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Discussion Starter #1
By the looks of it, I've got one on the way.


Anybody used them? Any opinions? I've got a bit of time to evaluate the unit, and wanted to get some other opinions from people who might have some experience with them.
 

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Let us know what you think. In April I am going to trade in my Sencore 300 generator for the new one.


I have loved my VPH300 for a couple of years, but is time for a new and better toy.


Cheers,


Ryan
 

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Ryan,


Will do. If the Fedex guy doesn't flake (which has happened before, unfortunately), I should have it today.


The guy at Sencore was really nice, BTW - they have some good "specials" running on the unit.


Some things I learned while talking to the sales rep:


- It doesn't support HDCP, but might in the future via a hardware upgrade. I know, it really has nothing to do with calibration at the signal level, but it would be quite handy to test displays with and would really round out the box perfectly. Small feature, but might be kinda neat.


- They are stating that the DVI connector will be able to, via an adapter, drive an HDMI connection (no encryption yet, tho). All logic dictates that this should be possible with most every DVI connector, but at least they're thinking about it.


- The spec sheet states that it supports 38 standard resolutions. These are actually the standard VESA resolutions for the indicated range.


- Colorfacts now supports the VP400/VP401 as a test pattern generator.


- They routinely take feedback from customers, and implement them into the firmware. He gave a few examples of features, such as implementing the 1080p23.97 (may have the decimal part of the wrong...) rate.


All in all, a good first contact with Sencore. Now, we'll see how the unit behaves...
 

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Yubyub,


All DVI connectors are convertable to HDMI converters via an HDMI "converters" (only a connection converter). There's not much point in doing this, right now, as almost nothing supports HDMI.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
All DVI connectors are convertable to HDMI converters via an HDMI "converters" (only a connection converter). There's not much point in doing this, right now, as almost nothing supports HDMI.
Err, yes, that's why I said "All logic dictates that this should be possible with most every DVI connector..." What Sencore hasn't commented on is the potential for sending deeper bit depths over the HDMI. Seeing as they're planning on using the DVI port for HDMI, it's not going to be possible AFAICT.


Also, when you buy a unit which is as expensive as the VP401, you want to verify that it will be compatible with HDMI (and that Sencore will support it - it might work, but if you run into trouble you might need their support).


Anyway, I got the unit last night.


Pretty neat. It's quite light - during the 20 minutes I was holding it, my arms and hands didn't get tired at all. I spent a few minutes with an LCD monitor, just trying patterns and such.


Some disappointments:


- No 1366x768 resolution - a few projectors have this (although, the VP401 does support 1360x768...).

- No 1280x768 resolution - a few panels have this.

- No 1400x1050 resolution - DILAs have this (as well as 1400x788 for the 16:9 panels, IIRC).

- The GUI is rather clunky. It's workable, but I'd expect much more from an expensive unit such as the VP401.

- The resolutions available for DVI and RGBHV are very different. I would've expected, with a few obvious exceptions, that any resolution available via RGBHV should be possible via DVI.


Some of the documentation is rather terse - for instance, I'm guessing that their DVI 720p setting is 1280x720 (that would make sense). I'd like to see that written down somewhere. They also reference things like 480p59, which I'm hoping is a reference to 480p59.94.


On the plus side, once you get through the simple-yet-a-real-pain menu navigation, the unit seems to work quite well. It appears that it is even possible to upload custom test patterns and create your own resolutions (I'll verify this today with the sales rep). If that is possible, this would be quite a fantastic little unit.


I'm taking this unit with me to calibrate a friend's theater this weekend (HD Leeza, Sharp 10k), so I'll write up a bit more in depth report once I get back. I'll even get to try the integration of the VP401 with the new release of ColorFacts. It'll be neat to see the EyeOne, ColorFacts 5.0 and the VP401 all working in concert.
 

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yubyub:


Please keep us posted. I really like my VP300 and would be interested in having ColorFacts work with it. I wasn't aware that Milori had done this.


I'll check with them about my unit to see if they will/can support it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I had the VP401 this weekend, and I'm rather disappointed with it. I'll post details tomorrow...
 

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So, I took the VP401 to calibrate a friend's home theater and bar. I had the opportunity to try the VP401 on a Samsung 50" DLP rear projection TV (living room), a Panny 50" plasma (bar), and a Sharp 10k (theater).


The first problem I ran into was that the VP401 doesn't support a 1366x768 resolution, which is the Panny's native res. Now, I could've fed the Panny a 1080i or 720p signal, but the Panny was fed by a scaler which was outputting 1366x768. I could've fed the panel 1360x768, but that's not quite optimal (although, being RGBHV, it should've worked).


Ug.


Next, the user interface. It needs work. From a product designed and programmed in the 21st century, I'd expect much more.


It seems the VP401 doesn't have the same number of resolutions for RGBHV as it does for DVI. I'd expect that, with very few exceptions, the supported resolutions for DVI and RGBHV should be the same.


As a positive note, the test patterns on the unit were quite nice. It was a cinch to calibrate the Sharp 10k to D65 using the two IRE test patterns (set one to 30IRE, the other to 80IRE, and bounce back and forth easily).


On the whole, however, I have more flexibility from my laptop. I can generate almost any resolution, either RGBHV or DVI, from my laptop. All I have to do is check the calibration with my scope before I head out.


What I'd really expect from the VP401 is a product which has much more flexibility. Custom resolutions, odd resolutions, etc. are really necessary to make the product enticing for me. It doesn't even support 1400x1050, so if (when) I upgrade to DILA the VP401 won't help me.


I'm returning the VP401. I'll buy a cheaper unit to output 1080i, 720p, etc. The VP401, unfortunately, just isn't worth its MSRP ($3295 I believe) in my opinion.
 

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yubyub:


One thought regarding your scalar. Try connecting the Sencore to it instead of your display. I did it with my VP300/NRS and it worked fine.


I'm not sure why feeding a display at its native rate for calibration is important, but maybe I'm missing something. I calibrated my Pio 503's component input at 480i and 1080i using the Sencore/ColorFacts and it did a great job.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I wanted to feed the display with a calibrated signal first, to make sure that the display is calibrated correctly against a correct signal. If I go through the scaler first, I I have two variables - more difficult to calibrate, and a lot harder to correct things like crushed blacks or whites.


This was best shown on the HD Leeza/Sharp 10k setup. Calibrating the DVI port on the Sharp 10k first yielded an excellent color balance as seen from the VP401 and while playing DVDs via the HD Leeza's SDI port. Viewing through the HD Leeza's DVI port (VP401->DVI->HD Leeza->DVI->Sharp 10k), however, yeilded terrible color balance. In that case, it'd be rather hard to calibrate the chain.


Also, if we were feeding the plasma 480i/720p/1080i then the Sencore would've been fine. With the scaler in the middle, it's important to calibrate each piece of the chain...


I hope I explained that correctly and clearly :D
 

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yubyub:


OK, I understand what you're saying. I also calibrated my scalar input by driving it with the VP300 and tweaked everything from there, but I don't have the number of scalar inputs you do and am only dealing with 480i.
 
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