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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have upgraded my Sony 10HT to a brandnew Marantz VP-12S2 and I'm lovin' every minute of it! However, having only 1 component input and 2 possible sources (Nintendo GameCube and DVD player via HTPC) and after reading the immensely interesting thread about the processing on the component input on the S2 (and not the RGB and DVI), I'm wondering about connection options:


1) I could buy a component switcher and leave both sources connected to the component input, thereby making use of the excellent Faroudja processing for both sources.

2) I could connect my DVD player via RGB or DVI and use component for the GameCube. My HTPC already supports RGB, and DVI setups are becoming more do-able every day. Connecting DVD via RGB or DVI however means that the DVD player will need to do all the high-end scaling, deinterlacing and processing, as all the Faroudja circuitry is bypassed on the RGB and DVI inputs on the S2. However, after reading Dan Miller's comments about the THREE Faroudja chips being used in the S2, I doubt if a DVD player can be found that can match such performance. I don't think even the new Marantz DV8400 can do that, on the DVI-out that is.


I also thought about transcoding the GameCube's component to RGB, but that just doesn't make sense as it's equally expensive to a component switcher and on RGB I won't get the Faroudja processing. And I checked: component 480i from the GameCube deinterlaced by the S2 looks nicer than 480p (also component).



This leaves the argument that DVI (let's just forget about RGB) CAN be better than component (and RGB for that sake). CAN be, however: not having A/D and D/A conversions and having 1-to-1 pixel mapping are distinct advantages, but the image that is output on the DVI-out on the DVD player needs to be the best it can be to surpass the 480i->FLI2000->FLI2200->FL2220 route you can have with the component input on the S2. My guess is that the best all-digital data path (for DVD) is:


DVD -> FLI2000 -> FLI2200 -> 1280x720p -> FLI2220 -> DVI -> DMD -> Screen


But how on earth can you create such a solution?! The Samsung 931 will have the FLI2300 chipset as well as DVI (so it's close), but the FLI2300 chipset is only 8-bit, while the FLI2200 is 10-bit. Furthermore, the Samsung will probably only have the FLI2300 DCDi chip, and not the FLI2000 video decoder and the FLI2220 (or FLI2320 ??) enhancer. So it may have pretty good scaling and deinterlacing, but the great processing the makes the Star Wars II DVD look like HD is not in there...


Looking at the HTPC route, I see the same problem with, for example, the H3D: it only has the FLI2200, not all 3 as is used in the Faroudja NRS series. But using a Faroudja NRS ALSO doesn't seem to be the way to go, since how will you get the DVD data to the NRS? Using SDI can only take you so far, as I have seen that with high-end players (like the Marantz DV8300), the component 480i output surpasses the SDI output on the same player.


Well...everything I learned the last few months compressed into 1 post. Pfff.


You tell me... What's best? I think I have the best data-path figured out pretty good, but how to accomplish it, or anything that's close (and somewhat affordable)... I love the pj, but having great circuitry onboard makes choosing to bypass those chips just that much harder!


Kevin Reeuwijk
 

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I am just going to answer your questions regarding the Faroudja chips.


Although the Faroudja FLI2300 (which is indeed inside the new Samsung DVD player) has an input compatible with only 8 bits, it only needs to be 8 bits because the data on the DVD is only 8 bits. Since the data transfer from the MPEG decoder is in the digital domain, there is simply no benefit at all to having 10 bits on the input. The FLI2300 has internal 10 bit processing, and outputs at 10 bits. You also will not need the FLI2000 video decoder since no decoding is necessary (this is only needed after the signal becomes standard definition NTSC or PAL). The deinterlacing inside of the FLI2300 is exactly the same as that of the FLI2200. The FLI2220 functionality is also completely integrated into the FLI2300, and it also adds video noise reduction and scaling as well which are not included in the previous chips.


The bottom line is if the FLI2300 is properly implemented into a DVD player, you should see the same quality video processing as the FLI2200/FLI2220 combination, and some added features.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bob, that clears up a lot about the FLI2300. As it seems, for dvd the FLI2300 can match or even surpass the FLI2200/2220 chipset as long as all processing is done in the digital domain, which is possible inside the dvd player. Now I see why Marantz chose to use the FLI2000/2200/2220 chips inside the S2; they're used on the composite, s-video and component inputs, which are all analog thus 10-bit processing is needed for better A/D.


This leads to the 'updated best data path':


DVD -> MPEG Decoder -> 720x480i -> FLI2300 -> 1280x720p -> DVI -> DMD


And this data path is easily obtained with the new Samsung dvd player that's coming out soon (can anybody spell 'in two weeks' :D)!


