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Time to crown a new SDI DVD king! - Page 2  

post #31 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave G View Post

Audio is not carried out through SDI. And if you use optical or coax out, audio quality is dependant on your receiver or preamp, not on the transport.

No offense, but this is EXACTLY why I'm so distrustful of people claiming night and day improvements in their setup after a minor upgrade. What does 'sharper black' mean anyway? Edit: Sorry, I realize you probably meant 'sharper image and better blacks'.

We're not suggesting that SDI has anything at all to do with audio. But there are definite differences between SPDIF outputs on different players. The Panasonic players are average at best, but the Philips and especially the Arcam are excellent. My Oppo 970 is somewhere in between.

This isn't really the place for a discussion on why SPDIF signals can sound different across players but this should be really easy for you to A/B test at home, or do some background reading on issues such as Jitter.

The difference between the RP82 and a Philips 963SA could definitely be described as night and day even with my modest audio setup.

Re: SDI - I think the only way you're going to be convinced about this is by having a demo. Do you already have an SDI-capable VP?
post #32 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Well guys, I think the time has come where the Panasonic classics have finally met their match, this illustrious personality is known as the Oppo 981

I have been working on the new Oppo 981 over the past few weeks and I finally got time to set down with it and my DVDO VP50, I checked out what I think are the 2 best SD DVD's ever made, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi

I have never seen a SDI image of this quality, the Oppo 981 is every bit as good as the Panasonic RP82/RP91 and maybe a pinch more, I think the Oppo may have slightly better colors, it is sharp as a tack and clean as a whistle, strikingly so

I compared the HDMI output at 480p into my VP50, which features a amazing Prep process that extracts the original 480i image, comparing this to the SDI 480i image was a riot, a child could see the difference, I checked out the 1080i output and it wasn't much better, the stock Oppo outputs look like **** IMHO

I have to say, the Oppo 981 is NOT a easy SDI mod as was the 971, I never had the pleasure of modding or seeing a 971 Oppo but I hear they were easy, no such luck on the 981, I can say one thing, those that think they can use a moome card or the PMS BT656 kit will be sadly mistaken

please guys, no PM's on the SDI Oppo 981 , I am in fact preparing a special power buy with the AVS forum, I am just so excited about this player that I had to post, I know for sure that a 981 will be in my rack from this day on

-Gary

Hi Gary,

Respectfully, I work for a respected high-end A/V specialty retailer/custom installer and we work with some amazing stuff. I had a customer come in the other day and we got to talking and he mentioned he bought the Oppo 981. He volunteered to bring it in in order to compare it to some of the offerings we have. He did so just a couple days later and we hooked it up via HDMI to a Pioneer Elite Pro-FHD1 1080p plasma. Not wanting to unfairly tilt the scales in favor of something I had, we started the comparison with a Pioneer Elite DV-46A, which retails for $299. All settings were matched so that there would be no obvious reason to suspect one had a built in advantage. To put it simply, the Elite was clearly better, and the customer though surprised, reluctantly agreed. He mentioned how the Oppo was so highly rated and how it passed all the "Secrets of Home Theater" tests and was the proverbial "darling of the internet", and conversely how mass market players like the Elite did not pass all of the tests the Oppo did and basically wondering 'how in the world can it look better?'

And this is something we hear and see all the time. When one does all of their research online without doing any comparative analysis, there is no basis of comparison that can be definitively stated to give that opinion true weight. At our store, before we declare something 'the best', we do a 'shoot-out' with products in that competing category. In other words, we'll stack up 4 or 5 DVD players, play the same clips via the same connection and try and come to a consensus. Under such matched conditions, such concensus is usually easily and quickly achieved.

I say all this not to deflate your enthusiasm, which is great and I enjoy reading your posts. I say it because we see examples all the time where something is the internet 'flavor of the week', but under scrutiny compared to other products with greater R&D resources or a more talented team of engineers, these products often show their limitations as was the case with my customer and his Oppo 981.

Further, there are a half-dozen players we carry that easily best the Elite DV-46A, though I'm sure many of them did not pass with flying colors the 'Secrets' tests. Which merely says that in electronics, skimping on the power supply, the chassis integrity, etc. can allow a player such as the Oppo to be handily bested by a well built machine whose design choices were made by engineers employing a wholistic approach to their designs and not worrying that in one test or another it may not be "the best". The proof is always on the screen.

I realize you are speaking of a modded 981, but I can't help but wonder what such modifications would do to a player that starts out life looking so much better?

