It is currently 11 Aug 2020, 23:46




 Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 02:46 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
I just jumped back into LD out of quarantine boredom. I sold my player and most of my discs back in '03 (except for Star Wars SE) and haven't really looked back. That said, I picked up a working CLD-3070 locally for cheap that's mostly working (hit-or-miss centering issue on Side B). I got everything hooked up in my theater running through my Marantz SR6011 AVR for A/D and Scaling and the on to my BenQ TK800 projector. Everything was going along great until I hit a snag I absolutely did not expect... neither the AVR nor Projector has a Zoom feature for letterboxed 4:3 content. I know it's rare to need it these days, and clearly I haven't needed it in the last 2-3 years since I didn't know it was missing, but I'm surprised any 16:9 display lacks a Zoom feature (and still surprised, if slightly less, that the video processor in the Marantz AVR doesn't either).

So now I'm left looking for some sort of relatively inexpensive video scaler/converter that has a zoom function... or possibly a DVD recorder? Can anyone recommend such a device with price being primary concern over esoteric quality? The only I've been able to find that's readily available is the KanexPro CON-AV-HD4K for ~$80 which is the top end of what I'd consider spending and really more than I'd like to.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _hdmi.html

There are tons of cheap Composite to HDMI scalers out there but they either lack Zoom or don't advertise it (most have a basic 16:9/4:3 switch if anything). There are a couple of other models I've found on Amazon that seem to have Zoom (one from Cooldigital) that are no longer available there or anywhere else. Any other suggestions?

Would a DVD recorder be another option? Do most/all DVD recorders have Zoom function onboard? I'm seeing a few locally for ~$20 but haven't stumbled across an HDMI model yet... though I would probably be OK even with a YPbPr model outputting 480i or 480p and letting the AVR do the resolution scaling and/or deinterlacing. Keep in mind, this is purely a fun nostalgia trip, not something I'm planning on building a collection around or likely using more than once or twice in a blue moon... so price is paramount over cost, within reason.

Thanks in advance!
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 03:10 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
I didn't mention it before since I thought it would have absolutely no bearing on the issue, but I do already have an XBox One in my theater setup. I found this in a 3-year old thread here. It looks like I may be able to go with a cheap AV-to-HDMI converter/scaler to the HDMI-In on the XBox One an, through the "TV" function, let the XBox One handle the Zoom function for me. Assuming it works for me as shown below, I can then be on the lookout for a cheap HDMI-equipped DVD-R locally to further improve comb-filter/scaling. The XBox One has some color space limitations inherent, but a $10 solution to my issue is better than a slightly superior $80 solution given my end goal is just to get it working in the right aspect ration and maybe watch 1 or 2 discs a month (if that).



EDIT: Looks like I'll need to either get one of the scaler/converters that has a 16:9/4:3 selection (there are a couple in the $15-$18 range)... the $10 cheapos are all locked to stretch 4:3 to 16:9 and that wouldn't do me any good.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 12:36 
Advanced fan
Advanced fan
User avatar

Joined: 02 Aug 2019, 02:29
Posts: 583
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 30 times
Been thanked: 52 times
If zoom works via the Xbox One then why not just run the hdmi output of the Marantz SR6011 through that?
Zero dollars spent.

Edit:
I might have to test this out myself at some point, I have an Xbox One S but the hdmi pass is something I've always forgotten about :lol:

As for the cheap DVD/HDD DVR with HDMI output (for comb filter scenario) there's a thread here somewhere about those units.
I haven't had any luck finding a really good one myself, but the few models I have atm didn't really cost me anything...
Panasonic Diga DMR-XW350
Sony RDR-HDC500
Sony RDR-HDC300
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 17:29 
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 09:44
Posts: 4497
Location: United States
Has thanked: 287 times
Been thanked: 417 times
I had to look up the product manual to be sure you aren’t missing something.

Apparently this is a “sports projector” with five customized picture modes, including Football, Sport, Bright,Vivid TV and Cinema Mode. I wouldn’t need to know more to avoid avoid avoid this projector. The hype sheet is boner kryptonite, mainly dealing with how 4k it is, how bright it is, how sports it is.

But in there I found that, despite having no SD inputs at all (avoid!) there do seem to be sizing options. They are in the Intallation menu, assuming the functions actually work on your specific unit. Check out page 33.

