or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Video Processors › XGA scaler w/tuner for under $200?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

XGA scaler w/tuner for under $200? - Page 2  

post #31 of 208
So my million dollar question is - how does the deinterlacing compare to the DVDO v1 and v2? (on video source) If it's even comparable, isn't this thing the DVDO killer everyone has been looking for? You get adequate deinterlacing and scaling for roughly the going price of v1!

If not, shouldn't those of us on a budget forego it in favor of the DVDO...after all lets get deinterlacing right first, then worry about scaling later???

Also, has anyone tested the 16:9 mode on this thing (852x480)?
post #32 of 208
Well, I have not had a chance to see this unit live and in person. I will just tell you what I have heard.

I hear that this unit does very well with a good source like a DVD deinterlacing and scaling, I mean for the price you pay mind you.


But when deinterlacing a broadcast source with far more noise, it does not do so well. It goes without saying that if it has a hard time deinterlacing broadcast, it will not scale it very well.

But, in the end I think the people that made this thing had scaling DVD's over a CPU, CRT or LCD in mind, the "main idea". As I said before in the other post, this would be a good unit, from what I have heard for I person to scale to 768p. So in the end they can get a much better picture out of their DVD's, HD and or HR scaled.

In the end, I think that this is the idea for this unit, and for people that do not know as much about PQ and would like to see their DVD's at a scaled HD and or HR level and do not have the money to buy a high end scaler.


Now, you guys can do what you what, I think a better chip and component inputs would really help this unit more so in the area of deinterlacing broadcast, and yes I say go for it, sounds cool!
post #33 of 208
I just posted a review of this unit in Digital PJ forum under "TV tuner for digital PJ". Overall I liked this unit. You can't beat it for the money. DVDo is a better doubler but does not scale. DVDo has better motion adaptive and 3:2 pulldown and better deinterlacing chip. But for 1/5 the price this unit is a better alternative than Dscaler and to internal processing of LT150 which has terrible built-in processor).

Dscaler causes my DVD or any compressed signals like DSS to have light bandings while the VB50 gives good clean image. Motion tend to blur a bit but so does Dscaler. This unit does not squeeze anamorphically which is a big disadvantage compared to DVDo V2 or higher while Dscaler can. For DVD however, nothing beats a good HTPC's DVD via Radeon/Geforce cards. It's just nice to play a movie (VHS or DVD) or TV without booting up your HTPC. On a smaller image (<20") the VB50 looks perfect but when you blow it up to 96" wide, all the artifacts are amplified. Image is still very pleasant though not perfect like HTPC DVD.

For $100, go for it. You can always use it for your smaller monitors as a second HD-ready TV.
post #34 of 208
I had my Modified HTPC running, and the little modified Viewsonic box running as well. I was using the HDTV demo loop on the Canadian version of the dish 6000 HDTV box.. via the S-video ouput. About as good as S-video gets (it's a modifed output on the HDTV box).

The Dscaler program has slightly more artifacts than the viewsonic box. I tried greedy low, and high motion, and adaptive algorithims. Both had more artifacts than the viewsonic box. The HTPC was running at 1440x960. The scaler was running at 1024x768.

All in all, a pretty impressive little box when 'fixed up'.
post #35 of 208
KBK-

How does your modded box compare to the Quadscan Elite? And how would a setup of
dvd player->component->viewsonic->vga->projector
compare to
htpc dvd player->vga->projector?

Thanks!

-Gene
post #36 of 208
I actually posted on this forum about the XGA Theatre a while ago. I bought one, and have been not overly impressed with the results, although it did serve the original purpose, which was to suck me back into video as yet another expensive hobby.

I've ordered one of the modded boxes, and I'll post a comparison with the stock box after it arrives.

I'd really like one of the Panny DVD players with this board inside, and perhaps an aux input for another source. - Pat
post #37 of 208
Tubes Guy, Eh?

I just bought the Audio Research EC-21 tube crossover originally owned by the guy who created the Nitty Gritty Record Cleaners! I'm literally staring into it's innards at this moment. It needs a bit of cleaning and TLC, but it has some Telefunken Diamond Bottoms (AX7) in it...a nice little bonus.

