Re: Anthem D2 or DVDO for 70" SXRD
I have both the Anthem D2 and the DVDO VP50. I bought the D2 to replace my aging pre-amp and move to a single box setup for simplicity, less wiring, etc. The D2 has been a phenomenal upgrade for me, outside of video processing, and I don't even have the ARC Room Eq yet. The video processing on the VP50 was rock solid, I never had a problem with all sorts of sources. I've had a few minor hick ups w/ the D2 that required a power cycle. The actual video processing display between the two is nearly equivalent, I have yet to notice a real difference. The VP50 tended to pickup the signal when resolutions changed a tad faster, but this isn't really an issue. Actually one issue I did have w/ the DVDO VP50 was on scenes with significant amount of high intensity light (e.g. fully blinding white explosions) it would occasionally lose signal and have to relock onto the signal. Slightly annoying.
Both DVDO and Anthem are great at providing upgrade paths. Anthem tends to release software updates with new features regularly (DVDO was much less frequent). Anthem also has a hardware upgrade path which feels completely reasonable, I didn't upgrade from an AVM-50 or D1 so I can't comment on this.
DVDO's hardware upgrade path is also nice, but often you can do just as well selling the old equipment online. FYI I started w/ original iScan, then iScan Pro, then iScan HD, and finally iScan VP50. Each new product from DVDO was a sizable improvement and I've used a variety of TVs and input devices. Right now the 70" Sony SXRD R70XBR2 is my display, which I love (it needs to be ISF calibrated since the picture doesn't quite seem to be as good as when I go it).
My D2 did have warranty repair and Anthem replaced it, but not without a bunch of hassle with my local dealer and rep. I'm not sure if the missed communications were my dealer or Anthem. Tech support at Anthem has been top notch when I called them.
One feature I really liked with the VP50 was automatic change of input source when detecting a signal (it allowed a priority list) which made programming my automated remote setup trivial. I didn't need to switch inputs, just power on a device and the video/audio would switch. This made it easy for my wife to use since when she did have any troubles she could just check to see if the power was on in the input source and turn off any she didn't want to watch.
For me, the D2 is the winner due to the fact it is fully integrated, very good VP and the audio sound quality and processing is phenomenal. The price is nose bleed for me, so if the D2 hadn't worked out for me I was going to try the VP50 w/ some newer pre-amps, but I'm happy now so not switching from the D2.
If you already have a pre-amp you love you might just get the VP50, it worked like a champ.
I still haven't sold my VP50 yet, but plan to in the next few weeks.