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New DVDO iScan HD  

post #1 of 2943
Thread Starter 
Not sure if anyone caught this yet:

DVDO iScan HD

Introducing the new iScanâ„¢HD High Resolution Video Scaling Engine from DVDO

The DVDO iScan HD brings a host of new Video Scaling features to the DVDO iScan product family, while adding robust Digital Audio switching, routing, and processing technology. For the sophisticated home theater, and audio/video presentation systems, the iScan HD makes the the perfect centralized control and processing hub.

Complete Audio/Video Hub & Scaler for Plasma display panels, HDTV-ready TVs, Projectors, Home Theater
Precision Video Scalingâ„¢ by Anchor Bay Technologies - yields best-in-class front-of-screen performance
Upconverts 480i and 480p video sources & content to high-resolution formats, approaching HD quality
Creates any output video resolution between 480p & 1080p, including 720p & 1080i
Flexible Digital Audio switching and routing - four Digital Audio inputs, two Digital Audio outputs
Precision AV LipSyncâ„¢ intelligent Digital Audio delay technology - precisely matches audio & video timing
AutoCUE-Câ„¢ - Automatic Chroma Upsampling Error Detection & Correction
AutoVFRâ„¢ - Intelligent Component video inputs featuring ABT's Automatic Video Format Routingâ„¢
AutoSourceâ„¢ - Automatic Source Activity Detection & Selection
RightRateâ„¢ High-performance Framerate Conversion & full-frame Timebase Correction
Analog and digital DVI inputs & outputs
Feature-proof design with upgradeable software
Infrared remote control with direct access codes
RS-232 automation/control interface
post #2 of 2943
Great news!

We knew this was coming, but this is really ground breaking stuff!

The things I'm most interested about:
1. Lipsync correction (not sure how they've implemented that - what types of audio inputs each input contains).

2. What types of inputs they are offering.

3. how they are performing the scaling & deinterlacing (still using Sil 504)?

4. How well frame rate correction will work.

If anyone has any additional information, please chime in!
post #3 of 2943
More info pretty please...............

Steve
post #4 of 2943
According to the description, it will start shipping in January. I think I will hold off on any decision until I get a better look at this one.
post #5 of 2943
Indeed good news. Hopefully Dale Adams will chime in at some point and fill us in. DVI mentioned, but nothing about HDMI or SDI so far. Prelim looks very promising... Can't wait for full specs and an idea on pricing.
post #6 of 2943
I'm glad to see there's plenty of interest in the iScan HD. The product announcement for this actually went out a few weeks earlier than it should have, advertising lead-time being what it is, but I'll do my best to answer questions anyone has regarding the product, its features and capabilities. Before answering any questions, however, I would like to offer a few caveats regarding the information I will provide about the iScan HD.

First of all, development on this product has not been fully completed at this time and it is not yet in production. We hope to ship the first units by the end of January, and we currently believe we can do this, but it's always possible for some unforeseen problem to occur which will push off the shipping date. For those of you planning to be at CES this year, DVDO will have a booth there and will be demonstrating this new iScan.

Secondly, one of the features of the iScan HD is that the operating software and much of the video processing hardware itself is upgradeable via the unit's RS-232 port. DVDO Home Theater Products will be making regular product updates available on our website which you can simply download, load into the iScan, and thereby gain new features, improved performance, and bug fixes. Because of this programmability in the hardware, it may occur that not all of the features listed on our website or which I will discuss here will make it into the first shipping units. (We don't want to ship any features before they've been fully tested.) However, those features will all be available within a short period - we currently think it will be at most a few months - after the first products ship, so anyone who purchases an early iScan HD will have the full feature set in relatively short order.

The reason I mention this is that because all development work (which is mostly software related, as the hardware is very close to production ready right now) has yet been completed so the actual list of features on the first shipping units is a bit flexible at this point. Now, I could wait until we're ready to ship the product to talk about it and answer questions, but I'd rather give you the information now, along with a few necessary cautions, rather than wait until the end of January.


