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post #1 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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I need a new receiver and was thinking about getting one with a good upscaler since I will be passing everything through it and then to the tv. I have a PS3 as my bluray player and use a Cablevision Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR cable box. I've read that the PS3 is still a very good upscaler and I mostly watch blurays anyway. My main thought was for cable tv(720p and 1080i) and streamed video(Amazon, Netflix,...). I was curious if a good upscaler in a receiver(Marvell Qdeo,...) would be noticeably better than letting the tv(Panasonic 65VT60) do it? Also, if there is a benefit, what are the better upcalers/receivers under $1000? Thanks.
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 12:20 PM
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With many sources these days, one often does not have the option of outputting the source as is, but must select a specific resolution.  In such cases, the device will do the scaling, unless one manually switches the output for each different resolution material in it.  Most people are not going to do that.

 

As for upscaling in the receiver versus the TV, it does not matter which one does it.  If one's upscaler is better in the receiver, one should use that, and if one's upscaler is better in the TV, one should use that instead.  It may be that one is better in some respects, and worse in others, and then one must pick whichever one prefers.

 

At your price point, if you had asked a couple of months ago, I would have suggested the discontinued Yamaha RX-A2020, which was being sold at a closeout price of about $1000, which has a very good scaler in it.  I know of nothing in your price range that would have been better than that.

 

However, all is not lost.  Panasonic has made some good scalers, so I would be surprised if you are in great need of one for your TV.  It may be that you could get one that is slightly better, but I doubt that the Panasonic scaler is a bad one.


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post #3 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 12:59 PM
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You can still find Onkyo 818's for well below 1k (700ish), new. They use a combination of Qdeo and HQV - which the aforementioned Yamaha used HQV I believe.

I don't know anything about the Panasonic display in question, but with the exception of the period were Matsushita was incorporating Faroudja in some of their dvd player designs, I've never been overly impressed with thier handling of 480i sources - no idea how well they do with 720p/1080i conversion. They made a dvd player (RP91) that was the bomb for alleviating EE in dvd though. I haven't followed their newer stuff - got tired of Panasonic optical pickups failing prematurely - but when they went to proprietary deinterlacing/scaling solutions in their dvd players, that aspect of their design went downhill - even though Pansonic liked to make it out as if they'd improved it. The last Panasonic BD player I owned was a BD35 though, so take that for what it's worth. That model wasn't any better with SD sources in terms of deinterlacing/scaling.

I would expect any manufacturer who pays to outsource video processing to provide a product that performs better than most proprietary solutions, afterall that's kind of the point of specializing. Whether it's enough of an improvement for your given needs is the question. I believe the HQV solution used by the Onkyo 818 included a number of filtering options that might prove especially useful with badly over-compressed signals like DirecTV, cable, streaming. That might ultimately be it's biggest draw, unless you watch a lot of dvd.

BTW, I'm not so certain of the PS3's scaling either. We watched the first two seasons of Sherlock on BD recently, both supposedly encoded at 1080i. Either the disc wasn't authored properly or the PS3 did a very poor job converting it to 1080p.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I've seen the following sub $1000 receivers that have the Marvell Qdeo chip:
Pioneer VSX1123 $600
Pioneer Elite SC-63 $600
Onkyo NR818 $700
Onkyo NR626 $500

I mostly watch cable tv so my main goal is to improve the upscaling of the 720p and 1080i output from the cable box. I am not sure how much better, if at all, the Marvell Qdeo will be when playing blurays from my PS3.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 02:10 PM
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Video chip makers typically make more than one chip, which can have significantly different levels of performance.  Also, having a chip is one thing; the implementation of it is another.  I recommend that you look for professional reviews of whatever receiver you are considering, in which actual performance tests are done (as opposed to someone saying it looks and sounds good, with lots of silly verbiage).  You might also look for professional reviews of your TV, to see if anyone properly tested its upscaler performance, so you might have some idea of how much of an improvement, if any, might be possible.


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post #6 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlb4 View Post

I've seen the following sub $1000 receivers that have the Marvell Qdeo chip:
Pioneer VSX1123 $600
Pioneer Elite SC-63 $600
Onkyo NR818 $700
Onkyo NR626 $500

I mostly watch cable tv so my main goal is to improve the upscaling of the 720p and 1080i output from the cable box. I am not sure how much better, if at all, the Marvell Qdeo will be when playing blurays from my PS3.

Qdeo is well regarded. I'd trust it over most proprietary solutions in displays, but, as Jack said, it's presence isn't a guarantee that it was implemented well or that some other aspect of the components design isn't sufficiently flawed to the point of virtually negating what benefit you'd be gaining with a more proficient deinterlacing/scaling solution.

Assuming your display is 1080p/24, for the vast majority of BDs, nothing needs to be done to the signal - bypassing any extraneous processing in the AVR or display would be the most ideal. For 720p games and the occasional 1080i BD, there might be some benefit, as long as the PS3 is set to output the signal as is. If your display is 720p, making sure whatever deinterlacing/scaling solution used to covert 1080p to 720p doesn't bob it down to 540 first, could be of some significance, especially at larger screen sizes. 6 years ago, finding an AVR or display that could deinterlace HD signals properly was a bit daunting. I would hope proficient deinterlacing to be common now, but with display manufacturers supposedly cutting corners everywhere they can because they can't make a profit off the tech, who knows. Before investing in new gear, I'd definitely look for qualified reviews of the gear you're considering as well as what you're using now, from sites that actually test these things, not just offer subjective evaluations. You can also do some testing of your own gear yourself, with test discs. I believe Spears and Munsil produced one that should be ideal just for such, assuming it's not OOP. Seems like they sell or sold it through AVS as well. I think I also saw it on amazon before.

