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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have copied for ease...




April 8, 2003 — We at Marantz wish to thank SGHT for the opportunity to have our VP-12S2 reviewed by your publication. While we recognize your efforts to be thorough and accurate in your writing, however, we cannot help but to take the primary reviewer, Peter Putman, to task on a few important points.

First, some technical corrections:


Peter mentions that we include Faroudja DCDi signal processing in the VP-12S2. While this is true, there is much more to it than that. We need to make this clear, because DCDi (which is just the FLI2200 chip) is incorporated in many products today, including the under $200 DVD player that Peter chose to use. Engineered into the VP-12S2 are all three of the Faroudja chipsets that Faroudja itself uses in their NRS series. This includes the FLI2000 video decoder, which has their famous comb filter for composite sources as well as their renowned NTSC decoding circuitry for the conversion of Y/C sources to baseband component video. It has the FLI2200 DCDi chipset for deinterlacing (even considering its popularity, it is still state of the art, particularly in its handling of video based material), and finally, it includes the FLI2220 enhancement circuit. This circuit provides edge and detail enhancement without the deleterious side effects caused by less well designed circuits. This processing is part of the signal path for everything in the composite, Y/C, and Y/Pb/Pr inputs. These chipsets have been chosen for their 10-bit processing of the video image as well as their incredible flexibility. Many of our competitors have chosen "trendier" processing chips which actually don't perform as well, but have a newer model number, a later "release" date, or are simply less expensive.


Peter also comments about the limited zoom range and short throw. Since this projector is going to find its way into the homes of many ex-CRT users, its throw was designed with that in mind. We appreciate that he did note that for newer installations or more "theatrical" presentations, a long throw lens option is available. The limited zoom range is due to our unwillingness to compromise the image quality. The VP-12S2 uses a custom ground and coated 14-element lens from Minolta. This lens was designed with two things in mind, contrast and image quality. If we could have obtained a wider zoom range without compromising either of those critically important performance parameters, we would have.


Peter wishes we had more connections. This, I believe shows a misunderstanding of the target customer and their uses for the VP-12S2. We realize that in a typical "review" situation, the projector will probably be coffee-table mounted with many different sources connected; on the other hand most end users would rather have one cable running to their projector location, with all switching and processing done elsewhere. However since this is a digital display device, all signals need to be in the digital domain before display, which is why we don't do the video processing externally and run a single analog cable, like some of our competitors, because doing so adds an additional stage of A/D and D/A that are unnecessary and can hurt performance. It is easy to do video switching externally; therefore one type of each input offers the best picture performance while still maintaining simple connection capabilities.


Peter also comments on the small size and supposedly limited functionality of the remote. This subject has been covered before in reviews of other products, and more-experienced home-theater reviewers are usually quick to understand that no consumer owning a custom-installed video projector is going to use the remote that comes with the unit. Instead, they are going to use a custom controller, such as our RC5200 or RC9200 touch-panel remotes, or more sophisticated devices such as the touchscreens from Crestron or AMX. The remote is there simply to supply a library of the available commands—all of which are discrete (non-toggling), by the way.


Now we get to the "meat" of our problem with this review, which is Peter's lack of understanding of the possibilities offered by the multiple ways to connect various sources. He noted correctly that there is a softening of an HD image slightly when using the component inputs. This is due to the FLI2220 enhancement circuitry which is part of the signal path for component video, but not for the RGB or DVI inputs.


While we consider HD to be an extremely important part of our video future, it is nowhere near as important to our video present—which is DVD. DVD is the fastest-growing consumer-electronics format ever, and considering its overwhelming popularity and importance to consumers, we wanted to make sure that the video quality from DVD was as good as it could be. The FLI2220 is arguably the finest enhancement circuitry ever designed for standard scan-rate video, and does an amazing job of yielding close to HD quality from a well-mastered DVD. At CES this year, many people asked us how we were able to get a high-definition version of Star Wars Episode II for our home theater demonstrations, and were shocked to find out that what they were watching was actually the interlaced output from the Marantz DV8300 DVD/SACD player, as displayed from the VP-12S2.


