:10 AM
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does OPPO HDMI connection a 1.3a or not?
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post #185 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 06:22 AM
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Big thanks to Gary !

You provided all answers I needed about how I'll use my Oppos !
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post #186 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kortik View Post

does OPPO HDMI connection a 1.3a or not?

Both the 970 and 981 are HDMI 1.1

BDP-83 EAP (first 50)
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post #187 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Powerbuy should be up later tonight for the 981, for those interested it includes a free drawing for a fully modified unit

thanks for the comments, hope everyone enjoyed the review

-Gary
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post #188 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 02:22 PM
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Gary - many thanks for your hard work, as well as the input and interest of everyone on this forum. Having looked at your evidence myself I have to say that I think the differences in screenshots are slight and could just be down to differences in the frames captured. However, I do not base my opinions on screenshots.

I am about to purchase a screen and player and had been looking at the Oppo players due to the proliferation of formats they support. I am especially interested in Beever's proposed demo if it does indeed happen (I live in NYC too).

What chance of this happening Gary?

Originally, my plan was to buy a 1080p display and use an upscaling player to give myself a fairly schpanky picture. I don't profess to have golden ears or eyes, but I believe that I may be more sensitive to motion blur than some people. The information in this thread and others has made me wonder whether I will be happy with the Oppo / Westie 37" combo. If I were to go with an SDI modified player, what would my scaler options be? The DVDOs and Lumagens mentioned here kind of defeat the object of buying a budget player and screen. Can something like the Gefen HT Scaler be modified to accept an SDI connection?


Thanks,
James
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post #189 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 04:20 PM
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more details on that powerbuy
where can we buy it any links etc...?
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post #190 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Kortik it will be up in just a jiffy, I will post the link the second it is available, thanks for your patience

James look at a DVDO HD+ unit or even a HD unit, try ebay, I have seen plenty for under 500$, these provide one heck of a good film movie image with DVD via SDI, killing any upscaling player, James I may set you guys up with that demo if you can get a few guys together to provide plenty feedback

-Gary
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post #191 of 400 Old 05-01-2007, 05:44 PM
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Gary, I have gotten quite a few PM's regarding the shootout. If you are interested in doing this I can put together a bunch of guys over the weekend to do an A/B comparison. I will even email you with my Fedex Account number so you have no expense to bear. Many people have agreed with me through PM and can see no difference in the still shots you posted so, if you are confident that in person it will be that evident I say lets do it. A 65" plasma should be big enough to let the truth shine through. PM me or post on this thread and let me know. If the SDI player proves to be better than 480i into a C2 scaler you wont be getting it back, just a check for the balance. Beev
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post #192 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 03:11 AM
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I'm near NYC. Count me in!
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post #193 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 09:23 AM
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Got 2 more PMs today, so we are over 6 right now if everyone shows up and if Gary sends a unit to test.
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post #194 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 10:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Beev I will let you know soon, it probably won't be this weekend though

sorry for the delays guys, I have been informed the Powerbuy will be up late tonight/early morning, I will post the links here the second they are available

-Gary
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post #195 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 01:22 PM
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I think the powerbuy will be effected by the AB test some of us are looking forward to having. People thinking about buying it might sit on the sidelines until independent members detail our findings on actual viewing and test material.

Like I said, if it looks as good as you say Gary I think you will be selling alot of them but, if the only person that can see the difference is you then I think the guys who jump on this powerbuy early are gonna be mighty pissed that they spent $600 for an equally impressive 480i HDMI player they could have purchased for $179.

Thats my thinking anyway.
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post #196 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Beev, the PB starts tonight, I would love to be able to supply a demo, but I am not 100% certain that will happen, I will know very soon, I would very much prefer the demo to be on a large front projection system ideally

as for the 970 being equal to the 981 via SDI, not much of a chance of that happening in a reference system, particularly FP, to condense my earlier findings

here's another summary:

Oppo 970 via 480i HDMI:

Pros:
-Price
-very very good image, not nearly reference or without issues

Cons:
-HDCP
-possible handshaking issues
-480i is 4:4:4
-pretty bad color decoder issues with green, slight red issues
-small red 1 to .75 pixel y/c delay
-slight image quality issues such as ringing and noise
-lower quality build comparing the 970 to the 981

Oppo 981 via 480i SDI:

Pros:
-No HDCP
-No Handshaking
-Absolute reference image quality with zero noted image issues

