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Algolith Dragonfly owners thread - Page 3  

post #61 of 247
Guys,
Here's the latest email I got back from Algolith.

Quote:
Please advise if you wish to return the unit and I’ll gladly issue you an RMA.

Regards,

Hanna van Beekum

Algolith Customer Service

400 Isabey

Montréal (Québec)

Canada H4T 1V3

.......and here's what I wrote them back.


Quote:
okay cool. As I mentioned in my earlier email, I went ahead and broke the seal to see what's inside. It looks like it was just the fan which had come loose during transport. I'll fire it up tonight and let you know if I need to take you up on your offer to change the unit out.

BTW, I just wanted you to know that you guys are really getting top marks for customer service on the AVS forum these days. Is it possible for someone from Algolith to dial in on the discussion?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&page=1&pp=30

We sure would appreciate it.
maybe we'll hear something from them.
Javry
post #62 of 247
latest from Algolith

Quote:
Hi,


Glad that we avoided turning the box around and sending it back. No we never ship the units upside down in the box. It also should have been wrapped in a protective envelope. Border security may have opened it or customs for tax reasons.


To my?reckoning there should be no problem using the unit. Enjoy!


Regards,
Robert

Robert Young
Vice President - Sales & Marketing
post #63 of 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by faterikcartman
Hi guys, if any of you have a DF and a 720p projector please to fiddle around with your Tosh HD-DVD's and report how well the DF scales the HD-DVD's native 1080p (outputed at 1080i of course on the current Toshiba) down to 720p on a front PJ.
I have a 333 and have ordered the Vantage-HD (which is also based on the SO Realta chip, so performance should be similar to the DF), it will be with me late next week if I'm lucky.

What I can tell you so far is that 1080i into the 333 is not a good option. I know that at least one reviewer said that it looked about the same as 720p in, but the truth is that it upscales each 540-line field to 720p and alternates the odd and even field...so a static computer image for instance is shaking like crazy :)

I'll post some impressions when I get the Vantage. Now back to discussing the DF!
post #64 of 247
Thread Starter 
As I mentioned earlier in this thread one of the things that is limiting in the Mosquito + Dragonfly combo right now is that the audio standard is still SPDIF and the audio needs to be routed into the DF first to correct the large HQV audio delay. The Mosquito is a great multiplexing solution with one exception - it doesn't switch audio unless it's in HDMI format and most A/V processors don't yet support HDMI audio in. The best solution would be for Algolith to add a feature to convert the HDMI audio output into SPDIF which would enable all 5 of the HDMI inputs. As it stands now however only 3 sources can be hooked up (2 SPDIF and 1 Toslink) without adding an outboard audio swticher. For now an outboard switcher is the route I'm going and this looks like an easy to use solution:

http://www.digitalconnection.com/pro...dio/aa1177.asp

Anyone know of a better solution or perhaps an HDMI to SPDIF audio converter? I know gefen is working on the converse (DVI + SPDIF to HDMI).
post #65 of 247
Is there a reason you don't want to use your receiver to do the audio delay?
post #66 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wjchan
Is there a reason you don't want to use your receiver to do the audio delay?
From earlier discussions the quoted HQV delay was much too long for my Lexicon. I'll double check though, if it works it will save me a 100 bucks :)
post #67 of 247
Mark, I believe the Lexicon can support up to 50ms of delay compensation? You may want to try this - the delay through the Realta chip is approx. 100ms, but if you compensate for half of it I think you might find the remaining latency is not noticable (~50ms is about the threshold of human detection).

Andy K.
ASIC Design Engineer
Silicon Optix, Inc.
post #68 of 247
The Lexicon can delay up to 60ms. I still notice lip sync issues on some material. I wish Lexicon would have provided more range on this. It would have been nice if this setting were per input as well since some sources seem worse than others.
post #69 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp
Mark, I believe the Lexicon can support up to 50ms of delay compensation? You may want to try this - the delay through the Realta chip is approx. 100ms, but if you compensate for half of it I think you might find the remaining latency is not noticable (~50ms is about the threshold of human detection).

