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The new DVDO iScan VP30 Video Processor


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Well I got my vp30 upgraded today with the abt102 card and the clearer ir sensor

The good news is the ir sensor is better (more sensitive) and it has a 1.07 firmware upgrade (which it had to have to load the new card unfortunately - hope it is stable)

Bad news is, all my calibrated settings have been set to default and all my profiles etc that Avical did for me are lost :blink:

It'll need resetting up and I haven't got the time right now as going interstate in morning. Family will just have to wait to watch :D

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It is kind of clear that the firmware update instructions do tell you to write down all your settings because you'll lose them.

A bit of an RTFM one - shame DVDO don't have any interest in making their firmware like most routers so you can dump the config via the RS-232 port and reload it the same way.

Hope Avical have a backup you can ask them for :blink:

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I'm assuming the BNC board TY-42TM6Y with 5 connections is the one I need as the TY-42TM6A only has 3 connections & 2 rca's (L & R) ?

Yes, the M6Y board has the 5 bnc connections. It also has conposite, svideo and analogue audio and occupies 2 slots on the panel.

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It is kind of clear that the firmware update instructions do tell you to write down all your settings because you'll lose them.

A bit of an RTFM one - shame DVDO don't have any interest in making their firmware like most routers so you can dump the config via the RS-232 port and reload it the same way.

Hope Avical have a backup you can ask them for :blink:

Mmm, shame when I got the distro techy to do the upgrade for me to avoid me f'ing it up

Yes, I will have to reload settings when I find the avical report again... or get him back

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The Oppo DV-970HD arrived today. Ordered Sunday night and at my doorstep midday Saturday...pretty happy with that. Packaged double boxed so well protected.

For those who missed earlier discussion, this unit is anticipated as a good match to a VP30 because it can deliver a 576i via HDMI.

Setup pretty straightforward

- need an Australian power cord or plug adapter. Had an old cord laying around so just used that.

- comes with a heft looking HDMI-HDMI cable. Don't know if thickness is a measure of quality, but if it is then it is a good one.

- default settings seem okay, though had to change TV Type from NTSC to PAL. This is required to enable HDMI setting of 576i.

Remote

- not sure if I like it. Position of play control buttons seem a bit weird with too much emphasis on numeric keypad.

- not too concerned about remote as I tend to hit 'play' then don't use it after that.

Appearance

- very slimline

- uses an orange coloured fluro display. It's distinctive but tends to stand out because it is so different to usual blue/green displays.

Disc Tray

- very flimsy clear plastic.

- doesnt extend fully to expose entire disc...stops about 5mm short. Doesn't intefere though

- no cutaway in sides to let you place your fingers either side of the disc to remove it. Have to stick a finger underneath the disc and pop it up so you can grab it. Bit strange, but not a big deal

Image quality

- have done a lot of testing yet. Initial impression is that is marginally better than component from old Panasonic DVD player. Can't say the I've blown away with some massive improvement.

One observation is that when I scale the image to fill the screen, the softening of the image is more pronounced. Perhaps I'm noticing this because the unzoomed image is better than what I'm used to? This bugs me a little as this point because I like to scale my videos to fill the screen, but the softening seems to compromise the image too much. Think I need to watch a few more DVDs to get a feel for this.

Another aspect I've noticed is that focus pulling is more noticeable (e.g. when two actors are talking the the focus is shifted from one to the other). This could also be a result of the image being more sharper so I'm noticing the shift in sharpness in the image as the focus is shifted from one actor to the other - just a theory:)

I plan to run two copies of the same DVD through each player and switch between them so I can do a fairer comparison.

2006/06/18 update:

Just done DVD comparision. Used "Keeping Mum" DVD.

Very hard to pick specific differences between the two players when looking individuals aspects of the image (e.g facial tones, sharpness of objects, movement, etc). That said, I still feel there is a subtle difference between the two images. I would describe the Oppo as having a a better sense of depth.

Since the difference was so subtle, I thought it better to do a blind test with my partner (Kerry). Let her watch the same footage on from both DVD players and got her to pick which one she felt was 'better'. She said it was hard to pick much difference between them,but if she had to pick one then the 'A' might have been sharper. 'A' turned out to be the Panasonic!

At this point, my only conclusion is that the Panasonic S25 must be a pretty decent DVD player given that in the AVS forum, others have put the new Oppo ahead of high end DVD players. Either that, so something in my set up needs tweaking?

Audio quality

- not sure what the deal is with HDMI. The VP30 accepts the input via HDMI but only seems to passes through a stereo signal via coax to the amp. The Oppo manual has no discussion on audio aspects of HDMI. I'm guessing that since HDPC is enforced by the Oppo, the entire signal path through to the amp must be compliant for it to pass through the digital (Dolby Digital/DTS).

