I'm considering getting an iScan Ultra for both upconverting and scaling. I haven't been reading much on doublers/scalers. Any thoughts from anyone on this puppy? How does it compare price/performance to others?
But it is not a scaler per se. The output is 480p only (576p only if the input is PAL). There is one vertical scaling operation built in, to enhance (enlarge) wide screen non-anamorphic letterbox programs on a 16:9 TV.
If you are looking for a scaler in the same price ballpark, you might want to consider the Lumagen Vision (lumagen.com). It doesn't have as elaborate video source switching but it has the same Sil004 de-interlacer chipset as the iScan Ultra.
Both of these units accept HDTV or video that is already de-interlaced on a pass through basis, to allow sharing of the same TV input jacks. But no processing such as zoom or contrast is available for this.
The iScan Ultra is a very good unit and does its job very well. However, it is not a scaler. It is only a line doubler. It takes a normal 480 line interlace signal (480i) from any source (cable, sat, dvd, vcr, plat station, etc.) and turns that signal into a 480 line progressive signal (480p). It will not upconvert 480i to 720p or 1080i. However, it does the conversion from 480i to 480p much better than the line doubler in your set. (Some say it is the best) In fact, you'll end up turning the proressive scan feature on your DVD player "off" so that you can have the iScan turn the signal into a progressive signal. However, it does not scale resolutions. So, if you need to scale the image to fit the non-standard resolution of your projector, then you should look at some other device. If your set displays 480p in native mode (as most HDTV sets do), the iScan can help you. I do not believe that upconverting 480i to 1080i or 720p improves the image over just a good conversion to 480p. So, if your set displays 480p in native mode, look at the iScan. It also has a bunch of other good features -- DVI output, aspect ratio control, color/contrast/etc. control, remote control. I use it as a line doubler and a remote controlled video switcher.
thanks, for the info. That's just what I needed to know. These forums are great, aren't they?!
The other one I've been looking at is the Center Stage CS-HD. This clearly does do scaling but does it do upconverting of composite and s-video to Component? I've got a couple of older pieces that only output s-video or composite and component cables to my pj.
o Sony VPL HS10 Projector capable of taking 480i/480p/720p/1080i
o Kenwood DV-5900M capable of 480i/480p output with s-video & component
o Sony Sat A50 480i composite out (Toslink for digital audio)
which will soon be replaced with
o Zenith HD Sat520 capable of 480i/480p/720p/1080i with DVI, component, s-video, composite (Toslink for digital audio)
o Sony SLV-920HF VCR 480i composite out only
All the input devices are feeding a Lexicon mc-12 which is acting as a video switcher (composite, s-video, and component out) but it does not upconvert composite or s-video to component.
So..... I need something that will take the composite, s-video and component outputs of the Lexicon and upconvert to component, pass-through any 720p or 1080i signal but deinterlace any 480i signal to 480p. Will the iScan uptra handle this? The projector would then have to scale the 480p signal to 720p. Or will the CS-HD take all the inputs and scale everything to 720p for the projector?
Not sure about the CS-HD but the iScan Ultra and Lumagen Vision each have separate component inputs for 480p/720p/1080i passthrough and 480i de-interlacing. If your sat. box or Lexicon outputs 480i some of the time and 480p/1080i some of the time, you will need another switch box immediately after the Lexicon switcher to send the 480i one way and the 480p/1080i the other way into the iScan or Lumagen.
Otherwise the iScan Ultra will work just fine de-interlacing composite and S-video, and passing through progressive scan component video and HDTV component video. I am assuming that your projector auto-selects 480p and 1080i coming in for the appropriate scaling within the projector. Also I am assuming you are using a progressive scan DVD player.
The Lumagen scales the composite, the S-video, and non-pass through 480i component video all to the same output format of 1080i or 480p or many things in between of your choice while leaving the passthrough 1080i or 720p or 480p or 480i unchanged.
Another thing you can do is either have interlaced component video skip the Lexicon and go directly to the iScan component jacks, or have the HDTV and progressive video skip the Lexicon and go directly to the iScan pass through jack.
The Lexicon is a digital audio processor. The nice thing about having everything pass through the Lexicon is that I only have to select the source once and the Lexicon switches both the audio and the video at the same time making the whole process wife proof.
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