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FleaHDMI - Time to iron out the facts? - Page 3

post #61 of 272
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Here is a link to some pictures taken from Headline News on DirecTV.

http://hdpics.aaronwt.com/FLEAHDMI/

I've been noticing that the device crushes blacks and reduces the overall brightness drastically. Is there a fix in the pipeline for this phenomenon?
post #62 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colmino View Post

I've been noticing that the device crushes blacks and reduces the overall brightness drastically. Is there a fix in the pipeline for this phenomenon?

I was under the impression that the Flea has no effect on brightness or contrast. These pictures seem to indicate otherwise.

If you use a Flea and have a properly calibrated display, you may have to calibrate it again.
post #63 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colmino View Post

I've been noticing that the device crushes blacks and reduces the overall brightness drastically. Is there a fix in the pipeline for this phenomenon?

are you basing this on first hand experience, or solely on the posted photos?
post #64 of 272
The darknes in the picture is from the camera. Although the FLEA did crush the blacks when I had an RGB input, but that might also be the source since the FLEA has problems with the Comcast HD bos with DVI. Non RGB colorspace inputs seem to have the similar brightness and contrast as the input. Not sure if the firmware makes a difference either. i am in need of a calibration after adding the VP50 and the FLEA to my setup. But I need to wait until I decide if I'm going to get one of the new Samsung LED DLP sets. Also I need to wait for an updated firmware for the VP50. Plus my bulb has probably darkened since my last calibration.
post #65 of 272
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icon Smith View Post

are you basing this on first hand experience, or solely on the posted photos?

On the photos. Considering there are two separate people who have posted A/B images in this thread, and the phenomenon rears its head in both cases, I don't feel this is an unreasonable conclusion. If it's the camera, then cameras must be inexplicably succeptible to brightness degradation when taking photos of Flea-modified video.

Firsthand experience will come after I have determined that this problem is something that would not happen to me.
post #66 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colmino View Post

On the photos. Considering there are two separate people who have posted A/B images in this thread, and the phenomenon rears its head in both cases, I don't feel this is an unreasonable conclusion. If it's the camera, then cameras must be inexplicably succeptible to brightness degradation when taking photos of Flea-modified video.

Firsthand experience will come after I have determined that this problem is something that would not happen to me.

If I understand it correctly, the pictures show the Flea displaying a split screen with and without Flea processing. If that's true, I don't see how a camera can be at fault. It seems the Flea does more than just reduce mosquito noise.
post #67 of 272
On my pictures I'm using a DLP. You need to be centered for the pictures to come out right with a tripod preferably. On those pictures it wasn't centered on the screen or on a tripod since I was just taking some quick pics. I guess I need to find my tripod and take the pictures the proper way to see how those turn out. I also had my settings at the default at the time. I've been playing around with them and the default settings seem to be a little agressive for me. I've been messing around with changing them, but it's kind of a pain until Aloglith comes out with their remote control for the Flea in a few weeks. Plus with all the changes I've made to my system and the wear on my bulb since my last calibration, my picture right now is not the best it's been. I want to test out the black Level with the FLEA when Digital Video Essentials is released at the end of the month for HD DVD. Unless I can get the test patterns again from HDNet. I lost them when I reimaged all my drives with my HR10-250 boxes.
Either way from my experience it crushed the blacks when it was fed an RGB input. I don't know if that is normal or not. I need to email Algolith support to find out
post #68 of 272
Thread Starter 
Let us know what you discover. ;p I've been reading that it can be difficult to establish contact with Algolith. I'd be particularly interested in seeing whether or not the HDMI-specific Flea exhibits this same darkening and crushing of blacks. It would be difficult to recommend the Flea in such a state to my parents. $1000 to trade one artifact for another.
post #69 of 272
I had no problems at all contacting them.
I recorded the HDnet test pattern Sunday and going by that it is passing BTB. When I disconnect the FLEA and bypass that and the VP50 my picture has the same shadow detail. It doesn't look like as much shadow detail as it used to after my last calibration but it's been a while since my last calibration. I won't get another one until Summer and that wil be either with my current set or a new one If I decide to do that.

I still need to get an email out to the person I contacted at Algolith to ask him about these things with the FLEA. But overall, I am satisfied with it. It does clean up the OT HD signals alot and that is what I bought the FLEA for. I just wish it woked better with the HDMI switches since it won't work with teh cascaded ports of the 5 x 1 Monoprice switcher and wouldn't work with any of the ports on the ConeectGear 4 port switch. The VP50 and denon 3806 have no problems with any of those switchers. So I just ended up purchasing a 3x1 Monoprice switch taht should work since those go straight to the output. on the 5x1 monoprice switch there are two HDMI chips. Each chip has 3 inputs. the first chip is on ports 1,2, and 3. The second chip has ports 4 and 5 and teh output of the first chip. Those fist 3 ports output to that second chip before going to the Switch output. For some reason the FLEA won't sync. So the 3 port Switch only has one chip so it should work with that. Hopefully I'll get it tomorrow.
post #70 of 272
Contact Hanna van Beekum with Algolith at hvanbeekum@algolith.com and I bet she can either answer your questions, or find somebody that can.
post #71 of 272
The Flea, like every other video component, may introduce some slight changes to the back or white levels of the overall chain.

