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What is least expensive Vertical Stretch scaler with HDMI ?

post #1 of 259
Thread Starter 
Curious as to what the current value leader would be regarding a Vertical Stretch capable scaler with HDMI in/out .

- Thanks ,
-- Jason
post #2 of 259
I think the Lumagen DVI ($1000) or Lumagen HDP at the $1200 mark brand new are the current value leaders. They have DVI connectors but accept DVI or HDMI inputs/outputs (444 or 422 component). The HDP offers up to 1080p output and true 1080i deinterlacing (DVI is limited to 720p/1080i output max).

The DVDO Iscan HD+ is the bare minimum I believe at $600-$800 (used though) with DVI. The newer DVDO scalers with HDMI (VP20, VP30, and VP50) start at $1600-$3000 respectively.

Mike
post #3 of 259
You should also consider the Key Digital HDMI 4X1 switcher/scaler. I got mine this week and literally in less than a few minutes I was vertically stretching 1080i from my Toshiba XA2 HD-DVD and downscaling to my Sony Cineza HS-51A PJ at its native 720P panel size! Sweet price at $599 brand new! It may not have all the bells and whistles of other higher end scalers but when it come to simply vertically stretching the image it gets the job done.

Here is a link to the Power Buy (not sure how may are left at this point either)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=790055
post #4 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrobinson2000 View Post

You should also consider the Key Digital HDMI 4X1 switcher/scaler. I got mine this week and literally in less than a few minutes I was vertically stretching 1080i from my Toshiba XA2 HD-DVD and downscaling to my Sony Cineza HS-51A PJ at its native 720P panel size! Sweet price at $599 brand new! It may not have all the bells and whistles of other higher end scalers but when it come to simply vertically stretching the image it gets the job done.

Here is a link to the Power Buy (not sure how may are left at this point either)

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=790055


Sounds like a good, low cost, add-on to the JVC RS-1, if it doesn't ship with 2.35 stretch.
post #5 of 259
Thread Starter 
Thank you both very much for the input .

That Key Digital unit sounds like it would be perfect for my basic needs ( I just so happen to require a switcher too ) .

----- Jason
post #6 of 259
I was like ooohhh also - but do note it doesn't accept 1080p input or have a passthrough mode, so if you are wanting to pump through 24p and the like from an HD player...

Though, if you have a good processor in your PJ ( RS1 ) you could fire through 1080i?

It's odd though - says it takes only 1080i in but outputs 1080p

See http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9644728

Either way - very nice device for the $$ on the powerbuy.
post #7 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishysan View Post

I was like ooohhh also - but do note it doesn't accept 1080p input or have a passthrough mode, so if you are wanting to pump through 24p and the like from an HD player...

Though, if you have a good processor in your PJ ( RS1 ) you could fire through 1080i?

It's odd though - says it takes only 1080i in but outputs 1080p

See http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9644728

Either way - very nice device for the $$ on the powerbuy.

I too was initially concerned with the lack of 1080p input but considering that my main motivation was to vertically stretch for low cost, then having the scaler de-interlace a 1080i input wasn't such a big deal since I was still getting the advantage of the increased resolution that 1080 provides anyway. When I do upgrade to a native 1080p PJ (someday) then I'm glad that this unit does output 1080p since my projector won't have to de-interlace then (and I'm hoping that this unit does a better job of de-interlacing anyway). From what I found the only way to get 1080p input was to spend twice as much and I couldn't justify the price of what I think is something that you won't even notice in the picture (there are many other threads out there discussing the virtues of 1080p vs 1080i so you may want to verify my assumptions here).

One other note though is that I have not quite settled on a plan if I leave my horizontal expansion lens (HE) lens in place and view 16:9 content (from my cablebox lets say). I think this is what's considered "Panamorph II mode" where the picture is squeezed horizontally so that if an HE lens is still in place then it re-stretches the squeezed picture so that 16:9 content is displayed within the 2.35:1 screen (black PJ bars on the left and right). At the moment (haven't had time to really try out more options) I don't see this as a function of the Key Digital scaler (the horizontal stretch that is). The only downside here is that the lens would therefore need to be removed when watching 16:9 content (unless you like watching short fat people). Now thats not too bad since there are those who say thats what you *should* be removing the lens anyway for 16:9 content to maximize the PJ panel output, etc...

