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 Post subject: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful?
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 08:43 
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Hi all,

First post. Found a VP30 at a thrift store with remote. Firmware is 1.14 /is that the latest?). I think it has that ABT102 upgrade?

Current video equipment is a Pioneer Elite CLD79 directly through to a 2011 Panasonic 42GT25 THX plasma.

Anybody have some basic settings for a laserdisc player through a GT or VT plasma with the VP30?

As far as I can tell, laserdisc looks better just running straight through my plasma. With that said, I was super obsessive fiddling with the VIDEO 1 PRO settings on the Plasma a decade ago. Basically copied the advanced settings from a well respected person on AVS forum, i think?

I mean my 2011 plasma might just be a more advanced video processor/upscaler than the 2006 VP30? The comb filter in my TV says it's 3D Y/C. The VP30 is 2D, right? I think I have an S video cable somewhere to try, but the 79's comb filter kinda sucks too, right?

I think I gotta play with it more though. I seriously have no idea what I'm doing with the VP30.

Lastly I'm not getting sound out of the VP30 to the HDMI of the TV. I'm using the analog RCA inputs on thr VP30. Output is HDMI to my plasma.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 10:16 
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Hi & welcome to the forum!

Haven’t personally owned a VP30 but did have a VP50 some years ago. Tbh. I think your observation that the CLD-79 looks better composite straight in to Panasonic would be the correct one and unless you have a need for any of the extra aspect or image adjustments such as zoom etc. that the VP30 may provide then I’d leave it out of the chain, though I would certainly hang on to see what other members opinions are on this.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 11:25 
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I used to have a brand new VP30 some years ago. It was a rebadge, I forget the brand now but it was the same device.

It was decent enough, but to get the best out of it you'd be wanting to get the add-on ABT-102 card. These are super rare, even 10 years ago or so they were rare. I managed to source one brand new and it was a great addition. I believe the VP20 could use the ABT-102 card as well. Good luck finding one today though perhaps the one you have found has the card in it?

I'd agree with laserfanhld-gb though in that unless you have specific requirements for what you want to get out of your Laserdiscs and your display, then it's probably wiser (and cheaper) to just stick with composite to the television as modern sets probably do a better job than this old hat technology.

Personally I have the VP50 Pro and an Edge for two reasons. First, my OLED has no analog inputs so I need to convert to HDMI somewhere in the chain and I'd rather have a quality piece of kit and trust that than a dodgy noname device from Jeff or Wish. Secondly I want to get the best out of letterboxed titles, use the zoom and panorama etc to get an overall better picture spat out on to my television. Also thirdly, I only own these things because laserfanhld-gb made me buy them. :mrgreen:

If you held me at gunpoint and told me to choose between the two I'd go for the VP50 Pro because of the squillions of extra settings it has. The Edge is very basic in that comparitor, but has a nice component in it which I think (but cannot confirm) is the same, or better, as the ones Lumagen use? I'm unsure so don't quote me on that. It's very simple to use though and a bit more price-friendly than a VP50 Pro and certainly more price-friendly than anything in the Lumagen range.

I wouldn't get too caught up in scalers and all that jazz, it can be quite the rabbit hole to fall down. You'll spend more time tinkering with them and striving to improve on quality that just isn't there to be improved upon when you could be using that time enjoying your Laserdiscs instead. Best of luck. :thumbup:

Note: ABT-102 translates to Anchor Bay Technologies. Just an FYI.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 14:15 
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Thank you!

BTW, the info splash screen on my TV says VP30/ABT102 - V1.14 DVDO - powered by ABT

So maybe I struck gold, so to speak?

I'll play around with it some more and do more research.

I mean how good is the processing hardware and software on Panny GT/VT series plasmas? Including the comb filter?

I don't expect lightening to strike twice and I'll find a VP50 Lumagen at the thrifts... So I'll probably hang onto the VP30 regardless. Reason being my luck will eventually run out with the 42GT25 and I'll have to buy an OLED. Are there any with analog composite or S video?



teddanson wrote:
I used to have a brand new VP30 some years ago. It was a rebadge, I forget the brand now but it was the same device.

