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XGA scaler w/tuner for under $200? - Page 3  

post #61 of 208
I've treid the modded unit up against a stock one now. I had to wait to do this, as the ones I ordered had to come in..my original unit was overly modded, so I have no idea anymore what the stock unit looked like!

The stock unit is considerably softer and less deliniated in color and detail. There is a slightly lower noise flor on the modded unit, and slightly better control at the top. The moded unit is noticably more pleasing to look at, and more 3-d like. I have only been using VHS tapes on a $1.2k (cdn) SVHS VCR. I am about to do the test with widescreen LD, and that unit has been modded. HEY.. how did that VHS unit escape modification? something's wrong here. I own something not modded?

Anyway, i have still to get my RP-56 DVD player back from the guy lent it to. I will have to use the pause functionon my THX test LD inthe meantime. I'll try a few screen shots, and see what happens. These will be on a 21" Trinitron monitor.
post #62 of 208
Ken, do you think you will be able to add higher resolutions with the modded unit?
post #63 of 208
Absolutely not. The scaler chip info indicates that it can do a maximum of 1024x768, if I recall correctly. It states "scalable to' 1024x768", and that's it.

Maybe in th next generation of chips. This is fairly new, so it may be a while.
post #64 of 208
- I would like to hear some feedback about PQ, the image is-it sharper in 1024x768 with wide-screen DVD's for PJ Sony-1271?
- Does the VB50 do a better job (PQ) than Iscan-Pro for 4:3 program?
Thanks for any input.
post #65 of 208
Can somebody post a guideline for removing the components of the output analog r.f. filters, thanks.
post #66 of 208
I posted some photos of the VB50HRTV (XGA theater TV-4000) in the digital projector forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...391#post825391
post #67 of 208
Do you think there is a way to add a 960 x 540p res?

post #68 of 208
I'm running DScaler with a Win-TV FM (svideo) on my Athlon C, 1.4gig. With card switching and the new gradual noise filter, I've brought the visual noise pretty much down to zero. My primary use is for playing Game Cube and other console video games on my monitor. Anyone who has used the VB50 think that I would gain any visible advantage over my DScaler setup with a stock unit? If Ken gets component in working on his modded units and it does recognize progressive input, I'll likely have to have one of those, but for now, talking strickly Svideo in, what are your opinions.

post #69 of 208
Originally posted by Huey
I posted some photos of the VB50HRTV (XGA theater TV-4000) in the digital projector forum: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...391#post825391
Thanks Huey,
you did a good job for this forum members.

i would like to know about warranty and return policy about your 260$US modified VB50 ?
post #70 of 208
If the unit works.. there is NO return policy. At the level I am working at.. I cannot afford it. If you want to buy fully supported equiment, that allows you this avenue, then go for it. I cannot support that. The line is drawn. Not in any meanspirited way, but it must be clearly drawn. If you step into this arrangement with me, I have to buy the parts, buy the unit, do the mods, and ship it out to you. I am not making enough to support returns, because you 'don't think that you like it as much as you would like to'. I WILL support the operational characteristics, as far as it actually working. If everyone who was buying one wanted to pay me 30-50% more for each item..sure! why not! But where would the bargain be then?

My advise to you is: if you are unsure..wait it out, as far as reports as to it's 'image fidelity' goes.

See the thread in the DLP forum about overseas imports, and cost to dealers, reps, and importers. Things can get expensive.

Also: I am the person modifying the units. I dig high-fidelity video. I look more for that than anything else. The differences of the modded unit vs. the unmodded unit... probably would be difficult (if at all!!) to quantify via measurement, or put on paper.

The reality is that almost ANY of the fidelity that we search for on this form is actually -barely- measurable.

Do not think that I am dissing my own work. On the contrary. I am merely presenting the reality of things, as opposed to product hype.

The differences between the un-modded unit and the modded one are minor. BUT remember..they ALL TAKE PLACE IN EXACTLY THE SMALL AREA YOU SPECIFICALLY SEARCH FOR. So, it becomes all of the difference in the world, within those exact concerns. Don't expect the world....and you won't be dissapointed.
post #71 of 208
Kensai, I DO believe this VB50 is BETTER on MY setup of LT150, Radeon VE, Dscaler, Iomagic PVR for these reasons:

1) Plug and Pray (easier to use--no filters to tweak).
2) Stability (no lock ups to worry about).
3) No noise (HTPC has noise).
4) Lower video noise (less grains on clean feed)
5) Remote control for switching between HTPC, Svideo, and composite.
6) Better for non-anamorphic video (less deinterlacing artifacts than Dscaler).
7) VGA bypass feature (useful to have if you have another VGA source like HTPC, progressive DVD player, or HDTV).
8) No Macrovision problem.

Dscaler is better for anamorphic video due to 16:9 squeeze ability. This unit does NOT do the squeeze on my LT150; though the one CRT guy said 848X480 mode of VB50 would squeeze for him. Dscaler has more MV problems with pink banding but supposedly you can tweak Dscaler to rid of this (I've not tried the tweaks yet as I use HTPC for DVD playback). Dscaler is FREE provided you have compatible capture card and HTPC.