[EDIT]

I just checked and indeed the scaler supports "Pillarbox" mode which is exactly what you need to watch 16:9 content (w/o moving the lens). So now, I'm happy to say that I can leave the lens in place and with a few clicks of the scaler remote switch between 16:9 and 2.35:1 content with ease! Nice!
post #8 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris1971 View Post

Sounds like a good, low cost, add-on to the JVC RS-1, if it doesn't ship with 2.35 stretch.

It doesn't support passthrough, all signal goes through the processor and as a result it won't accept 1080p, not good for bluray or PS3.
post #9 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul View Post

It doesn't support passthrough, all signal goes through the processor and as a result it won't accept 1080p, not good for bluray or PS3.

I believe the PS3 (as well as all BD players) can be selected to output 1080i as its container for the 24P signal - shouldn't be an issue. It makes no sense to market players that cannot output 1080i as the vast majority of HDTV sets currently do not support 1080P on their inputs.

as an aside HD DVD is also 1080p24 on disc - it uses 1080i as its container.

ted
post #10 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul View Post

It doesn't support passthrough, all signal goes through the processor and as a result it won't accept 1080p, not good for bluray or PS3.

Good point. I of course only have the Toshiba (not Bluray) so I didnt check that. Curious, the Bluray players dont also output 1080i?
post #11 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvted View Post

I believe the PS3 (as well as all BD players) can be selected to output 1080i as its container for the 24P signal - shouldn't be an issue. It makes no sense to market players that cannot output 1080i as the vast majority of HDTV sets currently do not support 1080P on their inputs.

as an aside HD DVD is also 1080p24 on disc - it uses 1080i as its container.

ted

Ted,

Thanks for the confirmation. I share your opinion on 1080i vs 1080p. So it would appear that this little scaler *will* work with PS3 and Bluray without no noticable degradation of quality. Cool.

Rob
post #12 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrobinson2000 View Post

I too was initially concerned with the lack of 1080p input but considering that my main motivation was to vertically stretch for low cost, then having the scaler de-interlace a 1080i input wasn't such a big deal since I was still getting the advantage of the increased resolution that 1080 provides anyway. When I do upgrade to a native 1080p PJ (someday) then I'm glad that this unit does output 1080p since my projector won't have to de-interlace then (and I'm hoping that this unit does a better job of de-interlacing anyway). From what I found the only way to get 1080p input was to spend twice as much and I couldn't justify the price of what I think is something that you won't even notice in the picture (there are many other threads out there discussing the virtues of 1080p vs 1080i so you may want to verify my assumptions here).

One other note though is that I have not quite settled on a plan if I leave my horizontal expansion lens (HE) lens in place and view 16:9 content (from my cablebox lets say). I think this is what's considered "Panamorph II mode" where the picture is squeezed horizontally so that if an HE lens is still in place then it re-stretches the squeezed picture so that 16:9 content is displayed within the 2.35:1 screen (black PJ bars on the left and right). At the moment (haven't had time to really try out more options) I don't see this as a function of the Key Digital scaler (the horizontal stretch that is). The only downside here is that the lens would therefore need to be removed when watching 16:9 content (unless you like watching short fat people). Now thats not too bad since there are those who say thats what you *should* be removing the lens anyway for 16:9 content to maximize the PJ panel output, etc...

[EDIT]

I just checked and indeed the scaler supports "Pillarbox" mode which is exactly what you need to watch 16:9 content (w/o moving the lens). So now, I'm happy to say that I can leave the lens in place and with a few clicks of the scaler remote switch between 16:9 and 2.35:1 content with ease! Nice!

Good news. Where are the docs? I was looking for an online PDF, I'd like to do this too.

R-S
post #13 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoul View Post

Good news. Where are the docs? I was looking for an online PDF, I'd like to do this too.