Get this.. the guy who boughit, has slight problem with it..and had it sitting in the box, in his closet for the past 12 years or so.
A basic crossover, but a least it's got tubes..and sounds real. Nuance, and headroom..can't beat it. i'm sure i'll change every single part except the chassis, sockets and tubes befor I'm done.

Back to your regularly scheduled program...

I don't have any other scalers to compare it to. If I did... I'd be going wacko on their sorry asses instead. Hack! Hack! hack!.
post #38 of 208
Nice find Ken -

You can probably get away with just swapping out the rectifier diodes for soft recovery ones, like UF4007s, replacing the power supply caps with something good like Panasonic TSHAs, and replacing the signal path series caps with some good polyprops. But I'm guessing you'll be doing more. ;) - Pat
post #39 of 208
The spec. sheet for the video processor chip used in the Viewsonic VB50 can also be found here:

http://www10.aeccafe.com/goto.php?<a...rtasic.com</a>

Then go to product information for the STV-102.

Ron Jones
www.dtvmax.com
post #40 of 208
Thanks for the link (direct click won't work due to typo but it's easily found under www.smartasic.com and clicking products and STV102). This is the info copied to clipboard from PDF file for easier viewing here:

STV102 – Integrated TV Video Processor
525 Race Street, Suite 250, San Jose, CA 95126, USA.
Main: (408) 283-5098 Fax: (408) 283-5099
The SmartASIC STV102 offers superior video processing
features to design state of the art digital processing TV.
Utilizing SmartASICs’ second generation video processing
technology and third generation scaling technology, the
STV102 is perfect for all your digital progressive scan TV
and LCD TV needs.

FEATURES
3D motion adaptive de-interlacing
♦ Motion adaptive noise reduction
♦ Programmable parametric non-linear scaling
♦ Movie mode support
♦ Non-linear programmable 16:9 expansion
♦ Color transient improvement provides sharper color
transition
♦ Dynamic peaking filter greatly compensates the high
frequency input.
♦ PIP support with arbitrary location and size

Proprietary de-interlacing engine
_ Programmable 3D motion detection
_ Motion adaptive de-interlacing
_ User programmable thresholds

Advanced video enhancement processor
_ Inverse 3:2 pull down for movie input
_ Non-linear 16:9 conversion
_ Scan velocity modulation output with adjustable delay
_ Programmable sharpness enhancement/anti-aliasing
_ Color transient improvement
_ Black level expander to enhance contrast
_ Programmable peaking
_ Digital brightness, saturation and hue color controls
_ Background coloring
_ Frame rate conversion to increase output refresh rate

Proprietary scaling engine
_ Programmable non-linear scaling engine can be
optimized for any expansion ratio
_ Independent expansion ratio in both horizontal and
vertical direction

Picture in picture (PIP)
_ Supports video over video
_ Easy switching between main and sub picture
_ Programmable size and location of sub picture
_ Picture scan allows up to 16 pictures on the same
screen
_ Both main and sub channel can be progressive or
interlaced input
_ Programmable PIP boarder support

Video Input
_ Support two active input videos
_ One channel input can be programmed with 24 bits
RGB or 12/16/24 bit YUV, the other channel supports
16 bit YUV input
_ Seamless interface with industry standard video
decoder
_ Progressive input support up to 480p
_ Built in odd/even field indicator generation

Noise Reduction
_ Adaptive non-linear spatial noise reduction filter
_ Programmable filter algorithm
_ Automatic reduce uniform, Gaussian and Salt/Pepper
noise while preserving edge
_ Motion based noise reduction

Color Processing
_ Build-in color space converter
_ Programmable gamma correction for different color
temperature and contrast

Internal OSD
_ Bit mapped OSD support up to 128 internal fonts for
multi language support
_ Each character is 16x18 pixels
_ Blinking, inverse, transparency and highlight support
_ 32 foreground color and 8 background color
_ Programmable window location

