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I agree with a lot but I have to say I like my results of sending 1080p to my crystalio II using the XA2 and the Pioneer. That way I can use the crystalio II to tweak the picture (sharpness, NR to name a few). I know the crystalio II is expensive to not have it deinterlace these sources but I do use it with DirecTv and DTHEATER. Also the Pioneer Blu ray unit I am using to send 480i over HDMI to my VP. For many who do not want to spend a lot more to get a VP the XA2 is very much worth it. But for hardcore pic Q junkies like myself who want to squeeze out every last drop even if it means only 5% improvement I need a great VP.
 

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Now, I would be very interested to see how the Oppo 980-HD player does vs. the XA2 on SD source. The Oppo is supposed to be the best upsampling player available, now that this model upsamples to 1080p. Any ideas?
 

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Lorelevitt, I'm a bit surprised you did all of your tests with all of the noise reduction circuits turned on. Any reason for that? I can see it when you're doing tests on noise reduction effectiveness, but wouldn't it adversely effect issues such as sharpness? I always try to keep noise reduction circuits turned off in almost any device...source or display.
 

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More good news for Blu Ray
Sorry, I could not stop myself.


The fact that the XA2 not only hangs with the Crystallio II but matches it is truly amazing. Thank you for the review, the XA2 should be a great match with my Pio 6071.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschuman /forum/post/0


Now, I would be very interested to see how the Oppo 980-HD player does vs. the XA2 on SD source. The Oppo is supposed to be the best upsampling player available, now that this model upsamples to 1080p. Any ideas?

The Oppo sells for what? $200? The Denon dvd player that has the same Reon chip as the XA2 sells for I think $850. The Oppo's are good for the price. Great bang for the buck players. But it's not going to be able to hang with this bad boy.


OP, thanks for sharing your findings. I think I'm about convinced. I'm gonna have to start saving up for one of these babies. Maybe I'll hit the lottery and be able to buy an XA2 concurrently with one of the new 1080p24 accepting projectors.
 

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Discussion Starter #26

Quote:
Originally Posted by joerod /forum/post/0


I agree with a lot but I have to say I like my results of sending 1080p to my crystalio II using the XA2 and the Pioneer. That way I can use the crystalio II to tweak the picture (sharpness, NR to name a few). I know the crystalio II is expensive to not have it deinterlace these sources but I do use it with DirecTv and DTHEATER. Also the Pioneer Blu ray unit I am using to send 480i over HDMI to my VP. For many who do not want to spend a lot more to get a VP the XA2 is very much worth it. But for hardcore pic Q junkies like myself who want to squeeze out every last drop even if it means only 5% improvement I need a great VP.

Hi Joe,


I know you're a strong advocate of the CII and I just bought one a few months ago based on the strength of YOUR analysis. But I have to say, I clearly prefer the image from the XA2 direct into my HP DLP. I'm as shocked as anyone else about that...
 

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Discussion Starter #27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Ross /forum/post/0


Lorelevitt, I'm a bit surprised you did all of your tests with all of the noise reduction circuits turned on. Any reason for that? I can see it when you're doing tests on noise reduction effectiveness, but wouldn't it adversely effect issues such as sharpness? I always try to keep noise reduction circuits turned off in almost any device...source or display.

Tom Huffman and I looked at the XA2 with the noise reduction circuits both on and off and didn't feel that they in any way reduced the sharpness. This was very surprising to us as the CII's Gennum VX gets way too soft for my tastes even on the lowest noise reduction setting. Considering that the XA2 was as sharp IF NOT SHARPER with the noise reduction settings ON than the CII, this is an amazing achievement for Silicon Optix and their ReonVX chip.
 

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Discussion Starter #28

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spur /forum/post/0


More good news for Blu Ray
Sorry, I could not stop myself.


The fact that the XA2 not only hangs with the Crystallio II but matches it is truly amazing. Thank you for the review, the XA2 should be a great match with my Pio 6071.

I would be very tempted to unload my Crystallio II if someone brought out a video processor for about $ 800 that uses the ReonVX processor. I still need something to handle my Comcrap video/tv images.
 

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Damn. Suddenly my XA1 feels so... so... inadequate.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capek /forum/post/0


The Oppo sells for what? $200? The Denon dvd player that has the same Reon chip as the XA2 sells for I think $850. The Oppo's are good for the price. Great bang for the buck players. But it's not going to be able to hang with this bad boy.


