Here are some initial impressions.
- Sources:PS3, Toshiba A1, Oppo 970, D* H20, D* HTL-HD (DVI)
- Display: Sony vpl-vw50 1080p front projector/110 inch Da-Lite HP screen
- Other VP's: Integra DTC-9.8 (Reon), DVDO Edge (ABT 2010)
- Prior owned VP's: Anthem AVM50 (Gennum VXP), Lumagen HDP, Algolith Flea HDMI
All connections HDMI (DVI for HTL-HD).
Setup is relatively easy and intuitive as long as you are comfortable navigating a typical GUI menu. The manual is adequate. The remote is cheap but also adequate. All of my sources are HDMI/DVI and I ran into no sync issues. Handshakes are faster than with my Integra DTC-9.8 Reon-based unit.
There appear to be no errors with colorspace conversion/video levels. I have 422 YCbCr, 444 YCbCr, and RGB sources and all are treated properly. Below black/peak white is correctly passed with all three. I set the VP for YCbCr output. Interestingly, according to the info display, even with this setting RGB still is output RGB. In fact, whatever colorspace is input is output. For example 422 YCC goes out as 422 YCC, 444 in 444 out, etc. I confirmed this with another VP (DVDO Edge) on the 602's output identifying colorspace. One caveat would be that this may depend on EDID communication b/w the source, vp, and display of which I had no control. A DVI display should force the 602 to convert output to RGB regardless of input, so I suspect this wouldn't present any problems with most setups.
I have various test pattern discs at my disposal, so I ran the 602 through the paces. Looking at the DVE 720p overscan pattern, scaling was excellent and without ringing from 720->1080. Scaling from 480->1080 via AVIA's sharpness pattern was less perfect, but still good and without ringing. From what I can tell the scaling performance of Realta (602) vs. Reon (DTC-9.8) is basically identical. DVDO Edge rings more with 720->1080 and 480->1080 but wins out by a smidge with resolution at 480->1080. The Realta/Reon showed ever so slightly
more moire artifacting with the 480 TVL resolution pattern.
Deinterlacing tests were very interesting. For SD/HD video, Reon (DTC-9.8) bests Realta (DVP-602CI) by a small margin looking at the jaggies test patterns (HQV SD and HD test discs). ABT/DVDO still performs well, but less well than both Reon/Realta. From recent tests and memory, I'd say Realta, Gennum VXP, and Pioneer Kuro all are about equivalent for SD/HD video via these tests. Take that for what it's worth.
For SD/HD film, Realta and ABT/DVDO were superior and about equal followed by Reon then Gennum. Realta of course was the only one to pick up all of the more unusual cadences (vari-speed, anime, etc).
Real world viewing seems to mirror testing for the most part. Basically, the 602 with Realta seems to perform well with all aspects of video processing and excels at most. Film sources converted to 1080p24 output are without artifacts/stuttering for the most part. This is the best performance from a VP in this area that I've seen. The noise reduction, in particular, is excellent. Even set at the highest setting, I can detect no loss in detail either with viewing or via test patterns. I've owned the Flea HDMI, and I like the Realta NR much better. There just seems to be nothing changed in the image other than the noise. I keep it at the "mid" setting for most viewing. NR is active for 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p24 sources.
From a functional standpoint, the 602 has just about everything you'd want. 6 HDMI 1.3 inputs as well as the usual spattering of other inputs are included. It has independent per-input picture adjustments (contrast, brightness, hue, tint, enhancer, sharpness, NR) as well as independent per-input output
configurations (output res, pass-thru, AR control, deinterlacer mode). There is also capability to vertically stretch the image (for CIH 2.35:1 setups). It also passes multichannel PCM audio over HDMI without problems/glitches. I don't do bitstream for HBR audio but I suspect it would work fine as MPCM seems to be the hardest to implement correctly.
Firmware updates are via ethernet connection and you can also interface with the 602 via web browser control.
So, it would seem a highly capable, fully-featured VP built by a well-respected company around a renowned image processing SOC. I guess the question is why am I the only one here who seems to own one? Because Silicon Optix recently changed ownership? Anyway, that won't stop me from enjoying it.