Output Control
_ 24/48 bit RGB
_ 24 bit 4:4:4 YUV
_ 16 bit 4:2:2 YUV
_ Programmable output refresh rate up to 75hz
progressive
_ Programmable output resolution up to XGA (1024 x
768)
_ Programmable output timing control for various LCD
panel support
_ Dual pixel (48 bit) output support for LCD TV
_ Built in output DAC for digital progressive scan TV

Miscellaneous
_ Two wire serial CPU interface
_ Support both internal and external OSD
_ Interface for external SDRAM/SGRAM
_ No external clock source required
_ 160 pin PQFP package
post #41 of 208
So.. I guess she just needs a bit of PROGRAMMING, No?

All kinds of interesting goodies.. including access tot he digital paralell stream between the two chips.. the philips input chip,and the scaler. just slam the output of the sage chip in there.. drop the puppy intothe RP-56 chassis and .. a scaler/DVD player is born.. It looks doable on paper, with minimal fuss. if programming is needed, it slows things down. but if programming is needed, other options open up.
post #42 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by KBK
<snip>The Dscaler program has slightly more artifacts than the viewsonic box. I tried greedy low, and high motion, and adaptive algorithims. Both had more artifacts than the viewsonic box. The HTPC was running at 1440x960. The scaler was running at 1024x768.

All in all, a pretty impressive little box when 'fixed up'.
So here's the real acid test - which one looks better with football and basketball games? I know how much work you've put in to your HTPC, and I find it astounding that a $100 box with a weeks worth of mods could even come close... Err, on second though, perhaps it'd be better if you checked out a hockey game - wouldn't want the neighbors to think you were a dissident ;)
post #43 of 208
That particular HDTV-to-SD-to-svideo-to-scaler-to-PJ test was done with some good old HOCKEY! Lots of straight lines there, and lots of diagonally held straight lines. It still came up a hair better than Dscaler. The noise floor was far and away better than the Dcsaler w/capture card. It was no contest at all on the noise floor. The interpolation was, of course a hair better from Dscalr and the capture card.. but crawlies where evident in dscaler as well. The Viewsonic showed the 'squarishness' of the originall captur matrix.. but the 'crawlies' of Dscaler's NTSC-to-progressiive (slightly faulty) was totally absent.

What I mean by crawlies, is when you watch regular TV. In NTSC interlaced, standard TV, you get 'crawlies' on the edges of things. Dscaler hasa touch of that. The Viewsonic box has none, as a relative comparison.
post #44 of 208
Quote:
Originally posted by luvmytivo

I know how much work you've put in to your HTPC, and I find it astounding that a $100 box with a weeks worth of mods could even come close...
Things change. Usually quickly, without notice, and directions you cannot predict. One always has to keep that in mind, when attempting any endeavor. Always have a 'upper hand' waiting in the wings. And one more, at least, beyond that one, if at all possible. So, I would expect something to come out of the blue and do somehting like this. It always happens. Relatively speaking, it's a pretty minor blip. HTPC input cards WILL improve, and probably dramatically..and do it soon.


Look at the TV input section on a New model 'MSI' (MoBo manufacturer) Geforce based VGA card for a preview. I have not even seen on in action, only in the box atr a local store. But it has the ingredients to work properly.

I used to live in the most interesting house.. but that's another story. Point to that is: I would walk my dog.. every day, and pass a converted bus. It belonged to a drag car mechanic. At the top front signage spot.. it was painted. The sign said to me, in my face.. every single day, for years.. "Go BIG Or Stay Home". Good advice.
post #45 of 208
Hey Ken -

I'm looking forward to this thing in a big way. As I said to you in an email message, this will save me some bucks. I had begun the process of designing an HTPC just for DVD replay and scaling and deinterlacing other NTSC sources. ( I use a DTC100 for HDTV.) This will be much less expensive.

Have you done anything with the wall-wart 12v DC supply? In tweaking audio equipment, I tend to start with the power supply, and these miniscule DC supplies are usually the first thing to go. I don't know if that is as big a priority in video, however.