Regardless...it’s a projector. They all zoom. You just bring the screen and the projector closer together.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 18:45 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
deadlegion wrote:
If zoom works via the Xbox One then why not just run the hdmi output of the Marantz SR6011 through that?
Zero dollars spent.


I have thought about this and may try it tonight as a test, but this wouldn't be feasible long term since it would negate the ability for me to switch other 4K sources through the Marantz. My XBox One is the original, not an S, so it's 1080p only. Even with the S, you're limited to 4:2:0 color space, so I wouldn't be able to pass 4K HDR sources through on to the projector. Using the converter between the LD Player and the XBox One will let me continue using the AVR to handle all my AV switching and pass 4K HDR sources as well.

signofzeta wrote:
I had to look up the product manual to be sure you aren’t missing something.

Apparently this is a “sports projector” with five customized picture modes, including Football, Sport, Bright,Vivid TV and Cinema Mode. I wouldn’t need to know more to avoid avoid avoid this projector. The hype sheet is boner kryptonite, mainly dealing with how 4k it is, how bright it is, how sports it is.

But in there I found that, despite having no SD inputs at all (avoid!) there do seem to be sizing options. They are in the Intallation menu, assuming the functions actually work on your specific unit. Check out page 33.

Regardless...it’s a projector. They all zoom. You just bring the screen and the projector closer together.


The projector was a review-sample freebie that replaced an older (but honestly better) Epson 3000 that now resides in my brother's theater. It's DLP with RGBW color wheel, but with proper calibration, it's very good when fed 1080p and 4K content save for somewhat mediocre black levels. My next upgrade will likely be an Epson 3800, but I'm waiting for Refurbs to come along.

I've exhausted the internal aspect ratio controls and it just does not offer zoom for 4:3 letterbox content. I've cross-posted at AVS and confirmed this. I assume simply because, as you noted, it does not have any sort of analog video input that they would foresee as needing it. As for using physical zoom, it's not feasible in my room. The projector is mounted on a pitched ceiling near the rear wall and its zoom is already almost maxed out. I would need to move the projector further from screen, not closer, to allow for physical zoom.

LD will likely represent a VERY TINY amount of viewing, and it's not something I'm going to make larger surrounding equipment decisions based on or even disrupt basic functionality like A/V switching through my AVR. I'm simply looking to get the player I have running in the proper aspect ratio with an investment in-line with how much I forsee myself using it... and as it currently stands at ~$20 for the player, $8 for an optical cable, and $17 for the AV-to-HDMI adapter, I probably already have an outsized investment based on the actual use case.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 19:15 
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 09:44
Posts: 4497
Location: United States
Has thanked: 287 times
Been thanked: 417 times
So the Aspect Ratio settings in the Installation menu, those don’t exist despite being fully explained on page 33 of the manual?

I’m glad I found out about this company before accidentally buying one of their projectors.

Btw, “football” is for outdoor sports and “sports” is for indoor sports. How thoughtful of them. :)
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 19:45 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
The aspect ratio controls listed in the manual exist but, as also evidenced in the manual, none of them offer zoom for 4:3 letterbox content. They are all simple squeeze or stretch scaling.


Attachments:
Untitled.jpg
Untitled.jpg [ 106.2 KiB | Viewed 215 times ]
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 20:15 
True fan
True fan
User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2014, 20:59
Posts: 284
Location: North London
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 85 times
Same as my Onkyo amp. It has all this fancy video processing built in but it's absolutely useless for anything that is 4:3 letterboxed because it doesnt offer a 4:3 zoom feature. It's only good for actual 4:3 content.

I cant think of a way to adjust the aspect ratio without the use of an external video processor. I used to use an iscan ultra back in the day. Now I use a crystalio II. Look for a cheap processor on ebay.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 20:25 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
odotb3 wrote:
Same as my Onkyo amp. It has all this fancy video processing built in but it's absolutely useless for anything that is 4:3 letterboxed because it doesnt offer a 4:3 zoom feature. It's only good for actual 4:3 content.

I cant think of a way to adjust the aspect ratio without the use of an external video processor. I used to use an iscan ultra back in the day. Now I use a crystalio II. Look for a cheap processor on ebay.


