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Do I need video processing?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm in the market for a new A/V receiver. That entails weighing various features. I'm wondering if I need to include video processing - either in terms of what is in the AVR, or a stand alone unit.

I only have 3 video sources... An Oppo 93, a DirecTV HD receiver and a Wii. It is my understanding that the Oppo does a great job of up converting dvds. I watch mainly HD content via Direct (and the stuff that isn't are programs my kids watch, so no big deal). Same with the Wii - component out works fine.

In my research, I have had dealers say to consider one AVR over another b/c it has better video processing, and further, that video processing will even improve the look of HD content (b/c not all shows or channels are broadcast in 1080p) and even blur ays. ... BTW, I have a Samsung rear projection DLP (HL72 A650).

The other side of this question is whether it would be worth it to forget about video processing in my AVR, but get a DVDO "Green" (anything else would be too expensive).

post #2 of 10
It is hard to tell without good knowledge of the capabilities of you other components. I'll try to be helpful nonetheless.

There are AVRs that have ABT technology onboard (same deinterlacing and upscaling quality as the DVDO unit). I believe this is also true fom some upscaling DVD/blu-ray players. Was not there an Oppo that uses the same ABT chip as in the EDGE?
If you get such AVR, an EDGE would not yield any gain for scaling or deinterlacing.

Therefore, you should look which features an EDGE would offer that the AVR lacks (it is not b/c an AVR uses ABT-tech, it implements all possible features).

I'll list the one I use to give you an idea:

- Test patterns. They are quite useful if you venture into calibration. Do note EDGE lacks a CMS and thus you will not be able to calibrate that aspect of PQ.
- Auto-switching of video sources.
- An info screen showing color space, resolution and refresh rate info (amongst others). I like this screen to double check sources are playing nice.
- You can force color spaces/colorimetry and set cadence detection if you notice the EDGE can't figure it out on its own.
- You get their proprietary noise reduction and sharpness tools (which I actually turn down instead of up)
- You can set audio delay when audio and video are out of sync (lifesaver once and a while).

Review their manual, it should give you a good idea what EDGE is capable off.

TBH, I think you are better off with a quality AVR. My EDGE has failed 3 times already, and my brother's one has failed 1 time. I hope the EDGE green is a better device, but they seem to have cut some more in costs. The remote looks very cheap now and the front HDMI port (useful for a quick source connect without having to venture to the rear of the unit) is gone.

If you do want a VP, a least get one with a CMS (unless your display device has one included).

I'll be happy to answer any EDGE related questions you may have if you are looking to get specific questions answered.

For the record:

I own a very cheap suround system, and poured my money into the video part of the story. So I did not require an AVR and just bought the EDGE. Since my display only has 1 DVI input (it is a commercial Panny panel) I kind of needed a device like the EDGE. If I were to have had more money, I would have bought an AVR.

If I were loaded, I'd go with a Lumagen and a pre amp + amp.
post #3 of 10
I recommend you to get professional help, it's realy techical topic.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Jeroen - thanks for the info. Some was over my head, but it provides a great starting point to research.

fuatdem - Ok. But I don't know who the "professionals" in this field are. Who/what type of person/business should I contact who can give advice AND who doesn't have an interest in selling me something? I don't always get the impression that typical A/V salesmen/dealers are very educated on the subject.

Again, I'm mainly wondering if video processing will improve hi def tv and bluray content. And if so, can that be found in an AVR, or would I need to go with a stand alone VP. Further, if the only stand alone units that would be beneficial are very expensive (over $1000), then I'll wait until build a dedicated HT.

Thanks again!
post #5 of 10
You do not NEED video processing in an AVR. Of course the only things you need are water, some food from time to time, and maybe shelter in extreme environments. Need aside, you may want video processing. However, if you can swing it financially, the select stand along processors with a full color management system (radiance, radiance mini, DVDO iScan Duo, and VideoEQ Pro) are far superior to what you will find in any AVR that I am aware of, and it is precisely the inclusion of the CMS that makes the world of difference. So, unless you own or will own reference monitors with spot on color, consider the dedicated video processors I mentioned, especially if your display has an expanded color gamut (e.g., JVC projectors). You would need to add in the cost of a color meter (or professional calibration) to take advantage of the CMS, but it is worth it. Of course, you could always delay that part until you can afford the meter and calibration software and still get all the benefits (and probably more) of the other aspects of the video processor as you would be getting in an AVR.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
chexi1 - Thanks. That makes my search for an AVR much easier. I really like the Room Correction of the Anthem receivers, but their video processing is not highly regarded. I'll probably go with one of them and keep running my video straight from my Bluray and HD receiver to my TV. When I have a display that warrants it, I go for a stand alone VP. (Thanks for the list of models to check into)
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by skvinson View Post

chexi1 - Thanks. That makes my search for an AVR much easier. I really like the Room Correction of the Anthem receivers, but their video processing is not highly regarded. I'll probably go with one of them and keep running my video straight from my Bluray and HD receiver to my TV. When I have a display that warrants it, I go for a stand alone VP. (Thanks for the list of models to check into)

Getting a separate Video Processor is a very very good idea. I paid mucho $$$ for my Denon AVC-A1HD (Euro version 5308) with Teranex/Realta Video processing a few years ago. The Audio side on that AVR is superb, but to be honest the video processing is nothing to write home about. The chip/algorithms are nice but flexibility/intelligence/configurability is just not there and I haven't seen any AVR that really shines on this. Later bought a Lumagen Radiance XS and comparing any AVR with a Radiance is like comparing a rusty butter knife with F-22 Raptor. It would takes hours to describe how bad any AVRs video processing compares against it; it has gazillion more features in addition to CMS that blows any AVR out of the water.

Funny thing is that my Radiance VP can actually extract audio from HDMI inpout and send it to coaxial out; whereas my 2,5 x more expensive Denon Audio Processor cannot

BTW, there usually is no need to bypass AVR completely, I'm chaining my AVR and VP. Denon handles HDMI switching and takes audio but works in passthrough mode for video ==> Denon HDMI output is connected to Radiance for some serious video magic.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
tn1krr - Thanks so much. This is exactly the type of information I was looking for. I can't afford one of the nicer VP's right now (and for that matter, I don't know how much my Samsung [rear projection DLP - HL72A650] would benefit), but I can focus totally on what is best in other areas. Then when I can afford and benefit from it, I'll get one of the nice VPs.

post #9 of 10
Here's what I don't understand: how do you calibrate your TV for multiple sources if everything is hooked to your AVR with only 1 HDMI into the display? Say I put the AVS709 disc into my PS3 and get everything looking nice on the TV's HDMI1 custom setting; now I switch to Xbox and it doesn't look quite right. How can I calibrate the Xbox without making the PS3 look worse since they are both on HDMI1? Do AVRs with video processing allow you to tweak brightness/contrast etc for each source within the AVR? Will I need to use another preset on the TV--Cinema for example--tweak that and keep switching between it and custom every time I switch sources?

I am also in the market for a new AVR and am new to the calibration scene. My current AVR does not have VP, so I am a bit confused as to the capabilities. It doesn't sound like I need scaling since the TV does that, but I do wonder about calibrating different settings for each component when they are all sent to the same input on the TV.

post #10 of 10
All of the Radiance video processors have "virtual inputs". You can go into the menu for each HDMI input and set which physical HDMI input to use for the signal. You can set multiple HDMI inputs to get the signal from the one HDMI input which is connected the the receiver. That allows you to load different settings and calibrations for each input.
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