After reading this thread, I went back to the stock unit and tried SVGA for the first time. (I had used it only in XGA mode when I only used a computer monitor for display.) I agree with a previous poster that the SVGA mode does appear to be the "sweet spot" witht the stock unit. - Pat
post #46 of 208
The legalities of the situation are that for CSA and UL electrical approval to be left in place, i have to leave that power supply alone, and not change it. Liability goes away in such a case. If I open that Wall wart up and change something.. that's a huge can of worms.

Everything after that is changed anyway, so it is relatively unimportant. It is a 12 volt, 1.2 amp rated wall-wat power supply. It seems to run at about 14Volts DC instead, so the current demand on the PS is obviously lower than the PS supplied is speced for.

Do what I do..take a cheap $260 box.... and run it on a $1k line conditioner!:D . Kinda Stupid, but hey..this is oriented towards videophiles that DON'T want HTPC, and won't use them. In that case, thses sorts of folks ARE going to use a line conditioner of some sort. It always happens....

The SVGA working better is probably do to the line count of that vs. the line count fo the original capture matrix. The combination of the two may produce less artifacts. On a CRT PJ, and regular video and movie fare, the 1024x768 is superior looking.
post #47 of 208
Ken- how hard would it be to make this thing work with a DVDO iscan pro? Specifically I mean taking the vga output of the dvdo, putting it through the VB50 for scaling only, and bypassing the internal 3:2? That way you get the scaling ability of the VB50 along with the processing of the dvdo.
I would be interested in this having just bought a DVDO Pro and an LT150.
post #48 of 208
Well, I just had to try one of this units out to see how it would work.

Well, I used it to scale my DVD's over a CPU CRT and I must say, at 768p or 1024x768 the resolution over my CPU CRT was and is very good. I know better than to blow the picture up, this unit was not made for front PJ's, but for CPU uses. It would be great to see this unit with component inputs and added resolutions like SXGA and UXGA, then this thing could really take off!


All I can say, would be if you have a kid in college that would like to scale his or her DVD's to HD over their CPU or if you do not have the money to blow on a high end front PJ and scaler, this unit would be the way to go, BIG TIME, I mean the 768p resolution looks very good over a CPU.

Very Cool little unit! :D
post #49 of 208
Even my stock unit VB50HRTV beats Dscaler on a stock Radeon VE. It's a lot easier to use. It has an excellent VGA bypasser as it lets you use HTPC (or progressive DVD player into a VGA breakout cable) AND this unit via bypass mode. Mine was broke after 10 min. but new one is being crosshipped from www.pcnation.com (good, reliable customer service by the way) as the bad one is being sent back (cost me $10 via UPS ground but it's worth it to get a new, hopefully good unit). Too bad it does not do the squeeze trick as Dscaler can. Still on STB DVD set to 4:3 output (non-anamorphic but letterboxed mode) the image still beats Dscaler Svideo input (no color bandings). Sweet spot is 800X600 on LT150 although it's an XGA PJ. XGA gives some grainy artifacts. Remote works great for flipping between this unit and HTPC (or another VGA source like prog. DVD player or HDTV receiver). Overall I highly recommend this unit. True, it looks perfect on 17" CRT monitor but at 96" wide it's decent too (looks like a giant, non-HDTV RPTV) on my LT150. It clearly beats LT150's internal scaling/doubling.
post #50 of 208
I saw this website http://www.omegamultimedia.com/sitemap.htm#sc has various budget scalers by manufacturers such as AI Tech, Avermedia, Focus and TV One. Does anyone know how these compare to the VB50?
post #51 of 208
Does this tuner/scaler have the 3:2 pull down feature too?

Federico
post #52 of 208
Once again, the specifications of the ASIC chip onboard this unit.

Quote:
Originally posted by Huey
Thanks for the link (direct click won't work due to typo but it's easily found under www.smartasic.com and clicking products and STV102). This is the info copied to clipboard from PDF file for easier viewing here:

STV102 – Integrated TV Video Processor
525 Race Street, Suite 250, San Jose, CA 95126, USA.
Main: (408) 283-5098 Fax: (408) 283-5099
The SmartASIC STV102 offers superior video processing
features to design state of the art digital processing TV.
Utilizing SmartASICs’ second generation video processing
technology and third generation scaling technology, the
STV102 is perfect for all your digital progressive scan TV
and LCD TV needs.