Cons:
-Price!

it all depends on what someone wants to put into this, the Oppo 970 via HDMI is very good, actually amazing, would it suit alot of people? yes! is it for those that want the best DVD image possible? no! it does have it's issues and setbacks and it is puzzling that the type who owns a high-end HT scaler would settle at the mere notion of the Oppo 970 being as good as SDI, in the process yurning for the best DVD image possible, SDI has been demo'd to death over the years and reviewed by videophiles forever, my word means nothing on it because it was done far before me, SDI is far from unproven at this point in time, much the opposite

thanks for the comments

-Gary
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post #197 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 02:22 PM
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Gary,
Thanks for the review. Couple of questions. Perhaps I missed it but have you compared 4:2:2 480i HDMI output to one of your SDI modified players?

Have you considered adding SDI and/or HD-SDI to an HD-DVD or BluRay player?

Rick
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post #198 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTK View Post

Gary,
Thanks for the review. Couple of questions. Perhaps I missed it but have you compared 4:2:2 480i HDMI output to one of your SDI modified players?

Have you considered adding SDI and/or HD-SDI to an HD-DVD or BluRay player?

RTK you are welcome, the problem with that comparison is that I have yet to see a 480i HDMI player output via 4:2:2, I think someone said the Pioneer 79 does, if I had to make a guess I would say that could be the issue with the Oppo 970 color problems, maybe not as I have seen other 4:4:4 HDMI players that didn't have any color issues such as the Oppos, the Oppo line has always had the green color issues, but the SDI mod proves it isn't the Mediatek chip and the 970 proves it isn't the Faroudja/genesis chip either because it doesn't have one and if it did it would probably be bypassed anyway for the 480i HDMI output

I have more than considered it Rick, HD-SDI is so close it is scary

personally the day I can eliminate any HDMI connection is a good day I love what it does for image quality but hate everything else about it

-Gary
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post #199 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 03:29 PM
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Gary you wrote: SDI has been demo'd to death over the years and reviewed by videophiles forever, my word means nothing on it because it was done far before me, SDI is far from unproven at this point in time, much the opposite.

Agreed but, it has not been compared to a raw 480i HDMI digital signal because those are relatively new. Sure, when compared to upscaled crap or component analog signals a pure digital signal will be far superior. the question is how the digital SDI at 480i compares the the also digital 480i HDMI signal when both go to an external scaler.

I will repeat that the vast majority of users do not have 65" and larger setups and if improvements cannot be seen on 65" then you will be hard pressed to convince too many people to jump on the SDI bandwagon. I wish I had a FP setup today, I used to and it was great and I will again shortly but, for right now thats what I have and what i will use for the shootout.

I dont need a demo, I will glaldly pay your full price for the powerbuy unit if thats the way it goes but, I want to be certain I can return it for a 100% refund if it isnt clearly superior.

Again, I do not believe that there will be any discernable difference between 2 nearly identical digital signals going through an external scaler but, I am 100% open to the possibility it is possible. I am also one of those people who can see very little difference if any in the screenshots you posted apart from the green test hue image. It just seems to me that you are coming up with reason after reason for not supplying a unit for review so, I will once again lay out all the money and provide the equipment and open my home to anyone interested in seeing for themselves so no one can claim I have any bias one way or the other.

Everyone that has PM'ed me has been given an open invitiation and I dont know a single one of them personally. There is an excellent possibility that I may see something they cannot or do not and they may see details that I cannot.

In the end I am confident that the group will be unanimous on whether the image is better the same or worse using SDI over HDMI.
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post #200 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 04:41 PM
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Let's do it! Wish I lived closer to NY though...!
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post #201 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beever View Post

Gary you wrote: SDI has been demo'd to death over the years and reviewed by videophiles forever, my word means nothing on it because it was done far before me, SDI is far from unproven at this point in time, much the opposite.

Agreed but, it has not been compared to a raw 480i HDMI digital signal because those are relatively new. Sure, when compared to upscaled crap or component analog signals a pure digital signal will be far superior. the question is how the digital SDI at 480i compares the the also digital 480i HDMI signal when both go to an external scaler.

I will repeat that the vast majority of users do not have 65" and larger setups and if improvements cannot be seen on 65" then you will be hard pressed to convince too many people to jump on the SDI bandwagon. I wish I had a FP setup today, I used to and it was great and I will again shortly but, for right now thats what I have and what i will use for the shootout.