However, as was correctly pointed out by Peter, HD doesn't need this enhancement, and the circuit actually adds some softening and ringing to the image. For this reason, we also offer the ability to bypass all enhancement circuitry by using either the RGB or in the best scenario, the DVI input. It's that simple. Through either of those inputs, Peter did notice that the image was good enough to evaluate upstream video quality (the point about the film weave in Raiders of the Lost Ark). This extreme level of fidelity in video playback has been noted by several top people in the mastering community in Hollywood, who are considering the use of the VP12 as a reference device for viewing digital dailies (which are now being considered to be more revealing than film dailies). The flip side of that coin is that if the RGB or DVI inputs are used, the user loses control over such things as color-level adjustments and many other types of enhancement and control. While the "purist" doesn't mind this trade-off, many would rather have more control at the expense of the slight softening of the image. The VP12 offers the best of both worlds.


Peter also commented about the shift towards green in some of the images, even though his color analyzing equipment couldn't see it (imagine that, our human sensory system picking up on something that sophisticated measurement tools couldn't see—heresy!). Our only answer here is that since there was obviously a problem with the bulb in his review sample this might have been skewing the color slightly.


We are also curious about the unusually low contrast measurements taken by Peter. It might have been the ANSI methodology, which was originally a necessity for CRT based devices, where the was a huge difference in light output between full screen and a little window, but there is no need for that with a bulb based display, since there is no such thing as blooming. Just as a speaker needs to be measured anechoically, or at least quasi-anechoically to remove any of the room's interactions with frequency response, doing full-on, full-off measurements in a completely light controlled environment is the only way to accurately assess the black level potential of a device such as this, and the measurements that we have taken personally in our own theater, closely correspond to the ones done by Tom. While we're on the subject of black level, this is the one area where we have focused (no pun intended—well, maybe a little) a tremendous amount of energy, and we're glad this was noticed by both Peter and Tom. Many of our customers, like ourselves, are former CRT owners and don't miss them at all.


We also need to explain the "High Bright" setting. This is primarily designed for presentation purposes, where colorimetry takes a back seat to overall brightness. It is not designed under any circumstances to be used in a home theater setting, except perhaps the occasional Sunday afternoon game where having lights turned up somewhat might save the furniture and/or carpet from spillage, if you catch my drift.


All in all, it is obvious to us at Marantz, our dealers, our many happy customers, and an amazingly large group of internet followers (on the AVS forum, where it is strictly based on end-user input, the VP12S2 and its predecessor, the VP12S1 have been considered pretty much the projector to beat, at any cost) that there must be more to this projector than the "test" results alone will bear out. And while we are aware of Mr. Putman's credentials, his bias towards the business projector side of this industry can't be missed. We urge anyone who is considering the purchase of a video projector to visit your authorized Marantz dealer and see the VP12S2 for yourself. You won't be disappointed in the least.


Dan Miller

Marantz America

Resident Vidiot
 

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Now that is what I call a manufacturers response. Glad to see he took issue with them using ANSI for contrast.


The only thing that peaks interest is the mentioning of deinterlacing. I am not so sure the newer 2300 chip is inferior to the 2200.


Nice to see him mention AVS. The print guys hate admitting there is an internet.


Chris
 

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Keith,


Thanks for posting the article.


FYI - after you left the demo, Dave and I watched some HD content, I definitely noticed a softening of the HD picture when we watched a couple of HD movies via my JVC 30k D-VHS unit.


When we switched to my OTA HD content via my Samsung decoder box it was a spectacular picture, noticeably brighter, with the usual incredible depth and sharpness of an HD picture.


One problem though, both pieces of equipment were connected via component connections to my receiver, which in turn is connected to the PJ with component connectors as well.


Any thoughts on why the difference in PQ?
 

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I find Marantz's attitude disappointing - particularly about the filter on the component inputs. Rather then blaming the reviewer for his "lack of understanding" how about they blame themselves for a lack of documentation about their design goals and the ramifications of them? It's completely reasonable for a user/reviewer to see the component input softens the HDTV image and to believe it is flawed or defective. How in the world would anyone outside of Marantz understand the impact of the Faroudja chips they use?