FEATURES
3D motion adaptive de-interlacing
♦ Motion adaptive noise reduction
♦ Programmable parametric non-linear scaling
♦ Movie mode support
♦ Non-linear programmable 16:9 expansion
♦ Color transient improvement provides sharper color
transition
♦ Dynamic peaking filter greatly compensates the high
frequency input.
♦ PIP support with arbitrary location and size

Proprietary de-interlacing engine
_ Programmable 3D motion detection
_ Motion adaptive de-interlacing
_ User programmable thresholds

Advanced video enhancement processor
_ Inverse 3:2 pull down for movie input
_ Non-linear 16:9 conversion
_ Scan velocity modulation output with adjustable delay
_ Programmable sharpness enhancement/anti-aliasing
_ Color transient improvement
_ Black level expander to enhance contrast
_ Programmable peaking
_ Digital brightness, saturation and hue color controls
_ Background coloring
_ Frame rate conversion to increase output refresh rate

Proprietary scaling engine
_ Programmable non-linear scaling engine can be
optimized for any expansion ratio
_ Independent expansion ratio in both horizontal and
vertical direction

Picture in picture (PIP)
_ Supports video over video
_ Easy switching between main and sub picture
_ Programmable size and location of sub picture
_ Picture scan allows up to 16 pictures on the same
screen
_ Both main and sub channel can be progressive or
interlaced input
_ Programmable PIP boarder support

Video Input
_ Support two active input videos
_ One channel input can be programmed with 24 bits
RGB or 12/16/24 bit YUV, the other channel supports
16 bit YUV input
_ Seamless interface with industry standard video
decoder
_ Progressive input support up to 480p
_ Built in odd/even field indicator generation

Noise Reduction
_ Adaptive non-linear spatial noise reduction filter
_ Programmable filter algorithm
_ Automatic reduce uniform, Gaussian and Salt/Pepper
noise while preserving edge
_ Motion based noise reduction

Color Processing
_ Build-in color space converter
_ Programmable gamma correction for different color
temperature and contrast

Internal OSD
_ Bit mapped OSD support up to 128 internal fonts for
multi language support
_ Each character is 16x18 pixels
_ Blinking, inverse, transparency and highlight support
_ 32 foreground color and 8 background color
_ Programmable window location

Output Control
_ 24/48 bit RGB
_ 24 bit 4:4:4 YUV
_ 16 bit 4:2:2 YUV
_ Programmable output refresh rate up to 75hz
progressive
_ Programmable output resolution up to XGA (1024 x
768)
_ Programmable output timing control for various LCD
panel support
_ Dual pixel (48 bit) output support for LCD TV
_ Built in output DAC for digital progressive scan TV

Miscellaneous
_ Two wire serial CPU interface
_ Support both internal and external OSD
_ Interface for external SDRAM/SGRAM
_ No external clock source required
_ 160 pin PQFP package
post #53 of 208
As a newbie to all this, I'd like to know whether the dvdo iscan pro would improve the PQ of ComCast digital cable using an RPTV like the Tosh 57hx81? I have a Denon 2802 receiver and Tosh 4700 DVD player. Would the VB50HRTV be a useful addition to this set as well or are we only talking HTPC setups here? Thanks.
post #54 of 208
This box is a remote controlled, standalone scaler box, just like the DVDO.

It requires NO PC to use. It has VGA pass through, that's all..for in conjunction with PC's.

It MAY have self-recognizing Progressinve scan input capacity. ima getting my Prog scan rp-56 DVD player back,and will attempt. The manual for the Phillips input chip SAYS it has AUTO input recognition..and it has progressive scan component inputs!(somewhere in there.. I can't quite remember, and I only scanned quickly. Maybe I am remembering the ASIC chip specs...)