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-06-2014, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by rlb4 View Post

(Panasonic 65VT60)
You just bought about the best tv made. You don't need any video magic in a receiver.
http://www.soundandvision.com/content/panasonic-tc-p65vt60-3d-plasma-hdtv
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-07-2014, 11:07 AM
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Aside from probably not needing any video processing with your TV, there is another option for getting it anyway, without buying a new receiver, if you really wanted it:

 

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/

 

It isn't just a BD player; it has an HDMI input so other video sources can run through its video processing.  It also has 2 HDMI outputs.  If you had more than one video source that you wanted to run through its processor, you could hook up the HDMI output of your receiver to the HDMI input of the Oppo, with one of the HDMI outputs of the Oppo sending the video to the TV.  You can then use the other HDMI output to send the audio from BDs to your receiver.

 

I did not think of it before, because it is an unusual product.  I plan on buying one if my current BD player dies.


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post #9 of 12 Old 02-07-2014, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

Aside from probably not needing any video processing with your TV, there is another option for getting it anyway, without buying a new receiver, if you really wanted it:

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/

It isn't just a BD player; it has an HDMI input so other video sources can run through its video processing.  It also has 2 HDMI outputs.  If you had more than one video source that you wanted to run through its processor, you could hook up the HDMI output of your receiver to the HDMI input of the Oppo, with one of the HDMI outputs of the Oppo sending the video to the TV.  You can then use the other HDMI output to send the audio from BDs to your receiver.

I did not think of it before, because it is an unusual product.  I plan on buying one if my current BD player dies.

Those are excellent BD players and I am pretty sure they use the Marvell Qdeo chip. My PS3 is holding up well and is an excellent BD player as well so no need for a new one. My receiver on the other hand, while works very well, is older and doesn't pass thru the latest hdmi spec. I am strongly leaning towards the Onkyo TX-NR818 because it has the best of both audio(Audyssey XT32) and video(HQV Vida/Marvell Qdeo). It is was a $1200 receiver when it first came out but now is only $700. Is there any better receiver for $700 or less that has better room correction and video processing? I think $700 would be pushing my $ limit to the max.
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-07-2014, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

Aside from probably not needing any video processing with your TV, there is another option for getting it anyway, without buying a new receiver, if you really wanted it:

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/

It isn't just a BD player; it has an HDMI input so other video sources can run through its video processing.  It also has 2 HDMI outputs.  If you had more than one video source that you wanted to run through its processor, you could hook up the HDMI output of your receiver to the HDMI input of the Oppo, with one of the HDMI outputs of the Oppo sending the video to the TV.  You can then use the other HDMI output to send the audio from BDs to your receiver.

I did not think of it before, because it is an unusual product.  I plan on buying one if my current BD player dies.

Very cool of Oppo to try that. Curious to see how well it works, as well as if it can be region-free moded like others in the Oppo line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlb4 View Post

Those are excellent BD players and I am pretty sure they use the Marvell Qdeo chip. My PS3 is holding up well and is an excellent BD player as well so no need for a new one. My receiver on the other hand, while works very well, is older and doesn't pass thru the latest hdmi spec. I am strongly leaning towards the Onkyo TX-NR818 because it has the best of both audio(Audyssey XT32) and video(HQV Vida/Marvell Qdeo). It is was a $1200 receiver when it first came out but now is only $700. Is there any better receiver for $700 or less that has better room correction and video processing? I think $700 would be pushing my $ limit to the max.

Doubtful. You might want to invest another 50 bucks in extra cooling with the 818 though, as their HDMI boards are apparently prone to premature failure due to inadequate heatsinks. But from everything I've read, I wouldn't expect you to be able to beat the bang for your buck. I almost went down that road myself.

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post #11 of 12 Old 02-07-2014, 12:06 PM
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Given the number of online complaints about Onkyo, I would not buy one of their receivers.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-07-2014, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chad Varnadore View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

Aside from probably not needing any video processing with your TV, there is another option for getting it anyway, without buying a new receiver, if you really wanted it:

http://www.oppodigital.com/blu-ray-bdp-103/

It isn't just a BD player; it has an HDMI input so other video sources can run through its video processing.  It also has 2 HDMI outputs.  If you had more than one video source that you wanted to run through its processor, you could hook up the HDMI output of your receiver to the HDMI input of the Oppo, with one of the HDMI outputs of the Oppo sending the video to the TV.  You can then use the other HDMI output to send the audio from BDs to your receiver.

I did not think of it before, because it is an unusual product.  I plan on buying one if my current BD player dies.

Very cool of Oppo to try that. Curious to see how well it works, as well as if it can be region-free moded like others in the Oppo line.
 
...

 

There are hardware hacks that one can buy off of eBay, but there is no remote code to enter to make it region free.  One of the hardware hacks can be plugged into two of the exterior connectors and does not require opening the case, so no voiding of the warranty.  See:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/OPPO-BDP-103-DVD-Blu-ray-Region-Free-Hardware-Modification-Kit-/160942653070?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2578edfe8e

 

I am not affiliated with them in any way, and offer no guarantee of anything.  But I plan on buying one, if and when I buy an Oppo BD player.

 

 

From what I have read, those who control the BD format have required players to not be able to easily be made region free, and so Oppo BD players cannot be hacked by a remote code, and neither can the vast majority of other BD players.


God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.
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