- the issue of audio protection is sort of covered here. It's a bit of an odd one in that SACD and DVD-A can't be passed via optical/coax (for copy protection), yet audio from a video DVD can - the copy protection is only applied to passing through HDMI.

- currently using coax connection to VP30. No issues passing digital audio to amp. No dropouts or anything weird.

- there is also a discussion of HDMI audio issues in the Advanced Setup Guide. You need to make sure you amp supports HDMI1.1 (rather than HDMI1.0) to ensure support for SACD and DVD-A.

Region Protection

- able to play region 4 straight out of the box.

- if you have a problem, Big Marcelo has this tip for making it region free

Press Setup on remote control to access the setup page

Enter 9210 on the remote

A secret menu will pop up

Select 0 to 6 in region code

Press Setup on remote again to exit

Direct Play

- press stop then menu enables Direct Play that may (or may not) bypass introductory warning etc.

- bit hit and miss as to how this works. At times it does nothing, at others it will put you right back at the start of the introductory stuff, and sometimes it works.

Navigation

- incredibly fast chapter skip - instantaneous.

- slo-mo and fast forward all work well.

Flash Drive Input

- tested it out with a card loaded with mp3's. Works well, though it only seems to support the abbreviated DOS file naming standard.

Cost

- $US149 + $US61 postage = $AU284.

Manufacture Website

- Oppo

AVS forum discussion

- AVS forum

Manual - Advanced Setup Guide version

- Advanced Setup Guide

I'll post back when I get to do some side-by-side comparisons.

Cheers,

Cliff

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The Oppo DV-970HD arrived today

One observation is that when I scale the image to fill the screen, the softening of the image is more pronounced. Perhaps I'm noticing this because the unzoomed image is better than what I'm used to? This bugs me a little as this point because I like to scale my videos to fill the screen, but the softening seems to compromise the image too much. Think I need to watch a few more DVDs to get a feel for this.

You wil always have a softening when zooming - it is inevitable.

I suspect you notice it more because of the excellent "pure" picture you get at first. I find it intolerable on larger displays, barely acceptable on a 32" LCD from a distance, irrespective of th esource.

As for overall image sharpness, I found the earlier Oppo benefited greatly from tweaking the image enhancement controls. This sharpened the picture without edge enhancement issues. Does this help on th enew one

Tasso

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Updated earlier post with notes on comparision of Oppo with Panasonic DVD player. Basically on subtle differences between the two players, so very disappointing in that regard.

However, the unit does offer some extra features over old players

- able to play back files from Flash Drive. Tested out both mp3 and Divx video files - all work okay.

- flash card slot also available

- SACD and DVD-A support. (Got to buy some discs to check this stuff out)

- more responsive when chapter skipping.

It is worth $280? Personally, I couldn't recommend it if you are reasonably happy with your current player. Rather put that money toward a Sony PS3 when (and if) they come out - think they were delayed the last I heard.

Even though I haven't found the unit to be anything exceptional, there are still a lot of others (based on comments in AVS forum) that have had great results. If keen to find out, then another $280 on top of your VP30 investment is probably reasonable.

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$280 towards PS3 sounds like the go for me.... Thanks for your excellent and honest review and opinions CliffofOz.

Now what shall I do with my SDI card for VP30..hmmmm...

ebay? try to get a modded foxtel with SDI out ? (way too expensive I think - send to UK and back to get it done.... ) .....

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Thanks for your excellent and honest review and opinions CliffofOz.

Thanks for that:)

Came across another positive for the Oppo today. My old panasonic has been having issues with certain DVD+RW discs in that it would play so far in (around 90 min) and then freeze. Happening with multiple times - different discs and different movies.

The new Oppo handles them without a problem.

Not regretting my investment now. Ability to handle discs better, faster skip response (good for getting through that warnings at the front of a disc), flash drive support and Divx playback have made it a worthwhile update. Also like the fact it has both coax and optical output which give more flexibility - I was running out of optical inputs to the VP30 so now I can free one up (from old dvd player) and use coax instead. Even the remote is better.

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$280 towards PS3 sounds like the go for me.... Thanks for your excellent and honest review and opinions CliffofOz.

Now what shall I do with my SDI card for VP30..hmmmm...

if you are looking to offload it I'm planning on buying one soon. send me a PM if you do decide to get rid of it.

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Hi all,

Just a heads up that 1.08 is now available at:-

http://www.dvdo.com/update/update-vp.php

Lets see how this goes with regards to the audio issues. They have also added 1:1 timings for Fujis, NECs and Panasonics. Also a panorama setting. Not sure if it is non-linear stretch though.