Andy K.
ASIC Design Engineer
Silicon Optix, Inc.
Thanks Andy. It's worth a try.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mauricef
The Lexicon can delay up to 60ms. I still notice lip sync issues on some material. I wish Lexicon would have provided more range on this. It would have been nice if this setting were per input as well since some sources seem worse than others.
Mauricef, do you know if the delay has been increased in the new MC-12HD? If this unit decoded DD+ and some of the newer HD-DVD/BD formats I would upgrade to it, but the HDMI switching feature alone doesn't seem to be enough to justify the upgrade cost.
post #70 of 247
I just checked the MC 12HD manual online and the delay is still limited to 60ms. That is disappointing. Doesn't seem like much of an upgrade for current owners.
post #71 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EL
I do indeed have a newer version that is not yet released. I'm busy but I should play with it this week. I will double check issues I had but also yours.
Like I said the 480i is not anymore an issue.
As for what's new ... I;m not sure I can tell but I'll take a chance ;) there are some test patterns added.

Emmanuel
I had the pleasure of installing the soon to be released 1.08 SW and it does indeed enable the workaround to the 480i combing problem that you described. 480i is looking good! This version also corrects the 1080i combing problem. These changes are much appreciated. V1.08 also adds a host of new changes too and while there are still bugs with the unit Algolith is working on a 1.09 release that should come out in less than a month. I'm happy to report that the Algolith development team is really cranking on updates for this unit! All in all, my confidence in Algolith has really soared over the past week. They have been very responsive to my e-mails and phone calls. I'm getting feedback from them several times a day and they have taken all of the feedback seriously and are tracking all of the issues.
post #72 of 247
How did you get the update? I started a job ticket with them on Monday and have heard nothing. I am currently not using my theater waiting for an update.
post #73 of 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Petersen
All in all, my confidence in Algolith has really soared over the past week. They have been very responsive to my e-mails and phone calls. I'm getting feedback from them several times a day and they have taken all of the feedback seriously and are tracking all of the issues.
That's good to hear.

Have you asked about how to reduce the fan noise? :)
post #74 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauricef
How did you get the update? I started a job ticket with them on Monday and have heard nothing. I am currently not using my theater waiting for an update.
Hi Mauricef, I wrote an e-mail and specifically asked them for v1.08 because it enables 480i. I tested the Mosquito for them so I have a little bit of a history with the company which could explain the quick responses I've been getting. I've also helped them a lot by pinpointing problems. A case in point was their v1.08 updater- It wouldn't download the DF for me and after a lot of futzing around I uncovered that there was a timing problem with their update SW on the Realta. If the Realta is heavily loaded such as processing 1080i then the update won't work, but if a user switches to an unused port like s-video the update works like a champ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi
That's good to hear.

Have you asked about how to reduce the fan noise?
Hi Madshi, yes they are definitely humping on getting things sorted out. When I told them about the fan noise, they said they were aware of the problem and were looking into a solution for it. The problem is that the Realta runs really, really hot (like 76C - which is on a par with an Intel Prescott... ugh!). So I assume any solution will require something along the lines of a huge Zalman copper heatsink which won't work with such a small form factor. I'm still toying around the idea of retrofitting my Zalman Reserator liquid cooling unit to it.
post #75 of 247
The lastest firmware 1.08 has been posted to the Algolith website.

This link will take you to the support page and you can read the instructions:

http://www.algolith.com/index.php?id=support0
post #76 of 247
Took me 5 or 6 tries but finally got 1.08 loaded. It had problem re-programming the control processor apparently.

Two issues so far. Power-up gamma setting is still messed up and I can't seem to adjust CNR.
post #77 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wjchan
Took me 5 or 6 tries but finally got 1.08 loaded. It had problem re-programming the control processor apparently.

Two issues so far. Power-up gamma setting is still messed up and I can't seem to adjust CNR.
Yup, I saw the same errors.

Here are the release notes for this v1.08 release:
  • Improved menu, many OSD bugs fixed
  • Format shortcut on remote control offers 720p50/60 1080p50/60 A&B in
    addition to 480p60 and 576p50.
    format + 1 = 480p60
    format + 3 = 720p60
    format + 5 = 1080p60 A (this is huge for us HD2K users. Thanks Algolith!)
    format + 6 = 1080p60 B
    format + 7 = 1080p24
  • HDMI A/B now considered as two inputs for parameters saving
  • All user's parameters will be lost while updating
  • Auto-repeat feature of remote control may freeze video. Workaround:
    reboot Dragonfly by pressing the power off /on key on the remote.
  • Test patterns works for input resolution 480i, 480p and 720p only
  • HDMI video may take a minute to appear after booting.
  • External clocking not working for input resolutions 720p and above.

