Arcam AVR500 A/V Receiver Video Test Bench

Video Test Bench

Apart from failing 2:2 in both HD and SD (a fairly common failure), the Arcam mostly performed well on our standard run of tests. However, there were a few operating quirks that are not reflected in the chart. We noted similar issues in our review of the AVR500’s big brother, the Artcam AVR600 (HT, August 2009).

Several times during a test period that was spread over two separate days (between which the unit was off and disconnected), in the Analog SD setup (component 480i input to HDMI 1080p out), there was clearly visible edge enhancement (white-edge outlines) in the image. We could defeat this by switching to a different output resolution setting in the player, then changing it back to 480i.

Although 1080p luma bursts over HDMI showed excellent resolution, there was obvious discoloration when the input was 1080i instead of 1080p. The top burst on the luma horizontal resolution pattern (vertical lines) was a bright pink, and the top three vertical resolution burst patterns (horizontal lines) were various intensities of lime green. The resolution lines were still visible through the color. There was no discoloration on the Analog Luma Resolution test (1080i component in to the AVR, 1080p HDMI out), nor was it visible in the Digital HD configuration with real-world program material. I saw no obvious color artifacts in Casablanca on Blu-ray (the problem would likely be most obvious on such a black-and-white source). So Luma Resolution is still a passing grade.

On the Digital SD deinterlacing tests (a 480i HDMI input and a 1080p HDMI output), there were, as above, bright pink and green discolorations on black-and-white 480i resolution patterns. Again, as above, this did not occur in the Analog SD tests (480i component in, 1080p HDMI out), or with a 480p input (with either a component or HDMI input). Nor was it visible on real-world black-and-white 480i source material, only on test patterns. It did not interfere with completion of the Digital SD tests.—TJN


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