Is the Qdeo Video Processing in My BD Player and Receiver the Same?

Q I recently updated my old receiver with a Pioneer VSX-1123-K. The difference in picture and sound quality is fantastic. I had also planned to update my old Blu-ray player with an Oppo, which I hear has superior picture quality due to its use of a Marvell Qdeo video processing chip. I’ve heard that the VSX-1123-K also uses the same processor. Does that mean I wouldn't see a difference in picture quality if I upgraded to the Oppo? —Al Baran / Stratford, CT

A At first it wasn’t clear to me that the VSX-1123-K actually does use a Marvell Qdeo video processor—Pioneer’s overview for the model on its website doesn’t list that info, though the specs for its other A/V receivers are very clear about the presence of “Advanced Qdeo video processing.” However, I checked in with Pioneer and was able to confirm that yes, the VSX-1123-K does indeed have Qdeo.

Interestingly, when I checked out Sound & Vision’s video bench tests for both the VSX-1123-K and Oppo’s current Blu-ray player lineup (BDP-103 and BDP-105), both Oppos sailed through the tests perfectly, while the Pioneer receiver failed a Chroma Resolution test. The upshot of this is that, depending on the capabilities of your TV, an Oppo player just might deliver better video performance than the Pioneer when processing video signals.

That said, in general I wouldn’t recommend buying two separate pieces of gear specifically because they feature Qdeo processing. Video only needs to be upscaled/processed once, so having multiple units with the same capability would be redundant.

utopianemo's picture

The one thing people almost never mention, and I didn't find out until I bought my Oppo, is that upscaling is only important when you want to upscale. I think video processing gets a little too much attention these days, because for most of us, the time spend watching DVDs is so miniscule anymore compared to the time we spend watching 1080p sources. Video processing doesn't get used much at present because there's not much scaling to do, but I know that will change once 4k displays become more ubiquitous.

MarkMac's picture

One thing to note, though, is that when you use the Pioneer receiver you may not want to activate the video processing for your blu-ray player since there's no point (unless you are playing a DVD), but you probably could benefit from using the upscaling for your cable/satellite box. I have DirecTV, and I have the my HR34 set to output the video signal natively (whether it is 480i, 720p, or 1080i), and I allow my VSX-53 to upscale that to 1080p for my VT50 to display.

hbomb7's picture

MY BDP-93 does a terrible job of upconverting DVDs. Is there something in the Video Menu that I need to change to rectify this problem? By the way, my brother has the same Oppo and he has the same dilemma. Thanks.

utopianemo's picture

there could be a number of problems, but a quick troubleshooting tip is to make sure that out of all the devices in your video chain, only one is actually upconverting. Make sure the output on the Oppo is 1080p(if that's the native resolution for your display), make sure your AVR is passing the signal through unaltered, and set your TV's resolution to native and set the screen format to "underscan" or somesuch. Some displays will automatically scale the image by default; 'underscan' on most displays gives you a pixel-for-pixel representation of the input signal.

mikem's picture

A few years ago I upgraded my system and installed a Pioneer Elite VSX-52 having all the bells and whistles I needed, but I've used Pioneer receivers for the last few years so there was no 'learning curve' for me. I went HDMI with everything - for one reason - no more cables out the ying-yang. The VSX-52 has many many options and it took some experimenting to finally decide what to us. BTW, after buying the Pioneer I have never purchased a DVD after that and that's been 3 years now. The one setting that I never use is the Digital Video Convertor for playing blu ray. I use it sparingly if I play a DVD though. With respect to the Oppo BDP-105D that is my next upgrade because of the Darbee software. I have used the Darbee 'Darblet' DVP 5000 for over two years now, and while it has some quirks to it I can't live without it. It does what it says and I am constantly amazed how it increases the resolution and depth of field - without any obvious deterioration to the source material. My reference BD movie for showing the Darblet of is Prometheus - especially the opening scenes.