R-S

http://www.keydigital.com/documents/...Manual_000.pdf
post #14 of 259
The PS3 can auto detect the resolution of your display or you can set it manually. Anything from 480i-1080p.
post #15 of 259
I have a strong preference to let the JVC do all the deinterlacing and have the key digital just handle the squeeze part. Now, question is, my cable box passes 480i/720p/1080i to my HD+ right now, and it does the scaling and outputs to 1440x788. Can I get this key digital box to pass the 720P signal to the projector only having squeezed and pillarboxed the image as well as pass 1080i to the projector when the cable box outputs 1080i?
post #16 of 259
The manual lists a pass through mode where the resolution is not changed. Perhaps the vertical stretch will work with pass through mode to give you what you describe. I for one hope so.

Allen
post #17 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post

The manual lists a pass through mode where the resolution is not changed. Perhaps the vertical stretch will work with pass through mode to give you what you describe. I for one hope so.

Allen

Its been reported that the pass-thru mode (although documented in the manual) is not available for this scaler. That being said I'm not sure how I would know that its not working since I use 1080i from my cablebox and have had the scaler output 1080i to the PJ with no problems (does this mean pass-thru?). I was also able to vertically stretch the 1080i signal no problem with this setup (as well as horizontal squeeze).

What I think the scaler does *not* do though is what I think raoul was asking and that is does the scaler allow for "autosensing" multiple input resolutions on the same source input, and then perform the proper scaling to output a constant resolution to the PJ. For me this wasnt an issue since I had the cablebox as source #1 (1080i) and the HD-DVD as source #2 (1080i).
post #18 of 259
I think the only report I saw said it would not pass through 1080P. The manual indicates it does pass through (Of course the manual could be wrong as you said). I think Raoul wants the scaler to pass through the already scalled signal from his cable box to the display.

I know nothing other than what I have read to be sure.

Allen
post #19 of 259
If you read the links provided, you'll see passthrough of 1080p would not work.
post #20 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDLIVE View Post

If you read the links provided, you'll see passthrough of 1080p would not work.

I think I agreed with that. The question is will it use passthrough for 720P and 1080i.

Allen
post #21 of 259
I think Key Digital could make a simple HDMI IN/OUT box that would take the native signal and apply a vertical stretch to the image and then pass the native signal on. I would think a box like that would not be all that expensive.
post #22 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by A/Vspec View Post

I think Key Digital could make a simple HDMI IN/OUT box that would take the native signal and apply a vertical stretch to the image and then pass the native signal on. I would think a box like that would not be all that expensive.

That would indeed be awesome! Perhaps to make it more attractive it could basically be an apspect ratio "box" so that it could be useful to others as well - i.e. also does horizontal squeeze, etc... But perhaps stretching and squeezing digitially is not that trivial and you might as well do other things (like scaling) while you are at it? A $199 "box" that could maybe switch two source (most popular for cable and dvd) would be the sweet spot I would think!?
post #23 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post

I think I agreed with that. The question is will it use passthrough for 720P and 1080i.

Allen

Ah, I missed that distinction.
post #24 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrobinson2000 View Post

That would indeed be awesome! Perhaps to make it more attractive it could basically be an apspect ratio "box" so that it could be useful to others as well - i.e. also does horizontal squeeze, etc... But perhaps stretching and squeezing digitially is not that trivial and you might as well do other things (like scaling) while you are at it? A $199 "box" that could maybe switch two source (most popular for cable and dvd) would be the sweet spot I would think!?

I'm getting the RS-1 and would love to have a simple, inexpensive box like that. I will be using mostly high end sources (hd-dvd, blu-ray, 360, PS3) so I don't really need the video scaling aspect, I just need something that can vertically stretch the image. Being able to switch (2) sources would be enough for me also since I would only need to use it with my Blu-Ray and HD-DVD players. Hopefully a manufacturer will step up and provide and inexpensive way of doing this.
post #25 of 259
OK, I have some preliminary test results.

Between a careful reading of the manual and some actual testing on the unit it does appear that there is a pass through mode, which is achieved by setting the output resolution to the same as the input resolution. It appears to work that way, and the manual describes this as the "pass through mode".

It seems that at least a 1080I pass through works fine, and you can then apply the various aspect ratio corrections to the signal.

