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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry about opening up yet another thread about HD Leeza, but the time is fast approaching when those of us who have digital Leezas and pioneer plasmas will have to choose between upgrading to an HD Leeza or a KD card, and I figured it would be good to have a thread devoted narrowly to that topic. I'll start it off by copying an email I just sent to michaellucky:


"Hi, Michael. We're all getting pretty excited that release day is coming. But I -- like many people on the avs forum -- remain on the fence about whether to upgrade to KD's pio card or KD's HD Leeza for my pioneer 503cmx. The major tradeoffs seem to be the following:


1. For people who get the HD Leeza: simple sdi to dvi path but no HDCP support since the pio's 5002 card is not HDCP compliant.


2. For people who get the KD card: uncertain sdi to dvi path but perfect out of the box HDCP support.


To aid us in this decision, can you let us know (a) how KD plans to deal with the HDCP issue for pioneer owners who go with the HD Leeza and (b) how KD plans to create an sdi to dvi path for people who go with the KD card?


Thanks. (By the way, I plan to post this on avsforum as well, so when you answer you may want to answer there as well.)"


Any other thoughts?


(I got an automatic response from Michael's email that he is off on vacation through April 27, so we likely won't hear from him for a while, as someone already mentioned in another thread.)
 

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I am suspecting their answer to (b) will be adequate and their answer to (a) will be: "It's not our job."


Mark
 

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there is always the possibility that they will produce a "dumb" dvi/HDCP pass through card. They no doubt have the expertise, the HDCP license and the basic card physical layout done. Wouldn't that be a slap to Aurora.
 

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As SDI is not important to me, and I plan on sharing the scaler between my 2 plasmas, the smaller card (and price) make sense to me for traveling. I'm hoping my Pro1000 card will work in my 503cmx in the meantime - I'll find out Saturday or it will be a rush A303 order. KD, hurry up with the card (or at least give us a ship date, please).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777
As SDI is not important to me, and I plan on sharing the scaler between my 2 plasmas, the smaller card (and price) make sense to me for traveling...
Why isn't sdi important? If you're spenidng all that money on a high end scalar, why wouldn't you want the capability to go from your DVD player to your plasma in an absolutely 100% all digital path? SDI modded players are not very expensive, anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jlm
there is always the possibility that they will produce a "dumb" dvi/HDCP pass through card. They no doubt have the expertise, the HDCP license and the basic card physical layout done. Wouldn't that be a slap to Aurora.
I'm in total agreement with Alan about wanting to have the best of both worlds in that an external scaler, although the expense is greater, will go a lot further down the road as it can moved (hopefully) to a new display. Then again, we all know that down the road there will always be something newer and better than what we already have. Since it is in our nature to get all excited and hyped up over new products, the urge to upgrade will be inevitable. I like most of you have beaten this to death and I am very conflicted about which decision to make.


As respects to the dumb DVI/HDCP pass through card and the slap to Aurora...I do not believe this is going to happen. I am speculating on this, and I am no expert, but from what I have read and understand so far, this is the only thing that makes sense to me. The problem the way I see it is HDCP itself. Please anybody correct where I am wrong. The initial reception source point of an HDCP signal only recognizes a video signal of 480p, 720p, or 1080i. After that signal has been received, the signal is decrypted, processed (meaning the scaling takes place at this point, conversion to whatever resolution you choose other than the original 480p, 720p, or 1080i), HDCP keys applied and the signal re-encrypted and passed to the display device in our cases at Native Rate. Native rate on our Plasmas are not video resolutions, but PC resolutions. Since the architecture of the Pioneer only allows for and recognizes PC signals a simple replacement card does not seem likely unless there is a way to develop a card that is nothing more than a HDCP signal repeater. I do not see this being likely, as the only use for the card would be bundled with an external scaler since it still would not be able to recognize a video signal from a STB. Perhaps Key could comment on this since they are already paying HDCP licensing fees for the KD-PIO768 card. If it were economical for them to do it, then maybe there is the possibility.


The way KD and Aurora seem to getting around the HDCP situation seems logical based upon what I know. We all know the internal scaler on the Pioneer's do not reside on the 5002 card. Therefore, both Aurora’s approach and Key’s approach seem to be correct. The difference being that Key has spent the time and resources to achieve true Native Rate where as Aurora seems to be working within a price point.