Good luck

Cheers,

Chui

yap, Non linear stretch!! Finally! .... for 4:3 .... let's see if it works better then the NEC NLS mode....... andrew, your 1:1 settings for the NEC should work now.... built-in!! ... let me know how it goes.... !!!

I guess, it actually shows some of the new plasmas which would actually do 1:1 with an external scaler (it doens't include the pio pros, because I think they're pretty easy to get 1:1....)

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I've already got my Fuji at 1360x768 which is the 1:1 for 50" Fuji. Though, I have been using output settings of 720p@50 for 50Hz sources and 720p@60 for 60Hz sources from VP30 to my Fuji... this way I do not have to stretch those missing pixels (6-horizontal) to fill up the screen...besides 720p shows much better PQ and color saturation IMHO. Any other Fuji 50" owners on the same boat with me????

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AussieX3's post has reminded me of a question I asked much earlier (before the VP30 hit our shores);

I really think that all the processing that the VP30 does to the colourspace and other settings means that it is unlikely to perform well without some sort of video calibration, particularly with colour temps. AussieX3, perhaps the reason that you're preferring direct connection between STB and plasma is because the settings are more accurate out of the box for those devices.

Once my new projector is setup and all my sources are in place, I'll be giving Avical a call to do a calibration with the VP30 in the mix. It'll be interesting to see just how far out the default settings are... I'll keep you all posted.

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AussieX3, perhaps the reason that you're preferring direct connection between STB and plasma is because the settings are more accurate out of the box for those devices.

Actually with AUSID to FUJI vs AUSID-VP30-FUJI is to do with the sharpness of picture quality even before getting into the area of color saturation etc... no matter what I do... going via VP30 does not display as sharp as the direct connection..this is very apparent when those small letters are displayed on TV commercials (conditions apply etc.....) Do you see the difference on your 42" also?? I also remember you commented that direct connection to your Fuji was better than via VP30..

Yes.. I look forward to hearing your future postings when u get your projector all set up and calibrated...

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Hi all,

1.08 now loaded and running.

Sorry Marcelo but Panorama is not NLS.

Everything appears stable. I've watched a DVD and had no dropouts at all. Can't comment on HDMI/sound input, because I don't have any.

The pre-determined 1:1's aren't labelled, but all VP30 users are used to trial & error :blink:

Cheers,

Chui

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Hi all,

1.08 now loaded and running.

Sorry Marcelo but Panorama is not NLS.

Everything appears stable. I've watched a DVD and had no dropouts at all. Can't comment on HDMI/sound input, because I don't have any.

The pre-determined 1:1's aren't labelled, but all VP30 users are used to trial & error :blink:

Cheers,

Chui

Hi Chui,

are you able to explain a bit more on the Panorama? is not NLS or does it stretch badly? I thought you needed to enable NLS on the menu, before panorama worked properly ... bummer!

From AVS - Josh's Post from DVDO

Non-linear stretch can now be applied to a 4:3 signal so that it will fill a 16:9 screen with minimal perceptual distortion in the center of the screen. This mode can be turned ‘On’ or ‘Off’ in the Input Aspect Ratio submenu. Additionally this feature can be accessed in the IAR presets and it is titled ‘4:3 Stretch’.
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Hi Marcelo,

Sorry, my mistake. I see now what Josh@DVDO says about Panorama. I'd had a quick look (a George W Bush interview - it looked like the truth was being stretched in a linear fashion) and couldn't tell it was NLS.

However, maybe I'm doing something wrong, or someone can explain it to me. I thought that somehow the VP30 would detect a 4:3 picture and use NLS to fill the screen at that time, but this doesn't happen. I thought that it would know there are bloody big black bars on the sides.

To me, it seems that you would have to switch between IARs to make use of the panorama. I'm striving for maximum laziness, so I'm not keen on this.

Is it only HDMI connections that automatically change aspect ratios? The only digital inpuit I use is DVI->HDMI for the STB.

If anyone can point me in the right direction, that would be great

Cheers,

Chui

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Hi Marcelo,

Sorry, my mistake. I see now what Josh@DVDO says about Panorama. I'd had a quick look (a George W Bush interview - it looked like the truth was being stretched in a linear fashion) and couldn't tell it was NLS.

:blink: LOL

sorry, I don't know the answer to your other questions ...... I got the VP30, but since I don't have a display to use it yet.... I can't play with it.....

thanks for trying,

Cheers,

Marcelo

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Guys, there are issues with the new DVDO VP30 firmware (1.08) and PAL - apparently the deinterlacing is really bad - it could be bypassing the ABT102 card.. not sure.... check the comments on the AVS forum - but maybe its best not to install it just yet......