If I had a huge LD collection I was looking to hang on to, I'd probably pony up for a decent outboard VP. Since I don't, and the cheapo scaler + XBox One (for Zoom) looks like it will get me functional for minimal investment, I'm going to go this route for the time being and see how it goes. If I stumble across a capable outboard VP for a song sometime in the future or, by some miracle, build enough of a collection that I think I'll actually rewatch, I can always revisit an outboard VP then too.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 22:54 
True fan
True fan
User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2014, 20:59
Posts: 284
Location: North London
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 85 times
No harm in keeping a cheeky eye out for good deals.

If routing it through the xbox fixes the issue then happy days! :thumbup:
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 15 Jul 2020, 22:57 
Jedi Knight
Jedi Knight
User avatar

Joined: 14 Jan 2010, 09:44
Posts: 4497
Location: United States
Has thanked: 287 times
Been thanked: 417 times
shopkins82 wrote:
The aspect ratio controls listed in the manual exist but, as also evidenced in the manual, none of them offer zoom for 4:3 letterbox content. They are all simple squeeze or stretch scaling.


Ahh, I got confused by their diagram. In their illustration they have those circles there being 360 round in every shot. It seems like 4:3 mode and 16:9 mode would be all an LD owner would need but not if 16:9 is stretched (which should be shown as a oval in the manual if correct).
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 02:12 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
So I have a good-news/bad-news update... with the LD player composite run to the Marantz, then HDMI from the Marantz to the XBox One HDMI-IN, then HDMI from the XBox One HDMI-OUT to the Projector, I am able to use the XBox One aspect ratio control to zoom in and get proper full 16:9 for letterboxed LDs... IF I set the Marantz's scaling to output 480p. If I set the Marantz to output 720p, 1080i, or 4K (even in 4:3), the XBox One's aspect ratio controls are not functional. Unfortunately, this means that a cheap scaler/converter (even one with 4:3 selection) likely will not work to let the XBox One provide zoom function since the scalers will only output 720p or 1080p.

So now I'm stuck considering whether I just swap HDMI cables around to pass through the XBox One when I do want to watch an LD, start to look for a DVD recorder with HDMI output (assuming it's able to output 480p 4:3 over HDMI, which is apparently what the one in the YouTube video above is doing), or start hunting for an outboard VP... and chances are the answer is "all of the above". There's a used KanexPro on eBay right now that I'm watching and made a Best Offer for.

I'll also keep my eye out for something better (I'm not willing to pay for good). I wonder, would something like a Key Digital Leeza, Silicon Optix Anyplace, or even just a Faroudja NR-Series (preferably 852x480, or possibly 1366x768 version) would work for what I need? Seems like it?

signofzeta wrote:
shopkins82 wrote:
The aspect ratio controls listed in the manual exist but, as also evidenced in the manual, none of them offer zoom for 4:3 letterbox content. They are all simple squeeze or stretch scaling.


Ahh, I got confused by their diagram. In their illustration they have those circles there being 360 round in every shot. It seems like 4:3 mode and 16:9 mode would be all an LD owner would need but not if 16:9 is stretched (which should be shown as a oval in the manual if correct).


Agreed, they're not the best diagrams or descriptions.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 09:44 
True fan
True fan
User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2014, 20:59
Posts: 284
Location: North London
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 85 times
There is a dvdo VP-30 on ebay for $90.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 10:02 
Jedi Candidate
Jedi Candidate
User avatar

Joined: 01 May 2016, 06:38
Posts: 2124
Location: Australia
Has thanked: 298 times
Been thanked: 193 times
Swear by my VP-50 for scaling duty. I think I got it pretty cheap off ebay about 5 years back.
_________________
Sony MDP-650//Sony MDP-355GX//DVDO VP-50//Sony KV-HR36M31
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 18:54 
Hardcore fan
Hardcore fan
User avatar

Joined: 23 Jun 2017, 01:55
Posts: 1459
Location: United States
Has thanked: 509 times
Been thanked: 164 times
odotb3 wrote:
There is a dvdo VP-30 on ebay for $90.