It was decent enough, but to get the best out of it you'd be wanting to get the add-on ABT-102 card. These are super rare, even 10 years ago or so they were rare. I managed to source one brand new and it was a great addition. I believe the VP20 could use the ABT-102 card as well. Good luck finding one today though perhaps the one you have found has the card in it?

I'd agree with laserfanhld-gb though in that unless you have specific requirements for what you want to get out of your Laserdiscs and your display, then it's probably wiser (and cheaper) to just stick with composite to the television as modern sets probably do a better job than this old hat technology.

Personally I have the VP50 Pro and an Edge for two reasons. First, my OLED has no analog inputs so I need to convert to HDMI somewhere in the chain and I'd rather have a quality piece of kit and trust that than a dodgy noname device from Jeff or Wish. Secondly I want to get the best out of letterboxed titles, use the zoom and panorama etc to get an overall better picture spat out on to my television. Also thirdly, I only own these things because laserfanhld-gb made me buy them. :mrgreen:

If you held me at gunpoint and told me to choose between the two I'd go for the VP50 Pro because of the squillions of extra settings it has. The Edge is very basic in that comparitor, but has a nice component in it which I think (but cannot confirm) is the same, or better, as the ones Lumagen use? I'm unsure so don't quote me on that. It's very simple to use though and a bit more price-friendly than a VP50 Pro and certainly more price-friendly than anything in the Lumagen range.

I wouldn't get too caught up in scalers and all that jazz, it can be quite the rabbit hole to fall down. You'll spend more time tinkering with them and striving to improve on quality that just isn't there to be improved upon when you could be using that time enjoying your Laserdiscs instead. Best of luck. :thumbup:

Note: ABT-102 translates to Anchor Bay Technologies. Just an FYI.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 16:12 
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At a guess, the comb filter on the Panasonic will be superior to the VP30/50 by some margin. Using the Pioneers onboard filter and s-video out will still be better than the VP option but likely short of the Pannys performance.

Regarding OLED TVs, Sony up until the very recent ones and probably current models too - these have allegedly a superb onboard comb filter that delivers a great performance with LD so this would probably be your best way forward to achieve the ultimate LD performance from a modern TV.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 18:19 
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thanks gain!

the usual LG OLED's you see at costco DO NOT have analog inputs, right?

i guess sony OLED it is for the future.

i have a monster cable S video connector around somewhere. i'll try it. just having fun at this point. and the only LD i've tried was The Game (michael douglas and sean penn)... which looks like complete a** for the most part on any system i've seen it. but wanted a marginal LD to try. the criterion of coppola's dracula looks good on pretty much anything, so didn't think it would be a good test LD.

wish i kept me CLD-97. it was serviced by Duncan Hunter... because the damn thing OF COURSE did not work when i got it on audiogon. sold it because i honestly thought the picture was a little soft (though, more natural) than my CLD-79 and at that point, i was still using my laserdisc players as transports with a Theta DSPRO GEN III DAC. and there was not doubt... for whatever reason, that the 79 sounded better as a transport.

wish i kept it though. sold it to a local bay area guy who has a custom home theater with whatever hot sh!t video processor was "the thing" in 2016. so, it went to a good home anyway.

laserfanhld-gb wrote:
At a guess, the comb filter on the Panasonic will be superior to the VP30/50 by some margin. Using the Pioneers onboard filter and s-video out will still be better than the VP option but likely short of the Pannys performance.

Regarding OLED TVs, Sony up until the very recent ones and probably current models too - these have allegedly a superb onboard comb filter that delivers a great performance with LD so this would probably be your best way forward to achieve the ultimate LD performance from a modern TV.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 18:23 
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centaurus3200 wrote:
thanks gain!

the usual LG OLED's you see at costco DO NOT have analog inputs, right?

i guess sony OLED it is for the future.