Now that that's all out of the way, send me your questions. I see that there have been some already, so I'll move on to those:

1) Lipsync correction.
The iScan HD has 4 digital audio inputs, 2 optical and 2 coax, each of which can be assigned to any of the video inputs (more on those in a bit). I.e., when you switch to video input A, then the audio input which has been user-assigned to video input A will also be selected.

The audio channel provides a delay which matches the video processing delay of the iScan. Note that this delay will vary depending on the current configuration and processing mode of the iScan. For example, if an input signal is just being passed through with no video processing, then there will be no delay added. 50 Hz sources will require a different amount of delay than 60 Hz sources, and frame rate conversion requires more delay than no frame rate conversion. The correct audio delay for all these cases is set automatically, so the user need do nothing extra to match audio and video delays. In addition, there is a user-adjustable additional delay (up to 255 mS) which can be added (or subtracted) on top of the automatically set delay.

Note that only digital inputs are provided. If analog inputs are needed, then a separate 3rd-party A/D is required.


2) Inputs.
There are 2 composite video, 2 S-Video (Y/C), 2 component, one analog passthrough, and one DVI input. (There will also be an optional SDI input card. This is currently under development, however, so there is probably more risk associated with this feature than with the others I'm discussing here.) There is one analog output and one DVI output. The DVI input can function as an input or as a passthrough; HDCP passthrough is supported but an HDCP-protected signal cannot be scaled. The iScan automatically detects whether it can process the incoming DVI signal, and changes to passthrough mode when it can't.

The component inputs are a bit unique, so let me describe those. They accept YCbCr or RGBs formats. 480i and 576i signals are deinterlaced and scaled, 480p and 576p inputs can be scaled, while higher resolutions formats automatically routed through the iScan without any processing (i.e., a passthrough mode). This means that a video source device which can output SD interlaced, SD progressive and/or HD can be attached to just one component input and the iScan will 'do the right thing'.


3) Deinterlacing and scaling.
The deinterlacer is still an SiI504, although we have been able to make it do a few tricks that others have not (e.g., see #4 below). The scaling engine is a custom design of our own which introduces minimal phase and amplitude errors and provides better performance than we've seen in competing products. (There is another thread in this forum which has some screenshots of this.) The scaler can scale up or down, so it can handle all types of aspect ratio conversions, unlike some competing products.


4) Frame rate conversion.
There are 3 basic operating modes:
A) Source-lock mode where the output frame rate exactly matches the input frame rate.
B) Arbitrary output frame rate which is not locked to the input.
C) Progressive source-lock mode with frame rate conversion to an even multiple of the source frame rate. 24 Hz film-source material using a 3:2 pulldown pattern can be output with 2:2 pulldown at 48 Hz or 3:3 pulldown at 72 Hz. 25 Hz film-source material using a 2:2 pattern can be output using 3:3 pulldown at 75 Hz. These output rates are fully locked to the original 24 or 25 Hz source rate and are not actually 'floating' as with a several other scaler products which offer 72 or 48 Hz output frame rates without really locking to the original film source rate.


5) Price.
The final price has not yet been settled on. Expect something in the $1300 to $1900 range, most likely somewhere about the middle of that range.


Any more questions?

- Dale Adams
post #7 of 2943
Will this baby output RGBHV for us three eyed monster users? And if yes will it act as a transcoder too?

mberk
post #8 of 2943
Dale,

Will it provide any control over the output resolution and aspect ratio? [Edit: reading your post again I see you mentioned that it does provide such control. So consider this a request for a little more info.]

Steve
post #9 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by mberk
Will this baby output RGBHV for us three eyed monster users? And if yes will it act as a transcoder too?
The analog output colorspace can be either RGB or YPbPr. Sync options include separate H & V syncs (so, yes, it can output RGBHV), separate composite sync, or sync on the video. Sync on video can be either bi-level or tri-level sync. In addition, the separate sync signals can be inverted if required.

The iScan HD will not act as an analog transcoder - i.e., it will not convert a pass-through HD analog input in YPbPr to RGB on the output. This will work for SD inputs (480i/p) since the signals are digitized and then processed by the scaler.