I dont need a demo, I will glaldly pay your full price for the powerbuy unit if thats the way it goes but, I want to be certain I can return it for a 100% refund if it isnt clearly superior.

Again, I do not believe that there will be any discernable difference between 2 nearly identical digital signals going through an external scaler but, I am 100% open to the possibility it is possible. I am also one of those people who can see very little difference if any in the screenshots you posted apart from the green test hue image. It just seems to me that you are coming up with reason after reason for not supplying a unit for review so, I will once again lay out all the money and provide the equipment and open my home to anyone interested in seeing for themselves so no one can claim I have any bias one way or the other.

Everyone that has PM'ed me has been given an open invitiation and I dont know a single one of them personally. There is an excellent possibility that I may see something they cannot or do not and they may see details that I cannot.

In the end I am confident that the group will be unanimous on whether the image is better the same or worse using SDI over HDMI.

I don't need to force or ask anyone to jump on the SDI bandwagon Beev, the bus is already overflowing

I must ask did I not just do such a comparison, I guess it is invalid because I happen to move a few SDI DVD players

Beev there have been many comparisons of such, first of all the 480i HDMI image from Oppo is not raw, this is being spread around too much on AVS, it is simply not the truth

if it were raw it would not have HDCP, nor would it be in the 4:4:4 colorspace, SDI is RAW, has no HDCP and is native 4:2:2 colorspace

you shouldn't be expecting to see any difference at all between the screenshots, that is 100% the way it should be, screenshots cannot show differences, I simply posted them for completion sake of the review

the reason I mention large setups and videophiles is that if someone thinks the difference between the 981 via SDI and the 970 via HDMI is like comparing Laserdisc to DVD, then they will be sadly disappointed, badly

for those that are discerning videophiles and nit pick every area of the image with eagle eyes then the upgrade is well worth it

if the item is purchased on powerbuy I cannot refund because it is a custom order, if I decide to supply the demo then it will be for free and in good will, it really takes a large FP system to show the obvious differences between SDI and HDMI, this has been mentioned in many SDI comparisons, as with any picture quality increase, the bigger the screen the more the difference, try comparing HD vs upconverted DVD on a 40" TV vs a 120" screen, the difference is starling

but to say they are both raw in nature and should be equal in performance based on that alone is incorrect

-Gary
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post #202 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

I must ask did I not just do such a comparison, I guess it is invalid because I happen to move a few SDI DVD players

I wouldn't label it as invalid, but more like inconclusive.

My comparison was done with the VP50 and using a well calibrated FP on a 120" screen in a dedicated media room with dark gray walls, duvetyne backdrops and not a single colored piece of furniture in the room lest it impact additional reflective colorations. I had SDI for over 2 years and have gone through 2 SDI players. The first was a Panasonic RP62 and the second was the Kenwood DVD changer that I bought from you Gary. I consider myself a stickler having spent a fair amount of time, thought and effort into this hobby. You can see my posts on calibrating the AE900u -- while I am no professional and somewhat naive, I enjoy the process and the results I've achieved have been pleasing to me and have also evoked positive responses from friends and family who have seen my calibrated setup. Some may have read my posts on how I bought and opened up a Model C HighPower screen so that I may stretch it on a diy frame -- all along recognizing that I may end up damaging the material and walk away from a sizeable investment. However, I chose to finally sell my SDI setup at a considerable discount and switch to HDMI because I felt that my experimentation indicated that there was no discernible difference to my eyes. It was not because I could not "afford" this ... but more because I felt that while SDI was the only option a couple of years ago (DVI could not do 480i but only 480p according to my research), the Oppo 970 with a 480i hdmi feed had finally levelled the playing field.

But I admit that I may have been wrong. Please understand that I have no doubt whatsoever that your experiment was a completely objective and clean analysis. Presented with a second observation (yours) that is substantially different from mine, I too am now wondering if I may have been too hasty in reaching a conclusion. Maybe I should reconsider ... this test will help me decide.