I sincerely hope this did not come off condescending or like a lecture, as that was not my intention. I know us sales guys are sometimes regarded as 'the enemy' in these forums, but please consider that at least in my case, I CHOSE to make working with audio and video components and trying to use my knowledge to help people get fantastic systems my livelhood AS WELL AS an ongoing hobby.

Cheers...................Scott W.
post #33 of 400
Hi Scott
These modest SDI players(like the Pannies, the Oppo and the Philips) aren't really very expensive. You should try and get hold of one and see for yourself. It's what we've done and you can see how enthusiastic we are.

You are right to wonder how the Elite players perform - some are very very good indeed. See this list for what is currently available in SDI.
http://www.jvbdigital.com/jvb.asp?cu...archstring=sdi

The 'Secrets' tests are about torture-testing and video processing than anything else. Here in the VP forum we tend to bypass all the processing in the players and do it in standalone devices (Gary's using his DVDO VP50 and I'm using a Crystalio II, many others use the Lumagens). So this makes the upscaling nature of the players pretty redundant. Bear that in mind when you post about experiences of directly connecting DVD players to displays.

We look for good MPEG decoder chips which lack any CUE issues. Then most of us look for a good 'value' player. Basically these $500 players we've got can compete with anything at any price - you just have to have good off-board processing available.
post #34 of 400
I do not. I'm on the preorder list for the radiance, and I guess at some point I'll be figuring out if I want to spend a little extra and get the sdi->hdmi box promised by lumagen. You're right a demo is probably the only thing that'll convince me I'm not that much of a tweaker/always looking to push the envelope/upgrader etc BUT I am sensitive to ringing, and according to Gary SDI seems to be the cure for that so...

As for SPDIF... yeah let's not go there. Let's just say I'm beyond skeptical of these claims. Jitter shmitter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingtimes View Post

We're not suggesting that SDI has anything at all to do with audio. But there are definite differences between SPDIF outputs on different players. The Panasonic players are average at best, but the Philips and especially the Arcam are excellent. My Oppo 970 is somewhere in between.

This isn't really the place for a discussion on why SPDIF signals can sound different across players but this should be really easy for you to A/B test at home, or do some background reading on issues such as Jitter.

The difference between the RP82 and a Philips 963SA could definitely be described as night and day even with my modest audio setup.

Re: SDI - I think the only way you're going to be convinced about this is by having a demo. Do you already have an SDI-capable VP?
post #35 of 400
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Wallace View Post

Hi Gary,

Respectfully, I work for a respected high-end A/V specialty retailer/custom installer and we work with some amazing stuff. I had a customer come in the other day and we got to talking and he mentioned he bought the Oppo 981. He volunteered to bring it in in order to compare it to some of the offerings we have. He did so just a couple days later and we hooked it up via HDMI to a Pioneer Elite Pro-FHD1 1080p plasma. Not wanting to unfairly tilt the scales in favor of something I had, we started the comparison with a Pioneer Elite DV-46A, which retails for $299. All settings were matched so that there would be no obvious reason to suspect one had a built in advantage. To put it simply, the Elite was clearly better, and the customer though surprised, reluctantly agreed. He mentioned how the Oppo was so highly rated and how it passed all the "Secrets of Home Theater" tests and was the proverbial "darling of the internet", and conversely how mass market players like the Elite did not pass all of the tests the Oppo did and basically wondering 'how in the world can it look better?'

And this is something we hear and see all the time. When one does all of their research online without doing any comparative analysis, there is no basis of comparison that can be definitively stated to give that opinion true weight. At our store, before we declare something 'the best', we do a 'shoot-out' with products in that competing category. In other words, we'll stack up 4 or 5 DVD players, play the same clips via the same connection and try and come to a consensus. Under such matched conditions, such concensus is usually easily and quickly achieved.

I say all this not to deflate your enthusiasm, which is great and I enjoy reading your posts. I say it because we see examples all the time where something is the internet 'flavor of the week', but under scrutiny compared to other products with greater R&D resources or a more talented team of engineers, these products often show their limitations as was the case with my customer and his Oppo 981.

Further, there are a half-dozen players we carry that easily best the Elite DV-46A, though I'm sure many of them did not pass with flying colors the 'Secrets' tests. Which merely says that in electronics, skimping on the power supply, the chassis integrity, etc. can allow a player such as the Oppo to be handily bested by a well built machine whose design choices were made by engineers employing a wholistic approach to their designs and not worrying that in one test or another it may not be "the best". The proof is always on the screen.

