1080p Video Processor Readied for Consumers

Last week, Faroudja announced that it will introduce its new flagship DVP5000 Digital Video Processor/Scaler at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company claims that the DVP5000 is the first processor to automatically upconvert 1080i (interlaced) high-definition signals to 1080p (progressive) resolution, "improving on the best that HDTV currently offers by removing the interlace stairstepping and motion artifacts found in the 1080i signal." The company also adds that standard 480i sources can be upconverted to 1080p.

Faroudja says that the DVP5000 automatically upconverts 480p signals to 960p, while 720p signals pass through the device unaltered. In a statement, the company emphasized that "all of this processing is automatic and completely transparent to viewers, who can simply surf the DTV channels regardless of the formats used by different broadcasters, just as they would on a conventional TV."

The catch? There are two, actually. First, the new device will not be cheap, tipping the scales at almost $30,000. Second, to take advantage of the 1080p output, a high-end display is required. Faroudja says that the DVP5000 optimizes the performance of high-end 9" and 12" CRT projectors, as well as fixed-panel displays (LCD, DLP, D-ILA, plasma, etc.) with resolutions of 1280x1024 and above.

Other features include a 480p component input to accommodate progressive DVD players, and a scaler that provides complete aspect-ratio control for anamorphic, letterbox, and 4:3 signals. Faroudja says that a program will be available to owners of the DVP3000 Processor/Scaler who wish to upgrade to a DVP5000, which will be released in spring 2000.