AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have looked at quite a few receivers recently. One feature I have been looking for is a receiver with the ability to upconvert the video signal to component video. I am thinking of getting a front projector ($1500 to $3500 range) and want to be able to just run one set of video cables to it. I have narrowed the search down to the Denon 3803 or the Integra 8.3.


Today I found a post that talked about these external upconverter devices. Looking for opinions on doing this internal or external of the receiver. Not sure if the internal or external units would do a better job it this? I mainly need this for video signals coming from my satellite PVR which does not have component out.


Here are the links to the two that were talked about. I also read that the Viewsonic 6 ($400) would be out shortly but it is twice the price of the 5


http://www.avtoolbox.com/cmt-7.htm


http://store.viewsonic.com/html/ibeC...oot=3lp1wei362


Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
604 Posts
The latest receiver line from Integra (parent company being Onkyo) features the first I've personally seen of full upconversion of any video input source to component output.


I cannot vouch for this but it does address your question. I happen to use an Integra in the Den and have been very happy with it.


In re-reading your post I see you already know of the 8.3 . Sorry for the redundancy.


regards,


patrick
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Hi Scott,


I honestly didn't mean for this post to be a full-length novel when I started, but here it is...


A few weeks ago, I believe I was in the same situation you are in right now. I wanted (or thought I wanted) a Receiver that did "upconversion" of video signal signals to Component video so that I could just run one set of Component video cables to the Plasma (which I don't own yet, by the way). One thing to remember is that the term "upconversion" can be quite misleading. The video signal being converted to a component signal inside the receiver will not look any better as a result of that conversion, it will just be in a different format. And in reality, there is a chance that the quality could actually be slightly diminished depending on the quality of the receiver's internal circuitry. BTW, other receivers that do the video "upconversion" are the Pioneer Elite 49TX and the 49TXi


Anyway, I hate to break this to you, but I had to go through this myself a few weeks ago, so don't feel bad. The fact is there is very little chance that you will be entirely happy with the resulting picture quality if all you are going to do is route a video signal from, for example, your Cable or Satellite Box into your receiver where it will get converted to a component video signal, and then output to your projector. The reason this will probably not look very good is because regardless of the fact that the signal is in getting turned in to "component video" format, it will still be at the same resolution that it originally started out at. The resolution (in pixels) for most NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) TV broadcasts these days is, at most, 525 horizontal lines (and usually fewer than 480 of those lines are actually used to display the picture). Even a good DVD signal that originates from the DVD player as a component video signal will only yield that same resolution, even if it is in "progressive" format. Now, mind you, that "low" resolution is absolutely fine for just about any normal CRT Television, and even most Rear Projection TVs under 60 inches. However, with the large screen area that a Front Projecter can provide, (100+ inches) something must usually be done to the signal so that the actual image being displayed by the projector is at a higher resolution than the original signal. This increase in resolution is called scaling. Scaling is one of many types of Video Processing techniques that can be used to make a video signal look better, especially when displayed at an increased size. Another example of something that falls under the realm of Video Processing is deinterlacing. Both scaling and deinterlacing become more and more important as your picture size gets larger. There are, of course many other types of things that video processing can accomplish (such as color tweaking, black level adjustments, sharpness, etc.), but from what I have read on this forum scaling and deinterlacing tend to be the most important.


In order to see for yourself why scaling and deinterlacing can be important, I encourage you to visit your local HiFi shop (not Best Buy or Circuit City) and ask them to send a "non-processed" signal directly from a normal VCR or better yet, a Cable or Satellite box to a 50" Plasma television and look at how crappy it is. Even on the Panasonics and Fujitsu Plasmas that have "scalers" built into them, the picture quality is usally unacceptable. It is not until you send these digital display devices (whether it be a Plasma or a Digital Front Projector) it's "native" pixel resolution that they really start to shine. It's just like all the LCD monitors that are being sold today for use in desktop computer systems. These "flat panel" monitors will only look good if they are being fed their "native" signal format (such as 1024 x 768). Most of the time, these LCD screens will accept and display a lower resolution signal (such as 800 x 600), but the result is usually horrible because the display has to "stretch" the image to fit in its "native" pixel count of 1024 x 768. So basically, the pixels in the original signal can get distorted or dropped entirely, and sometimes text on screen gets really unreadable.