While I didn't have my lens set up to really look at picture quality, I can say that the addition of the scaler to the chain between my Toshiba HD A1 and my Panny 900 projector had no noticeable effect on the picture quality when set to 1080I in (this happens automatically as it senses the signal) and 1080I out set as the output resolution. (You might suggest using 720P for both, but I have it on 1080I mostly because of the very poor results for 720P output on the HD A1 before the firmware updates. After the updates I could notice no difference between the two settings, so I just left it at 1080I.)

After achieving the apparent pass through, I then experimented with the aspect ratio changes, and they all seemed to work as advertised. I looked mostly at the vertical zoom setting, and it did indeed stretch the picture vertically to fill the screen, and while the picture was now tall and skinny, it did not appear to have any other artifacts.

The next test will add the lens (Panamorph 380) into the mix, and I will give you my observations. If this one test, as well as testing the pillarbox function prove successful, then we will at least have a box that will provide the needed stretch for CIH, regardless of how it handles actually scaling and the many other corrective functions available on the box.

For me, the aspect ratio control alone is worth the price of admission, and any other benefit of the box is gravy.

By the way, it does look like it will pass through 1080P 60, as there is an output resolution selection for that. What is not present is any 1080P 24 support. I have nothing that offers a 1080P output in either 60 or 24 to test with.

Allen
post #26 of 259
Thanks for the report Allen. Keep us updated. This may be the same route that I go with to get vertical stretch for use with the RS-1.
post #27 of 259
Quote:
Originally Posted by acegamer View Post

Thanks for the report Allen. Keep us updated. This may be the same route that I go with to get vertical stretch for use with the RS-1.

I will second that with a big thank you! As I am also looking for a hdmi switch solution along with the needed aspect ratio control for the RS1 this may be the most affordable and efficient way to achieve both.

Thanks,


Glenn
post #28 of 259
Allen,

Another thing to test if possible, hdmi audio. Does the Key Digital switch and pass the hdmi audio as well as the video? Many receivers and switches apparently have issues with hdmi audio. Please keep us informed.
post #29 of 259
According to the manual and the configuration of the device, it will pass anything that is in the HDMI input to the HDMI output, including the audio. It functions as a "true HDMI repeater".

In addition, it has toslink, PCM coax and LR stereo inputs for all 4 inputs. The output has a toslink out, a LR out, and perhaps a PCM coax out. The maual has a glitch in the picture labeling, and I won't be able to check it until tonight. What is not clear is whether it will take a toslink, PCM or LR input and add it to the HDMI out, I would guess probably not.

Testing the audio capabilities will have to wait until I move my Denon 4806 out to the system, as I am using a non-HDMI capable AV receiver presently. Not sure that I wouldn't be using the scaler after the sound is extracted by the AV receiver anyway.

Allen
post #30 of 259
Also jumped on this power buy.

I'll see if I can also help answer some questions with my setup when it arrives next week.

I'm mainly interested in using this scaler as a vertical stretch device for my 720p projector setup (inputing 1080i from either the tosh hd-a1 or xbox 360 player)

I'm using a Yammy HTR-5990 so I'll try a few things with hdmi audio as I will actually need multi-audio output for a setup I'm trying to rig (audio with a dell 24" 1080p + the a/v audio with the Z3 projector). I know I could probably move my 5.1 tosh hd dvd player down for the hdmi input, but I guess I'll have to use the crusty 2 channel HDMI audio output of the ViP622 for now.

Ok, if this chain works, I actually will be able to test a 1080p30 output from the device when it arrives (component output from my xbox360 to yammy a/v, hdmi output to scaler, hdmi-dvi (hdcp compliant too) to my 24" gateway 1080p). Will have to wait till all this nifty new stuff shows up next week, but I'll see if it works.

Just to add some fuel to the fire, why would it have inputs for the hdmi sources and then cancel the ability to use them if there happened to be audio on the hdmi stream? I'm sure you can just disable the use of audio on that hdmi input and substitute any one of the inputs. In that case, though, I bet you would definitely have to use the identical audio output mechanism. At least that's what I am thinking.
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