Please Explain SDI...

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by MarcoBiscotti, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    I am considering the following setup for my HT in regards to video...


    a Digital Projection Ivision HDX DLP projector, with an Iscan HD scaler, a Pioneer DV868AVi-S universal multi-region player (UK DV-59AVi model) and would like to know if SDI output is reccommended for better picture quality with the above hardware?

    I sort of understand the basics of it's function, to send a signal straight to the scaler with no D/A or A/D conversion which I guess would mean less artifacting, noise reduction and less edge enhancement, but could someone please verify that I have got the right idea.


    I'd like to know if this would be of benefit, to whatever degree, in regards to video quality of my HT and whether purchasing a modified high-end player such as a Pioneer Elite, is really a smart thing to do?

    I'm not a huge tech head and only have a very basic understanding of the rundown of all of this, so if someone could please explain in simple form, it would be really appreciated.

    I'd just like to know exactly of what benefit SDI output would be with regards to my DVD player and if there are any downsides to modifying such an expensive unit?
     
  2. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Also, do you guys think that purchasing an Iscan HD through Ebay is a good/bad idea?

    I've never used Ebay for any major hardware purchases and I'm sure there's all kinds of stories so I just want to ask what you guys think...

    My dealer quoted me $1,900 CAD for an Iscan HD scaler w/ 10 bit comb filter, HDTV pass through, DVI outputs, a.r. control, IR/RS232 control.


    For anywhere from around $900-700 less, I can go through Ebay and save significantly however.


    Check out the following few auctions and please let me know what you think:


    SDI input + SDI cable - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...sPageName=WDVW


    Etc.

    http://search.ebay.com/iscan-hd_W0QQ...fsopZ3QQfsooZ2



    What are your takes on this?

    Is it safe to go through Ebay for something like an Iscan scaler?


    I'm worried that some of them might be refurbished models or used even though they list as otherwise... would this have any effect on the quality of the unit?

    Should I pay the extra $800 and go through my authorized dealer who will deliver a brand new factory unit, or go the economical route?
     
  3. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hard call for sure. I have also not bought a scaler due to costs.

    I would love to be able to follow your progress on this one.
     
  4. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    John, I'll be sure to post updates..

    Right now I'm collecting as much information as possible about everything which is probably evident from all my recent posts in the hardware forums these past two weeks, heh.

    As soon as I've narrowed down every aspect and am 110% in regards to everything related to my HT setup, that's when I start laying out the funds and subsequently looking for the deals.

    But I'll be sure to let you know how it all works out...


    What do you think about the SDI outputs for the DVD player though? Do you think a modified high end unit is a good idea, and do you think it'd be of significant benefit w/ the scaler?

    Also, what's the difference between the Iscan HD and HD+ - do you know?
     
  5. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  6. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Thanks so much Paul!

    haven't seenm anything on SDI yet... but that's one long thread! [​IMG]
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    I've never used a scaler, or bought one.

    I just hook up Component Video, DVI / HDMI, and svideo.

    I would love a nice scaler with DCDi though. Just not sure they are worth the cost. Performance seems satified without, SDI mods, and a nice external scaler.
     
  8. PaulT

    PaulT Supporting Actor

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  9. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    Have you tried Onecall? They may not be quite as cheap as those Ebay guys, but at least they're authorized. Heck, I'd go for that factory refurbished Iscan HD+, were I in your position.

    I am not an expert on SDI, but as I understand it, SDI is the digital output used in professional applications. The main advantage for consumer use, as I understand it, is that it's not encryped. It has no performance advantages over DVI or HDMI outputs. That's my simple answer. For a better one, you'll have to wade through those AVS Forum threads (good dang luck!).
     
  10. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    Marco.

    You don't need to SDI mod the 59avi! One particularity of this player is that the 59avi (unlike ALL the Denon players) can pass 480i through HDMI, yielding the exact same results has an SDI mod. the Denon players are ALL outputting 480p and up over HDMI/DVI, but not 480i, so those players need to be SDI modded... But not the 59avi.

    The newest Arcam, latest Sony HDMI, and Meridian are now all able to pass 480i unprocessed over HDMI directly to a scaler, just like the 59avi.

    The Lumagen scalers, HDLeeza, Algolith Dragonfly and some others are all able to accept 480i over DVI/HDMI now. BUT not the IScan HD. DVDO are suppose to include this feature in the next firmware upgrade.

    So if you are in a hurry, avoid the IScan HD+ for now, and go with the Lumagen instead. If you can wait, then DVDO should do it soon also.

    Or, beeing a guy from Montreal just like me, you could wait for the Algoltih Dragonfly next month, that will be the 1st scaler to fully used the Realta HQV for de-interlacing AND scaling. It's the new chip that is also in the Denon 5910. But the 5910 is using only half the capabilities of the Realta HQV (not the scaling...).

    http://www.algolith.com/index.php?id=137&L=0

    Algolith is a Montreal company... [​IMG] So I should be able to test a pre-production unit next week.

    I will use my Dragonfly with a Pioneer Elite 59avi, by sending 480i over HDMI to the Dragonfly. No need for SDI modding here! The 59avi will only be a transport, and the Dragonfly will do all the job.

    And the combo 59avi + Dragonfly will sweep the floor with everything on the market now!
     
  11. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    That Algoltih Dragonfly looks like a wonderful unit and I'd really like to have it and I'll bet Marco would too, but it has a list price of $3495, far above the Iscan HD+ and the equivalent Lumagen. Actually, considering that the Dragonfly's technology was previously available only in ultra-expensive professional equipment, it must be considered a bargain, but still - $3495 is a big jump.
     
  12. Levesque

    Levesque Supporting Actor

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    I know.

    But look at the Denon 5910 price... With only half the capabilities, but with the same MSRP, and you can't scale or process anything else then DVDs. The Dragonfly is a scaler, and can process and scale ALL your other sources, like X-Box, Sat, cable, VHS, etc.

    Do you know anyone posting here with only 1 source?

    But if he cares about PQ only and not the price, then he will do like me an order one. [​IMG]

    But if price is an issue, then I totally agree that he should look at the combo Pioneer 59avi + Lumagen, w/o the need to SDI mod anything.
     
  13. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti Producer

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    Lévesque,

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    I'm sorry I missed your responses, it's been a while since Ive checked this thread but I really appreciate all the help.

    I am considering going with an HD Leeza video scaler w/ my Pio 59-AVi.

    I know you mentioned that SDI modding the player would be a waste but from what I understand the HD Leeza has a Digital SDI 270Mb/s and I assume this would be key with SDI output on a DVD player as well, no?

    If possible, I'd like to keep a digital signal all the way through.

    What more can you tell me about this?

    Would my Pioneer 59-AVi be able to get optimal use with the HD Leeza and would SDI output still be unnecessary??

    Thank you so much again, your posts have really helped my decicion!


    PS - I'm looking at the HD Leeza because I could get a really great deal on a demo unit from a home theatre sales/installation company!
     

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