Video Processor Reviews

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Darryl Wilkinson  |  Nov 10, 2003  |  First Published: Nov 01, 2003  |  0 comments
2D is for armadillos in the middle of the road. Sensio's 3D processor grabs you by the eyeballs and won't let go.

No matter how much bigger your TV is than mine, no matter how much higher the resolution or how much brighter the image, there's one hitherto immutable aspect that both TVs have in common—the pictures on our respective TV screens are two-dimensional. They've got height. They've got width. But they ain't got depth. (Talk about flat-screen TV!) The final frontier of TV viewing is the third dimension; try as we might, watching a good 3D image on TV has always seemed about as impossible as Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera starring in a performance of Verdi's Aida as a fund raiser for PBS.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 26, 2005  |  0 comments

What's the most annoying flaw in digital programming from DVDs or HDTV? Video artifacts? Macroblocking? Freeze-ups? Standard definition commercials? David Letterman?

Adrienne Maxwell  |  Nov 02, 2007  |  0 comments
Is a 1080p video processor worth the investment?

Remember the days when interlaced was a term used primarily by basket-weavers, and scaling was something the dentist did to your teeth when you didn't floss? Ah, those were good times. . . simpler times, when you didn't need a degree in electrical engineering to pick out a new television set. As we enter the era of large-screen 1080p displays, video processing—or the ability to convert all signal types, from 480i SDTV and DVD to 720p/1080i HDTV to 1080p high-def DVD, to a TV's native resolution—plays a more important role than ever before in overall performance. Even an average TV can make high-quality HD sources look good; the real test is how good a lesser-quality 480i signal looks when blown up on that big 1080p screen.

Steven Stone  |  Aug 02, 2004  |  0 comments

Back in the bad old days of early digital sound, most CD players produced horrendous amounts of jitter—mistiming of the bits in the digital bitstream. Some high-end audio companies came up with devices for reducing jitter that were often referred to as "jitter boxes." Audio Alchemy was among the most well-known of these specialty makers. AA ceased operations long ago, but one of their principal designers, Doug Goldberg, has created a similar device for Camelot Technology called the Dragon 5.1 Plus. It promises to do for DVD players what the Audio Alchemy box did for CD players: make them sound a lot better.

Gary Merson  |  Jul 24, 2006  |  0 comments
One of the biggest complaints about high-definition televisions pertains to the poor way they handle standard-definition television signals (broadcast, over-the-air, cable, satellite) and SD DVDs. The culprit? Mediocre to poor source material and the herculean effort needed for an HDTV using as many as 1,920 by 1,080 pixels to calculate all the missing pixels when it upconverts a signal that is interlaced with only 720 by 480 pixels or less. In the words of President Bush, "It's hard work."
Kris Deering  |  Aug 22, 2012  |  14 comments
I’ll put this out right up front: I’m not a fan of image enhancements. They almost always hurt the image more than they ever help it, and nowadays there is an almost never-ending list of them in just about every display device. From 240 Hz smooth frame modes, to skin tone correctors and detail enhancers, we’re watching them pile up in our menus. Most are garbage and the first thing I turn off when I set up any display. So, on that note, imagine my skepticism when I got the Darbee Darblet in for review. It’s a new video processor that claims to increase depth perception, sharpness and realism with any display at any resolution, including 3D.

David Vaughn  |  Jan 26, 2009  |  0 comments

Ten years ago, virtually all displays on the market were CRTs, but they've gone the way of the dinosaur, replaced with digital technology—LCD, plasma, DLP, and LCoS. The resolutions of these displays are all over the map, from as low as 480p (remember those EDTV plasmas?) to as high as 1080p. In order to produce a picture, a display must convert the incoming signal to its native resolution, which requires some type of video processing and scaling.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Oct 17, 2004  |  0 comments

Despite the encroachment of progressive-scan component and DVI outputs from DVD players, and HD video displays with their own built-in deinterlacing and scaling, there is still a market for standalone video processors. They provide flexible switching. Many will convert inputs of all flavors to a single output format. And most CRT projectors still need a separate processor to upconvert standard-definition sources.