- Dale Adams
post #10 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by spa
Will it provide any control over the output resolution and aspect ratio? [Edit: reading your post again I see you mentioned that it does provide such control. So consider this a request for a little more info.]
The iScan HD is fully configurable with respect to output resolution and aspect ratio. There is a wide range of standard output formats supplied. By 'format' I mean a combination of resolution/timing, colorspace, aspect ratio and sync type. For instance, 720p would be defined to by 1280x720, YPbPr, 16:9 with trisync. The user can then re-program any of the predefined parameters. Using the 720p example again, you could easily change it to be RGBHV output with a 4:3 aspect ratio. Non-standard output aspect ratios are supported.

Alternatively, you could just define your own output format by entering timing parameters for front/back porch, sync width and active video. This can all be done from the front panel of the iScan without the need to use any PC-based programming tools. Typically, you'd probably just start from one of the predefined formats and modify it to fit your needs.

Predefined formats include 480p, 576p, 540p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA, various plasma resolutions (852x480, 1280x768, 1024x1024, 1365x1024, etc.), DLP resolutions (1280x720, 1024x576), various DILA resolutions (1400x1050, 1365x1024, etc.), and various CRT resolutions (1440x960, 1440x1152, etc.). Again, if none of these are quite right, you can always define your own (within some limits). Also, if you need something very close to a predefined resolution, it's a simple matter to just tweak it a little to get what you want. For instance, if you need 854x480 instead of 852x480, you can just increase the horizontal active video area by 2 pixels.

We also support defining a sub-area of a given display as the 'active' area. For example, if I have an SXGA projector with a 5:4 aspect ratio, I can use only a 4:3 1280x960 subset of the entire projector's imaging element, the unused area automatically set to black (or blanking level, if you wish). All subsequent scaling and aspect ratio conversion will be done only with respect to the defined 4:3 subset. (Note that this feature will probably not be in the first software release, but should follow soon after. The hardware supports it but the software support won't be there.)

With respect to input aspect ratios, a full range of control is offered here as well. There are 3 predefined input aspect ratio settings - 4:3 fullframe, 4:3 letterbox, 16:9 fullframe. If you need something other than this, say 1.66:1 which is pillarboxed inside a 16:9 frame, then you could start with the 16:9 preset and use a zoom/pan capability which allows you to resize and reposition the image to your heart's content. (Although you could also just input a specific aspect ratio of the form X.XX:1. Zoom and pan is a lot more fun, though.)

We've tried hard to provide a very flexible scaler which is also very easy to work with.

- Dale Adams
post #11 of 2943
Thanks for the info Dale. It sounds very promising. Any further info on the optional SDI input and the approximate added cost, when known, would be welcomed and appreciated. Also, will a non-linear stretch mode be included for SD 4:3 material. Thanks in advance.
post #12 of 2943
Thanks for the thorough response Dale. With the right price it will be a tempting offering.

Thanks,
Steve
post #13 of 2943
Quote:
C) Progressive source-lock mode with frame rate conversion to an even multiple of the source frame rate. 24 Hz film-source material using a 3:2 pulldown pattern can be output with 2:2 pulldown at 48 Hz or 3:3 pulldown at 72 Hz. 25 Hz film-source material using a 2:2 pattern can be output using 3:3 pulldown at 75 Hz. These output rates are fully locked to the original 24 or 25 Hz source rate and are not actually 'floating' as with a several other scaler products which offer 72 or 48 Hz output frame rates without really locking to the original film source rate.
Dale,

Sorry to ask a dumb question, as I'm a newbie to all this, but does this mean that crt users can choose 48 or 72Hz and not run into the problems that the Lumagen and the HD Leeza have? (is it a loss of cadence detection? or something like that)

Andy
post #14 of 2943
Dale,

Thank you for all of this information................ I really do wish I knew what most of it meant! I know there are many on this forum that do!

If you don't mind I would like to ask a couple of questions from the "unwashed."