I realize you are speaking of a modded 981, but I can't help but wonder what such modifications would do to a player that starts out life looking so much better?

I sincerely hope this did not come off condescending or like a lecture, as that was not my intention. I know us sales guys are sometimes regarded as 'the enemy' in these forums, but please consider that at least in my case, I CHOSE to make working with audio and video components and trying to use my knowledge to help people get fantastic systems my livelhood AS WELL AS an ongoing hobby.

Cheers...................Scott W.

Scott I agree 100%, the stock Oppo 981 outputs are not all that hot, however what is hot inside the 981 is the mediatek decoder and a direct untouched SDI output from that is what is so good, totally different ball game, Pioneer on the other hand has had decoder problems for years, chroma bug and all, and I mean bad, the 45a is in that boat:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...%20EliteDV-45A

before when I spoke of a child being able to see the differences I was speaking of comparing the stock Oppo 981 outputs vs the SDI output, they are not even close

the Oppo does represent a great value in that it could feed your main HT with amazing SDI and another much less important bedroom or etc. setup with 1080i, 1080p or 720p via HDMI

the Oppo also handles any region in the world and offers direct native PAL and NTSC via even SDI

-Gary
post #36 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Scott I agree 100%, the stock Oppo 981 outputs are not all that hot, however what is hot inside the 981 is the mediatek decoder and a direct untouched SDI output from that is what is so good, totally different ball game, Pioneer on the other hand has had decoder problems for years, chroma bug and all, and I mean bad, the 45a is in that boat:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...%20EliteDV-45A

before when I spoke of a child being able to see the differences I was speaking of comparing the stock Oppo 981 outputs vs the SDI output, they are not even close

the Oppo does represent a great value in that it could feed your main HT with amazing SDI and another much less important bedroom or etc. setup with 1080i, 1080p or 720p via HDMI

the Oppo also handles any region in the world and offers direct native PAL and NTSC via even SDI

-Gary


I may have missed this, but how was the SDI mod accomplished?

- Rich
post #37 of 400
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

I may have missed this, but how was the SDI mod accomplished?

- Rich

by me doing it

-Gary
post #38 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

by me doing it

-Gary

Will you be providing instructions?
I managed to new OpAmps on my X-FI baord and that was pretty ugly

- Rich
post #39 of 400
Thread Starter 
no instructions at this time, sorry about that dude, down the road maybe

the Oppo 981 is not gonna be a favorite DIY SDI mod, for various reasons not mentioned

-Gary
post #40 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Rich, I will be offering a AVS power buy in the next week or so on pre-modified Oppo 981's,

no instructions at this time, sorry about that dude, down the road maybe

the Oppo 981 is not gonna be a favorite DIY SDI mod, for various reasons not mentioned

-Gary

Ok.

Are you doing this personally or part of some company?

- Rich
post #41 of 400
Thread Starter 
the problem with the 981 for DIY and novice installers is that it uses the BT601 interface, which is pretty darn hard to install on the 981 along with a much higher cost of the PMS SDI board which is 260$ a pop

-Gary
post #42 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave G View Post

I do not. I'm on the preorder list for the radiance, and I guess at some point I'll be figuring out if I want to spend a little extra and get the sdi->hdmi box promised by lumagen. You're right a demo is probably the only thing that'll convince me I'm not that much of a tweaker/always looking to push the envelope/upgrader etc BUT I am sensitive to ringing, and according to Gary SDI seems to be the cure for that so...

As for SPDIF... yeah let's not go there. Let's just say I'm beyond skeptical of these claims. Jitter shmitter.

You may find that the ringing is caused by the poorish scaling in your current devices. In which case the Radiance may well be the cure for that. It will definitely be an improvement.

Just for clarity - the SDI thing isn't like the SPDIF argument.
I know this isn't a comparison with HDMI, but at least it shows how crisp and clean the SDI image is...
http://www.irj-tech.com/index.html
post #43 of 400
Thread Starter 
Yes I think many people misunderstand that SDI is something like "oh well only a slight difference that doesn't matter" nope, much the opposite, SDI is a major upgrade in image quality

thanks a bunch, that is a great link dude

-Gary
post #44 of 400
just to let everyone know, Gary sdi modded a PR91 for me and did a very good job. My particular player was buggy and Gary stuck with it and did the job right.