With all of this being said, I like Alan would like the external option, but it looks like for price and performance the KD-PIO768 Card is going to be very hard to beat. At a M.S.R.P. of $1,999 there really doesn’t seem to be any true NR alternatives other than to roll the dice with an external scaler and the 5002 card until HDCP becomes an issue.


If I am way off base here, I apologize in advance, but the more I think about this the logic seems to work. Any other thoughts? In the meantime during our quest for the ultimate image, let's remember that they are pretty damn good now, any better and I might never leave the house. Enjoy!
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by asinshesq
Why isn't sdi important? If you're spenidng all that money on a high end scalar, why wouldn't you want the capability to go from your DVD player to your plasma in an absolutely 100% all digital path? SDI modded players are not very expensive, anyway.
Alan,


I need help here also. I’ve read about, but have never seen what and SDI modified DVD can do. I understand about the all-digital pathway that is why I am currently using an HTPC via DVI instead of a STB player. Some differences between the HTPC and the SDI Player would be better MPEG decoding and better handling of Video based material DVD’s, Is that correct? I also understand that SDI is a little different animal in that you are getting a pure 480i signal that is totally processed in the scaler for deinterlacing and scaling, and I can understand the possible benefit here especially for Video material. Obtaining an SDI player is not all that easy and can be significantly expensive. I know the Panasonics are regarded as the best for their MPEG decoding, but the players in question are of cheap materials, modding them voids the warranty, the layer change speed is unacceptable, and now that the RP82, XP30, XP50, and Denon DVD-1600 are discontinued and Panasonic is going with a new integrated chip design what do you buy and at what price? DVI enabled players are starting to become a reality, does this negate or lessen the need for SDI in any way? Fortunately for me my HTPC experience has been great with no problems and the increased PQ astounds me as the image blows away my previous Denon DVD-3800. I am open to SDI and the possible benefits. If you can fill in any blanks for me it would be appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Michael's answers here will be very interesting - nice post Alan!


FWIW - I have already decided to go with the HD Leeza and not the card, because:


a. it will be out sooner (and this counts)


b. the relative price difference won't be that much (can't be more than $800)


c. I don't feel like have all those wires running to my plasma, when I can have only one DVI cable


d. I'm not going to worry about HDCP until its an actual reality for me, in my living room, rather than just idle chatter


e. There is a high likelihood that I will be using the HD Leeza with a different TV at some point - don't know when or how, but it has option value


David
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by pciav
...Alan,


I need help here also. I’ve read about, but have never seen what and SDI modified DVD can do. I understand about the all-digital pathway that is why I am currently using an HTPC via DVI instead of a STB player. Some differences between the HTPC and the SDI Player would be better MPEG decoding and better handling of Video based material DVD’s, Is that correct? I also understand that SDI is a little different animal in that you are getting a pure 480i signal that is totally processed in the scaler for deinterlacing and scaling, and I can understand the possible benefit here especially for Video material. Obtaining an SDI player is not all that easy and can be significantly expensive....DVI enabled players are starting to become a reality, does this negate or lessen the need for SDI in any way?...
Not sure I can help, Phil, since I think you know more about this than I do. I can tell you from my own a/b comparisons that the all-digital path with an sdi-modded dvd player (in my case the rp56 or the rp82 -- I've had both) yields noticeably higher resolution than the progressive component analog output of those same dvd players (I can see a big difference when I put on the avia resolution test pattern, and a lesser differnece but still noticeable with a real lieve dvd). So the all-digital path is certainly ehelpful (although there are some people who say that the hyper expensive $5000 dvd players look even better than the cheap sdi modded players that I've been talking about). And there are still companies that do the sid mod for you -- I bought my rp-82 a few months ago for about $500 I think, so it's not super expensive, and jvb (I think that's there name) have a whole lot of models that they will do the mod on. As for voiding the warranty, real men don't need those anyway, right? ;).


But if you're already using an htpc to view dvds via dvi, you've already got an all digital path. And the KD card will be able to take that all digital signal and de-interlace and scale it -- you can set your htpc rig to do no scaling and to leave the signal interlaced, correct? In that case, I'm not sure there is any advantage for you. Instead the advantage would be for people that don't want to tie an htpc to their a/v rig for whatever reason (noise, simplicity, etc.). But I may be way off base -- those who know what they are talking about, please jump in and correct me if I'm wrong about any of this.
 

