iScan Ultra?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Paul Arnette, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Hi all.

    I was reading an article about the new iScan Ultra:

    http://www.hamptonroads.com/movies/en0219dvd.html

    And I came away with more questions than answers regarding whether or not this unit would be a good purchase for me or not. So, naturally, I turned to this forum to get an honest assesment and opinion from you. [​IMG]

    If I decided to take the plunge and by an iScan Ultra, the equipment that I will be using with it would be the following:

    A/V Receiver: Pioneer VSX-49TXi

    DVD Player: Pioneer DV-47Ai

    RPTV: Mitsubishi WS-55905

    The Mitsubishi WS-55905 does not allow for aspect ratio control on its component input, so right there, I am very intrigued by the iScan Ultra, which claims to provide this feature.

    However, it is after this point is mentioned where I start to wonder whether the other features the iScan Ultra provides will be of use to me.

    In regards to this quote:

     
  2. Brian Fitterman

    Brian Fitterman Stunt Coordinator

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    I have an iScan+, and have owned many progresive scan players. THe players have always had better quality. Now this unit is 2 revs better than my old iScan, but I would still be careful. Progressive scan players have the advantage that they can get at the signal in digital form before all the video DAC/ADC processes. IF aspect ratio control is REALLY important to you, it is a nice thing to have, but unless you own and watch alot of older movies than it is not that big of a deal and you can get the same quaility from a newer cheaper progressive scan player.

    Just my opinion of course.

    I too have a 55905 with a RCA DTC100 HD tuner. You can definatly use that unit with your TV, and for something like Satellite it would help, but $1200 worth of help, I do not know. You do not have to plug the tuner into the unit nor do you have to own a tuner to use this unit, it just can do the passthrough if that is needed. Some TVs only have one 480p/HD input and would need that feature - you do not.
     
  3. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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  4. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    By older movies, are you thinking DVDs of older movies? Or older DVDs of whatever movies? It's really the latter PLUS 4x3 ratio movies (PLUS some foreign import DVDs) that could use aspect ratio control.

    Actually, given that you might soon be able to buy a less expensive DVD player w/ aspect ratio control that will equal or outperform your current player plus this device combined, there's not much point in spending big $$$ on it for DVD alone. It's really much more valuable for LD fans since LDPs do not deinterlace or offer aspect ratio control and all LDs could use it for 16x9 HDTVs. For HD, it's a non-issue.

    The device doesn't even offer DVI input--just output. And doesn't do scaling beyond aspect ratio control. If it did both, it would at least be good for if/when you upgrade to a fixed-pixel display or buy a cheap DVD player w/ DVI output.

    Btw, the device was reviewed in the Secret's Shootout:

    http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/cgi-b...eiScan%20Ultra

    _Man_
     
  5. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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  6. Michael Marklund

    Michael Marklund Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul,

    FWIW,
    Something to consider besides the iScan:

    http://www.focusinfo.com/company/pr_new/090103_CES.htm

    This unit should do all you ask and is less than the iScan. It is due out around the end of March and is aimed primarily for the rptv market. My understanding is it will do aspect ratio correction.

    Best regards,
    Michael
     
  7. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Michael,

    Thanks a lot for pointing that unit out. I will definitely keep it in mind.
     
  8. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    If by aspect ratio control you mean what I can do with the rp91 or something even better (like pixel level control), please tell me where you've heard that such players are coming soon. Please. I think the lack of this on 99% of all players is a travesty.
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ok. I should've emphasized "might". Still, the new Philips 963sa might be one along w/ any others that will use the Faroudja fli23xx chip, eg. upcoming Samsung 931.

    At the moment, the Philips is suspect on its scaling of non-16x9 letterboxed DVDs, and may need some firmware fix for this. I have not been able to get any solid verification on that. It apparently does the 4x3 pillarboxing correctly and has the hardware for scaling in the fli23xx chip. No pixel-level control though.

    The Samsung 931 won't be out until summer. Its hype so far is upconversion to 720p/1080i and DVI/HDCP output, but no confirmation on aspect ratio control.

    These players probably cannot beat the Iscan Ultra's deinterlacing, which uses Silicon Image chip, but should hold their own just fine. The Philips should at least be better than the Pioneer since it reportedly has no chroma bug. And they will not need the extra A->D->A conversion that the Pioneer -> Iscan Ultra -> CRT-based RPTV need. Yes, the Iscan Ultra has DVI out, but even if his TV has DVI in, it still has to do that last D->A conversion soon enough before feeding the CRT system.

    _Man_

    [EDIT: Don't know if it matters to you, but the Philips allows horizontal shifting of the image. Vertical shifting might be more helpful, but they didn't implement that.]
     

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