In addition to this list, I also noticed:
  • Improved menus for e-warp and some of the other adjustments
  • Realta chip temperature (in the info screen)
  • New field control menu which allows the user to correct the 480i combing problem. (this is huge)
  • 1080i combing problem is completely gone. (this is also huge)

Now for the bad news. I submitted the following bug list to Algolith. Most of these are the same bugs reported in v1.07 that are still being worked on. If anyone runs into others, please post them on this thread:
  • There is still a failure to resync if a device changes resolution from say 480i to 1080i. The only way I know to get the DF to sync to the new resolution is to do a soft power cycle. If a person goes from 480i to 1080i and then back to 480i the image will resync back to 480i . It just won't resync from 480i to 1080i.
  • Some menu items are still not grayed out like they should be (gamma for HDMI inputs for example).
  • CNR can no longer be adjusted for either HD or SD.
  • I'm unable to get a stable picture via HDMI from the new Samsung blu-ray player (BD-P1000). This problem also occurred with v1.07. The picture works fine via component but on HDMI I get a blue screen and an occasional "snapshot" of what is being displayed. I don't think this is an HDMI sync issue as much as the DF unable to sync to the BD at 1080i (via HDMI). Perhaps the BD player is outputting a flavor of 1080i that is slightly incompatible with what the DF is expecting. 1080i via component is rock solid however.
  • I still see an occasional glitch with analog inputs where the luninance seems way off and bright objects like white lettering are haloed/hallowed out.
  • The flicker on the bottom left of the screen is still there. This should be a high priority fix as it really is annoying with full screen 16x9 material.
  • Some of the menu settings don't "stiick. For example the gamma on component defaults to 2.2 and I have to set it to 1 each time I use component.
  • Pressing and holding the picture position buttons will cause the menu to exit (note this is the auto-repeat bug already mentioned in the release notes)
  • Sometimes the OSD menu will crash and stay on. Pressing buttons on the remote doesn't seem to do anything other than causing the front led on the DF to flash. Performing a soft power cycle via the remote is the only way I know to restore normal operation.
  • when playing around with the "sharpness" setting on a test pattern that the sharpness setting doesn't actually "stick" with what is displayed on the OSD. In other words if set to something like 80 the OSD will continue to show 80 after changing sources and coming back to the original source. The image doesn't look like a setting of 80 though and if the sharpness setting is bumped to 81 the picture will suddenly snap to the 81 setting. So it looks like at times that there is a mismatch to what the HQV is doing and what is displayed on the DF OSD. Along with a potential reinitialization problem between sources.
  • The picture aspect ratio feature doesn't seem to work.

One last note. I'm going to rescind my black level issues that I mentioned earlier in this thread. I'm getting the same black level on my cable HD DVR box that I've always gotten. Component over BD also has the same black level as I've always gotten. I will however go back to the HD-A1 and try to figure out why the black level on it over HDMI is high and won't seem to come down. Along the same lines, HDMI seems much more stable for me now. I did upgrade the HD-A1 firmware to v1.04 so that may have helped. I haven't seen my SA8300HD cable HD DVR reboot or go to channel 0 anymore.
post #78 of 247
I cannot get 1.08 to load. I have tried two different laptops and serveral USB cables to rule that out. I have tried setting the input to composite and s-video and no luck The load progress bar remains at the first bar. I have let it sit up to 1/2 hour. I even tried component and that at least gave an error message.

Any suggestions?
post #79 of 247
Try disconnecting all inputs and outputs, try rebooting the computer, try uninstall and reinstall the software....
post #80 of 247
Thread Starter 
Another thing to verify is that the Dragonfly is installed properly as a USB device. You can verify this by clicking on start and then right clicking on "my computer" and select "manage" then click on "device manager" and expand the "Universal Serial bus controller" menu. Verify that the dragonfly shows up here and that the HW is reporting normal operation. Also double check that the DF isn't processing video and that the input selected is s-video.
post #81 of 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Petersen
............................ All in all, my confidence in Algolith has really soared over the past week. They have been very responsive to my e-mails and phone calls. I'm getting feedback from them several times a day and they have taken all of the feedback seriously and are tracking all of the issues.
Mark,
I'm with you on that one. Just who do they think they are....Oppo? :)
post #82 of 247
I had also trouble, the installer would say that it canot find the DF.
you have to manually uninstall the USB driver for it and then force it to reinstall properly.
I'm not talking about the soft but really the driver.

