As many of you know I have been a big fan of the crystalio II series. So naturally I wanted to get my hands on the new 3100 model. As you can see in the pic it looks exactly like the 3300 and 3800. Like the other units it uses gennum's VXP (Visual Excellence Processing) chip which deinterlaces 1080i into 1080p second to none. It also has Pixel Magic's Reality Expansion, Fine Edge, TruMotionHD, Fidelity Engine, Intelligent Scaling Algorithms, Aspect ratio Conversion and High Resolution Support. I will get into userface, resolutions, inputs and outputs a little later.
One of the best surprises in the 3100 is its newer updated EDID. For those that do not know what EDID is it is EXTENDED DISPLAY IDENTIFICATION DATA. EDID contains basic information about a monitor and its capabilities, including vendor info, maximum image size, color characteristics, factory timings, frequency range limits and character strings. Some of you are aware that HD DVD players cannot send in 1080p/24 (23.98) to the current 3300 and 3800 models. PMS will upgrade your units EDID (buyers pay shipping both ways) so it will accept it. Blu ray players on the other hand have had no problems sending in 1080p/23 (23.98) into the crystalio IIs. Some units (xbox 360 ELITE, Panny BD10A) can only send in 1080i. So as you can see the major issue with EDID is communication. I think it is terrific PMS will upgrade your units EDID. I do not know of any other companies that have offered to do that. The 3100 accepted every resolution I offered it from the A35 (HD DVD player) and the 95FD (Blu ray player). And yes 1080p/23.98 was accepted from both!
Using the 3100 with HD DVD (A35) and a Blu ray player (Pioneer 95FD) sending in 1080p/23.98 in and then back out worked flawlessly. The picture is smooth and judder free. No flicker or cadence drops. It is as good as it gets! I am using the new Sony VPL VW60 "Black Pearl" with my set up. Many ask me why I want to send in that resolution to my VP. My answer is I want to send in the next gens native source then use the crystalio II to adjust picture parameters. Doing this allows me to tweak it so I can achieve the most optimal viewing. I do send in 1080i or 480i for SD dvd, DTHEATER and DirecTV. That is when i use the gennum VXp chip. My DTHEATER and DirecTV HD has never looked better. SD dvds look near HD!
The 3100 does all of the same resolutions as its olde brothers. It has the same userface which has always been one of my favorite features. The 3100's does appear to be a little larger with clearer letters and numbers. I have always liked the info button which tells you everything about what is going in and what is going out. Being able to label inputs and outputs always makes thing easie. Speaking of inputs there are 4 HDMI, 2 component, 2 S-Video, 2 analog, 3 Digital 91 opt. 3 coax), RS 232, ethernet and of course a USB which can be used to do firmware updates via a USB flashcard. I wish other companies would allow this feature because it is very conveinant. As for outputs there are 2 HDMI which can also be used simultaneously.
The userface has these options: INPUT, IMAGE, OUTPUT, AUDIO, and SYSTEM. Input allows you to set profiles, hide unused input sources and configuration which also allows you to customize the name of each input. The IMAGE section allows video settings (picture adjustments), color temperature, gamma correction, aspect ratio, overscan, position, crop, deinterlace, noise reducer, smooth scaling and video profile adjustments. OUTPUT has more configuration which allows naming each one and also has assigned resolutions. Each one can be assigned to do a different resolution so it makes switching between them seemless. There is also screen shape selections and screen masking which allows you to pick any color you want your masking to be. Sometimes it is fun having the bars red or blue for a kids movie! Then of course there is gamma corrections and output profiles. It is also important to note that the 3100 also has DynamicVP which allows certain "rules" for each input and how it is output. The AUDIO section for selecting input audio options. The SYSTEM has cool test patterns and also firmware info. Also this is where you will find the PASSTHRU feature which is just like it sounds. What comes in goes out (untouched)... Then there are OSD (on screen display) options.
In summary the 3100 has a msrp of 2899. It is a set up's bestfriend which mainly uses HDMI (like mine). The crystalio II 3100 works more smoother then its older siblings. The remote is the same backlit one but the response time seems a little faster. And so far the picture has been perfect coming from it. I really feel like I am seeing the pinnacle of what FULL HD has to offer. With being able to adjust 1080p/23.98's sharpness, color, contrast and brightness as well as black level can it get any better than this? Congrats to PMS for their hard efforts which yields great results. Success breeds followers!
To read more about the crystalio II 3100's features and details please go to www.crystalio.com/spec.html