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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To answer a thread that ran for quite a while on this forum, SDI for the Meridian 800 is available! Thanks to Tom Strade and the people associated with Immersive, I have it running on my version 3 800. I will explain the details behind it and my impressions of the video quality.


Technical Details


Immersive has done it up right by developing a plug in card for the 800. The card plugs into the 800 just as any other card would install. Mine is installed in the slot right next to the power supply, just one cover plate away from the existing video output card. The plate for the SDI card has a lone BNC installed on it, labeled as SDI. To outward appearances, it looks stock. The card is similar to the existing video output card in that there is no software configuration needed and the 800 does not need to be told that the card is there. It works by being plugged in, simple as that. Obviously, you only need to order the card and install it, eliminating the need to send your player in for modification. Another key point is that this SDI card in NO way effects or touches the existing video output card in any manner. Your existing video output card remains pristine and, in fact, all outputs remain functional at the same time as the SDI output. From an earlier post, Stacey Spears mentioned that version 1 800's use a 601 bus vs the 656 bus used for versions 2 and 3. The 800 card I am using is a 656 card so version 1 800's would not work with it. If it is not apparent, this SDI card will work with any SDI equipped processor. Immersive has checked it out with a Rock processor and it works perfectly, so there should be no compatibility problems.


Video Impressions


Testing the SDI output could not be easier due to all outputs being simultaneously active. I therefore compared component vs SDI. As expected from my earlier experiences with SDI, SDI resolves more detail. There is more resolution to the picture, most apparent in better pressings but always observable. The picture is also incredibly clean with well saturated colors. The difference between the component and SDI outputs is less noticeable with noise and color saturation than with resolution, as befits an excellent output stage on the 800. Still, there is a difference with SDI that I find worthwhile and the type of difference that someone who is into an 800 should appreciate. I am using a CRT projector. Those who are into digital displays should really jump at the prospect of keeping the video output in the digital domain. I might also add that I conceptually like the idea of digital video output with the only player that transmits it's DVD-A signal to the 861 in the digital domain. It is like having the best of all worlds and builds on the superb audio strength of the 800 series.


About all I can think of for now. Will answer questions as I can.
 

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How much is the card? I'd love for Stacey to get his hands on one ...


Question: Can the 800 be modified to accept a SDI INPUT that can be passed through its output (to accomodate a second SDI source), and will the 800 transcode a video input into SDI?


Thanks for the very good news. You might wish to post the news on the Meridian message board as well:

http://www.softronix.com/cgi-bin/Ultimate.cgi


Cheers
 

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Thanks, Stacey, I will, but I can't do much until I get my 800 upgraded -- I have an old version with the wrong bus, I believe.


Cheers
 

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MWiebelhaus,


Does version 3 eliminate the chroma upsampling issues? I am currently using a Panasonic with SDI mod because my Meridian has very very noticeable CU. Sadly, I only use this expensive DVD player for audio duties.


Regards, Peter
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Version 3 does not eliminate the chroma bug. I have talked to Meridian about this and they feel that the MPEG decoder they use (C-Cube) is the best for what they want done video wise (save for the bug). They are aware of the bug and have asked C-Cube to have it fixed but the fix rests with the vendor. I am one of those who is not bothered by the chroma bug. I watch movies for content and enjoyment and in that context, I almost never notice it on my rig. Only upon going back and watching a movie for the bug am I aware of it. The 800 version 3 bug seems mild to me vs a description of what a severe form of the bug looks like.


If you aren't aware, version 3 800's will upsample dolby digital and DTS to 96/24. I have heard demos of this and the difference in sound quality is not subtle at all. Seeing as the sound quality difference is apparent thoughout the length of the movie and the chroma bug is only apparent in fleeting scenes, if at all, I vote for watching using the 800. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mwiebelhaus
Thanks to Tom Strade and the people associated with Immersive, I have it running on my version 3 800.