I would not hesitate to have Gary work on anything of mine.

ed
post #45 of 400
Thread Starter 
haven't seen you around much Ed, how you been dude ?

I remember you comparing the difference with the RP91 and SDI Ed, I hear this 100% of the time, always good reports on image quality increase

-Gary
post #46 of 400
Nice screen shots for sure, but useless for the sake of this discussion. S-Video vs. SDI? Come on... I bet you'd get the same relative improvements comparing composite and component.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingtimes View Post

I know this isn't a comparison with HDMI, but at least it shows how crisp and clean the SDI image is...
http://www.irj-tech.com/index.html
post #47 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave G View Post

Nice screen shots for sure, but useless for the sake of this discussion. S-Video vs. SDI? Come on... I bet you'd get the same relative improvements comparing composite and component.

I guess we'd need an SDI capture card in a PC and also an HDMI capture card which can capture 480i cleanly - best case they would both support DScaler so we could capture them equally.
I've been out of the HTPC game for a while though so I don't know about the HDMI card.
post #48 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Scott I agree 100%, the stock Oppo 981 outputs are not all that hot, however what is hot inside the 981 is the mediatek decoder and a direct untouched SDI output from that is what is so good, totally different ball game, Pioneer on the other hand has had decoder problems for years, chroma bug and all, and I mean bad, the 45a is in that boat:

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...%20EliteDV-45A

before when I spoke of a child being able to see the differences I was speaking of comparing the stock Oppo 981 outputs vs the SDI output, they are not even close

the Oppo does represent a great value in that it could feed your main HT with amazing SDI and another much less important bedroom or etc. setup with 1080i, 1080p or 720p via HDMI

the Oppo also handles any region in the world and offers direct native PAL and NTSC via even SDI

-Gary

Hi Gary,

Thank you for the kind explanation. I was a bit worried that I offended you! Glad that was not the case.

So.....my question would be.....what player with excellent build quality and superb audio has those golden traits necessary for a premium SDI player?
post #49 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingtimes View Post

Hi Scott
These modest SDI players(like the Pannies, the Oppo and the Philips) aren't really very expensive. You should try and get hold of one and see for yourself. It's what we've done and you can see how enthusiastic we are.

You are right to wonder how the Elite players perform - some are very very good indeed. See this list for what is currently available in SDI.
http://www.jvbdigital.com/jvb.asp?cu...archstring=sdi

The 'Secrets' tests are about torture-testing and video processing than anything else. Here in the VP forum we tend to bypass all the processing in the players and do it in standalone devices (Gary's using his DVDO VP50 and I'm using a Crystalio II, many others use the Lumagens). So this makes the upscaling nature of the players pretty redundant. Bear that in mind when you post about experiences of directly connecting DVD players to displays.

We look for good MPEG decoder chips which lack any CUE issues. Then most of us look for a good 'value' player. Basically these $500 players we've got can compete with anything at any price - you just have to have good off-board processing available.

Good points all. I'll ask you the same question I just asked Gary....What players of excellent build quality and with a good audio section use the best MPEG decoder chips?
post #50 of 400
Thread Starter 
Scott, without a doubt, that would be the DVD-S2300 MKII from Yamaha, SACD, DVD-A and a audiophile chassis/build, rs232, IR in out, amazing analog outputs, same mpeg decoder as the RP91/RP82 etc., I have a inside shot of one I SDI modified for a customer a few months back:



the Denon 2900 is up there on my list also and don't under esitmate the Oppo 981, it is a darn good player itself, going on pure picture quality alone with coaxial/optical audio output, it is pretty much the best there is

-Gary
post #51 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Yes I think many people misunderstand that SDI is something like "oh well only a slight difference that doesn't matter" nope, much the opposite, SDI is a major upgrade in image quality

thanks a bunch, that is a great link dude

-Gary

How much is the scaler responsible for the 'major upgrade' in image quality?
post #52 of 400
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric.exe View Post

How much is the scaler responsible for the 'major upgrade' in image quality?

it is the major portion of that, the scaler is the key, Lumagen, DVDO, Crystalio all with give a equal increase in PQ with any source, you can adjust anything and correct many issues on top of improved PQ performance

-Gary
post #53 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

Scott, without a doubt, that would be the DVD-S2300 MKII from Yamaha, SACD, DVD-A and a audiophile chassis/build, rs232, IR in out, amazing analog outputs, same mpeg decoder as the RP91/RP82 etc., I have a inside shot of one I SDI modified for a customer a few months back:



the Denon 2900 is up there on my list also and don't under esitmate the Oppo 981, it is a darn good player itself, going on pure picture quality alone with coaxial/optical audio output, it is pretty much the best there is

-Gary

Hi Gary,

Are there any current players (ie-not used) that are "high-end" in build and audio performance that use one of the prime MPEG decoders? Seems I read that the Arcams get high marks as SDI-modded players.

