wow, that's great news - the auto calibration feature is something I've been waiting on, ever since I started playing with calibration and settings. Question is, what sensor will this require, what the price will be and how it will interface with the unit.
Just finished upgrading my system over from XD to XE (after staying with the HDP Pro for a very long time) and I have to say that the progress that this unit has made since the HDP Pro is quite dramatic.
There's really no comparison between the HDP Pro to the XD. In the early days of the XD, the HDP Pro had way more features (which kept me from physically switching over, although I had both units) and I reluctantly ended up switching to the XD prematurely after my HDP Pro stopped talking to my main HD STB (turns out it was due to some software changes in the STB's HDCP sub system). Slowly but surely, the feature-set expanded. At this point, the XD/XE software exceeds all my expectations by a mile.
Performance wise, the XD has really come into its own. It is noticeably sharper and does a great job at pretty much everything. The only thing my older system did better was mosquito reduction using the "algolith mosquito" for my old analog SD STB.
While the GUI with competing systems may be easier to learn, the new Lumagen GUI is really nice and I rarely see it anymore (everything is preprogrammed and I only get notifications during aspect ratio changes and input changes). I love the help feature when I need to modify something (although I can probably tell you the order in which the menus are layed out, if you wake me up at 4am...).
The scaling algorithm is really something. Whereas deinterlacing is pretty much on par with what ABT is doing now (a huge step up from HDP Pro), Lumagen's scaling is currently unmatched, IMHO. It is sharp, accurate, and almost flawless in handling low res content.
I like Genum's contrast stretching feature and I have a special mode (B) that turns that on. Low quality material (yes, HD too, e.g., - the new BSG movie) can really benefit from this. The downside is that contrast stretching can squeeze out low and high IRE content if there's not much information there.
Due to issues with my display, I have turned off, for the first time in ages, the genlock and rate matching features recently. I discovered that this has no real impact on my viewing experience (although this was one of my pet peeves a while back).
Anyway, I don't chime in too much anymore in the forums (not enough time on my hands), but I have to say this is hands down the best scaler I've had. Ever. And it keeps getting better.
About the XS - I just found out about it this morning. I think it's a simplified (S=simple?) version of the XD/XE with less inputs and the same featureset. I really think this is a great idea as the XD and XE are not exactly affordable for many enthusiasts and this can finally offer them the opportunity to upgrade at an affordable price.