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 Post subject: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2016, 16:36 
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This little beauty arrived just in time for the weekend:

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Had been very interested in this decoder since seeing this one line assessment from Nicolas Santini's webpage "HM-D101: slightly noisy fan, otherwise the best !" I think he is right on both counts.

Sat up to 3am this morning re-watching things!

Even the S.O. was very impressed with how good the picture from it is.

Very very happy with this unit :D


Last edited by audioboyz1973 on 29 Apr 2016, 01:17, edited 1 time in total. _________________
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2016, 17:27 
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Nice looking unit! Seems to be in similar design to the HLD-X9 and LG-1 decoder. Maybe I should consider looking for this unit too. Would match my other equipment better. :)
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2016, 17:56 
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The fascia is very squarish like the X9, you might notice that it has the kind of side bumpers at the front like the S9, and the SP-D07 has them too which take the width from the standard Pioneer 420mm to 440mm like the X9.

Definitely worth looking out for one imho. I have the Sony MSC-4000 and this hooked up simultaneously at the moment. Going back to the Sony is like placing a sheet of lightly frosted glass in front of the screen, the colour of the Pioneer is more vibrant when called for without being over-saturated like just turning the colour up. The increased 'transparency' also gives the picture a much better sense of depth, after watching it for a while the Sony just seems flat, dull and lifeless. Perhaps that sounds a little harsh but I really am impressed by the Pioneer. When I switched from the Victor to the Sony there was some improvement, but this is like a whole other level.

The greatest improvement seems to with film material, though the Sony Test Disc and fish scenery discs just look absolutely fantastic. In conjunction with the X9 there is still that green tinge at times with film discs. I haven't decided if it's actually lessened or if this is because the rest of the picture is noticeably improved; but the tinge is far less obtrusive when watching.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2016, 18:04 
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The only down side I'm seeing right now is that front panel which lights up like a Christmas tree;

the equipment is at the front of the room right under the projector screen - I'm going to have to cover it up it's so bright!!
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2016, 18:55 
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Sounds like my Cerwin-Vega amplifier. The LEDs that indicates it is turned on are extremely bright. Ended up putting electrical tape over them, lol. I don't mind blinking and flashing lights that old AV gear have, but it shouldn't be too bright. Usually more expensive stuff have options to dim the lights. A little bit surprised the HM-D101 doesn't have that.

I do happen to have the Sony MSC-4000 my self. Haven't tried out other decoders, this is the first and only one I have. Got it cheap from Japan since it is missing the remote. Really typical Sony design, goes really well with my Sony SL-C30 betamax player, lol.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 16 Apr 2016, 19:35 
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Oh, gosh. I've been slowly (slowly!) accumulating MUSE decoders, but the only Pioneer unit I have as of yet is the one in the PDP-501R. Still & all, it's nice to have good-quality photos. Did you get a manual?

I note the RCA "control" terminals rather than the usual Pioneer SR 1/8" mini-jacks. Curious!
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 17 Apr 2016, 03:24 
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Hi publius, respect to you for your passion for muse technology and that you have shared your knowledge for the benefit of others. For anyone with an interest who hasn't already visited, checkout these webpages http://ura.caldc.com/stannum/index.html lots of muse information not to be found anywhere else and English user guides for some muse decoders which are labelled only in Japanese. Without them figuring out those decoders might not be so easy.

On that note, no it didn't come with a manual. Would have been a nice addition, and might contain some interesting extra information about it. Nice that it's all labelled in English and translation not needed at all to make use of the decoder.

It doesn't have an OSD like the Sony - all the status information is displayed on the front panel.

If you're correct that this and the Hitachi HD-M20 are clones then the information on the website is that it doesn't have a remote control. It didn't come with one, but I have noticed that there appears to be a remote sensor on the front panel:

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So maybe it did originally have one or this might be a receiver only for a TV or video remote control with controls for the decoder on it. I have a Denon tuner like that.


Last edited by audioboyz1973 on 31 May 2018, 18:08, edited 1 time in total. _________________
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2016, 13:33 
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I found this on and old e-bay listing (translated from German):

"The decoder remote is picked up slightly, while the HLD-1000 player remote control still looks like new."

and also:

"It comes with the HLD-1000 player with original remote control and the HM-D101 Muse decoder with original remote control."

So the HM-D101 does have a remote.
Now I just wonder if there was a dimmer control for the front panel display on it!
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2016, 14:28 
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Here's the photo from that listing:

Attachment:
ebay listing.jpg
ebay listing.jpg [ 5.09 KiB | Viewed 4539 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2016, 14:29 
Genuinely interested
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f'n sweet Audioboyz..nice
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 23 Apr 2016, 00:53 
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Thanks laserdude :thumbup: Very grateful to have it.

