These are just some early impressions, I need more time to look at this closer and with more content.Lumagen 2041 + Mini 3DShuttle 4K capable HTPC
-How can you put the case on with a video card that looks this good?
For this test, I had 3 scenarios I wanted to look at:
1. media/bd player -> Projector + RC scaling
2. Media/bd player -> Lumagen (UHD scaling + Darbeee) -> Sony @ 3840x2160
3. Shuttle HTPC -> Sony @ 3840x2160Source material was Oblivion
- There are a number of scenes that are just remarkable for 1080P BD content. I would love to see raw footage from the F65 on the Sony 4K projectors.
Starting with the first setup, I tried using the Mede8ter, a Samsung 3D BD player and a Pioneer BDP-05FD (gold trimmed bling edition) - All look very similar in overall PQ on my favorite 1080P projectors (JVC-RS55 and Planar 8130).
I have some mixed thoughts about the current implementation of RC on the 1000. I can see the appeal it has since at first glance, it has a lot of 'pop' with the image. This is fine with Sports and regular TV /Animations. With a number of my BD titles, I think it's a bit too much on the minimum setting and I'm seeing the processing artifacts. Maybe it's because I sit close to the 142" which is a fair sized screen. This has been discussed before, but it would be nice if they would enable the scaling without the image processing. or provide fine controls over the RC settings with a start value much lower than the default.
So now I move on to the Lumagen, set the output to 3840x2160 and look at the same scenes again. I think the scaling looks very good overall (more natural appearing vs. RC) and adding a bit of the Darbee is all that's needed for a great looking image. I find myself using less of the Darbee in this setup, usually 25-30 HD mode. I haven't changed any of the sharpness settings yet on the 2041 so I may experiment with those setting to see how it looks.
I had the Lumagen on HDMI1 and the HTPC on HDMI 2. This way I had a chance to A/B relatively quickly. It was a bit of a pain to sync the 2 sources but I got it and was able to flip back and forth. I have to say I am also impressed with the HTPC / JRiver / MadVR setup. When comparing to the 2041, they both have a bit of a unique look, it's difficult to describe and would be impossible to photograph. I had to flip back and forth many different times to pick up on the details I was seeing. If I was forced to pick 1 or the other, I might say the HTPC has a slight advantage over the 2041 with the Darbee off, but then a reversal once we add a bit of the Darbee. Both are relatively close and would be glad to have either vs. the current version of RC.
Both devices also have unique strengths. Managing multiple inputs and calibration capabilities are great on the 2041. This processor makes sense for most AV enthusiasts who want to 'set it and forget it' (remember the Ronco commercials?). HTPC users are a dedicated bunch of folks who love to tinker. it doesn't mean you can't set it up like an appliance but it could be a bit daunting for the non PC enthusiasts.
I think the 2041 is a nice upgrade to the mini 3D especially for the 4K scaling + built in Darbee. I'm glad they took the 'no harm' approach to the scaling and there is definitely no ringing to be seen. In the same context, +1 props to Madshi for his PC scaling process, it also looks great on the VW1000.
FYI - I leave the RC off with either the 2041 or HTPC @ 3840, I don't see any obvious changes with it on/off. I'm hoping OzHDHT can let us know if this has changed with the motherboard upgrade.