I am going to purchase a projector in the near future (currently running a 1080i capable RPTV). What I would LIKE to do (I have no idea how practical this is) is to have a box that I can use to clean up the standard def cable and satellite feeds so that it would not look to horrible on a 100" screen from a front projector. The projectors I am looking at for the most part have DVI inputs and are 1280x720 native... so I would like to send the projector that type of image. I know there are a few DVD players out there currently that do output 720p, but each of them seems to have several "issues." So for now it would also be nice to be able to run my DVD output (would I output from the progressive side or the interlaced outputs?) through this imaginary box until I can get a 720p DVD player that does not take constant tinkering. HD will be fed from the DVI output on either the local cable HD box or from the DVI output on the satellite STB, whichever way I wind up going.

With this being the desire.... how is the best way to go about this?

I currently run HD Direct to the #2 component input on the television and every thing else through my Denon 3803 which only has two component inputs. The Denon converts SD broadcast coming through S-video on my Replay so that it is output on the component output.

So what is the best way to take the various inputs and make the picture as good as possible (i understand about garbage in garbage out... but com'on you got to be able to clean it up some!) and then output it at the projectors 720p native format?

Please feel free to explain this in words with a minimum of syllables.

Thanks,

Steve
post #15 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by pciav
Also, will a non-linear stretch mode be included for SD 4:3 material.
The current hardware implementation does not provide for nonlinear scaling, although linear scaling may be independently varied in the horizontal and vertical direction. As nonlinear scaling is primarily a control function of the scaler (as opposed to altering the actual FIR filter calculations, which is where most of the hardware is located), it may be possible for us to implement this and provide it as a downloadable upgrade. I can't really promise it at this point, but we will look into it if there's enough interest.

- Dale Adams
post #16 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by AndyN
Sorry to ask a dumb question, as I'm a newbie to all this, but does this mean that crt users can choose 48 or 72Hz and not run into the problems that the Lumagen and the HD Leeza have? (is it a loss of cadence detection? or something like that)
Exactly. Our hardware identifies the original film frames and produces a 24 Hz signal which matches the occurrence of these frames. The output timing is locked to this 24 Hz signal, and so does not experience a loss of cadence as long as the deinterlacer is locked to the 3:2 pulldown sequence.

Note that problems with a source signal such as bad edits or mixed source types (e.g., video and film) will cause a transition from 24 Hz source lock to an unlocked frame rate conversion process. However, as soon as lock is regained on the film source the output will automatically re-lock to the 24 Hz source rate.

- Dale Adams
post #17 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by HiHoStevo
I am going to purchase a projector in the near future (currently running a 1080i capable RPTV). What I would LIKE to do (I have no idea how practical this is) is to have a box that I can use to clean up the standard def cable and satellite feeds so that it would not look to horrible on a 100" screen from a front projector. The projectors I am looking at for the most part have DVI inputs and are 1280x720 native... so I would like to send the projector that type of image. I know there are a few DVD players out there currently that do output 720p, but each of them seems to have several "issues." So for now it would also be nice to be able to run my DVD output (would I output from the progressive side or the interlaced outputs?) through this imaginary box until I can get a 720p DVD player that does not take constant tinkering. HD will be fed from the DVI output on either the local cable HD box or from the DVI output on the satellite STB, whichever way I wind up going.

With this being the desire.... how is the best way to go about this?
Steve,

Well, for starters, let me explain how you might go about this with the iScan HD.

The iScan can produce output in the 1280x720 format that your projector requires. It can output this in either a YPbPr component type of signal, and RGB+HV signal into a VGA type input, or via DVI. This is all configurable on the iScan and it should be able to adapt to whatever your projector requires in the way of signal formats.

If you do use the DVI connection, you can run the DVI output from your HD source into the iScan's DVI input. If that source is HDCP protected, then it will be passed on unchanged to your projector. If it is not, and if it is of SD resolution, then it can be scaled (and deinterlaced, too, if necessary) to match the projector's 1280x720 native resolution. The DVD player output can be either 480i or 480p; both can be processed by the iScan to produce a 1280x720 signal.