WHY would ABT make a $2,000 video processor and NOT put the latest tech 3D comb filter in it? makes no sense, right? it was 2006 (even 2005). people still used laserdisc back then.

i have a monster cable S video connector around somewhere. i'll try it. just having fun at this point. and the only LD i've tried was The Game (michael douglas and sean penn)... which looks like complete a** for the most part on any system i've seen it. but wanted a marginal LD to try. the criterion of coppola's dracula looks good on pretty much anything, so didn't think it would be a good test LD.

wish i kept me CLD-97. it was serviced by Duncan Hunter... because the damn thing OF COURSE did not work when i got it on audiogon. sold it because i honestly thought the picture was a little soft (though, more natural) than my CLD-79 and at that point, i was still using my laserdisc players as transports with a Theta DSPRO GEN III DAC. and there was not doubt... for whatever reason, that the 79 sounded better as a transport.

wish i kept it though. sold it to a local bay area guy who has a custom home theater with whatever hot sh!t video processor was "the thing" in 2016. so, it went to a good home anyway.

laserfanhld-gb wrote:
At a guess, the comb filter on the Panasonic will be superior to the VP30/50 by some margin. Using the Pioneers onboard filter and s-video out will still be better than the VP option but likely short of the Pannys performance.

Regarding OLED TVs, Sony up until the very recent ones and probably current models too - these have allegedly a superb onboard comb filter that delivers a great performance with LD so this would probably be your best way forward to achieve the ultimate LD performance from a modern TV.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 13 Jan 2023, 21:28 
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centaurus3200 wrote:
thanks gain!

the usual LG OLED's you see at costco DO NOT have analog inputs, right?

i guess sony OLED it is for the future.

i have a monster cable S video connector around somewhere. i'll try it. just having fun at this point. and the only LD i've tried was The Game (michael douglas and sean penn)... which looks like complete a** for the most part on any system i've seen it. but wanted a marginal LD to try. the criterion of coppola's dracula looks good on pretty much anything, so didn't think it would be a good test LD.

wish i kept me CLD-97. it was serviced by Duncan Hunter... because the damn thing OF COURSE did not work when i got it on audiogon. sold it because i honestly thought the picture was a little soft (though, more natural) than my CLD-79 and at that point, i was still using my laserdisc players as transports with a Theta DSPRO GEN III DAC. and there was not doubt... for whatever reason, that the 79 sounded better as a transport.

wish i kept it though. sold it to a local bay area guy who has a custom home theater with whatever hot sh!t video processor was "the thing" in 2016. so, it went to a good home anyway.

laserfanhld-gb wrote:
At a guess, the comb filter on the Panasonic will be superior to the VP30/50 by some margin. Using the Pioneers onboard filter and s-video out will still be better than the VP option but likely short of the Pannys performance.

Regarding OLED TVs, Sony up until the very recent ones and probably current models too - these have allegedly a superb onboard comb filter that delivers a great performance with LD so this would probably be your best way forward to achieve the ultimate LD performance from a modern TV.


I think LG still do but they employ some sort of mini jack type socket which would need an adapter on one end of a standard phono - phono composite cable, I think that Sony may now use the same, hopefully if our forum member signofzeta (& main Sony TV man) sees this then he can confirm. Having said that I heard it said that the LG models (also Samsung) don’t look as good with LD as the Sony TVs do so the latter brand should be your aim.

CLD- 97 - Nearly bought a mint refurbished CLD-959 (Japanese version) some time ago but plumped for the HLD-X9 in the end, always thought the 97/959 would have sounded excellent as a CD transport too but guess I’ll never get to know now! Its interesting that you found the CLD-79 sounded better as a transport.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2023, 04:58 
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I didn’t read all the comments. Maybe already answered. ABT102 upgrade makes VP20/30 equal to VP50/50Pro/Edge/Duo in SD processing but it doesn’t apply to HD processing.

It’s been a long time since I owned a VP30 but if my memory serves me well, you need to manually select analog audio inputs in the menu for the HDMI to output audio. I believe they are labeled Stereo 1 and 2.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2023, 08:48 
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My wife and I watched a few movies after I futzed around with the VP30. First was the 1997 deluxe edition of the fifth element... Then the visual p0rn that is the criterion brahm stokers Dracula in CAV.

Played with using composite via a blue jeans belden 75ohm cable with canare RCAs and a monster cable S video. Composite using the VP30's comb filter decisively won. The CLD79's with its own filter was just too soft IMHO.

I still have no idea what I'm doing with the VP30 settings, but seems film deinterlacing, 4:3 input , 1080p 16:9 output (I tried 480p and 720p) and AR at 1.78 works much better than having composite straight to my 42GT25. My panny plasma probably has a superior comb filter but the ld straight into it and zooming cuts off way too much of the picture. And the zoom is so drastic, it's soft.

Yeah, I think I'm stretching a touch, but much less than the usual sin. It's not very noticeable.

Anyway, having a lot of fun being a total dork!
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 15 Jan 2023, 17:50 
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These are a few settings which improved image on my Iscan Duo .

Deinterlacing : film mode
1:1 frame rate : on
frame rate : lock
Video format: NTSC ( or PAL ) if i leave on auto my NTSC image is slightly shifted left for some reason.
Cue Correction: off
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2023, 11:23 
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laserfanhld-gb wrote:
I think LG still do but they employ some sort of mini jack type socket which would need an adapter on one end of a standard phono - phono composite cable, I think that Sony may now use the same, hopefully if our forum member signofzeta (& main Sony TV man) sees this then he can confirm. Having said that I heard it said that the LG models (also Samsung) don’t look as good with LD as the Sony TVs do so the latter brand should be your aim.


I have the LG C1 OLED (a late model C1 that is actually a C2 EVO panel) and can confirm that there are no analogue ports on the television. An adapter I'm unaware of, though I run anything analogue through the VP50 Pro in order to get HDMI out.

Regarding LD picture quality I have no complaints at all. It looks really good, especially with the combination of the R7G D-EXT thingy that makes everything look lovely, and the Filmmaker Mode picture setting on the OLED panel. 'Tis a chefs kiss! :D
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 16 Jan 2023, 11:27 
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substance wrote:
I didn’t read all the comments. Maybe already answered. ABT102 upgrade makes VP20/30 equal to VP50/50Pro/Edge/Duo in SD processing but it doesn’t apply to HD processing.

It’s been a long time since I owned a VP30 but if my memory serves me well, you need to manually select analog audio inputs in the menu for the HDMI to output audio. I believe they are labeled Stereo 1 and 2.


Yup. Correct on all counts. I've had the rebadged VP30 with ABT-102 and also the VP50 Pro and Edge seem to be the same with regards manual audio selection.

Side note (and also I've written about my fight with it until my spleen fell out) the VP50 Pro 'audio bug' can be solved with a Dr. HDMI adapter. It's a handshake issue with the display and/or anything else in your AV chain. I've had (touch wood) no problems since with the VP50 Pro 'audio bug'.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2023, 22:51 
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teddanson wrote:
laserfanhld-gb wrote:
I think LG still do but they employ some sort of mini jack type socket which would need an adapter on one end of a standard phono - phono composite cable, I think that Sony may now use the same, hopefully if our forum member signofzeta (& main Sony TV man) sees this then he can confirm. Having said that I heard it said that the LG models (also Samsung) don’t look as good with LD as the Sony TVs do so the latter brand should be your aim.


I have the LG C1 OLED (a late model C1 that is actually a C2 EVO panel) and can confirm that there are no analogue ports on the television. An adapter I'm unaware of, though I run anything analogue through the VP50 Pro in order to get HDMI out.

Regarding LD picture quality I have no complaints at all. It looks really good, especially with the combination of the R7G D-EXT thingy that makes everything look lovely, and the Filmmaker Mode picture setting on the OLED panel. 'Tis a chefs kiss! :D


My apologies Ted regarding the LG comments, should have made it clearer that it refered to its performance via the analog input and not overall. Leading on to said composite input, if memory serves me correctly I think I read somewhere that the adapter is only fitted to US market (& possibly other regions) spec TVs but is absent on our European models unfortunately, maybe someone with a US model could confirm?