However, there are a number of ways that excellent quality scaling and deinterlacing can be accomplished.


The simplest, and probably most expensive way to process a video signal in preparation for large-size display is to purchase a Set Top Box (STB) video processor such as one in the Faroudja line of video processors . These boxes usually cost several thousand dollars (around $4k to $20k and up I believe), but they do the job of preparing your various video signals to look good at the high resolution that many front projectors and Plasmas are capable of. So, if you had one of these, you would have no need for a receiver that had video "upconversion" because your video signals would probably be routed directly into the Faroudja box from the source. This would add a minor complication of having to switch the inputs on both the receiver (for audio) and the Faroudja box (for video), but many people address this issue by purchasing a programmable remote control that can switch over both units with a single press.


One thing to also keep in mind is that Faroudja actually licenses its technology out to other manufacturers. For example, Fujitsu Plasma displays actually have Faroudja chips inside them that helps with video scaling. I haven't seen one in action, but I'm willing to bet it's not all that bad. I would imagine that there are some front projectors with built in Faroudja processors as well though I really have no idea.


Another option is to use an actual computer running Windows as part of your Home Theater Equipment. It may sound scary, and it can be for those that are not into building and setting up their own PCs, but the fact is, it is possible to create your own video processor with a Home Theater PC (HTPC) at a fraction of the cost of the expensive (but easier) STB scalers. I would encourage you to thoroughly immerse yourself in the HTPC Forum section of this web site. Read the HTPC FAQ . I can not hope to convey all of the intracacies and choices involved in setting up a home theater PC. But don't let that scare you!! It can be quite easy if you know anything about computers.


One particular item of interest is a computer input card that is made by a company called Immersive. The card is called the Holo3Dgraph . The card is inserted into one of your Home Theater PC's PCI slots, and then you plug all of your various video sources (DVD, Cable/Satellite Box, etc.) directly into it. I have read many, many threads on this forum where owners of the "H3D" card who use it with Front Projectors and/or Plasmas sing its praises. The company (Immersive) is even going to release an add-on board for the H3D that will allow you to use the DVD drive directly in the HTPC as your main DVD player. But I digress.


At risk of sounding like an Immersive, Inc. salesperson (which I am not!) another video processing solution they are going to launch very, very soon -- one that I am very excited about -- is called the aSimilator . It is basically a Set Top Box similar to the Faroudja boxes, but it is supposed to be MUCH less expensive, and even more flexible. If it does what it's supposed to, I can very easily see myself getting one of these when I order my Plasma.


One last hing I want to mention is that it is important not to lock yourself in to using a single type of cable for the rest of eternity. For example, I don't know what your situation is, but if you were building a home theater room, and the projector was far away from your other components (as is likely) then you would have to run at least one cable from your equipment "rack" to the projector. I assume you were planning on running a component video cable. Well, what if standards change in a few years? What if the component video signal is not all you hoped it would be? What if you run the component video cable and then decide on getting a projector that only has a VGA or RGBHV or even DVI input? Well, the simplest answer is to run conduit inside the wall, from the equipment rack, over to where the projector will be. In case you don't know, conduit is just a pipe inside the wall, usually made of PVC plastic. I installed a piece of conduit in my family room (new construction), and you can view the pics in this other thread .


So, when you come right down to it, a receiver with component video "upconversion" may be an acceptable solution for "regular" CRT Television or "smaller" Rear-Projection TV owners, but for digital display devices (such as Plasmas an DLP projectors) it probably won't yield results that will be satisfactory. Of course, a scaling solution can always be added as an upgrade at a later date!


Demo as much equipment as you can in as wide a variety of setups as possible to really get a "clear picture" (pun intended) of what's available.


Cheers! You made it all the way through! I hope this was more of a help than a source of frustration!


-THEO-


P.S. Everyone, please correct me if anything I said in here was totally inaccurate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow! Thanks for the information. I have heard a lot about the HTPC. Will have to look into this. That was a really great post.


I want to have a front projector and I want to be able to use it for satellite as well as DVD and other sources. There is a lot to learn in this area.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top