It worked for me ...
post #83 of 247
I took it out of my rack and used another PC and it worked right away. I am not sure what the issue was but I found a solution. The picture is nice and sharp now that the combing is gone. Mark do you notice that video with low average picture level can look dull? I think the gamma of 1.0 is wrong. I also have an HD2K and have switched back and forth with the JVC scaler and it does not have that problem.
post #84 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mauricef
I took it out of my rack and used another PC and it worked right away. I am not sure what the issue was but I found a solution. The picture is nice and sharp now that the combing is gone. Mark do you notice that video with low average picture level can look dull? I think the gamma of 1.0 is wrong. I also have an HD2K and have switched back and forth with the JVC scaler and it does not have that problem.
Glad to hear that you've got 1.08 up and running. It did seem like the black level was elevated and low IRE detail was lost with the DF and HD-A! combo (via HDMI), but I haven't seen that problem with either the SA-8300HD (cable HD DVR - also using HDMI) or the Samsung BD player (via component and using a 1.0 gamma). I'm going to go back and check through the settings this weekend to see if I can fix the problem.

Can you give me your setup details? What are your brightness, contrast, gamma, black level settings and also what sources are you using? Also, if you're using component on the HD-A1, the enhanced black setting will work so you'll need to get that set right. Also, are you using the Faroudja 1010 before the DF and is it a factory calibration or did William Phelps calibrate it?
post #85 of 247
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Petersen
Hi Madshi, yes they are definitely humping on getting things sorted out. When I told them about the fan noise, they said they were aware of the problem and were looking into a solution for it. The problem is that the Realta runs really, really hot (like 76C - which is on a par with an Intel Prescott... ugh!). So I assume any solution will require something along the lines of a huge Zalman copper heatsink which won't work with such a small form factor. I'm still toying around the idea of retrofitting my Zalman Reserator liquid cooling unit to it.
The main issue with cooling Realta isnt the size of the heatsink but the volume of air in the enclosure. The enclosure needs to be larger than 1RU sized to allow for significant volume of air above the heatsink for proper convection to occur.

If you ever get a chance to pop open a Denon 5910 :) you will find a quite reasonably sized heat sink in there.

BTW Realta consumes about 10 Watts max - much less than the 90+ Watts of a Prescott processor!

Andy K.
ASIC Design Engineer
Silicon Optix, Inc.
post #86 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp
The main issue with cooling Realta isnt the size of the heatsink but the volume of air in the enclosure. The enclosure needs to be larger than 1RU sized to allow for significant volume of air above the heatsink for proper convection to occur.

If you ever get a chance to pop open a Denon 5910 :) you will find a quite reasonably sized heat sink in there.

BTW Realta consumes about 10 Watts max - much less than the 90+ Watts of a Prescott processor!

Andy K.
ASIC Design Engineer
Silicon Optix, Inc.
Andy, it's good to know that while the temp is up there with a Prescott the heat load is a lot less. What's the max temp rating on the Realta? I've been seeing transient temperatures up to 84C. Should I be worried? The volume of the DF enclosure is small, but it is well ventilated (both the top and bottom), so convection should be even better than a larger sealed enclosure . At "only" 10W it seems like the Realta would be a good candidate for fanless heat pipes (or bigger heat sinks with slower fans :) )

Speaking of Prescott's, I lost a 3.2Ghz Prescott in my HTPC that I assume was due to overheating. It wasn't overclocked and it used the stock fan but processor loading peaked at close to 100% running ffdshow. I watched the temp spike at times and figured it was designed to run at those temperatures but then it stopped working. When I replaced it, I installed a higher capacity Zalman fan to cool it better and it's been fine since. I really don't want to go through this same exercise with the Realta.