Calling it the "best of both worlds" is an interesting spin. IMO, it is a serious flaw for a $10K+ projector not to provide full bandwidth HDTV on the most commonly used input format (component). I think it's great they wanted to provide the best DVD image possible. But if they are going to make that compromise then I think they should provide a dedicated HDTV component input that omits the filter. That would truly be the best of both worlds. At the minimum, this component input that provides an inferior HDTV image should be documented. If they did that then they wouldn't have a problem with people misunderstanding the proper use of the inputs.


-Dylan
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dylan,


I thought it just the opposite. Most people use component inputs (since only 1) for DVD, and then obviously something else for HD. My old Sim2 was the same as I recall.


I thought he blew this waayy out of proportion, and the whole review centered around it, vs the actual picture quality which was deemed outstanding by both PP and TJN. Interesting that they couldn't measure the green problem, but PPs eyes saw it?



Thomas,


No idea, but does the D-VHS has DVI? Then comparing the two might give you some results. Also, could be related to transfer to D-VHS or something. I don't have either box (though thinking of D-VHS) so can't give you a clue on my machine.


I will say the DVD picture is the best I have seen, even on my Greyhawk (Firehawk in tomorrow). The 3dness of the image is what makes it "real" and "filmlike" that i haven't seen on other pjs. I have seen a few rainbows here and there as i have watched for 10 hours or so. However, i am so glued to the screen, i haven't cared yet. Definitely better than my PLV70 thus far, but obviously at a much higher cost.



Rosano,


It's posted on www.guidetohometheater.com
 

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Thanks Keith....


By the way I also use my RGB input for HDTV and component for DVD....


Keith....I would be very interested in your screen comments as I too have a Grayhawk soon to be replaced by a Firehawk.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KeithR
I thought it just the opposite. Most people use component inputs (since only 1) for DVD, and then obviously something else for HD.
Since D-Theater stuff on the JVC 30k is encrypted it looks like the only way to watch this stuff on the S2 without the softening is to also buy a Samsung 165, run firewire from the 30k to the Samsung and then use the DVI output from the Samsung. There might be other devices that support this, but I don't know of any. Anyway, it sounds like there is no way to get D-Theater stuff on the S2 with the picture controls in the projector and without the softening.


I did think that DVDs looked awesome on this projector at CES, but now I understand that they made some design tradeoffs with HD. Even without a lot of D-Theater movies out there, at $493 for a deck I would think that many people spending this kind of money on a projector would want to get some of the highest quality film based content that consumers can get. In my case much of the stuff I watch is HD, since I have about 100 tapes of stuff I've recorded.


Also, as far as only one component input, the component switchers are not very expensive ($20? at Radio Shack) so I think even people with ceiling mount can easily run DVD and a 30k through component.


I think that one of the things that was touted about this projector was that it didn't need fancy external devices. I think being able to run D-Theater straight into the projector from a 30k without an degradation would be a nice thing.
Quote:
from article
While the "purist" doesn't mind this trade-off, many would rather have more control at the expense of the slight softening of the image. The VP12 offers the best of both worlds.
I think the "best of both worlds" would be doing the processing for DVD input and not softening HD input over component. Having this expense of softening the image when most would not want it in order to have picture controls is not something that I would call "the best of both worlds".


--Darin
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cajunlab
I wonder why Marantz doesn't user the newer 2300 DCDi chip (vs 2200)?

Infocus does, don't they?
They do. Now as to which one is superior is up for debate. I do think the 2300 has more taps than the 2200 though that is not the whole ball of wax so to speak.


Chris
 

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I was OUTRAGED at Dan Millers response to SGHT review of the 12S2 projector. I found it to be typical of a manufacturers rep who is trying to lay blame at everyone except his own company.


