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evilchris
01-08-07, 10:02 PM
TEST RESULTS ON UPSCALING: XA2 vs. SDI+Crystallio 2

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Wow--

I have to say this was one of the more interesting afternoons of testing I've done. Tom Huffman will chime in later when he gets home with his option as well.

Bottom line-- there is NO REASON TO BUY AN EXTERNAL VIDEO PROCESSOR if you buy the XA2. Not only did it match in virtually all the tests and visual observations the Gennum VXP chip in the Crystallio II VP but in some cases was VISUALLY SUPERIOR. The Toshiba XA2 is without a doubt the best upscaling SD DVD player that I have ever seen. It certainly leaves me depressed about the money I spent a month ago on the CII.

OK-- here was the test setup. The display device was an HP MD6580N DLP rear projector (65") that was recently calibrated by well regarded calibrator Gregg Loewen of Lion Audio Video Consultants. This display device has TWO HDMI inputs which each accept a 1080p60 signal. The display was set to Studio mode with 1:1 pixel mapping confirmed with test patterns.

In one corner we had the new Toshiba HD-DVD XA2 player. Its video settings were set to output 1080p60 over HDMI directly into HDMI slot2 on the HP set.
Its picture settings were Selective Color Enhancement- OFF, Edge Enhancement - OFF, Mosquito Noise Reduction ON, Block Noise Reduction ON, Random Noise Reduction ON.

In the other corner we had a Pioneer Elite 59AVI DVD player that had been modified professionally to produce an SDI output. The SDI output was connected to the Crystallio II video processor running the latest firmware (2.0). The VXP chip in the Crystallio was turned on and Noise Reduction was turned off. The Crystallio than output over HDMI a 1080p60 signal into the HP's HDMI slot1.

This enabled us to flip back and forth quickly between HDMI inputs on the HP.

Tests

We first started with the HQV test disk. We expected the XA2 to do well containing a Silicon Optix chip-- the Reon VX. It was outstanding.

Test1 - Color Bar/Vertical Detail -- XA2 and CII both score 10/10.
Test2 - Jaggies Pattern 1 - XA2 and CII both pass with 5/5.
Test 3 - Jaggies Pattern 2 - XA2 and CII both pass. [Edited] Tom and I agree
that we would score the XA2 at 5/5 and the Crystallio at 4/5. (the first surprise). I could see some jaggies on the lowest bar with the CII.
Test 4 - Test Waving Flag. - XA2 and CII both pass. Again Tom didn't see a difference but again I could see some minor inperfections with the CII. He would 10/10 for each. I would go 10/10 on the XA2 and 9/10 on the CII.
Test 5 - Picture Detail - here we had a slight problem due to the fact that the XA2 would only output the test disk at 4:3 and not 16:9. I've only seen this with the HQV test disk and not any movies. Here the CII looked a little sharper but I would call them even. I would call both 9/10, Tom might call the CII a 10/10 and the XA2 an 8 or 9/10 but I'll let him chime in later as we didn't record our numbers during the session.
Test 6 Noise Reduction -- here again I thought that the XA2 was superior to the CII without removing detail. I think we would both give the XA2 a 10/10 and the CII about a 5/10 or so as it becomes noticeably less detailed when noise reduction is turned on.
Test 7 Motion Adaptive Noise Reduction-- again significantly better with the XA2 than with the CII. Perhaps 8-9/10 for the XA2 and only 5/10 for the CII.
Test 8 3:2 Detection - the only test that the CII excelled on and it wasn't by much. It locked on instantly where the XA2 took between 1/4 -1/8 of a second-- what most users would never notice. The CII is 10/10 here and the XA2 8-9/10.
Test 9 Film Cadence - both pass with 10/10.
Test 10 Mixed 3:2 film with added video titles - both pass with 10/10.

That completed the formal tests. We then moved onto the qualitative tests. We put SUPERBIT copies of The Fifth Element into both players so we could flip back and forth both between motion scenes and freeze frames. I think we both agreed that the image off of the XA2 was SUPERIOR to the external VP the CII. You would have to see them side by side but the image from the XA2 was outstandingly sharp-- almost appearing HD-like at times, excellent color saturation, and what some have described as a 3D depth or sparkle to it. It seems that reflective surfaces in the image appear more real and on the CII a little more dull. We also viewed the Spiderman II Superbit DVD and again the image from the XA2 was outstanding.

For Tom's benefit we took a look at Phantom of the Opera in HD DVD and he was extremely impressed by the sharpness and color displayed on the HP set. It was one of the best rear projection images he had ever seen and he's a professional ISF calibrator!

What does this all mean? Well Toshiba has produced a phenomenal combination upscaling SD DVD player and HD DVD player. For the price it doesn't appear that anything can touch it. Certainly it puts ALL of the BR players to shame on upscaling alone--let alone its HD 1080p60 output. I have to congratulate Silicon Optix as well in their production of the ReonVX chip-- I believe it clearly beats the image produced by the Gennum VXP chip in the Crystallio II. Not good news for the external processor market if someone is primarly looking to display movies and not video/tv. I can not imagine improving the picture produced from the XA2. The movie studios should be ashamed that they conspired to eliminate the HD DVD technology.

Now -- go out and order one from Robert at VE. I'm going to put my Pioneer Elite SDI DVD player up for sale this week on the forum. Fortunately I still have to deinterlace and upscale the tv I watch or the Crystallio II would be a waste. Its too bad that Calibre couldn't get its firmware working very well or the Realta chip in their video processor would probably have blown everything away.


Any BD players with such quality? Nope. Not even for $500 more!

Q
01-08-07, 10:08 PM
:drooling:

Marvel_us
01-08-07, 10:09 PM
It upscales SD-DVDs too, nice. Is this bad boy out yet or no? Evilchris when are you getting yours.:p

evilchris
01-08-07, 10:11 PM
It upscales SD-DVDs too, nice. Is this bad boy out yet or no? Evilchris when are you getting yours.:p

Yeah it's SD DVD upscaling is where it can really shine. With my huge collection that's a gigantic plus.

It is out, but I have not located one locally yet. They have shown up but instantly sold out.

Marvel_us
01-08-07, 10:16 PM
Yeah it's SD DVD upscaling is where it can really shine. With my huge collection that's a gigantic plus.

It is out, but I have not located one locally yet. They have shown up but instantly sold out.

Let us know when you get a hold of one.

This thing looks really amazing. Better than most external scalers like the vp50!?

evilchris
01-08-07, 10:19 PM
Let us know when you get a hold of one.

This thing looks really amazing. Better than most external scalers like the vp50!?

I think Zelda has one of those. I'll let you know what I think when I get an XA2. I will actually A/B it with my A2. I will Netflix some HD DVD's that I own so I can do a perfect A/B.

Marvel_us
01-08-07, 10:25 PM
I think Zelda has one of those. I'll let you know what I think when I get an XA2. I will actually A/B it with my A2. I will Netflix some HD DVD's that I own so I can do a perfect A/B.

That sounds great. I'll be looking forward to that.