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does anyone know if the HDLeeza will output plain vanilla dvi, like the Digital leeza, or just the high test HD/DVI.


If it does the latter only, the pio 5002 card won't read the HD/DVI signal, and of course, not any HDCP/DVI.


If you have a Zenith 520 stb, for example, the pio 5002 can't use the DVI signal; the HD leeza can take it in, and then...?


my solution was to sell the pio and get a fujitsu with built in HDCP/DVI.
 

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John,


My guess is that the new Leeza will be HDCP/DVI which should be consitent w/ the Pio plug-in card.


My question:


Will the Pio plug-in need an external power supply. Rumor has it from a well know source that the power supply in the 1000/503 can't do it.


marty
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777
As SDI is not important to me ...
Others beat me to the punch for the answer. I have a HTPC with DVI out, but so far, no DVI input as the Pro1000 card lacks this. I do need 2 DVI inputs - my HTPC and my Sony 200 receiver. I don't recall if KD's final specs were for 2 DVI inputs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777
... I don't recall if KD's final specs were for 2 DVI inputs?
Yes, 2 dvi inputs in both the card and the external hd leeza.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by jlm
does anyone know if the HDLeeza will output plain vanilla dvi, like the Digital leeza, or just the high test HD/DVI.


If it does the latter only, the pio 5002 card won't read the HD/DVI signal, and of course, not any HDCP/DVI.


If you have a Zenith 520 stb, for example, the pio 5002 can't use the DVI signal; the HD leeza can take it in, and then...?


my solution was to sell the pio and get a fujitsu with built in HDCP/DVI.
John,


As you know the Fuji has it's own set of problems with Native Rate (I've been following the thread int he Plasma Forum. The HD Leeza will output 1280 x 768 so if you wanted to use the 5002 you can until HDCP becomes an issue. At that point you would have to hope that a replacement 5002 with HDCP is available, use analog (VGA or Component) for the signals that are HDCP encrypted, but that means you would have to run analog into the HD Leeza also since a DVI HDCP signal input would disable the analog outputs, or buy a new HDCP compliant display. The other option is to just buy the KD-PIO768 Card and have most of the benefit of the external HD Leeza. With the exception of SDI, which may be solved at some point by KD, you are essentially getting an HD Leeza for half the MSRP.

Quote:
Originally posted by MFB

Will the Pio plug-in need an external power supply. Rumor has it from a well know source that the power supply in the 1000/503 can't do it.
I know this has been mentioned in the past by that well known source, but there isn't and hasn't been any mention of this from KD. I guess this another question for the guys at Key.

Quote:
Originally posted by sdf777

I don't recall if KD's final specs were for 2 DVI inputs?
The final specs do indeed include two DVI 1.0/HDCP compliant inputs. The picture and the description on the web site shows this.

Quote:
Originally posted by asinshesq

you can set your htpc rig to do no scaling and to leave the signal interlaced, correct?
Alan,


The way I understand it, here in lies where SDI may excel over a HTPC. The PC is inherently progressive and scaling is done by the video card. So outputting Native Rate of 1280 x 768 is no problem. Outputting a 480i signal is. If I understand SDI correctly the benefits are that a pure MPEG decoded 480i signal is sent to the processor to be deinterlaced and scaled. The MPEG decoders especially in the Panasonics are better than the software decoder of the HTPC. How much better I am not sure. I do know that video based material will be superior, but I am not sure about film based material. I would love to see it with my own eyes so I can make a decision for myself. In theory SDI has it's benefits and should offer an improvement. How much I am not sure.
 

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I'm still not sure about this:


the Digital Leeza outputs a dvi signal that the 5002 card can take.


the HD Leeze outputs a HD/DVI signal as its digital signal. The pio 5002 does not work with a HD/DVI signal. I'm not talking about HDCP/DVI, simply HD/DVI.


the implication is that the pio/5002 will not work with the HD Leeza using DVI. The concept of an all digital path will be broken at the link betwen HD Leeza and 5002.


Unless the HD Leeza can send out a sd DVI signal. Key was not able to send HD over the earlier DVI path in the Digital Leeza, the two dvi types are significantly different.
 

