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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Key Digital: Digital Leeza Review


Please read the mini review I posted several days ago, it goes into connections, dimensions and general construction. This review is going to focus on scaling, deinterlacing and general operation. I will post a link to some photos at the very end of the review.


The remote is a standard “RCA†brand remote, the same one that ships with the Rock, or so I am told. I happen to have some other RCA products and there are buttons on the Leeza remote that control other components. One such component to mention, as this is an AV forum, is the RCA DTC-100. Hitting the menu or enter buttons on the Leeza remote will cause your DTC to turn on and off. The menu and enter buttons on the Leeza remote serve the same function and have the same codes associated with them. I have found, after many hours of trial and error and from some personal attention from Mike, at Key Digital, that the remote has a defect, or at least mine does. The remote will lose its ability to transmit the proper codes, rendering the Leeza useless as it has no front panel controls. A series of commands must be entered into the Leeza remote in order for it to return to “normalâ€. These “reboot†commands were not included with the remote or the Leeza and were obtained from Mike. I am told something will be included in future shipments.


The Leeza, as stated, has no front panel controls and everything is controlled via remote. I have already created a Leeza CCF, feel free to email me, PM me or look for it on remote central where I will post it. There were times when NOTHING would function on the Leeza and a full power down and reboot was required. Originally, I thought the unit was defective, then I thought it was the remote. After programming all of the codes into a Pronto and bypassing the factory remote, there have been times when the Leeza would still freeze and lockup. The only way to make it work again was to power it down and then turn it back on, after which everything worked fine. Mike has told me that he is aware of a “minor bug†related to this issue and that they are working on it. It is a software issue and I was told it will be corrected in the next few days.


After making some home grown S-video breakout cable (thanks JLM) I got to look at some CABLE and DSS programming. I tried looking through 5 BNC out’s and via DVI. There is no question that the picture is much sharper, cleaner and less noisy through DVI and that is how it will remain connected from now on. It took me a few hours to configure the Leeza so that the image fit perfectly on the Pioneer Pro 1000 plasma. One note to Pioneer owners: you must select wide XGA in the Pioneer service menu. On the Leeza, some of the parameters I used were: horizontal stretch, vertical stretch, horizontal sizing and vertical sizing. I still had sizing issues. I saw timing lines on the top of some channels, on the side of others and some channels looked perfect. This was troubling me because I thought that the problem may have been a compatibility issue between the DVI out on the Leeza and the DVI in on the Pioneer. I even tried using the vertical and horizontal shift on the internal Pioneer menu, no success. It wasn’t until I went into the Leeza, and selected “overscan†that everything looked perfect. By overscanning the image, all of the lines disappeared and now DSS and all CABLE channels were sized correctly.


SIZING: One great feature on the Leeza is a feature that allows you to tell it what type of signal it is being fed. In my case, it was NTSC broadcasts(1.33), CABLE and DSS. It recognizes that the signal is 4:3 and that info is “storedâ€. It can be changed at any time to a multitude of other settings. Settings like 1.66, 1.78, 1.85 etc. After you tell it what it is being fed, you can then choose how you want to output it. I use 1.78 (HDTV) but there are many others like 1.85, 2.00 etc. Another great feature is the ability to watch how each output ratio looks on your set. You can select 1.78 and then use one button on the remote to scroll through all of the other settings and see which one you like. Certain programs may look good in 1.78 while others may look good at 1.85, you can change on the fly without having to remember how the “other†image looked, just keep your eyes open. The same goes for DVD. Tell the Leeza it is being fed 2.35:1 and then you can output it any way you like. Very nice.


RESOLUTION: There are so many different resolutions on this unit, that you should go to www.keydigital.com and read them all. On my plasma, the native rate is 1280x768 and it looks great. This is pretty straightforward. Select the native rate for your display device and forget it, at least for a plasma. CRT users like to change resolutions and refresh rates for each source. For plasma, I see no need to ever use a different rate than the plasma’s native rate, if someone knows a reason why, please do post. In any event, I set it for 1280x768 and the only thing left to play with was refresh rate.