"Life just became a little happier!" (Quote from Zelda: A link to the past)


Kevin Reeuwijk
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kreeuwij


DVD -> MPEG Decoder -> 720x480i -> FLI2300 -> 1280x720p -> DVI -> DMD
We are not out of the woods yet!


Your second item on the chain can make or break a DVD player. Let us hope Samsung chooses the right MPEG decoder for the job. If they do then I wholeheartedly agree this will be the player to beat.


Chris
 

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HTPC>DVI> PJ> Eyeballs.
 

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How do software DVD players via DVI on an HTPC to a DLP at native resolution compare to the external DVD players in terms of PQ?


joel
 

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Quote:
How do software DVD players via DVI on an HTPC to a DLP at native resolution compare to the external DVD players in terms of PQ?
It depends on what element of PQ you're talking about. KBK can tell you that DVI lowers the noise floor considerably (IIRC from an older thread KBK posted in - I don't mean to speak for KBK).


I can tell you that HTPCs also lack considerably in the deinterlacing department. I believe hometheaterhifi.com also found that HTPC software was generally lacking in a bunch of areas. That said, for clean, well produced discs an HTPC can look fantastic.


-Jon
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by yubyub



I can tell you that HTPCs also lack considerably in the deinterlacing department. I believe hometheaterhifi.com also found that HTPC software was generally lacking in a bunch of areas. That said, for clean, well produced discs an HTPC can look fantastic.


-Jon
See that is the problem though. Many discs are not flagged correctly so in such an instance the flag reading, software based, deinterlacer gets tripped up. Some of the best hardware solutions available (eg. Panasonic) are less likely when analyzing cadence. I do not mean to put down HTPC as it has some very fine points but it is not the be all end all some purport it to be.


Regards,

Chris
 

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Quote:
I can tell you that HTPCs also lack considerably in the deinterlacing department.
Here's another solution that takes the above problem into account:


DVD -> MPEG Decoder -> SDI out -> HTPC w/ Holo3D ->DVI -> PJ


The Holo3D has the FLI 2200 to do deinterlacing. The graphics card (ATI Radeon?) can do the scaling to native resolution (1280x720p) and outputs through DVI to the PJ.


The best of both worlds IMHO :)
 

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PedroV,


At that point, why not just get a good scaler which takes SDI in and spits DVI out?


-Jon


P.S. - I can see potential cost savings on the HTPC route, depending on the scaler you choose. The idea is the same for both, tho - digital all the way. At that point HTPCs are just another digital box in the loop, and are really no different than a scaler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by PedroV
Here's another solution that takes the above problem into account:


DVD -> MPEG Decoder -> SDI out -> HTPC w/ Holo3D ->DVI -> PJ


The Holo3D has the FLI 2200 to do deinterlacing. The graphics card (ATI Radeon?) can do the scaling to native resolution (1280x720p) and outputs through DVI to the PJ.


The best of both worlds IMHO :)
There are 3 problems with this route:


1) The SDI out isn't as good a digital connection as DVI. Although practically all lower priced dvd players look better via SDI (and a scaler), a test with a high-end player like the Marantz DV8300 showed that the component-out from the DV8300 to the component-in on the Holo3D actually looked better. SDI just has a performance limit, and it isn't as high as DVI or high-end component.


2) The Holo3D doesn't have the FLI2220 enhancer chip, which makes excellent dvd's look like HD. (A Holo3D based on the FLI2300 would fix this).


3) as seen in yubyub's post "KBK can tell you that DVI lowers the noise floor considerably". Adding "MPEG Decoder -> SDI -> FLI2200" and "FLI2200 -> PCI bus -> ATI Radeon -> DVI" to the chain doesn't seem to be a cleaner path than "MPEG Decoder -> FLI2300 -> DVI".


Granted, the "MPEG -> FLI2300 -> DVI" path just wasn't possible until now (or soon) and scalers with DVI-out were pretty $$$, so the Holo3D route was one of the best compromises out there. Until the Samsung comes out that is!


Kevin Reeuwijk
 

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yubyub,


You're right. Cost savings is a decisive factor on going the HTPC route. Until now, to get a comparable scaler with DVI out you had to spend big $$$. I think with the HD Leeza and aSimilator the situation is going to change.


kreeuwij.
Quote:
The SDI out isn't as good a digital connection as DVI.
I think they are two completely different digital signals so it's not possible to compare the two. One is at the beginning of the digital signal path (SDI) the other at the end (DVI). The end result will depend on the way each one is implemented, IMHO.

