Originally Posted by *Mori*
That's also my impression and I am wondering why. The price tag seems to shock many despite it meets about what had been speculated before by many. Envy is IMO pricewise about same catagory like Lumagen - precisely like it had to be assumed just due the hardware requirements.
I might be wrong but I exspect to get a very lean and optimized product that offers better DTM than Lumagen due to the unparalleled know-how of madshi and the high processing power that comes with Envy. That is why I have decided to await Envy's market entry and not to buy a Radiance.
My suspicion is that Envy is lacking the lobby by the opinion leaders in the industry to support it. I am puzzled that nobody dared to compare the PC based madVR with Lumagen so far and reported about the results. Lumagen is established and nobody seems wanting to mess up with them. However madVR must clearly challenge them and say so in order to prepare the market for Envy.
The market is actually such that the PC guys have installed the free madVR SW and are very happy with their low cost solution. Those guys with the big screens and deep pockets (owners of VW5000, RS4500, SIM 2 ... ) are typically already using a Lumagen (incl calibration) and seem to be happy as well, particularly since the recent updates. So no real immediate demand from those 2 customer groups. So why should they buy an Envy ? Why should anybody ?
So what is missing IMO is a clear statement and obvious evidence that madVR is indeed better than anything on the market for HDR tonemapping, upscaling etc. Of course people are wondering why they should by an Envy all of a sudden when a Radiance Pro including DTM is on the market since quite a while. Here the lobbying had done its job flanked of course by the recent software updates.
So my advice to madVR is to go out to the important dealer / installer to demonstrate that you are indeed better than anybody on the market.
Well in Germany we did such a comparison between madVR htpc and Lumagen pro with a jvc N5 a couple months ago for the dynamic tone mapping switching back and forth between the 2 solutions.
The result was that madVR was clearly superior at the time being in its capacity to adapt to both very bright and very dark scenes (the MEG, Blade Runner 2049.. ).
In comparison to madVR, some scene in the MEG were clearly blown out. Also dark scenes were brighter in madVR.
When we tried to change that, to expand the range of the Lumagen, we either made dark scene darker or bright scene even more blown out.
MadVR win over LUMAGEN was so clear at that time that we did not have to look for "details" differentiating the 2 solutions like "scene detection ", smooth and unvisible change within a scene etc...
Since then a couple update have been released by Lumagen. So the comparison will have to be performed again.
However the Lumagen owner (who was quite happy before the shot out) now knows what to look for and from what he had reported, this has not been really improved/solved.
Furthermore, madVR allows you to define your "Real Nits" so that when your frame peak gets lower, you can watch the movie 1:1 with no compression whatsoever and with the intended brightness coded on the uhd bluray. Lumagen does NOT have such a control for that which can result in either having a picture brighter that coded on the uhd bluray, or just throw brightness away.
Also, while Lumagen tone mapping, it is scene by scene (by design). MadVR combines both scene by scene and frame by frame without any adaptation visible. Here again madVR is more flexible. If the first frame of a scene has a peak of 500nits, but it increases slowly to 1000 nits, madVR will adapt as fast as possible without showing any adaptation artefacts. I can only imagine that if Lumagen is using a fixed tone mapping for a scene, it may end up clipping anything above the first detected 500nits...
MadVR has also dynamic clipping algorithm to clip on purpose very tiny bit of the picture to make the picture more dynamic. It has also the highlight recovery features which works very well for skys. I do not know of anything similar in Lumagen camp.
I also love the neural network NGU 4k upscaling of madVR for 1080p content. And there is likely so much more possible with AI training for other algo.
In any case, I was not impressed with what I had seen with the Lumagen.
A new shootout will be needed when the Envy is out to see how they compare. And of course in a dark room with a projector on a large screen where both hdr dynamic tone mapping and 4k upscaling algo of the 2 competiting product can show their strengths. ;-)
For 5000euros for both, the Envy seems to have more goodies than Lumagen concerning picture quality.