Andrew Wong was one of the first ones to install the new firmaware (Chui also) and to report it -

Here's the link to The AVS VP30 discussion

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Pal, dicked again. Not surprising.

yes, we may have to wait for 1.08A or 1.08PAL to come out.... probably another month????

at least the NLS seams to work and most of the audio issues over HDMI have also been fixed... however the way to 'reconfigure it' is still puzzling many users ... plus you loose all your settings also... make sure anyone who is looking at upgrading write their settings down prior to the 1.08xx upgrade...

I will wait until the firmware becomes stable (and not upgrading monthly) before I get Aaron out to calibrate my system...that is.. whenever I get the mythical plasma....... :blink:

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I tried the STB in HD mode 1080i into the VP-30, and I felt it did not look as good as going straight into the panel, when looking at HD broadcasts. So I buckled and tried the 576P out into the VP-30, and I have to say I am amazed. Firstly the channel Seven HD loop which generally looks pretty lame actually looked better, and I used it for most of the day for testing as there was nothing else of value in HD on Nine or Ten all day.

I then looked at SD material and I have to say THIS is where the VP-30 shines. The SD material looks damn good, much better than the STB scaling it up. The nice thing doing it this way is that there is no pixelaisation or banding in the SD broadcast so images look great. A win!

Tonight, on channel Nine is a movie in HD (The Generals Daughter), I have been waiting for this all day! The result makes NO sense to me at all. It looks excellent. At this point I think it looks almost as good as 1080i straight out of the STB (which I have always been happy with, except for the banding and pixelisation)

The VP30 only bobs 1080i which explains why it looks worse than direct 1080i.

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The VP30 only bobs 1080i which explains why it looks worse than direct 1080i.

I think on the 1.07 or 1.08 if you put 1080i in and choose 1080i out, the signal would not be deinterlaced at all ..... if this is not available yet, it is definitely on the works from DVDO ....

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When putting a 1080i signal thru a scaler such as the VP30, would it deinterlace first and then rescale (to 720p) or the other way?

I am asking in relation to a Tosh HD-DVD player in particular, but I guess same for HDTV 1080i?

And I realise the ABT deinterlacer card is mainly for 576i deinterlacing, but would the VP30/ABT combo work well for feeding from the Tosh also?

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When putting a 1080i signal thru a scaler such as the VP30, would it deinterlace first and then rescale (to 720p) or the other way?

I am asking in relation to a Tosh HD-DVD player in particular, but I guess same for HDTV 1080i?

And I realise the ABT deinterlacer card is mainly for 576i deinterlacing, but would the VP30/ABT combo work well for feeding from the Tosh also?

apparently the Tosh does really bad rescalling, so its best to output 1080i from it.

1) If you have one of the new panels, NEC/Pio the built-in scaler actually does per pixel deinterlacing for 1080i .... which is better then the VP30 .... so passthrough 1080i would be best...

2) if your panel doesn't have 1080i per pixel deinterlacing (most don't), you would still get a better picture having the VP30 do deinterlacing and scaling ....

this question was actually answered in the AVS forum in detail by Josh from DVDO, if I remember correctly the DVDO does field processing (540p) and then scaling to the required output 720/768p?

this will change with BR and second generation HD DVD players, where 1080p output will be possible ( the discs are all mastered and encoded in 1080p).... assuming your display can receive 1080p, its much easier to get a top PQ from downscaling 1080p to 720p then deinterlacing 1080p to 1080i, then processing it to 720p...

I know DVDO is working on 1080i passthrough and also on a 1080p passthrough ... the VP30 doesn't have the bandwitdh to process 1080p, but it should be able to pass it through eventually....

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When putting a 1080i signal thru a scaler such as the VP30, would it deinterlace first and then rescale (to 720p) or the other way?

I am asking in relation to a Tosh HD-DVD player in particular, but I guess same for HDTV 1080i?

And I realise the ABT deinterlacer card is mainly for 576i deinterlacing, but would the VP30/ABT combo work well for feeding from the Tosh also?

I don't know about other STBs but my AUSID output at 1080i@50Hz into VP30 via component was never an acceptable signal... so I am worried this may happen to HD-DVD@50Hz may be....not sure about others.. this may just be the AUSID issue...

I believe 1080i is not handled by ABT102 card....I may be wrong...

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I don't know about other STBs but my AUSID output at 1080i@50Hz into VP30 via component was never an acceptable signal... so I am worried this may happen to HD-DVD@50Hz may be....not sure about others.. this may just be the AUSID issue...