These can be very simply corrected by adjusting the appropriate control on the display. Black crushing is an artefact due to incorrect calibration of the full component chain. The content is not clipped and so simple adjustment of the display is required if a dimming is noticed.

This is no different to the process you should go through if you add a new DVD player or any other component in to the video chain.

Anthony - who has posted several times on this thread - is the person at Algolith you need to speak to if you have any issues. There should be no difficulty doing so as his email is right there in his postings.

Neil
post #72 of 272
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceenhad View Post

The Flea, like every other video component, may introduce some slight changes to the back or white levels of the overall chain.

Sounds like a that-was-then, this-is-now scenario. When one considers that the difference in perceptible quality between component/RGB and DVI/HDMI video is practically inconsequential (for now), it could truly be argued that one of the main points behind digital video is the ability to circumvent inexplicable, sweeping alterations to the image, such as brightening, darkening, or crushing.

I am not too surprised at seeing such a deal-breaking artifact being introduced by the analog version of the Flea. Standalone VPs in general have always seemed, to me, to be too firmly situated in the realm of the kludgy. But it would be nothing less than disappointing to determine that the problem persists with the purely digital version of the Flea.

I hesitate to make direct inquiries to Algolith representatives, as the visual examples given on their own webpage are conspicuously idealized and yet represented as real-life results.
post #73 of 272
Hi Colmino,

I struggle to see why this would be a deal breaking artefact? In my testing today I had to raise the brightness control on the display (new 1080 Panasonic PJ) by one click to return the system to calibrated levels. No detail was lost, the system simply needed checked with a setup DVD and was back at 100% accurate settings within 3 mins of connecting.

In the ideal world I would agree that a signal being processed in the digital domain would not be changed but I believe such a small change is no price to pay for the benefit of the noise reduction.

Have you tested a Flea yet? I assume not as you would have noted that the images are not idealised but are a true representation of the real results. Every Flea includes an evaluation DVD to let you see these changes on screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colmino View Post

I hesitate to make direct inquiries to Algolith representatives, as the visual examples given on their own webpage are conspicuously idealized and yet represented as real-life results.

I simply can't understand the attitude dislayed here. Somehow you have come to the conclusion that the images are a falsification and have then projected this on to the staff at Algolith. Have you ever dealt with these people to be able to form such inaccurate conclusions. This very thread includes several comments on the high quality of customer service offered from the company.

I would encourqage you to please find the confidence to contact Algolith or a dealer to arrange a demo. From this you will be able to determine if the Flea is the device for you or not. At that time I and many others will look forward to hearing how the device performed in your experience rather than how you think the device MAY perform.

Neil
post #74 of 272
I might be wrong here, but IIRC, Algolith added a feature that could enhance contrast in an update recently... something called DRS? Dynamic Range Stretcher?
I am pretty sure it's a feature that can be turned off.
Maybe that explains the change in perceived brightness?
post #75 of 272
This thread is nothing more than virgins writing about sex . Pure conjecture.

These devices are the real deal, the products work as advertised, and nobody can currently touch the level of performance these products bring to the table. Since you want to make accusations of misrepresentation, I look forward to your proof you will surely present. The owners of these products have stated the DLP-derived screenshots are not indicative of actual performance. They are speaking from first-hand experience and observation. The detractors here are talking out their asses.
post #76 of 272
Thread Starter 
Since there seems to be much comment on my assertation of less than strictly real world results, combined I see with no small measure of imperiousness and invective, I'll point to the document which prompted my comments. You may judge to your own hopefully non-biased liking, as I did.

Go to their homepage and open the "What Is Video Noise?" PDF. Witness the three examples of noise reduction presented in said document. Zoom in closely for best results.

1: Mosquito noise. Take a look at the gray background, behind the cobalt-blue pattern. Specifically, look at the polygonal features. In the bottom half of the image, said features include a border which rises vertically on the right-hand side, then cuts sharply to the left and proceeds to the left edge of the image. It is this horizontal border that drew my attention. It has a few steps: A faint grey line at the top, a more prominent graying further down, a dark brown line beneath that, and finally, another faint grey line well below the rest. Now, this final grey line is the target. Specifically, the glimpse we see of it nearest to the sharp corner on the right, before it passes behind the cobalt-blue pattern. In the heavily artifacted "original image", there is, to my eyes, no information which could indicate that there should have been a faint grey line. The mosquito noise bordering the cobalt-blue pattern has simply erased its existence. And the same could be said about where the grey line proceeds between the vines of the cobalt-blue pattern (although a non-relevant white arrow obscures one area). Only the leftmost spot would seem to bear any indication of this grey line in the artifacted example.