For $100 would you not want to try it out? If anything it can be a back up for your HTPC/Dscaler setup. I bought mine from www.pcnation.com though it's available all over. PCNation was very good about crosshipping a replacement when my first one was DOA after 10 min. of trial.

Don't forget to hit autoadjust on your PJ to improve image greatly with this unit (especially if you've change any menu adjustments of VB50). Also set your unit resolution to "native" or similar mode to avoid scaling--let VB50 do the scaling as it does a much better job than my LT150 (other PJ's like Infocus and Sony with good builtin scalers may not need to do this). Both Dscaler and VB50 beats the pants out of my LT150 internal processing. Good luck.
post #72 of 208

Thanks for the input. I am sorely tempted. I can pick the thing up off the shelf here for $130. I've always loved the elegance of a solution like this versus all the tangle hanging behind my PC, but since I upgraded to the new Athlon setup, I've really got nothing else that uses all that horsepower, so it seems sort of a shame to let it go to waste. Oh, and there is the $$$ question. I'm not in the same league as most of you folks quite yet. No projector. Not even any real surround audio yet. Wife, kid on the way, new house, blah, blah, blah. You know the drill. I'm settling for an adequate but slowly expanding office set up (my little domain as it were) for the time being. Any opinions regarding the VB50 for use as a console video game scaler just on a moderately large PC monitor?

post #73 of 208
Actually it's meant for small CRT. We just adopted for FPTV. Its image is near perfect for 17" CRT for TV, Svideo, composite sources. I'd use it for work 17" CRT if it did not work out with my PJ. On my 17" diagonal CRT at home it's even better than blown up at 96" wide :D
post #74 of 208
OK here's the turn-around-jump-shot...does it also handle PAL?

Max Christoffersen
post #75 of 208
The spec sheet for the TVOne version of this box explicitly says it does, although fixed at 50Hz refresh (just as NTSC is fixed at 60Hz refresh).

I asked KBK if it does PAL and he said it does.

I've ordered a KBK-modified one and I'll be happy to report once it arrives. I suspect that'll be a little while, though, since there's shipping to Australia to take into account.

- David Eddy
post #76 of 208
The VB50 will automatically recognize a PAL vs. NTSC input.

Ron Jones
post #77 of 208
I'm doing the fine tuning on the last little bits of the parts selection this evening. I am trying to keep the unit indefinitely stable.. and have a lifespan that hopefully exceeds it's unmodified state. This is usually relatively easy to do. I wish to maximize the image fidelity as well. The greater the fidelity of the source.. the more the modifications will show their strength. I have to take my RP-56 apart again and modify it some more.

I also have erroneously stated that the Phillips (input chip!) unit -might- (I DID mention might..!) take component video. It does not. BUT..BUT. the VB50(and other similar) is DEFINITELY passing 656 coded component digital between the scaler chip, and the Phillips input chip. It appears to be fully possible to pull a component parallel digital feed (in 656 component format) from the RP-56 DVD player, and feed that to the scaler chip in the VB50. OR: get the feed from he VB50's Phillips chip.. which is the same signal.. into the Zoltrix (which is a Digital ported card design) based Dscaler card.. for a outboard input section, for CLEAN Dscaler use. Sorta like dscaler, but a clean source.. so NO noise floor! These things I cannot do for the people who have ordered. This would be prohibitively expensive tomfoolery. I can play around with it, and I WILL publish my wiring specs for digital connectivity into a RP-56, If I bother get it to work. So, that would make it DVD-Scaler combo.. with digital transfer. Fun stuff. With a Stock VB50, that would cost out to $325 or so. Now THAT's cheap ass.
post #78 of 208
Does ANYONE have the tech manual for the Sage-Faroudja fl2200 chip? I could use a copy. e-mail it to me.. I will publish the results of the experiment...and the details on how.
post #79 of 208
So here are my pics taken from the VB50. I use an ECP4000 which is 11 years old, totally unmodified, and only 80%calibrated, focused, and converged (I'm still months from finalizing my room, so I'm just jacking around with it for now). It is projected onto a piece of tile board painted flat white. The room is mostly dark (1 basement window I didn't mask off, but its dark outside). My camera is 1.2 megapixel and my hands are kind of shakey =)

The image is from Toy Story 2 on a Denon DVD using COMPOSITE cable (didn't want to pull the s-video cable from my main DVD player). I did not take pictures in 4:3 mode, but when experimenting, I found the 1024 @75 mode to be the best for my pj. The picture show is squeezing my pj to 16:9, setting my dvd to 16:9 and using the 852x480 mode.

My comments (again, I'm no videophile) are as follows...I am much more impressed than I thought I would be. There is some definite "softness" to the image, but movement in a film does not seem to create artifacts. My main problem with the unit is the control for the setting. Moving the "Hue" setting 1 notch for instance, has a dramatic effect - there is no fine tuning available. If found it very difficult to manipulate the VB50 settings and my projector settings to obtain a good picture. I also watched some regular cable using the VB50 as a tuner. It was acceptable (but not good), except the settings which looked good on the composite cable, looked unwatchable on the tuner input - I'll have to play around some. All, in all, I stand by my previous newbie impressions - I'm glad I bought this and would recommend it. Hopefully, it will give me some better appreciation and understanding of the types video issues discussed on this forum.


post #80 of 208
Modifed 21" Trinitron monitor
Modifed panasonic RP56 DVD player
Modifed VB50HRTV scaler box.
Modifed HP315 1600x1200 digital camera

At least I was sober, and remained un-modifed.