I believe 1080i is not handled by ABT102 card....I may be wrong...

the VP30 and the ABT102 are not really designed for HD processing, and video HD processing even worse... I actually had a better picture from outputting SD channels via HDMI (576i) from a HD set top box and let the VP30 deinterlace and scale the signal... pitty most SD boxes don't have DVI/HDMI output....

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the VP30 and the ABT102 are not really designed for HD processing, and video HD processing even worse... I actually had a better picture from outputting SD channels via HDMI (576i) from a HD set top box and let the VP30 deinterlace and scale the signal... pitty most SD boxes don't have DVI/HDMI output....

Thanks for the replies guys

I thought the vp30 (without aBT at the time) did pass thru my ch9 hd signal (1080i) at the time - maybe I was mistaken? Certainly it makes the SD Toppy feed look like HD on my 720p pj (and the kvhr fed 720p).

Admittedly mine wasn't the best hd stb (old footie) but now its been passed to a new owner who will appreciate it for the footie/soccer/tennis on their own 720p projector (no vp30)

So what would the vp30 do with a diet of 1080i? Pass thru or pass out? Has the ABT card affected this capability at all?

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So what would the vp30 do with a diet of 1080i? Pass thru or pass out? Has the ABT card affected this capability at all?

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So what would the vp30 do with a diet of 1080i? Pass thru or pass out? Has the ABT card affected this capability at all?

Just guessing here norpus, but I thought it just passes 1080i through. Don't think it has the processing power to be able to deinterlace 1080i. And I think the ABT just helps with improvements on SD resolutions.

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Just guessing here norpus, but I thought it just passes 1080i through. Don't think it has the processing power to be able to deinterlace 1080i. And I think the ABT just helps with improvements on SD resolutions.

Thanks Gino. Makes sense

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Thanks Gino. Makes sense

if you have a 1080i input and select 1080i output, it should pass through - however if you receive 1080i and select, say 720p, it will do a bob-deinterlace on the signal - not a motion and edge adaptive deinterlacing which the ABT102 does to SD signals .....

however, depending on your display, it could still be a better option then sending a 1080i signal through .... you have to do your 'eye test to check it out.....

the New NEC plasma (50: XR5 & 42" XR4) , new Pioneer (427 & 507) and new panasonic (9 series??) all do motion adaptive deinterlacing with 1080i signal ...... so, on these models your best option is passthrough the 1080i signal ....

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Guest Sparky66

1.09 Beta firmware has just been released. DO NOT INSTALL IT !!!!

US Avforum reporting major crashes and problems. People also losing all their settings . Ahhhhh !!!#**

Seems like they have added Output Gamma adjustments though !

Now who 'll be the aussie guinea pig ???

To feel the pain go here :blink: :ph34r:

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1.09 Beta firmware has just been released. DO NOT INSTALL IT !!!!

US Avforum reporting major crashes and problems. People also losing all their settings . Ahhhhh !!!#**

Seems like they have added Output Gamma adjustments though !

Now who 'll be the aussie guinea pig ???

To feel the pain go here :blink: :ph34r:

I have decided my abt102 upgrade incl v1.07 was crapp. There are interlacing artifacts everywhere on dvd. Unwatchable. Also can't get my settings back on the kvhr - it now refuses to play 720p. Been struggling with it for too long. Something is wrong and not happy Jan. Will talk to the dealer tomorrow me thinks

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the VP30 and the ABT102 are not really designed for HD processing, and video HD processing even worse... I actually had a better picture from outputting SD channels via HDMI (576i) from a HD set top box and let the VP30 deinterlace and scale the signal... pitty most SD boxes don't have DVI/HDMI output....

I agree that 576i looks better even when using a footie.

Which box are you using to output 576i over HDMI? I have looked for one unsuccesfully. Unfortunately the Topfield 7000 only ouputs 576p over component and HDMI

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I have decided my abt102 upgrade incl v1.07 was crapp. There are interlacing artifacts everywhere on dvd. Unwatchable. Also can't get my settings back on the kvhr - it now refuses to play 720p. Been struggling with it for too long. Something is wrong and not happy Jan. Will talk to the dealer tomorrow me thinks
Hi Norpus.

Just curious, what interlacing/de-interlacing artifacts are you seeing? One I see is an apparent severe case of combing when very fast moving objects traverse the screen or where an object has a fast moving component in/on it, for example a moving aircraft that has a spinning propeller (as it is taxiing down a runway). In this instance, the area covered by the propeller is severely combed. Others on AVS have reported similar findings with fast moving objects. Do you have any others to add? I'm still on Vs 1.07.

Phil.

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