If, instead, you choose to use an analog connection to the projector, you can do pretty much the same thing with the analog component output of your HD source. If it's 480i or 480p it can be scaled to native resolution; if it's HD, then it will automatically be passed through to the projector unchanged. Only one component input on the iScan HD is required for this as it will automatically route and process the signal as appropriate. The DVD connection would be the same as in the previous (i.e., DVI) example.

In either case, it is not necessary to route all the video signals through your receiver. While this can be convenient, the iScan can also handle all the video switching for you (assuming you don't have more than 1 DVI source or more than 2 of any other type source format) and will also maintain A/V synchronization for all audio signals you choose to feed through it. In general, it's a good idea to minimize the amount of video switching that you're doing and the number of components that a video signal is routed through - i.e., you may not want to route everything through the receiver.

As to whether or not the iScan can clean up your other SD feeds so that they look good when blown up on a large screen, I would have to say that it all depends on what the problem is with the source material. If you have an SD satellite feed which is loaded with compression artifacts or is blurry because of bandwidth limitations, then the iScan (or most other video processors, for that matter) may not do much for you. It may be that the iScan reacts better to this type of problem than your projector's SD inputs would, but that really depends on the specific projector you choose. If your source is reasonably clean, then the iScan should do a good job of making it look good on the big screen (although the same could be said of other video processors as well). In other words, it all depends . . .

- Dale Adams
post #18 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by Dale Adams
...As nonlinear scaling is primarily a control function of the scaler (as opposed to altering the actual FIR filter calculations, which is where most of the hardware is located), it may be possible for us to implement this and provide it as a downloadable upgrade. I can't really promise it at this point, but we will look into it if there's enough interest.

- Dale Adams
Fair enough, and I would expect there to be enough interest as this is a FAQ. Thanks again.
post #19 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by Dale Adams
Steve,


In either case, it is not necessary to route all the video signals through your receiver.
Dale if I do not use the receiver for switching how do I accomodate the following...

1. Satellite/Cable SD feed (S-video) to ReplayTV then S-video out.
2. VHS Player ... S-video out
3. DVD Player... Component out (would it be better to use the progressive out or the interlaced out?) unless I use one of 720p DVD players then it would be DVI out.
4. X-box... Component out
5. Satellite/Cable HD .... DVI out ???



Quote:
[i]As to whether or not the iScan can clean up your other SD feeds so that they look good when blown up on a large screen, I would have to say that it all depends on what the problem is with the source material. If you have an SD satellite feed which is loaded with compression artifacts or is blurry because of bandwidth limitations, then the iScan (or most other video processors, for that matter) may not do much for you. It may be that the iScan reacts better to this type of problem than your projector's SD inputs would, but that really depends on the specific projector you choose. If your source is reasonably clean, then the iScan should do a good job of making it look good on the big screen (although the same could be said of other video processors as well). In other words, it all depends . . .

- Dale Adams [/b]
As a rule (if there is a rule) who is going to have more artifacts.. Cox Cable SD or Satellite (Dish or Direct) ??

Thanks,
Steve
post #20 of 2943
The simple fact that this box will take any input and "do the right thing" (process or pass) has me quite excited. Looking forward to seeing how the final product turns out! I loved my iScanPro with my old Mits RPTV.
post #21 of 2943
Dale,

Thanks for the response. I think I might have found my next processor. Need any non-technical beta testers? :)

Andy
post #22 of 2943
Dale,

A few words:
1. First congratulations!

2. I'm confused by your statement regarding DVI scaling. You say that if the DVI signal can be deinterlaced - you would do so. I'm assuming you are talking about SDTV (as you state you do not deinterace 1080i) - so how is that possible through DVI? DVI starts off at 480p (not 480i).

3. Aspect ratio control - I'm confused, do you have a programmable custom aspect ratio, or does the user redo the zooming when they need something custom?