Any experience modding Blu-Ray players with an HD-SDI output yet...and going HD-SDI into your VP50? And in such a scenario, can that signal be output via RGBHV into a CRT projector?

Cheers..............Scott W.
post #54 of 400
Thread Starter 
Scott I have never had the pleasure of seeing a Arcam, some of the UK guys can comment on that, crtprojectors UK seems to love them (along with the Oppo 981)

that is a hard one to fill, a current player with super high-end quality and good SDI, I need to think on that one

the problem holding me up with HD-SDI is a HD-SDI input on a scaler, current SDI inputs on most gear like the VP50 are SD only, the Crystalio II has dual SDI inputs that are HD and SD, DVDO is reportedly working on a HD-SDI input option

that is correct, HD-SDI would allow RGBHV output from any scaler, one of the perks of SDI

-Gary
post #55 of 400
So Gary, when will you test Philips SDI and Arcam SDI?
post #56 of 400
Gary,

Interesting, what about comparing the HDMI output to SDI on the OPPO. What do you say?

BTW, I have not tested the particular Pioneer DVD player mentioned here, but I have had a lot of experience with Pioneer's deinterlacing. In most movies, it does fine. In some movies, it performs so abysmally that it's a real pain to watch. It all depends on the content and how easily the Pioneer can deinterlace it (in particular PAL 2:2 content).

I had one such experience with combing so bad, I had to stop the movie to get a pill for my headache...
post #57 of 400
A couple of years back, we did put a SDI'ed RP82 up against a $4k reference dvd player (using component outputs). 1.5 pound David versus 28 pound Goliath, built like a tank. The RP82 was noticeably superior video-wise, and it sure didn't embarrass itself sonically, in an extremely high end sound system. So good in fact, I can't see any real value in spending serious money on a dvd player.

I can't wait for HD-SDI inputs and I can say bye bye to hdmi.
post #58 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by oferlaor View Post

Interesting, what about comparing the HDMI output to SDI on the OPPO. What do you say?

This is a great idea. The OPPO 970HD is the obvious choice I think, it offers 480i output via HDMI and uses the exact same MPEG decoder as the 981. You could connect them both up to the video processor at the same time to do A/B comparisons.
post #59 of 400
Thread Starter 
guys another member has graciously offered to loan me a 970 to do a comparison between it and the 981 SDI I am working on, yes both have the same identical mpeg decoder

970 is 4:4:4 component 480i HDMI
981 is 4:2:2 component 480i SDI

scaler will be DVDO VP50

Ofer the Oppo HDMI outputs on the 981 have some ringing and such, the SDI output is much cleaner, the strong suite of the Oppo is the Meditek decoder, the stock HDMI outputs do not stack up to the SDI when speaking of the Oppo 981, they are too noisy, the 970 480i HDMI will be a really good test

Ofer I always like Pioneer Elite, but they dragged their feet alot with DVD over the past few years, although from what I hear they have improved some, I agree they are pretty good with unproblamatic deinterlacing, but when things get hairy they fold, they also have been plagued with horrid CUE issues

Tedd thanks for that bit, the RP82 is a classic for sure, it is a David I would be near to honestly saying that the 981 may look even better than the RP82 and it's brothers with the same decoder, HD-SDI is gonna be so sweet, I agree with that for sure

-Gary
post #60 of 400
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Murrell View Post

guys another member has graciously offered to loan me a 970 to do a comparison between it and the 981 SDI I am working on, yes both have the same identical mpeg decoder

970 is 4:4:4 component 480i HDMI
981 is 4:2:2 component 480i SDI

scaler will be DVDO VP50


-Gary

that sounds like a nice comparison.
can you tell my why one output is 4:4:4 and the other is 4:2:2 if they have the same mpeg decoder? if i understand this correctly, the DVD is 4:2:0 so the mpeg decoder is doing some data processing to create 'new data' above 4:2:0, right?

also, how do you set the vp50 output, to 4:4:4 for both?

cheers
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