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Old 07-30-2008   #5
Super Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: U.S.
Posts: 379
Default Re: Scalers for 4k projectors

Chris Boylan has a very interesting review of the Meridian 810 Reference Video System:

The projector comes packaged with your choice of a long, short, or medium-throw lens as well as a motorized 2.35:1 anamorphic lens assembly for fixed height ultra-wide screen installations. A "Very Short Throw" option allows the projector to be used in rear projection or simulator applications. All packages also include the 810 Reference Video Scaler which connects to the projector with four parallel DVI-D cables each carrying one quadrant of the image. These four parts are seamlessly stitched back together by the projector to display one integrated full resolution image. Any of these packages will set you back a cool $185,000.

The quoted specs are impressive: 4,000 Lumens of brightness and a native contrast ratio of 10,000:1 But it's the pixel count that really sets this projector apart from the competition. While JVC masks out the top and bottom of this 4Kx2K+ D-ILA light panel using only the "sweet spot" in the center for its own implementation (realizing an effective 4096x2048 resolution), Meridian actually uses the entire panel at 4096x2400 pixels for a total resolution that comes in at just under ten megapixels (9,830,400 pixels to be precise). They are able to do this only after four or more days of hand calibration to each unit which involves extensive testing of the entire projected area for color, brightness and grey scale uniformity, and sometimes extensive re-writing of the lookup tables used by the light engine to map out the projected image.

What source could possibly take advantage of all these pixels? Today? Virtually nothing. Even the mighty 1080p Blu-ray Disc only comprises a mere 2 million pixels. So Meridian had to find a way of taking today's sources, from 480i up to 1080p and enlarging them to the full 10 Megapixels of detail without exposing their less detailed origins. They've done this by partnering with IC maker Marvell whose Qdeo processing technology is responsible for blowing up standard definition and high definition sources to the projector's native 4096x2400 pixel resolution.

The Qdeo processor (short for "Quiet Video" as in the opposite of noisy video) has to do a massive amount of real-time computing to interpolate and rebuild the picture detail that is missing when you try to map a 2 megapixel original to a 10 megapixel final image. Effectively 80% of the viewable image is provided by the processor itself. And when you're viewing a standard definition source, the process is even more daunting as 96% of the image is created by the processor from only around 350,000 pixels in the original image. It's a wonder that they can produce any image at all....
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