AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey,


I was wondering if I could get some comments on the older Key Digital scaler from CIH owners. I'm looking to use the scaler with my Sanyo Z2 projector (as well as my next upgrade, probably an Epson). I watch BD and DVD, so I want to make sure the scaler can handle HD and SD sources well.


I've not found many reviews of this product and I'm curious how it measures up to other scalers. Am I going to see noise or artifacting? Does it work with Oppo players, Toshiba HD DVD plaeyrs, etc?


Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
258 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I thought about posting it there, but I wanted to hear results from CIH owners since that is the only reason I'm thinking of getting a scaler.


I know at least one person here is getting one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Do a search in this CIH forum for the word "key digital", and you'll find a thread on "the cheapest scalar for CIH" or something similar. There was a guy in there, ERB who wrote clearly and eloquently on the subject and has used one of these as well.


He describes clearly that the scaling abilities are "so-so", but for our CIH needs that the "aspect ratio" abilities of the product are surprisingly excellent. He also gently tells readers the difference between scaling and aspect ratio adjustments... without being...well, condescending. Much appreciated.


On sale now for 399, its a bargain I'd say.


I think the sets ability to "pillarbox" a 16:9 movie so that our lense can be a permanent mount is a neat ability to have, and given its Rs232 capability, its quite flexible, and a reasonable way to start. I'm waiting on my lense to play with it, but I bought the Key Digital unit based on that threads discussion, ERB's review of it and intelligent presentation, and its price along with Randy and HTB's suggestion to look for a used one.... but he sent me the link for a surprising price on "overstock, updated firmware, being replaced with new, but less capable for us" models.


Alex Lipowich.... dying to get the lens and check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,369 Posts
If you planning to upgrade to a 1080p pj later on then keep in mind that the KD scaler you are looking at does not accept 1080p.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
$399 today plus shipping...


used market when he upgrades...say...$100 to $200? Maybe even more for entry level CIH people looking for a steal?


I'd say its cheap to get started, and minimal risk.


But more importantly, (and I could be wrong) I think the KW actually puts out in 1080p... so if you put in 1080i and the output is 1080p.... its pretty darn close to a wash.


The thread mentioned did go over this I think....


I wonder how many people could see the difference at the entry level of PJ between a BD player set to put out in 1080i going through this, sent out in 1080p to a PJ.... vs a BD player set to 1080p going through a similarly priced (if it existed) digital aspect ratio changer to the PJ?


Alex.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Kd Hdmi-4x1

I have one of these devices. I use it in conjunction with my JVC RS1 and Prismasonic R1500FE lens.


It works admirably and I'm very happy with the core image quality, it's scaling capabilities, and its price range.


Strengths include the ability to output 1080p from other sources such as 1080i and a nice selection of test images and setup options. I have found that the "stretched" images look great when outputted through to my projector.


It does have a few weaknesses, however.

a) It's not really supported by Key Digital any longer. I had an IR receiver (the front one; it has one in the back as well!) go bad on me and The Folks At Digital Connection fixed it under warranty. I'm not sure how that cooperation works between these companies, but for me it worked out well when something (simple?) went wrong. At a minimum, it's safe to say that the people at Digital Connection have some good technical staff working for them.

b) It doesn't process 24hz, only 60hz and a few older frame rates that (for example) were common in the UK. (I don't recall exactly what it supports.) This makes sense given when it was created and what it's original purpose was. (It was designed with flat screen TVs in mind when they created the scaling features; the manual refers to preventing burn-in!) So, expect to lose your glorious blu-ray 24 frames per second... I miss that; it's the biggest downfall of this device, but to be expected given it's price range.

c) There are no discrete IR codes for going to a specific zoom setting. If you want to stretch the image, you have to 'scroll' through the various options. This means I can't set up a single button on my universal remote to stretch the image.

d) Watch the connections... it takes optical audio in, but I don't recall that it switches coaxial. If I recall, I bypass this switcher for some audio outputs that aren't optical. I don't have a receiver that accepts audio through HDMI, so I can't speak to how well it handles audio. For video, it switches flawlessly.

e) It's LED panel in front is annoying in its brightness. Even in "Standby" mode, it has the words "Standby" lighting up my bat cave.


Some of those weaknesses are nitpicks. For the price, I believe this device is a wonderful solution to a lot of our issues. Just keep in mind, you're buying "older" tech.


If you have any specific questions, feel free to post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts
It's worked well for me also. My only gripe (other than the nice list VTPete put together) is that my unit doesn't handle 720p source reliably - it introduces a vibrating effect when fed some 720p material. Impossible to watch - but in our increasingly 1080x world, not such a big deal.....


btl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Anyone else have these issues?


Dissapointing to hear about 720p, that was what I had planned to use, though I suppose 1080i would be fine off the BD player.


Alex.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
111 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexBen /forum/post/14239208


Anyone else have these issues?


Dissapointing to hear about 720p, that was what I had planned to use, though I suppose 1080i would be fine off the BD player.


Alex.

Not everyone has issues with 720p - so you might get lucky. KD offered to RMA mine, but I never got around to sending it back. I don't feel like I'm sacrificing anything feeding it only 1080i.


btl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,939 Posts
I prefer the 1080i out of my input sources, works best for me. Now having said that I just got a new KDHDMI4X1 scaler yesterday to replace the one I had bought in Feb.

I can confirm like VTPete stated that this product is no longer supported by KD, although they try to intially help me.


I had my unit stashed away in preparation for my 2:35 HT room. That was until I got my PS3 and my living room set up only having one HDMI in I figured no problem, I can put my 4x1 to work. Well low and behold I was having audio issues. No sound coming through my cable box or PS3. After looking at the manual and not finding any setting to turn on, I was at a loss. Turning the unit on and off a couple of times finally produced sound, and since it was late I figured should be all good now...wrong.


