I decided to test the value of a video processor and picked up one of the "fire-sale" FE CS-1 units back in October. I haven't been that unhappy with my Sony HS20 picture quality to pay the going rate (> $1K) for the latest HD scalers, but the price of the CS-1 was too tempting.
I have tried several set ups with my Bravo-D1 and HS20 projector (native resolution 1366 X 768). While these components have been replaced by newer models, I thought I would post the results as they were/are a very popular configuration and can still be found at very reasonable prices. Both the CS-1 (SIL504) and the Bravo (? for scaler) can be set to custom resolutions to achieve a 1:1 pixel mapping.
The four test set ups to HS20 were: (1) Bravo - 720p via DVI; (2) Bravo - Custom 1366 x768 via DVI; (3) Bravo - 480p via DVI to CS-1 - 720p via DVI; Bravo - 480p via DVI to CS-1 - custom 1366 X 768 via DVI.
Both 720p settings required the Hs20 DVI- GBR mode and the 1366 by 768 settings required the DVI-computer mode
Finding a custom setting that worked with the HS20 required some trial and error with the Cs-1 but the trick is in setting the refresh rate to 56khz and not having the Cs-1 calculate the dot clock which results in an error message.
Both the Bravo - HS20 settings generated excellent picture quality with the 1:1 setting giving a slight/modest improvement.
Both the Bravo-CS-HS20 settings had better image quality (smoother, more detail) than the Bravo alone (even though another scaling operation was being added). I didn't see any noticable difference between the CS-1 720p and CS-1 1366X 768 and ended up using the 720p to avoid the time to center the custom setting.
I really can't imagine a better picture at this point and I can't find any faults using test video test patterns (Avia moving zone plates, etc)
The picture quality from these "low-end" custom scaling DVD players (i.e Bravo and Oppo) appears to be very good for the investment if you can exploit the DVI connections.
The CS-1 certainly generated a better picture for the $300 price tag (although I woud not have been happy if I paid even half of MSRP).
I will try the above using a Vizio 50 plasma as well.