Found this French laserdisc discussion thread with some photos of the Hitachi HD-M20:

http://laserdiscplaza.fr/forumld/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=2168&start=45
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 17 May 2016, 10:59 
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don't suppose you would be willing to sell it ?
  
 
 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 18 May 2016, 10:13 
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sorry, but no way!
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 18:55 
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So two years on I'm reading this again, pretty much only thanks to photobucket reinstating their 3rd party hosting at less than vile extortion-like exploitative levels they tried for. Still holding out for a better deal!!

Well I've seen the remote online and the only additional functionality it offers is 'pause' and 'strobe', kind of useless if the player keeps going?? (But maybe a fun novelty and a player pause can result in some strange colour drift in the image.)

Since acquired a Panasonic TU-MDC100, also excellent but if anything it looks a bit overblown compared to the Pioneer. As if just a bit too much sharpness and edge enhancement was dialled in. More susceptible to the 'green tinge' issue too, with the X9 anyway.

Just recently got my new component matrix switcher hooked up so these comparisons are now way easier. Should opinions change will try to remember to post!
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 31 May 2018, 22:23 
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I am also on the look out for the panasonic. Actually i was the reason you paid so high for the panasonic. I didn’t know it was you bidding. I went pretty high but I guess you wanted it more than me. So you are really convinced the pio is a better decoder?

I have two sony 4000s now. I am going to mod one of them to improve a bit (hopefully). I like the fact that the sony decoders are discreet components, you can upgrade most. I fear the panasonic is more integrated. The pio on the other hand is older so likely to have discreet components.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 01 Jun 2018, 15:09 
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Not sure I'd flat out say it's better but the Pioneer has been my preference.

The Panasonic looks kind of sharper, it 'pops' a bit more but sometimes it seems a bit too much as above. The TU-AHD100 has a feature called 'Muse AI' which from my bad translation of that bit of its manual seems to be some kind of image enhancement. Makes me think that maybe the MDC100 has something similar but it's not switchable, just there in the background always on.

Either way they're both a step up on the Sony though the degree varies and I recall at the time it was particularly noticeable with some film material. Universal Soldier happened to be a recent addition then and with the Sony it looked really quite soft and kind washed out by comparison while on the Pio it was clearer and crisper, but also a lot more grainy/noisy. It made me wonder if the Sony uses some kind of NR that was removing grain but losing detail too. But funnily with some other films I don't recall the difference being as great. In this respect the Pio & Pana seem to be the same.

I feel a need to refresh the memory before commenting too much more. Haven't really done much comparison between them for a while, it became hard when I ran out of component inputs; I'd hooked the good old duo up again - just to act as a component to hdmi convertor then plugged into the lumagen. Now it's easy to do and since it's a long weekend here that's my plan. Not only can I now easily switch between the two decoders I can route either of them direct to the Lumagen or via the dvdo (I found they handle component input quite differently and want to compare that more now with the easier ability to do so). I'll try to report back by Monday!
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 16:30 
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audioboyz1973 wrote:
Not sure I'd flat out say it's better but the Pioneer has been my preference.

The Panasonic looks kind of sharper, it 'pops' a bit more but sometimes it seems a bit too much as above. The TU-AHD100 has a feature called 'Muse AI' which from my bad translation of that bit of its manual seems to be some kind of image enhancement. Makes me think that maybe the MDC100 has something similar but it's not switchable, just there in the background always on.

Either way they're both a step up on the Sony though the degree varies and I recall at the time it was particularly noticeable with some film material. Universal Soldier happened to be a recent addition then and with the Sony it looked really quite soft and kind washed out by comparison while on the Pio it was clearer and crisper, but also a lot more grainy/noisy. It made me wonder if the Sony uses some kind of NR that was removing grain but losing detail too. But funnily with some other films I don't recall the difference being as great. In this respect the Pio & Pana seem to be the same.

I feel a need to refresh the memory before commenting too much more. Haven't really done much comparison between them for a while, it became hard when I ran out of component inputs; I'd hooked the good old duo up again - just to act as a component to hdmi convertor then plugged into the lumagen. Now it's easy to do and since it's a long weekend here that's my plan. Not only can I now easily switch between the two decoders I can route either of them direct to the Lumagen or via the dvdo (I found they handle component input quite differently and want to compare that more now with the easier ability to do so). I'll try to report back by Monday!



I am ok with a soft picture. I don't like artificial enhancements. I might not be happy with the Panasonic units then. I was perfectly fine with the Sony when I was viewing Hi-vision discs on a 1080p Pioneer plasma. Now that I am on a 4k Sony OLED, I need to find ways to make Hi-vision video watchable.