$32 shipping, untested, no power supply and a damaged bnc connector. I know because I looked the day that one went up. Might still be worth it for the op but I wanted to mention the reasons it is likely still available. If it were tested with a power supply it would have sold the same week I bet.
_________________
My collection. If it's not anime, it's probably available for sale or trade.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 19:29 
True fan
True fan
User avatar

Joined: 27 Jul 2014, 20:59
Posts: 284
Location: North London
Has thanked: 72 times
Been thanked: 85 times
To be honest, I think that VP-30 would be the best thing for the OP if he was happy to spend the money. A new power supply will cost around $15 and the damaged BNC connector is for the RGBHV output which I doubt the OP will use as his projector has HDMI. Max spend roughly $150 and you could use it for other sources too. You'd get much better results from this than a DVD player in the chain. I'm willing to bet the thing works, just that the seller doesnt have the power supply at hand. Although if you were buying its still a risk.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 16 Jul 2020, 20:16 
Hardcore fan
Hardcore fan
User avatar

Joined: 23 Jun 2017, 01:55
Posts: 1459
Location: United States
Has thanked: 509 times
Been thanked: 164 times
Yeah it could certainly end up being a deal. I got the vibe that it is more than they want to spend but I could be wrong.

I've got a 30 w/ add-on card, 50pro, Duo and other non-DVDO standalone processors so personally, I think they are worthwhile. XD
_________________
My collection. If it's not anime, it's probably available for sale or trade.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2020, 04:14 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
I'm keeping my eye out but not sure I'm ready to take a risk on something untested. I'm watching a Key Digital VPHD2 at the moment that would probably do the trick as well. Still not sure I'm ready to spend for it, but maybe if/when the collection grows.

I also think I may be able to use the AVR's Zone 2 HDMI output to the XBox's HDMI input to get somewhere and not incur any further expense... I'll report back if I have any luck with that.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 17 Jul 2020, 07:16 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
I think I have a temporary workable solution and all with no added equipment. The Zone/Monitor 2 HDMI-OUT on the AVR does not output upconverted video sources, it only does HDMI passthrough... if it did, I could have a permanent solution with no need to swap any cables. Since it doesn't, what I CAN do is set the Zone 1 input to my LD source, set the Zone 2 input to XBox, swap the HDMI cable going to the projector to Zone 2 HDMI-OUT, and plug in an HDMI cable running from Zone 1 HDMI-OUT to the XBox HDMI-IN. All I have to do is add the Zone 2 power/input commands to the Harmony for the LD activity and swap the cables when I want to watch a letterbox LD. Everything is easily accessible from the rear of my equipment rack, so it's about a 30 second process. Remembering to swap the cables back when I power down will be the more difficult part. I could probably Frankenstein a combination of switches/splitters together and automate those... but then I'm spending money on a half-ass solution that would be better spent on an outboard VP anyway.

I thought about leaving the projector on Zone 2 full-time and automating Zone 2 power/input-selection for all my sources/activities on the Harmony, but leaving Zone 1 HDMI-OUT hooked up to the XBox full time forces all other sources to default to 1080p output (lowest common denominator, even with the XBox connected powered off) on the Zone 2 HDMI-OUT. That's fine for LD-through-XBox since the projector is 1080p native and it just disables the 4K pixel-shifting, but it would hinder the UHD player and Shield TV Pro.

This should hold me over until I get the motivation to pickup an outboard VP or come across a great deal on one... or probably both. I'm eyeing either the Key Digital Leeza, VPHD2, or iSync HD. The latter two are the same unit with different model name/numbers... the iSync Pro is identical too, but I don't want a single silver component in the rack. I don't have any other sources that would benefit from a VP, everything else is HDMI and either 4K/HDR (Sony UBP-X800 UHD Player, Shield TV Pro for streaming and Plex server) or 1080p (XBox One, Roku Express+ for Apple TV+). Maybe if I get REALLY bored and pickup a CED player...
Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Inexpensive scaler with Zoom for letterbox
PostPosted: 18 Jul 2020, 22:04 
Shows curiousity
Shows curiousity
User avatar

Joined: 13 Jul 2020, 22:36
Posts: 21
Location: United States
Has thanked: 0 time
Been thanked: 5 times
Looks like, if I'm patient, I can pickup a Key Digital VPHD2 or iSync HD (same unit, different name). Can anyone comment on their quality/capability? Thanks!
Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 Page 1 of 2 [ 26 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: