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 Post subject: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2022, 08:26 
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I've been investigating some MUSE decoders and M-N converters in order to identify and study the main components used in the decoding process.
As most of the integrated circuits used in them are proprietary, it is very hard/impossible to find detailed info on them. Anyhow i could compile a not-so-short list of ICs used in MUSE related devices. Mainly by looking into the actual devices and doing some reverse engineering.
Identifying the actual ICs in the decoders can reveal information of their real capabilities when comparing one against another, or even give ideas how to upgrade some decoders (i already have some :-) ).

I have some of the common MUSE decoders, but rare ones are out of my reach.
So if you have access to MUSE related devices not yet on the list, and not afraid to open it up and take some photos where the circuit boards and IC markings can be clearly seen, that would be really helpful!

The actual list can be found here:
https://github.com/szaguldo-kamaz/laserdisc-iclist
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 19 Apr 2022, 09:39 
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I have the Victor HV-MD2, and could try to take some internal photos.
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 21 Apr 2022, 10:18 
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Have a look here :
http://ura.caldc.com/stannum/decoders/index.html
http://ura.caldc.com/stannum/decoders/mst2000.html

enjoy :thumbup:
Br, Edwin
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 24 Apr 2022, 04:03 
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Panasonic TU-PH30 uses same exact decoder board as Pioneer PDP-502R.

NEC HV-MD5000T uses all the decoder ICs in the reference material 2nd gen decoder developed by NHK. Along with the Sony NTSC encoder IC used in the PDP-502R.

I have a Panasonic TU-MDC100 I can photograph but I seem to remember it using many of the same components as the PDP-502R except A/D and D/A were handled differently and the PDP-502R was fully contained whereas the MDC100 had no power supply components located on the decoder daughter board. They were located with other components on the main board.
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 05 Jun 2022, 02:29 
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NEC HV-MD5000T pics

https://photos.app.goo.gl/GbDrnKf7HSNZKTdz5

https://photos.app.goo.gl/v4wsBZh1u6WK69zA9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/BXrSQ4AWt1AGK3zc9

https://photos.app.goo.gl/iyiUjuP3G9BzTvRH6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/w2SLGkQVYxvFPRU19
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 09 Jun 2022, 08:45 
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kamm wrote:
I've been investigating some MUSE decoders and M-N converters in order to identify and study the main components used in the decoding process.


If you are in Tokyo, I can give you a faulty SONY MSC-4000 for you to dismantle/break down/analyze if you want.

Julien
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 28 Aug 2022, 07:54 
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lons_vex: Thanks very much for the photos!
edwin240170: Thank you for the suggested URL! I've found these pics previously too, but unfortunately they're not clear enough to read the IC markings. :?
drewmanfu0: Thank you very much, great photos and info!
admin: That would be great, thank you! I'll send a PM.

I've updated the list based on the above contribs.
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 09 Sep 2022, 09:57 
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One thing that would be interesting to me: Is it possible to get the HD component signal out of a MUSE - NTSC Converter? I have one but of course I would like to get a HD signal (once I find a Hi-Vision LD for a decent price). If it is a two-step process - first decoding, then downsampling - it could be possible.
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 21 Sep 2022, 16:30 
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I was investigating that possibility too.

Very short answer: no. :(

Short answer: yes, but doesn't worth it. :eh:

Long answer: depends on the device what you can extract from it. :roll:
For example, the Sony SAU-500MN has 3 three main ICs. (And SAU-300MN too - but i don't have that one to confirm, but these two seem very very similar, if not the same).
Simplified: one for MUSE audio, one for MUSE processing, one for HD->NTSC format conversion (zoom/wide/full) and downscaling (1 NTSC line is produced using 5 neighboring lines from the MUSE signal).
From the MUSE signal processor IC (CXD2020) to the NTSC format conversion IC (CXD2021) the luminance and chrominance signals are transmitted via two 8-bit digital channels. This one chroma signal contains both B/R multiplexed. So you would need to build some custom signal processing to make it into a HD component signal. It is not impossible, but requires probably lots of effort and additional devices. Doesn't really worth it unless you enjoy hacking with it, it's much easier to get a MUSE decoder with HD component output. Also the "quality of decoding" is lower in M-N converters, because in order to save costs some image processing were omitted (e.g. anti-aliasing, and interpolation only in the same field to save VRAM, possibly losing some horizontal resolution too), which may be OK for the final NTSC output on an SD display, but maybe noticeable when using a HD signal with HD display. So even if you manage to convert the Y+C output of the CXD2020 into something useful, you'll possibly get a lower quality (due to the lack of some post processing/filtering) image than from a "real" MUSE decoder.
Possibly this is (partly) true for M-N converters made by other manufacturers too.

An easy thing to try is to get the SD component signal before the NTSC encoder IC (CXA1219). It's still SD but can be a bit better than NTSC. Maybe also doesn't worth hacking with it.

drecksoft wrote:
One thing that would be interesting to me: Is it possible to get the HD component signal out of a MUSE - NTSC Converter? I have one but of course I would like to get a HD signal (once I find a Hi-Vision LD for a decent price). If it is a two-step process - first decoding, then downsampling - it could be possible.
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 Post subject: Re: Inside MUSE decoders / NTSC converters - Call for collab
PostPosted: 22 Sep 2022, 09:44 
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Thanks for the info.
I do have a MUSE decoder and a MUSE converter - both are Victor. But I still don't have any Hi-Vision disc to test (I don't wanna pay 250+ for one movie to just test something).
Most of the time the decoders are offered for 500+ so making use of the converter as a backup device would be nice.
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