Yes, the Holo3D doesn't have the FLI2220 although I've tried a Krell DVD which has the chip and used it near or at the zero setting all the time. I guess it depends on the displays used.

But I agree with you, it would be nice to have it on the Holo3D or even better the FLI2300. :)

You are right, the shortest path is MPEG Decoder -> FLI2300 -> DVI -> PJ. However your source (DVD player) should be able to scale to the native resolution of the DMD chip. I don't know what resolutions the Samsung does on DVI out with copy protected DVD's.
 

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The FLI2300 has internal scaler. So I do agree that the MPEG -> FLI2300 -> DVI is a clean solution. But I haven't seen the quality of the scaler built in. It is a 2-dimensional scaler. I just hope that the new DVD player with DVI output will allow you to adjust the output timing and resolution such that you can mate them with any fixed pixel device to get dot-by-dot mapping.


I found the comment on the quality of SDI very interesting. It's nothing more than a mean of transferring the digital video data over a serial link. One can't really say SDI is bad as being SDI. You can compare it with an component analog in and out on the Holograph card and prefer the analog picture due to various reasons. If the Holograph card can receive the SDI data properly, it should be the same digital data that is being sent by the MPEG decoder.
 

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Great post by Bob Williams. Thanks for clarifying much of the confusion regarding the Faroudja FLI2300 chip vs. the FLI2200 and FLI2220.


This makes the new Samsung that much more intriguing. However, as stated above, I would still be concerned with Samsung choosing the right MPEG decoder for the job!
 

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Quote:
1) The SDI out isn't as good a digital connection as DVI. Although practically all lower priced dvd players look better via SDI (and a scaler), a test with a high-end player like the Marantz DV8300 showed that the component-out from the DV8300 to the component-in on the Holo3D actually looked better. SDI just has a performance limit, and it isn't as high as DVI or high-end component.
That is not SDI's fault - that's the fault of whatever is processing the SDI. If the Marantz has a great analog section, then fantastic - but that is not dependant on the SDI link.


Also, DVI has limitations, and is not the best possible interconnect. SDI can surpass it for some applications. Single link DVI connections only support 8 bits/color (or 24bpp). Of course, SDI also transports an MPEG stream which is 8 bits/color (or 24bpp). Having a FLI in the player which processes at 10 bits, but is then again reduced to 8 bits for the DVI link, is not ideal. Using SDI to send the signal directly to the projector could avoid this by placing the FLI in the projector.


The ideal way would probably be DVD->MPEG decoder->SDI->Projector->FLI/SCALING->DMD. That would allow the projector to potentially use all 10 bits produced by the FLI.


A side effect is that SDI cables can be much longer than DVI cables without extra hacks/hardware. This means you can place your projector virtually anywhere, not within x meters as dictated by the DVI spec.


Of course, you'd have to find a projector which takes SDI in and does the "right thing" with it.


-Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting point about DVI being able to carry only 8 bits/color. Would dual link DVI be able to carry 10 bits/color? I guess not...

I do think that carrying the MPEG data all digital to the pj and doing deinterlacing and scaling in the pj (using the FLI2200+FLI2220 or just the FLI2300) would be the best solution. This way, the pj can then project a 30bpp color image, opposed to the 24bpp color image from DVI. DVD doesn't contain more than 8 bits/color, but even if only 15% of the color upsampling is correct, that's another 15% improvement in image quality!

But are current HD-2 projectors capable of reproducing 30bpp color images?


Somehow, I wish I could just pop my dvd into the projector... Think about it:

- No more cable hassles

- All digital and shortest data path ever!

- Cost effective

- Less cables overall (just a coax cable for DD and DTS; use a standalone DVD-Audio player for music)

- DVD player and projector remote in 1

- FLI chipset inside projector is most effectively used and not bypassed. (Bypassing means the user needs to buy the chipset once more in the dvd player).


Why didn't manufacturers think of this before??!?!


Kevin Reeuwijk
 

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Quote:
Interesting point about DVI being able to carry only 8 bits/color. Would dual link DVI be able to carry 10 bits/color? I guess not...
I believe it can, but honestly I'd have to go back and read the spec. I know dual links can achieve higher resolution, but I can't remember if it affects the potential color depth.

Quote:
Why didn't manufacturers think of this before??!?!
Because I'd have to use a ladder every time I wanted to play a movie. I'd start to loathe "flipper" discs.


Seriously, all-in-one has its advantages and its disadvantages. I like being able to mix and match my components, because a single manufacturer rarely gets even one component engineered, designed and implemented correctly. Sure, the cost goes down for an integrated unit. Remember that up to a certain point, you get what you pay for.


-Jon
 
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