Obviously, you only need to order the card and install it, eliminating the need to send your player in for modification.
Please tell me how to contact Tom @ Immersive; my Meridian 800 v3.0 is on the way...


Thanks also for keeping us appraised of what should be a killer mod!


Ray
 

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Wow,


Great news! I can only imagine coupling this with a new Vigatec.... wow!!!


I'll drop an email to Tom soon..


Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Quick followup. I have used the SDI connection for a week since my earlier comments, giving me more opportunity to view discs. I am more impressed than ever with the SDI. The difference between SDI and component is larger than my initial impressions of the difference. So much so that I disconnected my component connection and stopped doing comparisons. Along with the superb sound from the version 3 800, I am one happy camper!
 

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Any reason you have not posted this on the Meridian "Hitchickers's" Website? I was going to do so if you were not going to, however, you have already done comparisons and have the product, so would you please post all of your info onto the Meridian "Hitchiker's" Website....
 

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HealthNut, I suggested the same thing, but we could post a link to the thread at a minimum. My post above has the link to the HitchHiker site.


Cheers
 

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Hi,


Being located overseas, I haven't had a chance to audition a Meridian player. All I know is that they're said to be quite good in the audio realm.


I was just wondering if one modded for SDI output would be substantially better audio performer than the Kenwood DV-5900M that is currently being fitted with new op amps and output chipsets by Stan Warren (of PS Audio fame).


Thanks for telling it like it is! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Chris and Joel,

I have added a posting on the Meridian forum regarding SDI for the 800. The posting has a link to this thread.

Brett,

Substantially better sound quality is one of those things only you can determine to your satisfaction. A big part of the reason I got the version 3 800 related to it's sound quality. My 800 will be mated to a version 3 861. This allows the 800 to perform at it's best as it will upsample dolby digital and DTS to 24/96, upsample CD's to 24/88 and pass multi-channel DVD audio in the digital domain. The sound quality using the 800 with my pre-updated 861 is the best I have ever had. I would think you could arrange an audition if interested, as new version 3 800's and 861's are available.
 

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Thanks for your kind response.


Just saw these babies' pricing (used) at Audiogon and didn't have an inkling. Maybe they sound great, but they aren't giving them away. However, they do have nice packaging - would be nice to buy one to gut it and use as an HTPC case. ;)


Cheers,
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brett
would be nice to buy one to gut it and use as an HTPC case. ;)
Ouch.
 

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Yeah Dan, but it would make a worthy host for one of your fabulous HTPC SDI Silk100 input cards! :D

http://sdisilk.com/


Not knocking scalers:


Teranexes and assorted Snell & Wilcox Archangels can probably retain their advance for quite some time over HTPCs. The others will gain and lose ground regularly in comparison. :)


Cheers,
 

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Quote:
Version 3 does not eliminate the chroma bug. I have talked to Meridian about this and they feel that the MPEG decoder they use (C-Cube) is the best for what they want done video wise (save for the bug). They are aware of the bug and have asked C-Cube to have it fixed but the fix rests with the vendor. I am one of those who is not bothered by the chroma bug. I watch movies for content and enjoyment and in that context, I almost never notice it on my rig. Only upon going back and watching a movie for the bug am I aware of it. The 800 version 3 bug seems mild to me vs a description of what a severe form of the bug looks like.
There are various flavors of the chroma bug but theoretically the most common ones could be easily corrected by a DScaler filter. Stacy Spears has suggested one good way and the Faroudja NRS reportedly can just hide it with a chroma vertical low pass filter.


Could anyone with a Meridian 800 SDI & a DScaler Silk card post a high res screen shot of the chroma bug on a Meridian 800? Or send me one? (a pic, not an 800 ;) )


With a very nice box like this it seems a shame to have to put up with the chroma bug if it could be easily fixed.


- Tom
 

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Quote:
the Faroudja NRS reportedly can just hide it with a chroma vertical low pass filter
What are the negative aspects to this filter?


Chris
 
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