Because of this, I went to Fry's yesterday and picked up a large 120mm 3 postion Antec DC fan. I jury rigged it to a variable AC/DC transformer and simply rest it above the case so that it blows air down directly on top of the Realta. On the quiet low setting (25 dba @ 1200 rpm), it dropped the Realta temperature about 10C which was enough to keep the Realta fan from going into the noisy "turbo" mode. It's not an elegant solution, but it is non-invasive and the sound is quite a bit better now. To put it into perspective though, the Realta fan is still quite a bit louder than the 120mm fan. At some point it would be nice to see the Realta go fanless and at only 10W there doesn't seem to be a compelling reason not to.
post #87 of 247
from someone who knows very little about the internal architecture of a video processor, it occurs to me that if they could have placed the Realta more towards the back of the unit and then mounted it to an external heat sink [similar to the way they do with amplifiers], they may not have needed a fan at all. I can only believe that they thought of this and for some reason beyond my understanding, decided against it.
post #88 of 247
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by javry
from someone who knows very little about the internal architecture of a video processor, it occurs to me that if they could have placed the Realta more towards the back of the unit and then mounted it to an external heat sink [similar to the way they do with amplifiers], they may not have needed a fan at all. I can only believe that they thought of this and for some reason beyond my understanding, decided against it.
This is a typical OEM integration snafu. From the correspondence we've had, Algolith went with the SO spec'ed fan/heatsink combo, but SO is unable to spec something that bolts to a case because they just provide a reference design that has to work with everyones enclosure.

The fan and heatsink combo in the DF is similar to what is found on a Northbridge chipset cooler or Video card (small, high-rpm and noisy). The good news is that there are a lot of high quality fans and heat sinks on the market that address these shortcomings although they can be kind of pricey for what they do. The bad news though is that the short height of the DF excludes a lot of these solutions. For example, if the case were 1/2" or so taller this would be a great solution @ only 18 dba:

http://www.coolerguys.com/840556026433.html
post #89 of 247
Here are some more thoughts about the Dragonfly in no particular order. I have tested with the following equipment:

Displays:
JVC HD2K
56†Samsung (Kirk Model) 720P DLP RPTV
32†Sony XBR Bravia LCD TV

If I get bored I may try some other displays I have.

Sources:
Denon 2900 DVD (component)
Panasonic XP50 DVD for 480i & 480P (component)
Toshiba XA1 HDDVD (component & HDMI)
Samsung BluRay (component HDMI won’t work)
Time Warner HD cable (component)
Pioneer LaserDisc (s-video)
Door and security cams (composite)

• S-video does not really work right now. The menus are unstable and are barely readable. The aspect ratio control does not seem to have a proper zoom the fill a 16:9 screen.
• Component input is incredibly sharp. It puts the JVC/Faroudja scaler to shame. I guess it is a combination of true per pixel processing, true 1080i deinterlacing, and HVQ but the detail is amazing. Before there was a noticeable difference between HDMI and component now they both look equally sharp to me.
• Blacks seem to crush on some material making for a sometimes flat picture. The unit either needs user gamma or some other control to address this. I did not experience this with the JVC scaler. It does not seem as bad to me now maybe I am adjusting to it.
• I saw the halo effect Mark mentioned. I was watching the “Beauty of Japan†DTheater demo tape and the during the helicopter flight across the grand canyon the shadow on the ground of the helicopter had a glowing halo.
• Version 1.08 seems to have fixed a stutter in the picture during a pan of the rock garden at the beginning of “Beauty of Japan†tape. This tape has never looked better. If you have access to this it contains some of the most amazing HD I have ever seem. Seeing it for the first time in true 1080p on the HD2K was eye opening on how much I was missing with the JVC scaler. It looked as good as I remember it did on the Qualia 006 via Firewire.
• Still too many UI bugs and things that are not fully implemented to really be called a shipping product. I guess we are beta testers. I am tempted to check out the CrystalIO 3800.
• Their default values are amazingly spot-on for all the sources I have tried. The most I have had to move the settings was a notch or two on any of the settings.
• The unit needs to store different settings based on input resolution. This would allow people switching video sources through a prepro to not have to manually tweak the settings every time the source changes.
post #90 of 247
Thread Starter 
Good feedback Mauricef. One note about the black level. I see a lot of black crush on the HD-A1 via HDMI so I use a black level setting of 0 (normally it's 7.5 IRE) and then I set the black level end point at ~49. This helps me to get back shadow detail and also have a good reference black. On the SA8300HD I use a 7.5 IRE black level and a black level setting of 53 to get a good balance between reference black level, shadow detail and "pop". Don't ask me how all the levels are getting mapped and remapped - I just know these settings work the best for me. Yeah 1080p is an amazing sight!
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