Originally Posted by Rooney
Though I agree with you that video processing is just for non blu ray sources, at least in my application watching TV and DVD still constitute about 1/2 to 2/3 of daily viewing. So in my setup, 1080i/720p scaling and deinterlacing are important. Also, many projectors would benefit from a color management setup. Your statement that I would get the best performance from an external VP is right on the money, but there is one significant hurdle - how do you connect your HDMI sources to 2 devices (the SSP and the VP)? Option number one is connect all sources to the VP so that each (non BR) source can be set up independently in terms of color management (rec 601 vs. 709), deinterlacing, scaling, and frame rate. The HDMI output then would run to one of the inputs on the SSP. Assuming the VP is also 1.3, the new codecs are sent to the SSP for conversion to multichannel PCM and processing. In this setup, only one input of the SSP is used. None of the scaling or other features are utilized. I feel this is a terrible waste and that's the reason it makes sense to me to combine all these functions in one box.
I think the simple answer is run everything through the pre/pro to the external video scaler/processor. If the source is 1080p, the pre/pro will just repeat it. The scaler probably will pass 1080p through, as well, but process the video if it is less than 1080p. I do not know about all pre/pros, by my Integra allows the Reon procesor to be set for pass through on less than 1080p sources. So, the pre/pro would do all the switching, take the audio only off for processing, and pass all the video through the scaler. If all this is done well (I do not think it's a big, big if), you have your cake and eat it too, with simple HDMI 1.3 hookup. I am skeptical that this will cause any video degradation, but you never know.
It's a shame you have to pay for the video processor in the pre/pro if you are not going to use it, but that's the way they make them. I have no first hand experience with Denon or Anthem, but their video processing is suposed to be quite good, and the Integra is no slouch. Classe is not putting heavy duty video processing in their unit and still charging a ton of money for it. I cannot say that I am impressed with their approach, which is more "purist". I do not think that approach has much merit in the world of hi-rez digital codecs. They might prove me wrong. It might make analog through their pre/pro purer by eliminating a main source of EMI/RFI in there. But, analog, in spite of my huge record collection, no longer holds much interest for me. It's been significantly bettered sonically by hi-rez multichannel, which even my lowly Integra does well.