4. I think it's a mistake not to add 1-2 analog (plain L/R RCA plugs) for the audio delay. Many of us have old analog devices (VCRs, and even satellite boxes) with only analog outputs. An additional A/D would cost as much as a second iScan HD... I hope you would reconsider and add at least 2 analog inputs into the mix.

Overall, seems like a ground breaking product at a groundbreaking price!
post #23 of 2943
Dale,

The $64 million question....I have a new Panny HD Plasma.
Analog Cable channels 1-100 look terrible.

Can the new IScan HD "fix' this?

I use a Motorola 5100 HD box. HD looks spectacular, and digital cable Channels 101-1000 look OK. Performance is worst than a normal CRT.

Congrats on the new product.
post #24 of 2943
Hi Dale,

Good to know DVDO is still active! (I still have a old iScan Plus V2 laying around!)

Great that this new iScan HD has custom output resolution. From the initial feature set, it says there is some internal "test pattern" for helping setup and config. If possible, I want to know more about this.

I'm all for getting 1:1 pixel perfect mapping on a digital projector. With a HTPC and the Nokia Monitor Test program (or other pattern generator), I'm quite SURE that the on screen image is INDEED in 1:1 pixel perfect mode.

IMO, whether the projector is actually display a 1:1 pixel perfect image can not be assumed. On a HTPC setup, with the help of "super-refine-single-pixel-width" fullscreen test pattern, we can be sure that the projector is displaying a 1:1 pixel perfect image. If NOT, then we can try adjust the projector clock/dot/phase and/or output timing (via PowerStrip) on the HTPC to try to get 1:1 pixel perfect to be displayed on the projector.

IMO, such HTPC way of check 1:1 pixel perfect is NOT possible with traditional line-doubler/scaler and those progressive output DVD player and the recent DVI output DVD player at 480p and higher resolution. There is simply NO way to MAKE SURE that the displayed picture is indeed 1:1 or not because the lack of "single-pixel-width" fullscreen test pattern. We can only "eyeball" the motion picture till we think it looks the best.

I hope you understand what I mean and I hope this new scaler can let us to really check and get the 1:1 pixel perfect mapping on a digital display.

Thanks in advance.

regards,

Li On
post #25 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by oferlaor


2. I'm confused by your statement regarding DVI scaling. You say that if the DVI signal can be deinterlaced - you would do so. I'm assuming you are talking about SDTV (as you state you do not deinterace 1080i) - so how is that possible through DVI? DVI starts off at 480p (not 480i).

Ofer,

I too caught this and was wondering the same thing and I'm sure Dale will let us know. We know that 480p is not in the DVI spec; however, I do believe it is for HDMI and what I think Dale is telling us is that if there is indeed an HDMI player available that will pass 480i, then the DVI port on the iScanHD will recognize and process it. The only thing we do not know is if any mfg. plans on releasing HDMI DVD players with 480i capability or will they continue to just follow the DVI spec and start at 480p. By allowing 480i from HDMI you can eliminate the need and added cost for SDI and still get all the benefits. Almost sounds too good to be true. If this is indeed the case, I wonder if Dale can be persuaded to look into a 480i enabled HDMI DVD solution to be sold as a companion to the iScanHD... I'm not discounting or throwing out SDI, but if this is possible the money certainly seems better spent here. Assuming you do not already own an SDI player, the SDI option, plus a player adds a minimum of $1,000 to the purchase price. Curious as to your thoughts and Dale's as I do not pretend to know anymore than you guys have taught me here.
post #26 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by oferlaor
A few words:
1. First congratulations!
Thanks. We've put in a lot of work on this one.

Quote:
2. I'm confused by your statement regarding DVI scaling. You say that if the DVI signal can be deinterlaced - you would do so. I'm assuming you are talking about SDTV (as you state you do not deinterace 1080i) - so how is that possible through DVI? DVI starts off at 480p (not 480i).
The EIA/CEA-861-B standard defines a large number of video formats for use over 'Uncompressed High Speed Digital Interfaces" - in other words, DVI. These include digital, RGB versions of HDTV standards such as 720p and 1080i. The timing for these 'digital' versions of these signals is a bit different than the analog ones, primarily due to the lack of trisync on DVI.