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Jlm,


I'm confused here. You separate two concepts:

1. DVI/HD

2. DVI/SD


However, there is only one DVI standard (for non HDCP) and it has nothing to do with SDTV or HDTV...


DVI supports progressive resolutions starting from 480p and up (I don't recall the upper limit). This includes 720p and 768p (which are the two kinds of pioneer displays that accept the 5002 card, right?).


The Pioneer DVI (through 5002) is supposed to accept native rate from DVI sources.


As I recall, there was a problem sending NR through DVI on the Pioneers but it was fixable on the Digital LEEZA by a DVI blaster.


I definitely recall Ericbee confirming this in the past.


Did I get that wrong? Why would HD LEEZA nto work in the same way?


I'm confused...
 

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ofer: I am pretty sure they are not the same, according to Mike T. key could not get the SD Leeza to output HD even in bypass mode via DVI in the earlier incarnation. Furthermore, the pio 5002 does not accept HD/DVI over its dvi port.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought the pio with 5002 was the prime example of the problem.
 

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John,


Would you not consider 1280 x 768 an HD resolution? All the work with the HD signal takes place inside the HD Leeza. I may have some things wrong here, but as far as I understand it, the original Digital Leeza only accepted SD signals, but they were processed and output at Native Rate of 1280 x 768. The HD Leeza will now accept both SD and HD signals, process them and still send them out at 1280 x 768 which is the Native Rate for our 503's. Unless I am missing something, the 5002 will have no problem accepting and processing this signal. The Problem that the 5002 and Pioneers have in general is that you can not send a video signal 480p, 720p, 1080i, directly into the card. It will not recognize them. SD Vs. HD makes no difference, it is the output resolution/signal that matters. I am feeding my HTPC at Native Rate 1280 x 768 via DVI with no issues. The old issue you and Ofer make reference to is the fact that the Leeza compensated for the non-square pixel issue. Using an HTPC a circle at 1280 x 768 will not be perfectly round, if memory serves the distortion is roughly 6%. The Leeza somehow compensated for this and a test pattern shows perfect round circles. I see no reason why the HD Leeza will not be and act the same way with the exception of accepting and proccesing HD signals and adding HDCP. Again the only problem I can see using the 5002 card is when a HDCP signal is used. John, I notice you are in NY too. How are you receiving HD? Via TWC and SA3100HD? If you are like me and that is the way you are getting HD right now, Who knows when we will see an update to STB's with DVI output and even the mention of HDCP.
 

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Jlm,


You might have gotten it wrong. DVI is ALWAYS HD (in fact, there's no way to send SDTV over through DVI). You might have misheard it or misunderstood.


The problems that you are describing sound like native rate isues, not HD/SD issues.


From what I can recall issues with native rate were resolved through some kind of device (Dubbed the "DVI blaster") that was later added onto the Digital LEEZA.


The 5002 most certainly accepts HD through DVI. It simply recognizes it as a PC resolution and adjusts the picture accordingly (which is not so good for the PQ). There are a few reported problems with the 5002:

1. No HDCP


2. You need perfect timing to achive native rate.


3. There is a tearing problem unless you feed it the exact vertical frequency it expects...


In any case, I would suggest sending off an email to Mike at KeyDigital and straightening it all out. I'm pretty sure this information is incorrect.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by oferlaor


The 5002 most certainly accepts HD through DVI. It simply recognizes it as a PC resolution and adjusts the picture accordingly (which is not so good for the PQ). There are a few reported problems with the 5002:

1. No HDCP


2. You need perfect timing to achive native rate.


3. There is a tearing problem unless you feed it the exact vertical frequency it expects...
Ofer & John,


From my experience at least with the HTPC this is what I can confirm.


1. No Questions here. The HDCP issue doesn't have a resolution except for the KD-PIO768 Card or the offerings from Aurora, but that is whole different story.


2. I have had success with the following refresh rates at 1280 x 768 56Hz, 60Hz, and 72Hz. What I have found is for film based material a custom powerstrip timing at 71.928Hz works best. For video based material a custom powerstrip timing at 59.94Hz works best.


3. The tearing problem seems to be at 60Hz for film based material as confirmed by Jim Boden and his use of the Faroudja NR.


Ofer, as usual your ability to remember all this stuff and jump in an help is very much appreciated. Thanks.
 
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