On my previous setup there was very little scaling, Lumagen Radiance 2144 would scale the 1035i to 1080i (%4 increase), adjust geometry and de-interlace to 1080p. This processing was combined with the awesome Pioneer plasma display which is the most suitable for analog video and very forgiving on anything sub-par like Hi-vision video.

On my current setup, the 4K Sony Oled is not forgiving at all. It expects top level media source. Sony admittedly uses LG OLED panels so I am sure the situation is the same on LG and Panasonic OLEDs(also uses LG panels). So I got one variable here. Lumagen is doing a lot more scaling now. 1035i to 2160i/p. Is the loss of quality due to scaling? this is the second unknown. And of course the 3rd unknown is whether the Sony muse decoder isn't good enough!

Yes the component inputs can also be explored. From the looks of it though, I am putting my money on the panel issue. The LG OLED panels are pseudo 10bit panels. I can tell there is dither noise applied to all video. This isn't much of a problem on high quality video like 1080p or 4k but causes all sort of issues on 8 bit low res video. Lumagen has some dither settings, I played with those and seen improvement. The Muse decoders for sure adds dither and these 4K panels are heavily dithered.

I am soon converting to a Sony VPL-VW885ES 4K Laser projector which will likely have similar issues but then it has a SXRD (LCoS) chip which has a picture more like a plasma. I might have to add a second 1080p JVC projector just for Hi-vision and SD LDs.

I will try to find a Pioneer muse decoder. Those are more common and likely cheaper than the super rare late Panasonic unit.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 03 Jun 2018, 18:53 
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So I spent a bit of time comparing them tonight.

Firstly got out the Sony test disc and using separate memories on the Lumagen adjusted black levels, colour and hue for each. In the absence of anything better for a muse source using the blue filter for colour and hue, which may not be the best but if it produces an erroneous result to what is truly correct, at least each is being compared under the same circumstances.

The chain is decoder to Duo (component to hdmi and de-interlacing) then hdmi into Lumagen for the small amount of scaling to 1080p and picture adjustments.

With adjustment from Sony Test Disc:
Black level was Pio -12; Pana -15
Colour was Pio +15; Pana +2
Hue was Pio -1; Pana +2
I've constantly found the movie titles seem to need a different black level to the video titles so for movies I set:
Black level Pio: -5; Pana -8

So compared a few different film/video sources and pretty much what I said before applied. Sometimes found myself liking the Panasonic a bit more but still it sometimes looked a bit over-cooked. Spent a long time switching back and forwards and mostly came to the conclusion it may just be more a matter of personal preference. Then it occurred to wind back the darbee on the Pana inputs (had default of 40 applied to both). Wound the Pana right back to zero and for the most part that equalised things more, but still wasn't totally convinced, though by that point needed a break.

So it still seems hard to give a totally definitive answer, but if I was forced to choose one or the other right now think I'd still go with the Pioneer.

The Pioneer does have one slight visual quirk; that's different to any of the Victor/Sony/Panasonic. It's late here now but I'll try to get some screen-shots tomorrow; that's going to be way easier than trying to describe it.

Also why am I using the Duo to do the component to hdmi? - it may be related to the dithering stuff you mentioned, I'm not really sure. If I get the above done tomorrow I'll try to get some screen shots to explain this too.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 04 Jun 2018, 10:18 
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As per last post there's this little visual quirk/phenomenon I noticed as soon as I first fired the Pioneer up the day it arrived. That's because basically the only time I see it is on the movie subtitles and some other similar video titling (and need to be watching on the projector so the image is big enough to see it). It's very unusual to notice this having any visible effect on the picture except a few rare occasions and when I'm looking for it. Even then I'm not saying it gives a worse result, but a different one.

It was hard to capture this using a phone but here goes:
Pioneer:
Image
Notice the rough/jagged edges most visible in this photo on the horizontal strokes of the 'da' (last character top line). Also a bit visible in the very similar 'ta' character (2nd last, lower line) and the base of the 'chi' (2nd character top line).

With the Panasonic (and other decoders I have) these are all more smoothed like below:
Image

Unfortunately the first photo (pioneer) doesn't show it too well, it appears more obvious to my eye; I think the phone was overexposing and washing out that detail. I did manage to jag this one which is much more how it looks to my eye:
Image

This difference seems to manifest more clearly in the horizontal lines on the tektronix test pattern.

Pioneer 1
Image

Panasonic 1
Image


Pioneer 2
Image

Panasonic 2
Image

I have no idea how to explain this whatsoever. Just an interesting observation for now.
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 Post subject: Re: Pioneer HM-D101
PostPosted: 04 Jun 2018, 15:50 
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I always thought that was the ghosting or smearing, right?
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