Edit: Apologies again, I need to get with the times, It seems LG has now dropped these Composite adapters worldwide on their current models so please disregard my duff gen :thumbdown:
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 17 Jan 2023, 23:33 
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It's all good. Sure if it wasn't for your advice I'd have a knackered home theatre running entirely on SECAM equipment!

The only person who would actually like that and approve is Julien!
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 18 Jan 2023, 22:41 
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teddanson wrote:
It's all good. Sure if it wasn't for your advice I'd have a knackered home theatre running entirely on SECAM equipment!

The only person who would actually like that and approve is Julien!


Haha - although I’m not quite so certain if that is the case as he seems to have departed SECAM shores some time ago and now is firmly resided in NTSC land ;)
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 19 Jan 2023, 11:01 
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laserfanhld-gb wrote:
teddanson wrote:
It's all good. Sure if it wasn't for your advice I'd have a knackered home theatre running entirely on SECAM equipment!

The only person who would actually like that and approve is Julien!


Haha - although I’m not quite so certain if that is the case as he seems to have departed SECAM shores some time ago and now is firmly resided in NTSC land ;)


He's French. He clearly took it with him in a shipping container. Either that or held a peaceful SECAM protest outside the local town hall that turned violent. :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2023, 01:14 
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NERD ALERT!

Anybody still use or remember how to use a DVDO IScan VP30 (with ABT board)?

specifically the digital audio inputs and outputs. i have an old Theta DSPRO GEN III DAC. i know for a fact it will convert the SPDIF signal directly from my Pioneer CLD79 LD player, BUT when i plug the digital out of the 79 to the DVDO, then digital out to the DAC, no sound. BUT if i plug in the analog RCA outputs from the 79 to the VP30... i'm able to get sound through my DAC from the VP30.

i also have a cheapy DAC i literally found on the curb. it is able to convert the 5.1 toslink from my 42GT25 plasma for 2 channel stereo output (the plasma does not output stereo, only surround).

BUT if i connect the TV via toslink to the VP30, then theVP30 to the Theta DAC. NOTHING! the DAC does show it is getting a signal though.

anyway i think the issue is that, as far as the TV, the VP30 is not converting the surround to stereo... but somehow this crappy little "street DAC" can do it.

BUT i still have no idea why there's no sound coming from the LD player's digital out to the VP30 then to the DAC. i have the output from the LD player set to "digital stereo".

i know this all sounds like i'm Colin Robinson, the energy vampire from "what we do in the shadows". LOL! ;-)
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2023, 12:25 
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Yes, Colin Robinson. I’m feeling the drain.

Given the player and TV you have (still CLD-97 and P Plasma?) there are few boxes on earth, if any, that will meaningfully improve the picture. That goes double for audio. Sell it to some punter with a Vizeo and watch your movies in peace.
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 Post subject: Re: Found a DVDO Iscan VP30 at a thrift store - still useful
PostPosted: 04 Dec 2023, 20:28 
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thanks!

i actually figured out the audio issue on my own. the drop down menu is very vague. didn't understand that audio inputs 1-4 and "stereo" correlated to the 2 optical, 2 SPDIF and the analog RCA inputs on the back of the DVDO.

i use the VP30 so i can incrementally zoom the LD video to the max of my plasma, without cutting any of the image off. my plasma REALLY zooms. cuts off too much of the image. it's either that, stretched or gray bars on the left and right without the VP30.

... and i honestly think the ABT 102 deinterlacer board improves the video a bit :-)

signofzeta wrote:
Yes, Colin Robinson. I’m feeling the drain.

Given the player and TV you have (still CLD-97 and P Plasma?) there are few boxes on earth, if any, that will meaningfully improve the picture. That goes double for audio. Sell it to some punter with a Vizeo and watch your movies in peace.
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