There are also formats defined for 480i and 576i. The normal DVI limitations are circumvented by double-clocking the pixel data. The standard clock rate for interlaced SD is too low for the DVI standard, so the clock frequency is doubled (from 13.5 to 27 MHz) and each pixel is presented twice. The receiver for this signal simply has to throw away every other sample to yield the interlaced SD signal.

I'm not aware of any consumer video source which use this signaling yet, although many are compliant with other aspects of the 861 standard. (E.g., the 1080i output on DVI for the Focus Enhancements CS products.) The Accupel HDG-3000 video signal generator will produce this signal, so we will be able to test it. We're hoping that some consumer video sources start appearing with this supported. Also, this is very similar to what the HDMI standard does with interlaced SD video.

Quote:
3. Aspect ratio control - I'm confused, do you have a programmable custom aspect ratio, or does the user redo the zooming when they need something custom?
We provide both. If the user knows the exact input aspect ratio, then it can be entered numerically (e.g., 1.66:1). If not, or if the image is slightly nonstandard, then he can manually adjust the image until it 'fits'. This also allows the user to reformat the image in any way he wants, so we don't enforce a set of fixed aspect ratios. For instance, if the user would like to zoom the image out to remove the small black letterbox bars found with a 1.85:1 source on a 16:9 display, then he can simply do so without having to guess at the numeric aspect ratio which would do this.

Quote:
4. I think it's a mistake not to add 1-2 analog (plain L/R RCA plugs) for the audio delay. Many of us have old analog devices (VCRs, and even satellite boxes) with only analog outputs. An additional A/D would cost as much as a second iScan HD... I hope you would reconsider and add at least 2 analog inputs into the mix.
We realize that this is a desirable feature and we certainly considered this as we designed the product. There were a number of issues which kept us from doing this, including cost and schedule. Some issues we wrestled with were the quality of the A/D required and the number of audio inputs to be provided. No matter what we included, it would not have been adequate for some users. On the other hand, we didn't want to delay the product or increase the price significantly by adding a feature that many wouldn't use.

There is a variety of audio A/D boxes available in the market. We hope to mitigate the lack of analog inputs somewhat by evaluating and testing one or more inexpensive external A/D converters, and possibly offering it (them?) on our website. At a minimum, we could recommend an affordable device which is guaranteed to be compatible. While you can certainly spend well over $1000 on a quality audio A/D, you can also spend a lot, lot less and still get decent quality (although this is certainly subjective).

Audio/video sync is a problem which has plagued video processor users since the first Faroudja doublers, but a built-in, automatic audio delay is a feature which no other video processor offers (to the best of my knowledge, anyway). We designed a basic delay capability into the first DVDO deinterlacer chips. We really wanted to offer this feature on the iScan HD but still get it to market in a timely fashion. At this point ther simply isn't time for us to include analog audio inputs without significantly delaying the product. We will definitely consider adding them for future products.

Quote:
Overall, seems like a ground breaking product at a groundbreaking price!
That's our goal. Now all we have to do is actually ship it. ;)

I hope to be able to announce the actual MSRP of the iScan HD very soon.

- Dale Adams
post #27 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by Stealthfighter
The $64 million question....I have a new Panny HD Plasma.
Analog Cable channels 1-100 look terrible.

Can the new IScan HD "fix' this?
It's hard to say, really. (And I'm not trying to dodge the question.) Whether the iScan will help in your particular situation or not depends on a lot of factors, including your subjective judgment of what "fix" really means. At least you're not asking us to fix a lot of nasty digital compression artifacts. ;)

I haven't spent any time with your particular display, so unfortunately I can't provide a meaningful comparison of the display's capabilities vs. the iScan's. I have heard from some iScan Ultra users that the Ultra is a definite improvement over their Panasonic plasma's video processing, so I would suspect that the iScan HD would make an improvement in your situation as well. The HD's video input section has some improvements over the Ultra's (e.g., 10-bit, 4X oversampling A/D converters), so performance with the HD should be at least as good as the Ultra.

