Originally Posted by AustinJerry
Your comment got me interested. As a subscriber to Widescreen Review, which publishes in-depth articles on shows like CES and Cedia, I accessed the two issues with these reviews. Neither WSR Feb 2017 (CES Review) or WSR Nov 2017 (Cedia Review) had any announcement of a stand-alone Darbee Vision that supports 4K. In the CES review, I found only this reference in the Oppo section: "There is no information released by OPPO (that I could find) that discusses UHD disc player models with DVP, so adding these models later is still speculation. [Editor’s note: OPPO does plan DVP version introductions in the CEDIA Expo September 2017 timeframe.] The Cedia review makes no mention of Darbee Vision at all.
Where did you get your information? Can you provide a link?
Originally Posted by joshbrown1987
Originally Posted by cdnscg
I fear we may never see a 4K compatible Darbee. We are now heavily into this format, with 8K around the corner. If they were able, or going, to launch something, I think we would have seen it by now. Too bad because I really like my Darblet.
In some of my previous posts in this thread (do a search with my username and you'll find them) I've provided links to show that they did indeed have working 4K versions of DVP (some in CE TV models) but very little info beyond that. Mostly I feel it was a resolution only version. As in just a more powerful processor to handle more pixels.
But, I've come to consider that there are 5 major factors that are hindering the release of 4K Darbee. Or, will flat out prevent it from ever occurring. Of which, the latter I'm suspecting will prevail as I'll get into. So let's take a look at the state of affairs and I welcome other's input as well.
HDMI 2.1: Let's start with the obvious. HDMI 2.1 has been known about and expected for some time. However, in it's infancy, it will be extremely cost prohibitive to put into products that originally sold for <$300. The original Darbee was somewhat future proof for 1080p since there really wasn't that much change for a while when it was introduced in the early-mid 2012 time-frame. But now with the ever changing specs of HDMI and adding features, it's a lot more complicated and a mess. And it'll be at least a year to go through the testing stages and wait for price of the chips to come down. If they want to try and mak it somewhat future proof again, they'll have to make it HDMI 2.1 compatible.
HDR: Somewhat tied to HDMI, it's a mess. And now there's multiple types of HDR in the wild or planned for. To make one unit capable of handling all that will take some time to and R&D. And, lots of extra processing power, which means a higher cost. Also, they'll need actual content to test on. That means with HDR10+ and HLG and whatever else that's coming, it will be sometime before that happens. Now they could release a DV/HDR10 version now and then FW upgrade it later, but then just then adds even more cost and complexity to the unit adding software to handle internet connections and an ethernet port or Wi-Fi chip.
IP: It's been talked about for some time that they wanted to get away from OEM production and having a stand-alone unit. Intellectual Property rights and licensing the tech is a lucrative business model. Let someone else who has the resources and experience (ie the bigger players like Samsung) do some of the leg work to get it to play nicely with HDMI, add those internet connections, have a powerful processor and bring the costs down via economies of scale. The problem is, since Darbee first came out nearly 6 years ago, many of those bigger players saw what extra processing and image enhancement can do and started to work on their own versions. Look at the Sony X1E processor as a prime example. Maybe you'll see some other not so big but still relevant players, like Oppo or Optoma again, come in a license it. But I'm doubtful there. And here's why.
Perceived Benefit: Is there any actual improvement that can be made using their technology to the 4K format? 4K isn't just pixels, there's higher bit-depth, WCG, HDR, etc. These are some substantial improvements. Will Darbee be able to further improve upon them? A tangible and visible effect that's not just on paper? And not only that, what it the cost/benefit of that improvement? This brings me to the money side of things.
Cash Flow/Income: I can guarantee sales of Darbee products have been dwindling commensurate with the growth of 4K. This means they have less money to pump into R&D. One of the first signs of a failing business is when money stops being spent on R&D. Many examples of this in the CE arena. With less capital available to be spent on developing a 4K version, the odds decrease drastically that we'll ever see one, at least for the home user.
Taking all that into account, I'm starting to believe we'll never see a 4K version, as I said before, for the home user. Maybe they do have the finances and time to continue to develop it. But if so, it seems like it likely would initially cost much more than what it went for with the 1080p version for a OEM stand alone unit. My guess is somewhere north of $500 when you factor in what it will take to bring to market. That makes it more of a commercial grade product. And perhaps they will shift this business model to the high-end niche, cinemas and post-production markets. If that's the case, maybe we could see the tech trickle down into the consumer market, but that would take 3-5 years on top of however long we still have to wait for it to be released to pro-market.
Or, maybe I'm wrong. Which I hope to be. I loved the Darblet and now have had to take it out of the chain as I've moved onto 4K. As always, time will tell.