2: Blocking artifacts. Take a look at the bottom, where the building-prominent skyline meets the sky. The blocking artifacting in the "original image" is so heavy that there is essentially no detail. In the "after" image, somehow the blocking has been vanquished to the point that a good measure of mosquito noise, completely missing from the original image, is now resident.

3: Dynamic noise. The restorative results presented here are over the top, at least to someone with a fair measure of Photoshop / Premiere Pro authoring under his belt.

Examples 1 and 2 appear, to me, more the sort of result one gets very specifically with differences in level of compression. The appearance of minute details (including new compression artifacts) in the "after" images, which were completely missing in the "original" images, cannot, to my mind, be otherwise explained. Example 3 seems very much like what one gets when applying a noise filter to an image within an authoring tool, and turning the noise back off. The actual level of noise in the "original image" is so dramatic that it is frankly absurd to suggest that it could be reduced in realtime to the degree showcased in the "after" image while maintaining such crisp detail.

And that is ultimately my point. To me, all three of these examples are meant merely to serve the purpose of illustrating the three kinds of noise being addressed, along with idealized (for the purposes of illustration) examples of reductions of said noise. My hangup is that without anything to indicate otherwise, the results must be assumed to be intended as real. The apparent fact that similar results (minus the magical conjuring of nonextant details) can be had from these devices - in the cases of mosquito noise and macroblocks - is not relevant to these observations.

Did I feel that these observations deserved anything more than a brief mention in support of other reservations? No, not until my hand was forced. Incidentally, I won't be revisiting this thread. I set out to determine one or two things, such as whether or not the Flea HDMI could handle 24 Hz in any capacity (no, apparently) and whether or not the blackening issue could be avoided (no, apparently), and in spite of it all I do still intend to make a few purchases, albiet solely with broadcast sources in mind.
post #77 of 272
The Flea HDMI handles 1080P24 with the latest firmware. v2.04. This was released at the end of January.

Here is a link to the release notes.

http://www.algolith.com/fileadmin/Ho...8002RN-204.pdf
post #78 of 272
Quote:


I set out to determine one or two things, such as whether or not the Flea HDMI could handle 24 Hz in any capacity (no, apparently) and whether or not the blackening issue could be avoided (no, apparently)

Ummm ...apparently these assumptions are incorrect.
post #79 of 272
You're very welcome. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you any further questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post

Excellent customer service from AVS and Agolith. I've talked with a rep from Algolith a couple of times in the past few days and he worked with me to get things straightened out with the HDMi FLEA. I ended up flashing the FLEA HDMi with the earlier firmware and it is now stable with my setup. When They have a new firmware version available I will try that. The FLEA also wouldn't work with the first three ports of the Monopirce HDMI 5 port switch. I beleive those ports are cascading ports while ports 4 and 5 are not. The FLEA works fine in my setup with ports 4 and 5. Now I just need to get a remote for the HDMI FLEA. It does an excellent job on broadcast HD and SD. I am very pleased with it so far. It was so frustrating the first night I had with the unit.
I want to thank AVS and Algolith again for their excellent customer service.
post #80 of 272
Colmino,

You're questions have been answered in the PM you sent me. Please copy it on to this thread.

Regards,

AnthonyM
Algolith Inc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Colmino View Post

I was on the verge of recommending this device for my parents' system. However... I can't find anything concrete on the Flea's ability to deal with 24 Hz video.

You see, when it comes to high-definition and 24 Hz, it turns out the best solution is to let the BD (and/or HD, once Toshiba's gets updated) player take care of outputting the video at 24 Hz since this is how the movies are stored on the discs. Obviously, this means that there is no stage at which the video is some iteration of 60 Hz, and as far as I can tell, 60 Hz (or PAL) is all the Flea HDMI can handle.

Would love to see some up to date info on this. Obviously, there should be absolutely nothing keeping the Flea HDMI from handling 1080p24 if it can handle 1080i60 which is a higher bandwidth rate.
post #81 of 272
There are no differences in the brightness or contrast with The Flea. We address noise and increase detail with our detail enhancement. Taking pictures with a camera is probably the issue here.

Kind regards,

Anthony M
Algolith Inc.
Sales Channel and Tech Support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Boden View Post

I was under the impression that the Flea has no effect on brightness or contrast. These pictures seem to indicate otherwise.