Not perfectly aligned with the tube, and the camera created interference patterns with the CRT tube's shadow mask. Still, this shows some of the fidelity the modified Viewsonic Scaler box is capable of.






post #81 of 208

Are you saying the VB50 can be turned into a clean inexpensive svideo to SDI converter?

- Tom
post #82 of 208
Ok so I kinda see mixed results here. I see its comparable to DScaler which is pretty impressive. How do you think it stacks up against a software DVD player or something with the Sage chips? Is it in the same league?
post #83 of 208
I've had the VB50 for a few days now. I don't have a HTPC, but do have a Panasonic RP56 with the Sage chip. The RP56 is clearly better, but the VB850 really does do a surprisingly good job.

I have an LT150 with a 16:9 screen. The VB850 in SVGA mode does an admirable job de-interlacing and scaling the image so that I can watch 4:3 material in the middle of the 16:9 screen (with just a bit of overlap.

I've had a DVDO and Quadscan Pro, and while I can recognize the improvement in picture quality, the law of diminishing returns applies here -- you get a pretty good image for 1/5 or 1/10 the price.

Even if you're on the fence, you can hardly go wrong for the price. I picked mine up at pcnation for $105 (shipping included). It was well packed, and took only three business days to arrive.
post #84 of 208
Originally posted by trbarry

Are you saying the VB50 can be turned into a clean inexpensive svideo to SDI converter?

- Tom
It passes 656 format component.. on the philips front end. It's internal scaler accepts 656 component input.. so, who knows. It's all right there, in the tech books on the chips. I believe the unit IS running 656 between the two chips.. so.. the zoltrix is set up for digital in.. so....

9 wire parallel component out..and 9 wire component in on the zoltrix....

hmmm....or,a simple SDI mod to the Viewsonic box, and Boom! analog to SDI.. done.
post #85 of 208
hmmm....or,a simple SDI mod to the Viewsonic box, and Boom! analog to SDI.. done
Boom! seems nice. ;)

But I kinda thought it was just VGA pass through. No? If so that might just be a switch somewhere.

But even if it was only clean svideo to SDI at a low price I could swicth svideo & composite with my av receiver and use a silk card to input almost everything. That is still something many folks would probably like to have.

Your input is appreciated as I seem to be allergic to specs and schmatics these days.

- Tom
post #86 of 208
My VB50 (stock unit) has some trouble with macrovision on certain titles (Darkman) with alternating brightness. Otherwise image looks great. No it's not HTPC or even RP56 caliber, but it's pretty darn good. This is on 4:3 mode of cheapie Svideo Toshiba 1700. For some reason I can't get my LT150 to sync to 848X480 on VB50 (the squeeze mode) though CRT users have: it would either scales down to 640X480 if set to "native" or scales up to 1024X768 if set to "auto". Even on this less than ideal mode (4:3 letterbox setup for anamorphic DVD) it still beats Dscaler for my setup. Now that I can tune Dscaler to filter out Macrovision, Dscaler is better for those MV ridden DVDs. Of course, I mostly use Zoomplayer for DVDs anyways but this was fun to experiment. If you have a MV free DVD like Daewoo DVG-5700 or similar, I'd bet the VB50 will be great; especially if you have CRT or another PJ that will sync to 848X480 (mine won't :(). For TV watching this also beats Dscaler slightly for my setup (analog cable via SVHS VCR--have not tried the internal tuner yet). Screenshots are never good at representing true image so don't be turned off by the above images--go get one and try it out. You can buy one over the counter at your local CompUSA. It can always plays TV on your monitor at work if you don't like it.
post #87 of 208
Dissin' my photo's, are ya Huey?:) I think they look quite good..when you take into account what is obviously the shadow mask from the CRT monitor that was used. The depth and color gradation are certianly there, except for the last shot. I tried that shot three times..and it just would not come out better. I wonder why?

The screen shots show tremendous promise, if you look closely enough, with the right eyes, and undestanding of what you are seening. For instance, look at the shadow detail, depth, and color gamut onthe middle shot from Baraka. The woman's clothing shows the dirt on the edge of it more detailed, and more clearly than you have probalby seen in ANY screen shot of it.
post #88 of 208

It seems to be a case of:

You do it. No, you do it. No.. you do it, I ain't got the time....etc.
post #89 of 208
I don't think I know how to do it. :(

- Tom
post #90 of 208
Sounds pretty promising - for all of those lucky people who have a resolution higher than 800X600 it is idea.

BUT - what about those of us who are poor 800X600 users and PAL to boot? Does it cope well scaling from the 576i to 600p - just wondering...

Where is the sync sent - Not SOG I hope...

Heath Young
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