Regrettably in my current family situation I cannot host the event, but if the test occurs at a time and place that I can attend (Sorry, but I will need advance notice since I have other commitments), I could bring my RS1 projector over. Not sure what to do for the screen, but maybe this will give the larger size? Though I think that 65" from 6 feet should be just as good.
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post #203 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 05:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Sankar, appreciate the comments, please don't think I am questioning anyone, I just want the demo to be done on the best of terms to give SDI a chance to strut its stuff

I am gonna try my best to hook you guys up sometime in the near future I do not have any spare Oppo's right now at this very moment

don't get me wrong, the 970 HDMI image is very good, but to me on my setup SDI had a slight extra pinch of sharpness and less ringing and had none of the issues the 970 HDMI had, could those issues be corrected via a scaler with adjustments such as a Lumagen?, I can't answer that, I think the colors issues possibly could, ideally things shouldn't need correcting if things are made correctly but if they can then that would make it a much better comparison, that still doesn't eliminate HDCP, cable issues, improved image cleanliness and 4:4:4 colorspace converting

thanks Sank

-Gary
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post #204 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
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here is a good thread where lots of the guys discuss 480i HDMI vs SDI, plenty people more credibale than me comment, a good read for those interested

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=700663

there are no less than 5 people in this thread who compared the same identical player via SDI and 480i HDMI, SDI always had the upper hand

you'll notice nearly a year ago that I said the RP82 and clones via SDI were the best the Oppo's really give these a run for their money hence my thread title

-Gary
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post #205 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 06:04 PM
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By the way, let me clarify my earlier statement, "But I admit that I may have been wrong" ...

What I meant was that I don't think I was wrong, but I will not discount the possibility given the new evidence you are presenting. Hence I am open to being convinced otherwise, but am not inclined to go out of my way (by buying a full SDI setup just to check again) to convince myself.

Incidently I do recall that thread ... and read it again. It was in part responsible for me to do the comparison myself since I felt that there were 3 sets of people involved
  1. Those who were strong SDI supporters
  2. Those who really didn't care to voice their opinions in a "strong" manner with passion - e.g. Oferlaor
  3. Those who were confused - like I was while following that thread
The conclusion at best seemed to be that SDI compared to 480i HDMI (some referred to 576p output via DVI which is non-comparable as Dave Harper indicated) was marginal if anything. Had the conclusion been decisive (IMO), I would NOT have done my comparison. However, I felt that I needed to see for myself ... and I did ... and voted with my choice.

I don't want to rain on any parade here by the way. All I am saying is that I could not see a difference worth fretting over ... not that there are no differences. There may be ... just not worth fretting over for me.

Let me know if the comparison is going ahead ... else I am stepping out of this thread for fear of doing more damage than good.

Cheers!
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post #206 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 06:39 PM
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VP50 SDI daughterboard has arrived, connected it to 981... and voilÃ*... a new world The difference with the 981 hdmi output is night and day: solid colors and all in the right place, great fleshtones, excellent detail. The difference with my old 3910 (with nearly gone mechanic) is less noticeable but the SDI 981 still has better performance in color.

So thanks again to Gary for the great advice on this player, really made the difference on my setup (PTAX100U on 145" screen)

Bye,
Z.

P.S. this is my first SDI player

Edit: In regard of your discussion about HDMI vs SDI I think there's no big difference between the two: all depends on the quality of the path between the mpeg chip and HDMI output (and from what I've seen the Oppo one has a lot to improve).
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post #207 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 08:21 PM
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I have a 981 still in its shipping box. never opened or used. I could send it to you to mod and supply for Beever's test. I'd like it back though, or at at least re-imbersed.
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post #208 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
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guys the powerbuy is up:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=842684

best of luck to all those on that free drawing

thanks for the support guys

-Gary
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post #209 of 400 Old 05-02-2007, 10:02 PM
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Gary,
Just so there is no question, attached is a screen shot from my VP50 with a Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player. While I certainly believe you are seeing a difference comparing the Oppo SDI vs. HDMI 480i output, it would be much better to know if there is a difference in the SDI output compared to an HDMI 480i 4:2:2.

Are you willing to do a comparison of your modifed SDI Oppo to an HD-A2? I'm guessing someone in your area has an HD-DVD player for the test. Better yet, maybe you'd like to get an A2 for yourself (they're down to 300) and then add an SDI output ?
LL

Rick
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post #210 of 400 Old 05-03-2007, 03:37 AM
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Wow! Very interesting to know that the HD-A2 sends 4:2:2 ... is that also true with the HD-A20 and HD-XA2? I don't know if regular SDI will work with the A2 ... maybe HD-SDI?

This thread was started barely a month ago and it is already almost as popular as the RS1 threads ... and we haven't even hit the powerbuy! Maybe SDI is still the king of the hill!
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