If you use a Flea and have a properly calibrated display, you may have to calibrate it again.
post #82 of 272
Please contact Anthony at amerakian@algolith.com
Hanna does not do technical support, I do.

Kind regards,

Anthony M
Algolith Inc.
Sales Channel and Technical Support

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icon Smith View Post

Contact Hanna van Beekum with Algolith at hvanbeekum@algolith.com and I bet she can either answer your questions, or find somebody that can.
post #83 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Algolith Support View Post

There are no differences in the brightness or contrast with The Flea. We address noise and increase detail with our detail enhancement. Taking pictures with a camera is probably the issue here.

Kind regards,

Anthony M
Algolith Inc.
Sales Channel and Tech Support.

I'm not sure if this thread is still active, but I thought I'd comment on this statement. I recently purchased a Flea HDMI and after testing have discovered that it fails below black with both RGB and 444YCbCr and appears to expand to PC levels with RGB. 422 YCbCr to the unit is the only way to obtain proper video levels. This is similar behavior to the Toshiba HD DVD players (SI chip hardware bug). I would assume this isn't correctable via firmware.

Therefore, if your source/display is utilizing RGB (DVI, some HDMI displays/sources) then brightness and contrast settings will most definitely need readjustment. Furthemore, some displays will not be able to properly display PC levels regardless of calibration.

I have no idea whether this is the source of what is seen in the pics though.
post #84 of 272
I just upgraded to software version 2.05 today. There is no change in the behavior outlined above.
post #85 of 272
I see the same thing: below black is totally clipped. I've fired off an e-mail to Algolith, so we'll see what they say.
post #86 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpcat View Post

I just upgraded to software version 2.05 today. There is no change in the behavior outlined above.

there is v 2.05? I just received a new unit back after i sent mine in under warranty. it came with v2.04 but it seems rock solid compared with the one I had before.
I also got the remote for the Flea. That makes it much easier to adjust the settings and to turn it on and off.

edit: I see there is a v2.07 on the website. Now that this new one is working well, I'm afraid to upgrade the firmware and mess something up. I guess i can hold off upgrading it for a while since it is working well with v2.04. Although I see 2.05 provides better compatibility for some cable boxes. That is one thing I had a problem with on my old unit. On my replacement I only have my S3 TiVo connected to it right now. I didn't connect the Scientific Atlanta box.

edit. v2.07 was just released today.
post #87 of 272
According to the release notes, 2.07 just improves compatibility with HDMI 1.3 displays -- nothing earth-shattering for Luddites like myself struggling along with HDMI 1.1.

Anyone else notice how prominent the Flea is on their Web site now? It's on the splash page and is the most prominent product under Home Theater on the home page. I think they must be selling extremely well.
post #88 of 272
I'm sure I'll try V2.07. Unfortuntately, the below black clipping/expansion to PC levels is a hardware issue assuming the situation is similar to what occurred with the HDDVD players. Seems like I remember some of the BlueRAy players were effected as well but I'm not sure.

422 YCbCr is the key to getting the proper levels with this bug. I'd suspect the Pio elite BD player would do it for both BD and DVD via 480i HDMI. The Oppo 970 I use only will do RGB and 444YCbCr.

I don't know of any Sat boxes that do 422. Both of mine do RGB (one via DVI and the other HDMI RGB).

The new Samsung 260 OTA tuner I have does 444 not 422 over HDMI.
post #89 of 272
Quick question, if you will.


I plan on using the Flea HDMI, but I have HD channels and a HD-box.

Someone brought up a good point in the receivers thread. I plan on getting a HK 745 receiver, which does 720p and 1080i up converting via DCDi.


Am I supposed to downscale the HD images to 480i, pass that through the Flea, then use the receiver for up converting?

HD cable box @ 1080i > downscaled to 480i > send 480i signal through Flea > into 745 receiver for up converting @ 1080i > finally, to my TV


Would this be right?
post #90 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by UWisconsin97 View Post

I plan on using the Flea HDMI, but I have HD channels and a HD-box.

Am I supposed to downscale the HD images to 480i, pass that through the Flea, then use the receiver for up converting?

HD cable box @ 1080i > downscaled to 480i > send 480i signal through Flea > into 745 receiver for up converting @ 1080i > finally, to my TV

I recently pulled mine out of my system (due to 24P issues with my particular Blu-ray player), however this is how I did it:
LD, DVD, HD-DVD, etc > into 4806CI receiver (all signals upconverted if needed by receiver to 1080i) > into Flea @1080i > into JVC RS1 (projector). While it may be less than optimal (from the Flea's standpoint), the Flea does support 1080i and I get the convenience of using my receiver for the switching.

Larry
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