- Written by Ofer LaOr
- Published on 18 December 2008
The Edge comes with virtually any connection one would need – 6 HDMI inputs with HDMI 1.3a support (including the new BLU-RAY audio formats), 2 sets of component inputs (which double as RGBcvS inputs for European users), one S-Video input and one composite input. The unit holds no less than 5 separate audio inputs – optical, coax and stereo, in addition to the ability of each of the HDMI inputs to act as an audio input as well.
For outputs, the unit can output audio through a dedicated HDMI 1.3a audio output that goes out to the AV Receiver, or the unit can send audio out through a combined audio/video HDMI output, or even convert the audio to an optical digital output for AVRs that do not support HDMI input yet.
The front of the unit is a radical design step from most video processors. The unit has a distinct upside down u shape front that has a visible angled edge to it, reflecting a name change. The design is unique, but not everyone who has seen it likes the new design – it’s more of an issue of taste. I personally prefer this type of design over the now extinct “black box” designs from which most video processor manufacturers are finally starting to move away.
The bottom right hand foot of the Edge holds a small light. This design is strange but also finally shows that someone has figured out that a bright LED flashlight at the center of the unit might not be the best thing for those who appreciate design. The clean angled edge on the front is disrupted, however, by two items – a small nipple shaped IR sensor and a front HDMI connector, used primarily for new HD cameras. The front HDMI connection is neat, but I was expecting it to click open, but it requires a thumbnail to be used to pull it out. When the HDMI connector is out, it interferes with the clean look of the Edge design.
The remote is another step into the consumer market and is a dramatic leap from previous DVDO/ABT remotes. It is a cleanly designed, universal remote that can work in most situations for most users as their main remote. I personally prefer smart remotes, but I can see how this can really come in handy for users.
Many people ask me why bother with a video processor anymore now that AVRs have gotten so good. The thing is,that no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to find an AVR that does a half decent job at half the things video processors are good at. They usually try to hide as much detail from you as they can, with respect to video. You often get about 100 different tweaks for audio, but you hardly ever see an AVR that has aspect ratio control, one of the simplest things to implement in a video processor.
Many users with processors tend to separate video and audio so that their video chain is switched and controlled by their video processor and their audio works in much the same way through the A/V receivers. This type of separation is now becoming nearly impossible, now that HDMI has become such an important transporting medium for audio. This usually means you are forced to pass all your sources through your AVR first and then have it switch your sources and pass them down to your display. That’s how AVR manufacturers want you to work. The trouble is, this often precludes you from using your display’s processing, aspect ratio control and usually produces inferior picture quality.
The first product I have seen that departs from this methodology was the Lumagen Radiance and the DVDO Edge has followed suit. Two separate HDMI outputs mean you can route all your video and audio sources through the DVDO Edge and pass the HDMI audio output to your AVR or audio preprocessor.
This means you need almost no adjustments on your AVR, just a single HDMI input that will work with a host of your audio sources. I have tested this with a variety of different equipment and had absolutely no problems routing my audio through in this manner.
The pricing of the unit also means that many users will actually use this unit as their main video hub or as an HDMI switcher of sorts.