OP, thanks for sharing your findings. I think I'm about convinced. I'm gonna have to start saving up for one of these babies. Maybe I'll hit the lottery and be able to buy an XA2 concurrently with one of the new 1080p24 accepting projectors.

The Oppo 970 outclassed ALL DVD players, many costing MANY hundreds of dollars more. Unless you actually have seen the image of the 980, I wouldn't just dismiss it out of hand. The reason the Toshiba is so much more expensive is that it is a high-def DVD player, not because it was designed to upconvert SD discs better than any other DVD player.
 

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Thank you for all your efforts, lorelevitt!


Please tell us about the "Edge Enhancement" feature! Despite the dreadful labeling I assume it is in fact HQV's quite decent "detail enhancement" filter - therefor it's use should be without exessive and horrible ringing/halo artifacts. Would you mind taking a look?
 

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Actually, I agreed with Lore on the second jaggies test. I thought that the xa2 performed a little better--not a lot, but perceptible.


On the Detail test, I thought that the CII did look better--sharper and more clearly defined. Also, on the Film Detail test (the racetrack) the CII locked on quicker than the xa2.


The noise eduction test was one area in which I thought that the xa2 was clearly superior. This confirmed our earlier tests with various video processors. The HQV algorithms are exceptional in their ability to reduce noise without reducing detail.


With SD program material I preferred the xa2. It's hard to explain but the image was smooth yet very detailed, with exceptional color saturation and depth. The objective tests suggested that this was due the the Reon's superior noise reduction, but I suspect there was something else going on as well.


The HD DVD material was stunning, though I could not evaluate this because I was not familiar with what HD DVD looked like on Lore's display with the A1.


I hadn't planned on buying this unit, but this experience has caused me to reevaluate.
 

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Quote:
The reason the Toshiba is so much more expensive is that it is a high-def DVD player, not because it was designed to upconvert SD discs better than any other DVD player.

That's exactly what everyone is raving about. It uses the same chip (Silicon Optix) for upconverting SD DVDs that many higher priced/ high performance players use.
 

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Quote:
The Oppo 970 outclassed ALL DVD players, many costing MANY hundreds of dollars more. Unless you actually have seen the image of the 980, I wouldn't just dismiss it out of hand. The reason the Toshiba is so much more expensive is that it is a high-def DVD player, not because it was designed to upconvert SD discs better than any other DVD player.

The Crystalio II Video Processor he used for upconversion is a $5k piece of equipment. The Oppo can't touch it.
 

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The XA2 is amazing just as I originally reported. It's easily the best player visually on the market. We compared it with Meridian units and it was superior.


That says a lot.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dschuman /forum/post/0


The Oppo 970 outclassed ALL DVD players, many costing MANY hundreds of dollars more. Unless you actually have seen the image of the 980, I wouldn't just dismiss it out of hand. The reason the Toshiba is so much more expensive is that it is a high-def DVD player, not because it was designed to upconvert SD discs better than any other DVD player.

No one questions that this is an HD DVD player. It just turns out to be an unexpected bonus is that is a first class upscaling DVD player.


Since I was hoping for something that would do a passable job at just that task, so that I could replace my existing player instead of having to add yet another box to the rack, this is awesome news.
 

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To bad I still have to solve the upscaling problem for D* and OTA SD. I'm not real hopeful about the capability of the 70XBR2 in that area.
 

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When upscaling std DVDs... does the XA2 give the flexibility of moving the sub-titles inside the viewing area? This feature would be great for 2.35:1 screens in a constant image height set up.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by boxwes /forum/post/0


The Crystalio II Video Processor he used for upconversion is a $5k piece of equipment. The Oppo can't touch it.

So, a $1k piece of equipment beat out a $5k piece, yet you out of hand dismiss the Oppo? Would I be correct in assuming that you have not seen the Oppo HD-980 in action as yet?
 

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Discussion Starter #40

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLion /forum/post/0


Thank you for all your efforts, lorelevitt!


Please tell us about the "Edge Enhancement" feature! Despite the dreadful labeling I assume it is in fact HQV's quite decent "detail enhancement" filter - therefor it's use should be without exessive and horrible ringing/halo artifacts. Would you mind taking a look?

You know there was never any reason to turn on the edge enhancement because the natural image was so sharp both for DVD's and HD-DVD's. But I'll take a look at it tomorrow evening and report back. I generally like to do these qualitative tests with a second pair of impartial eyes so that it just isn't "my" opinion alone.
 
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