Two key points (I actually have many more but here goes):


1) The lack of bandwidth of the component inputs as measured by SGHT is a serious flaw in a $12,000 projector. To sacrifice HDTV (which by the way is MAJOR source of my TV viewing for the FLI2220 circuit (which at it's concept is not a bad idea) is an egregious error. The comment "While we consider HD to be an extremely important part of our video future, it is nowhere near as important to our video present—which is DVD" is perhaps the most laughable statement I've seen by ANYONE in the past year. And BTW, not everyone has the option to use RGB, or has a DVI source available to them.


2) Blaming the reviewer for the green shift by claiming he should have known that the sample was possibly defective is insane. NUFF SAID.


I could go on and on, but in the end Dan Miller's response was the WORST piece of drivel I have ever had the misfortune to read. Shame on you.


P.S: He didn't seem to address the light output shifting reported by SGHT. I'm sure it's not Marantz's fault.
 

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All in all a great response but this left me confused:

Quote:
Peter wishes we had more connections. This, I believe shows a misunderstanding of the target customer and their uses for the VP-12S2. We realize that in a typical "review" situation, the projector will probably be coffee-table mounted with many different sources connected; on the other hand most end users would rather have one cable running to their projector location, with all switching and processing done elsewhere. However since this is a digital display device, all signals need to be in the digital domain before display, which is why we don't do the video processing externally and run a single analog cable, like some of our competitors, because doing so adds an additional stage of A/D and D/A that are unnecessary and can hurt performance. It is easy to do video switching externally; therefore one type of each input offers the best picture performance while still maintaining simple connection capabilities.
But Dylan came to the rescue with the proper solution:

Quote:
Calling it the "best of both worlds" is an interesting spin. IMO, it is a serious flaw for a $10K+ projector not to provide full bandwidth HDTV on the most commonly used input format (component). I think it's great they wanted to provide the best DVD image possible. But if they are going to make that compromise then I think they should provide a dedicated HDTV component input that omits the filter. That would truly be the best of both worlds. At the minimum, this component input that provides an inferior HDTV image should be documented. If they did that then they wouldn't have a problem with people misunderstanding the proper use of the inputs.
That really is the proper solution. Either that or have the single component-input bypass whatever processing stage is softening the image when it detects a 720P or 1080I/P signal.


BTW...too bad the Marantz doesn't do 3-2 for 1080I materal (the Sharp 10000 does). Does it accept 1080P input?

Quote:
The comment "While we consider HD to be an extremely important part of our video future, it is nowhere near as important to our video present—which is DVD" is perhaps the most laughable statement I've seen by ANYONE is the past year. And BTW, not everyone has the option to use RGB, or has a DVI source available to them.
Amen!!!


-dave
 

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And while I'm at it lets look at some other comments:


1) "because DCDi (which is just the FLI2200 chip) is incorporated in many products today, including the under $200 DVD player that Peter chose to use"


Translates to: How dare you use a cheap DVD player to review our projector!



2) "we don't do the video processing externally and run a single analog cable, like some of our competitors, because doing so adds an additional stage of A/D and D/A that are unnecessary and can hurt performance"


Translates to: I don't know what the hell he is referring to here.



Kevin
 

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I think Kevin's comments are out of line. In fairness if you spend $12,000 on a projector you can surely spend $600 on a Samsung HDTV box with DVI input. If not you can buy a different projector, but I think Dan's response was fair and definitely warranted after reading the review.


Ive owned this projector as well as the SIm2 HT300 Plus. I think the 300 Plus is superior, but the Marantz is very close. The Sharp 10000 would be 3rd and the Infocus while a nice machine would be my fourth choice.


Andy
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by KPG55
And while I'm at it lets look at some other comments:


1) "because DCDi (which is just the FLI2200 chip) is incorporated in many products today, including the under $200 DVD player that Peter chose to use"


Translates to: How dare you use a cheap DVD player to review our projector!



2) "we don't do the video processing externally and run a single analog cable, like some of our competitors, because doing so adds an additional stage of A/D and D/A that are unnecessary and can hurt performance"


Translates to: I don't know what the hell he is referring to here.