So, we disconnect any other inputs..and put the RP-56 DVD player on it,and see what happens. I have yet to send a scaler out yet, and will be attempting this if at all possible. If it works,and someone wants it, I will loose the audio inputs, and put in a prog scan input! ONLY if it works though! Don't ask for the impossible!
post #55 of 208
Hi,

I was considering a dedicated pc for Dscaler but this looks cheaper more elegant to say the least.

One question: What about Macrovision? Dscaler has a (somewhat) hard time with Macrovision and it seems this device should be having a hard time with it too. Does anyone have information about this potential problem.

-Brian

p.s. Otherwise I predict a shortage of these units before this weekend.
post #56 of 208
I picked up the Viewsonic VB50 last weekend at CompUSA at the full list price of $129. I have compared it my HTPC with dScaler (PIII, ATI Radeon LE connected to a Sony G70 projector) and the stock Viewsonic provides substatially better overall performance. For static images there really isn't much difference but dScaler, using any of the deinterlacing modes, cannot handle dynamic video very well. This is really notice at scene changes for with rapidly movement in the image. For playback of DVDs the HTPC using the latest versions of PowerDVD, WinDVD or ATI DVD player is clearly better feeding a DVD analog signal into the Viewsonic and letting it do the deinterlacing. I have have a Dwin LD2 (a past generation line doubler) connected to my other projector (an NEC) and the Viewsonic's performance is similar to the DWIN (but true side-by-side comparison on the same projector was not attempted) but the Viewsonic has the advantage of being a scaler. I have previously used a first generation DVDO iScan Plus, but no longer have that unit so I cannot do a side-by-side comparison. I would note that the iScan Plus had what I considered unacceptable performance when using non-DVD video souces in that it went into saturation (the analog-to-digital converter ran out of bits) with a input video of about 0.68 volts. The standard for S-Video on composite video is for a maximum video signal of 0.7 volts and of the 3 SVHS VCRs and one LD player that tried all produced white levels during many scenes that sent the iScan into saturation (some peaks measured a little above 0.7 volts which). DVDO confirmed my unit conformed to their standard performance. The output of most DVD players however tend to be a little lower than the peak level for VCRs and DVD playback thru the iScan looked good. So my opinion is the Viewsonic doesn't have the fatal flaw of the iScan Plus. Note that I have not evaluated version 2 of the iScan nor the iScan Pro therefore my issue may not apply to these current generation units. I also directly compared the performance of the Viewsonic in scaling the standard definition output (using s-video) from a DTC100 STB vs. the DTC100's internal scaler that output 540p via its RGB/VGA output. The Viewsonic is much better with more accurate colors and a sharper image.

I question whether an after market mod to the Viewsonic is going to made a significant difference in its performance except for the removal of the output analog r.f. filters which may provide a somewhat sharper image at the higher resolution settings (1024 x 768). Other performance areas, such as motion artifacts and scaling artifacts, are generally locked in the signal processing chip used in the unit.

Ron Jones
www.dtvmax.com
post #57 of 208
Could anyone in here upgrade the VB50 with a new chip of some kind to output 1280x960 and 1600x1200 if so, what do you think it would cost to make this type of upgrade?


That would push this thing over the top!
post #58 of 208
Such an upgrade to support other resolutions would essentially be building a new scaler, not a upgrade.

Ron Jones
www.dtvmax.com
post #59 of 208
Well, whatever company made this thing should do that, add some faster refresh rates and this thing would take off.
post #60 of 208
My Viewsonic VB50 arrived today and I've had a chance to play with it for a short while with my LT150. After a quick calibration with Avia it looks pretty good.

I'm running it at 800 x 600, which places a 4:3 image in the middle of my 16:9 screen with about an inch of the top and bottom of the image on the masking portion of my screen.

For widescreen DVDs I'll continue to use the progressive output of my RP56. The VB850 gave me a cheap method of watching 4:3 DVDs (and the occassional SVHS tape and the kids' Nintendo) on my 16:9 screen. It's a definate improvement over the Dish 6000's scaler configured for 4:3 material on my 16:9 screen.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Video Processors
This thread is locked  
AVS › AVS Forum › Video Components › Video Processors › XGA scaler w/tuner for under $200?