My best guess is that the iScan HD would help, but the only real proof is whether it makes a difference to your eye in your system.

- Dale Adams
post #28 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by Li On
Great that this new iScan HD has custom output resolution. From the initial feature set, it says there is some internal "test pattern" for helping setup and config. If possible, I want to know more about this.

I'm all for getting 1:1 pixel perfect mapping on a digital projector. With a HTPC and the Nokia Monitor Test program (or other pattern generator), I'm quite SURE that the on screen image is INDEED in 1:1 pixel perfect mode.

IMO, whether the projector is actually display a 1:1 pixel perfect image can not be assumed. On a HTPC setup, with the help of "super-refine-single-pixel-width" fullscreen test pattern, we can be sure that the projector is displaying a 1:1 pixel perfect image. If NOT, then we can try adjust the projector clock/dot/phase and/or output timing (via PowerStrip) on the HTPC to try to get 1:1 pixel perfect to be displayed on the projector.

IMO, such HTPC way of check 1:1 pixel perfect is NOT possible with traditional line-doubler/scaler and those progressive output DVD player and the recent DVI output DVD player at 480p and higher resolution. There is simply NO way to MAKE SURE that the displayed picture is indeed 1:1 or not because the lack of "single-pixel-width" fullscreen test pattern. We can only "eyeball" the motion picture till we think it looks the best.

I hope you understand what I mean and I hope this new scaler can let us to really check and get the 1:1 pixel perfect mapping on a digital display.
I understand exactly what you mean. The situation you describe is precisely the one the iScan HD's test pattern generator is intended to address. Test patterns generated by the HD are done so at the output resolution, so there are in fact test patterns features which are only a single pixel wide/high. There will be a test pattern which is intended to ensure that you have 1:1 pixel mapping, both horizontally and vertically.

There is no scaling performed on the luma component of a test pattern after it has been generated. However, the test patterns are produced in a 4:2:2 component format, so the chroma components of the pattern will be horizontally upsampled by 2X after being generated. For a test patterns with no chroma, however, such as one intended to verify 1:1 pixel mapping, no post-generation scaling will be performed.

- Dale Adams
post #29 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by HiHoStevo
Dale if I do not use the receiver for switching how do I accomodate the following...

1. Satellite/Cable SD feed (S-video) to ReplayTV then S-video out.
2. VHS Player ... S-video out
3. DVD Player... Component out (would it be better to use the progressive out or the interlaced out?) unless I use one of 720p DVD players then it would be DVI out.
4. X-box... Component out
5. Satellite/Cable HD .... DVI out ???
Sources #1 and #2 would be fed into the iScan's 2 S-Video inputs. Sources #3 and #4 would be fed to the iScan's 2 component inputs. The DVD player could be set to output either 480i or 480p. The iScan will process either one, so you can decide which looks best to you. Source #5 could be fed to the DVI input. You can then use the DVI output to connect to your display, and you can control the video source you're watching with the iScan.

Quote:
As a rule (if there is a rule) who is going to have more artifacts.. Cox Cable SD or Satellite (Dish or Direct) ??
I'm not really familiar with Cox Cable. The digital SD satellite feeds I've seen recently have been simply awful - so loaded with compression artifacts that to me, at least, they're nearly unwatchable. Perhaps someone else who has direct experience with all these systems can chime in.

- Dale Adams
post #30 of 2943
Quote:
Originally posted by Dale Adams
...If you do use the DVI connection, you can run the DVI output from your HD source into the iScan's DVI input. If that source is HDCP protected, then it will be passed on unchanged to your projector. If it is not, and if it is of SD resolution, then it can be scaled (and deinterlaced, too, if necessary)…
How does this affect HDMI DVD Players? My earlier statement and reply to Ofer’s question may have been a bit premature. Even if HDMI players output a 480i signal, will they encrypted with HDCP? If yes, then this feature goes to waste and an affordable SDI solution becomes important again. Dale, do you have any thoughts or info you can share on this?
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