Kevin
DWIN TV3???
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew P
I think Kevin's comments are out of line. In fairness if you spend $12,000 on a projector you can surely spend $600 on a Samsung HDTV box with DVI input.
While I agree that some of the comments have gone too far, it isn't so much the expense of the box as the hassle of having to add one more component to play a tape that would bother me. I have the 30k, but no Samsung box, so I don't know if there is any extra hassle over having to find a place for another component and control it.


Also, it seems like something positive has come out of this review. Most of us would have never known about the extra big advantage (lack of disadvantage?) of bypassing the component inputs for 1080i material on the S2 without the review by SGHT and the response from Marantz.


I hope my HT1000 that I will be getting soon doesn't have this issue.


--Darin
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by KPG55
I was OUTRAGED at Dan Millers response to SGHT review of the 12S2 projector. I found it to be typical of a manufacturers rep who is trying to lay blame at everyone except his own company.


Two key points (I actually have many more but here goes):


1) The lack of bandwidth of the component inputs as measured by SGHT is a serious flaw in a $12,000 projector. To sacrifice HDTV (which by the way is MAJOR source of my TV viewing for the FLI2220 circuit (which at it's concept is not a bad idea) is an egregious error. The comment "While we consider HD to be an extremely important part of our video future, it is nowhere near as important to our video present—which is DVD" is perhaps the most laughable statement I've seen by ANYONE in the past year. And BTW, not everyone has the option to use RGB, or has a DVI source available to them.


2) Blaming the reviewer for the green shift by claiming he should have known that the sample was possibly defective is insane. NUFF SAID.


I could go on and on, but in the end Dan Miller's response was the WORST piece of drivel I have ever had the misfortune to read. Shame on you.


P.S: He didn't seem to address the light output shifting reported by SGHT. I'm sure it's not Marantz's fault.
1) Then go ahead and connect dvd via s-video buddy and have fun. 99% of people will use component for DVD, and he justifies it saying the chip makes dvd a better picture. You fail to even mention this. It would be nice to have 2 component inputs, but that is not your argument.


2) He didn't blame the reviewer, he blamed the lamp


3) The light shift he obviously thought was a fault with Marantz error. Also, please read the article where it said the second unit did not have it after 40 hours.


Please reread the article and the response, before laying Dan Miller (one of the helpful folks) out on the forum. He deserves more respect than you do.
 

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Let me see if I got this right. If I have the Marantz ceiling mounted and want the very best picture quality the Pj has to offer I need to run:


1. (1) S Video cable for my cable TV

2. (3) Component cables for DVD broadcasts

3. (1) RGB or DVI cable for HD

4. (1) power cord for AC power

5. (1) trigger cable to drop screen or other use


All In all I will need 7 cables in order to get the most from my PJ, does that sound right? His comparison to (SIM) using a single cable is interesting.


The best solution for Marantz would be to offer a software upgrade that would allow the owner/user to disable the Faroudja processing, either manually or automatically when it sensed 720 or 1080. That way, one set of component cables could do double duty for best PQ on HD and DVD viewing.


Now Dan, go get it done:)


Here is an interesting question:


I remember seeing a setting in the menus for DCDI on/OFF and some othe Faroudja settings. Would it be possible to set one user memory to have DCDI on for DVD and DCDI off for HD? Could that be done? Would it work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by KPG55
And while I'm at it lets look at some other comments:


1) "because DCDi (which is just the FLI2200 chip) is incorporated in many products today, including the under $200 DVD player that Peter chose to use"


Translates to: How dare you use a cheap DVD player to review our projector!



2) "we don't do the video processing externally and run a single analog cable, like some of our competitors, because doing so adds an additional stage of A/D and D/A that are unnecessary and can hurt performance"


Translates to: I don't know what the hell he is referring to here.



Kevin
Prior point deleted, since Dan clarified. Apologies is I misinterpreted.



Darinp,


I am not too familiar for D-VHS, so sorry couldn't be of more help. I agree this projector may not be for you.



To All,


Perhaps a software fix can allow the projector to turn off the filter on the input???? That would make everybody happy....
 
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