Next day my son calls and tells me audio problems again on the PS3. Had him shut it off once and back on and the audio came through on the menu, then when a game was started no audio again. Tried resetting the EDID per KD's instructions and attempted to update the FW but that wouldn't take. I also noticed that the picture was having issues unless it was set to pass or unless it matched the resolution of the source material. i.e. if the signal was 720P it didn't like to be output as 1080i and vice versa. Definately had a faulty unit and I thought I would need to send it to KD for repair. They informed me however that the deal they made with Digital Connection was that they were buying out the remaining batch of these and they would be responsible for the repairs/warranties needed.


When I called Digital Connection to explain the situation they issued me an RMA to return the old unit. They told me they would most likely send me a new one which they did. I called to confirm once they received it, and they stated that they will test the new unit prior to sending it to me to ensure that it works. Glad to report that all is well with the unit, audio working fine and havent had video issues either.


Moral of the story, test out your electronics as soon as you get them in case of problems. I'm 3 for 3 now, issue with a Nintendo Wii when we first got one, the PS3 had problems and I had to exchange also and now the KD unit. Hopefully no more problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
336 Posts
Oman321,


Man, sounds like you had a string of bad luck!


I think the summary is that the original KD HDMI4x1 is something of a Godsend to us CIH folks... and they are becoming increasingly difficult to find. There really is no equivalent to it on the market at that price-point. It's pretty clear that it was an accidental answer to our stretching problems!


I have a lot of respect now for Digital Connection. Why they would buy into the tech support for this product is beyond me, but so far they've been doing a great job from what I can tell. (Ok, a few incidents is all I've heard about... but it's all good news.)


So far, there are two features of the KD HDMI that I use... the "vertical stretch" which in my opinion works flawlessly for 1080i signals and the "vertical and horizontal stretch" which works great for those increasingly rare non-anamorphic 16:9 movies out there.


For me, the only thing that it lacks of any importance is support for 24/48hz. But, at 1/10th the price of any other solution (I bought an open box special), this is a price I'm willing to pay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
Since getting the Panny AX100 I have stoped using it for the vertical stretch, but still use the KD for squeezing to 16X9 for 1.85:1 and less so I don't have to move the lens.


With my old projector, when using the KD for the vertical stretch I would get occasional tearing in the picture, more like a ripple. It was infrequent enough that it didn't bother me, but using the projector's stretch I have no problem anymore. The KD squeeze mode works very well with no obvious artifacts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
I had a kd-hdmi4x1 and thought that it worked great. I only used it to convert 1080i to vertically stretched 1080p and it did that fairly well. Never noticed any problems with jaggies etc.


LIGHTNING ZAPPED IT!


Now, I have two additional options -- the geffen scalar with the realta chip, vp50 pro.


I can spend 400, 800 or 2000 to do the vertical stretch that could have been done in the receiver for a few dollars.


I don't know which option I will select. You probably will not be unhappy with the key digital.


I need help with making my own decision!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Well, I finally got my KD scaler installed. It's been patiently waiting in a box until I got to the theater construction point where I can give it a whirl. Now, this isn't an in-depth review by any means but I thought I'd share my initial thoughts since I just came up from the basement after playing with it for a short while.


I connected my HD-A3 (input1) and HTPC (input2) to it but didn't connect the audio. I ran that straight to my receiver. The output is connected to an AE900 projector. Output res of the A3 is set to 1080i and the HTPC is 1280x720. I turned on the equipment and after setting the scaler output to 1280x720 to match the native size of the pj - low and behold a stunning image appeared on the screen! Woohoo!


All I can say is wow. I'm very impressed by the performance of the scaler. I played with the aspect ratio settings since I'll be doing a 2.35 CH setup. The image quality from the A3 using "vertical stretch" looked great. The "pillar box" mode worked nicely for the HTPC as well. Now I can't wait to finish my DIY anamorhic lens! As VTPete mentioned, it is a bummer though that there are no descrete IR codes to switch aspects. But hopefully I can work it out using macros on my pronto remote. I still have some size issues to work out when using the HTPC to watch ripped hi-def movies but I'm sure I can work it out. I think yxy is what folks are using.


Luckily I didn't have some of the other issues mentioned by others. Knock on wood. But for the price I got it for, you can't beat it.


Bottom line is if you're looking for a scaler for CH, this is the perfect solution without spending a lot. IMHO anyway.


Now, on to finish that lens... (well, tomorrow anyway)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts
Earlier I said that I was trying to determine whether I should buy another key digital hdmi4x1 to replace the one that was damaged by lightning.


Well, I bought one and now I don't need it since other options opened up.


Well, maybe I can sell it since I probably can't return it. Bummer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
Does anyone who has this scaler have a pronto ccf file with the IR codes?


I was hoping if someone had them they'd share so I wouldn't have to learn them.


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,939 Posts
There is link of Digital Connections website
http://digitalconnection.com/Product.../kdhdmi4x1.asp

Unfortunately it says page not found. Maybe you can call them and get it from them directly. If not I would try calling Key Digital directly. I 've dealt with both and they ar both pleasant to deal with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,639 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by oman321 /forum/post/14437496


There is link of Digital Connections website
http://digitalconnection.com/Product.../kdhdmi4x1.asp

Unfortunately it says page not found. Maybe you can call them and get it from them directly. If not I would try calling Key Digital directly. I 've dealt with both and they ar both pleasant to deal with.

I think the IR codes/CCF is the same for the newer "replacement" unit. Check out HERE .
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top