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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
rather than trying to upscale to 1080p internally using ffdshow, would an external 1080p video processor/scaler offer equal (better?) results? especially considering ease of use and the relatively low price some of these legacy units can be picked up for these days?


i may have jumped the gun, but i just won a like-new key digital kdvp-hd2 for $125 shipped on ebay, should get here next week. called and spoke to a tech guy at key digital, great guy, very patient (especially considering i was asking about an old model), and he seemed to think that this unit would work quite well for my needs, given it would be receiving a progressive signal - he suggested that i set the screen resolution on my htpc to 720p and let the kdvp-hd2 output this signal at 1080p to my big screen lcd.


any thoughts?
 

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Try it and see. Generally the upscaling of most computers is pretty good, but the video processor box may have some 'enhancements' that are to your liking.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by WT-46809 /forum/post/20812424


rather than trying to upscale to 1080p internally using ffdshow, would an external 1080p video processor/scaler offer equal (better?) results? especially considering ease of use and the relatively low price some of these legacy units can be picked up for these days?

Not really, you can't bypass the video processing on a PC.

Quote:
i may have jumped the gun, but i just won a like-new key digital kdvp-hd2 for $125 shipped on ebay, should get here next week. called and spoke to a tech guy at key digital, great guy, very patient (especially considering i was asking about an old model), and he seemed to think that this unit would work quite well for my needs, given it would be receiving a progressive signal - he suggested that i set the screen resolution on my htpc to 720p and let the kdvp-hd2 output this signal at 1080p to my big screen lcd.


any thoughts?

That suggestion doesn't make much sense to me, by doing so you'd scale everything (including 1080p) to 720p, only to scale it to 1080p. Ideally you want the scaling to happen just once, in whatever device does it best.


Since you can't disable video processing on a PC, you're sorta "stuck" letting it do everything.
 

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If you have a modern mid-level GPU you will generally see better results using it than another device further down the chain with minimal effort. I'm not familiar with the performance of the kdvp-hd2, but if it's an older device I'd guess the previous assertion holds. On the other hand if you had a modern Lumagen or DVDO device you would see better performance using it with a CE streamer that was able to natively output the decoded video.


That said, if you are willing to use an application where you can chose the renderer and decoding filters (like MPC-HC) and have an NVIDIA GPU you can use madVR and the LAV Filters to match that level of performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the input guys... i'm not a pvr guy nor will i be running cable, sat or ota through my htpc - as such, the vast majority of content i will be outputting to my lcd will be ripped dvds, dvds from the drive and streaming internet content (hulu, netflix, etc.). so other than blue ray, i won't really be down-scaling much to 720p (assuming i do what the kd tech suggested) only to upscale it again to 1080p through the processor. is this correct? fwiw i'm using a z68 mobo with hdmi out, no video card in my box.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by babgvant
If you have a modern mid-level GPU you will generally see better results using it than another device further down the chain with minimal effort. I'm not familiar with the performance of the kdvp-hd2, but if it's an older device I'd guess the previous assertion holds. On the other hand if you had a modern Lumagen or DVDO device you would see better performance using it with a CE streamer that was able to natively output the decoded video.


That said, if you are willing to use an application where you can chose the renderer and decoding filters (like MPC-HC) and have an NVIDIA GPU you can use madVR and the LAV Filters to match that level of performance.
Yeah, or J Rvier.. I have never done an A/B comparison to be sure but I know the Sage HD 300 native out through the DUO is about as good an image as you are going to get. Whether madVR on the PC can match it is hard to say. Too bad something like madVR is not implemented on the streamers, now that would take the whole thing up another notch.. I frankly was shocked how much better the Sage looked through the DUO then the typical MS Video Decoder and EVR playback. Unfortunately all these filter stack soltuions only work for a limited set of playback which does not include HD cable. ATSC is working though on JR with madvr.. Okay to watch the big game, but for channel surfing JRiver is not really ready for any kind of primetime.


One thing you can do with something like the DUO is PREP. So 1080i content like live TV is re-deinterlaced and correctly. That does improve some things. Unfortunaely with so much of HD TV, the SD content that is already mapped on the HD stream is deinterlaced and scaled and it is really sucky. You wonder why a studio is not deinterlacing its SD commercials etc with a decent VP before the put/mix it on the 1080i or 720P stream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray /forum/post/20814969


Yeah, or J Rvier.. I have never done an A/B comparison to be sure but I know the Sage HD 300 native out through the DUO is about as good an image as you are going to get. Whether madVR on the PC can match it is hard to say. Too bad something like madVR is not implemented on the streamers, now that would take the whole thing up another notch.. I frankly was shocked how much better the Sage looked through the DUO then the typical MS Video Decoder and EVR playback. Unfortunately all these filter stack soltuions only work for a limited set of playback which does not include HD cable. ATSC is working though on JR with madvr.. Okay to watch the big game, but for channel surfing JRiver is not really ready for any kind of primetime.


One thing you can do with something like the DUO is PREP. So 1080i content like live TV is re-deinterlaced and correctly. That does improve some things. Unfortunaely with so much of HD TV, the SD content that is already mapped on the HD stream is deinterlaced and scaled and it is really sucky. You wonder why a studio is not deinterlacing its SD commercials etc with a decent VP before the put/mix it on the 1080i or 720P stream.

interesting read gtgray, thanks very much.... i just recently completed my htpc build (i3, z68ma, sata drive, 4gb mem) but have yet to load any 3rd party filters or even a front-end as of yet - instead i've just been playing around with internet streams (netflix, hulu, etc.) to see what they look like before introducing anything else, and many of the "hd" streams look pretty good to my untrained eye, as is.


but today i was checking out the specs of my i3 which, according the the lit., offers "intel clear video hd technology" which is said to "integrate a wide range of image processing technologies" including jitter removal, color control, color space mapping, hardware decoding acceleration, noise reduction, dvd upscaling (with wmp), advanced de-interlacing, etc...


so how would the i3's video processing technology compare to that of a legacy external video processor such as key digita'sl kdvp-hd2? would a system with an i3 even benefit from ffdshow or 3rd party filters? moreover, given i assume the i3's video processing can't be turned off, what would an external video processor do with a processed signal coming from an i3 system, attempt to apply it's own processing?
 

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The thing is, your source is an HTPC, so IMO, there is absolutely no point to using an external video processor. The reason is what I mentioned above, you simply cannot avoid video processing on the PC, so you effectively negate the whole point of an external VP, and that is to replace sub-par video processing in one component, with something better.


To do that, you have to be able to disable/bypass video processing in your other devices, but this is not possible in a PC. I really don't think something like the KD would do anything but make the situation worse.


I think to best a PC, you really need to get the PC out of the picture, get a source device that can output untouched video, and then feed it to a good video processor, eg something Gennum, Realta, ABT or similar based. Like the iScan Duo gtgrey mentioned, a Lumagen, or maybe a display with a high end video processor.


But the benefits largely depend on content. If everything you watch is progressive (or effectively progressive like most Hollywood DVDs), then scaling is pretty easy to get a PC to do rather well.


I tend to watch more diverse content (TV type DVDs), so I need very good deinterlacing, which complicates things because it effectively eliminates using ffdshow unless you're willing to manually change playback configuration based on content.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks for your input s89, you've cleared up much of my confusion about what an htpc actually does to a video signal prior to outputting it to a display panel. for some reason i was under the impression that an htpc, for example, might passthrough the dvd signal from the dvd drive - but of course the htpc is playing the dvd and processing / scaling it...
 
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