Steven Stone  |  Dec 07, 2003  |  0 comments

The most common form of video pro-cessor, the deinterlacer-scaler, serves two primary functions. First, it acts as a video switcher, so you need to run only one cable to your display. More important, a video processor converts standard-definition 480i (NTSC) sources either to 480p or a higher resolution, depending on the needs of the video display.

Kris Deering  |  Mar 28, 2014  |  1 comments

PRICE $399

Full 3D and UHD support
Blazing fast switching
Options for legacy device support
USB location may be tricky for some

DVDO redefines what to expect from an HDMI switcher and lets your older gear play nice with the new stuff.

When I think of a video switcher, my mind’s eye typically sees a boring little box (with some buttons on the front) that does nothing more than link one of its inputs to a common output. DVDO’s Quick6 is entirely different. Not only is it the fastest HDMI switching device I’ve ever come across, but it also has a ton of useful features that can help both new and old systems alike with today’s cutting-edge gear.

David Vaughn  |  Sep 17, 2012  |  0 comments
Price: $199

At a Glance: Four-port HDMI switch • Inconsistent 2D-to-3D conversion • 3D conversion of video games causes lag

Believe it or not, the idea behind 3D movies started in the 1890s when William Friese-Greene filed a patent for a 3D movie process in which two films would be projected side by side on the screen and the viewers would look through a stereoscope to converge the two images. Needless to say, this didn't take off given the impractical viewing conditions. Over the next 100-plus years, 3D would attempt—and fail—to catch on with audiences.

Peter Putman  |  May 08, 2005  |  0 comments

Key Digital Systems (KDS) is no stranger to the world of video signal processing. They've been manufacturing video scalers for several years, including some models that had more functions than a Swiss army knife.

Steven Stone  |  Feb 06, 2005  |  0 comments

The most expensive and problematic component of any home theater system is the room. Changing speakers or electronics seems like child's play compared with trying to change the room in an attempt to tame its resonant frequency nodes (areas where certain frequencies are cancelled) and antinodes (areas of reinforcement). Correcting a room electronically is a far more practical solution to most rooms' problems.

Kris Deering  |  May 03, 2012  |  0 comments

Lumagen Radiance Series

DVDO iScan Duo
Price: Lumagen Radiance Series: $1,995-$4,995; DVDO iScan Duo $1,299 At A Glance: Lumagen: Fully supports 2D/3D processing • Delivers staggering customization and features set • DVDO: Great value with lots of connectivity

When I got started in this great hobby of ours, video processors were pretty much reserved for the higher-end theaters I only dreamed of. We didn’t have pristine 1080p24 sources to feed our displays; we had stuff like VHS and Laserdisc. Displays weren’t nearly as consistent, either. Projectors were mainly for the ultrarich and required brute strength to install. Beyond that, it took considerable work to get them looking right. Calibration was anything but easy. Expensive outboard video processors were also a necessity for these beasts to wring the most out of our then-limited video options.

Now we’re living the video dream. Some may scoff or say otherwise, but they probably haven’t been around as long as I have. These days, even low-end projectors outperform the majority of the reference designs back in the day. Sources are of a much higher quality, and new prerecorded formats are progressive by design and require very little, if any, tinkering. Sure, we have some DVDs lingering around that still need to be deinterlaced, but the proliferation of high-end video-processing chips into TVs, Blu-ray players, and even A/V receivers has made it easier than ever to get solid deinterlacing and scaling in a relatively cheap platform.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 30, 2002  |  0 comments

When a video product is arguably the best of its kind, it's hard to find the right words to describe it without blubbering. "The Next Best Thing to Being There" sounds vaguely familiar. "The Real Thing" might perk up your thirst, but doesn't quite gel. And "Must See TV" is only two-thirds right. With the Reference Imaging CinePro 9x Elite CRT projector and Teranex HDX Cinema MX video processor, we're definitely not in TV-land anymore.