REFRESH RATE: I have found that I like 72hz over 60hz on the Pioneer with the Leeza. On the Faroudja, 60hz was great, but on the Leeza 60hz causes judder and a less fluid range of motion. People don’t run normally and kind of “stop and goâ€. With 72hz, this went away. Also, on my DSS guide screen, at 60hz, the Leeza caused the graphics to wiggle and shimmy a bit, rather than remain rock steady. In 72hz, the image is steady and stationary and people moved much more naturally and fluidly. 72hz is where it stays.


INPUTS: As I stated in the mini review, this unit has 65 different inputs. Many of these are for audio but, there are plenty of video inputs too. Each input has the ability to be told how it should be configured. Some examples are: NTSC/PAL,

S-video/component/composite, aspect ratio and picture adjustment. You can make input 1, for example, your CABLE input and custom tailor all cable viewing on this input. The same goes for all of the other inputs. You can make an anamorphic DVD input, a DSS input an HD input, you get the idea.


PICTURE ADJUSTMENT: This is also fairly standard stuff, but very helpful. You have the ability to change color, tint, contrast etc. on the plasma AND on the Leeza. This gives you more detailed control. The Leeza offers the following adjustments: brightness, contrast, saturation, blue saturation, red saturation, overscan and noise filter. Playing with these controls and your monitor’s controls can get your image to look any way you like.

I will post back later with photos, scaling and deinterlacing comments. Please do post any questions you would like answered or tests you would like to see.
 

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The real question is


Are you happy with the unit? and if it didnt have the loud fan noise would you be really really happy with the scaler.


Its funny that their is an issue with fan noise. I had the dwin transcanner for about 2 weeks (transvision model) and I dont remember ever hearing a fan coming out of it. I understand that they are different technologies which results in the necessity of a fan, but it never occurred to me that a noise issue would arise with a scaler. The DLP iself was one loud baby betweent the fan and the color wheel. Drove me crazy, but then it was right over my head and the scaler was fifteen feet away from me in a rack.


For those who know, does the Rock have a fan and is noticable?

What about the Vig. Does it even have a fan.


Michael told me that the issue with the fan resulted from the lack of space which resulted in not putting in one large fan. However, why they dont use extra quiet fans is beyond me.


My last point,is that I am surprised that their arent more posting concerning your review. Once you posted it your mini review on Firday, I have been going on line to read your addtional comments and what other people are saying. Its funny that their isnt much commentary on it.


Hope to be a fellow Leeza owner soon.
 

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Eric, Thank you for the review. I had not read the mini-review that you had previously posted and referred to in this thread, but was interested in the system set-up and test material. You mentioned a Pioneer Plasma.


What was the test device (DSS, DVD, etc.)?


What was the test material (Video Essentials, specific movies, etc)?


Which model of Pioneer plasma?


Were there any other "boxes" in the system (switchers)?


Did you use any video formats in addition to s-video (component or composite)?


Better knowledge of the test system will help us better understand the benefits and limitations of the device being reviewed.


If you are willing. I'd be curious of your overall impression/opinion (summary).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am responding to the above questions and starting another thread linking to detailed Leeza photos.


I am currently testing dss, cable and dvd.


I am using sporting events, sitcoms, PPV, DVD films and test discs.


Pioneer pro 1000.


No boxes or switchers being used.


S video, component and DVI out to the plasma.


Am I happy with it.. wait and read the 2nd half of the review when it's posted in a day or so. Before I comment I want to put the Leeza thru a bunch of other tests.
 

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Hi Eric,Do you expect to get the updated firmware, to prevent your unit from locking up, prior to your next review?It's too bad about the photo link.Were these pictures of the inside of the Leeza or screen shots.So far a very good and thorough review and thanks for keeping us posted.
 

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I believe the last sentence of paragraph three in the opening post for this thread that key digital acknowledges the software bug that was freezing the unit. May be I missunderstood as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I may have been unclear regarding the software bug. My unit was unresponsive. I thought it was the unit, it was not, it was a faulty remote. However, Key Digital is not shipping any more units because they have found not 1, but 2 bugs in the software. I was told that these bugs have nothing to do with lock ups or freezing and that the fixes are for things we probably would never notice. The software is being modified, the bugs are being worked out and I should have the new software here by the weekend. KD should also resume shipping some time this week. One more note: when Mike comes over to install the software, he will be bringing his own SDI modified DVD player. You can be sure I will update you all on that as well.
 
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