A few years ago I was asked to try and chart my "pie
in the sky" scaler. I proceeded to throw practically everything I thought
could be useful in such a processor. A few short months later, I was
pleasantly surprised to learn that almost everything on my list was included
in the original Lumagen Vision processor.
That processor served me
faithfully, but Lumagen never stopped to rest on their laurels.
The VisionPro HDP processor is a second generation processor by Lumagen
which replaces the original Vision product line. The second generation
series includes the Vision DVI, VisionPro DVI, and Vision HDP.
common characteristics but provide more features, as their individual
hardware permits. The new HDQ unit, introduced during CES 2006, also shares
the very same architecture, but has a shorter form factor and more DVI
Their line of processors came out more than a year ago. The original first
generation Vision processors contained the infamous Sil504+co-processor de-interlacer. Since a common complaint by Vision customers was the quality
of the de-interlacing, Lumagen took a risk and decide to keep the Sil504 but
to recreate, in-house, a custom co-processor that will take care of the
film-video cadence detection. This turned out to be an over-ambitious
decision, as it greatly delayed the completion of the unit. On the bright
side, Lumagen's trials and tribulations in this arena led to one of the most
sought after features in processors today – proper 1080i cadence detection.
Since its debut, the HDP has received frequent updates, often improving
picture quality in small increments. The end result is a huge improvement in
picture quality if we compare the unit when it was introduced with the unit
as it stands today. Presently, the unit hosts one of the most impressive
feature-sets of any processor on the market.
The unit is cased in traditional black anodized aluminum that is intended to
be less flashy and more functional (the quest for the fully blacked-out
room). That does not mean it doesn't look nice of course, but rather that it
is intended to disappear into your equipment rack.
In keeping with Lumagen's original concept of versatility, the HDP processor
contains six analog video inputs. Each input composes of one, two, or
three BNC connectors, depending on the type of input. The user can configure each of these
to become a number of different inputs, including component, composite, or S-Video.
The unit comes with high quality BNC-to-RCA and dual BNC-to-S-Video
cables. In the case of S-Video, the BNC connectors on the unit maintain accurate
75 ohm impedance that 4-pin cinch connectors typically lack (usually causing a
small deterioration of picture quality, i.e., adding slight ringing to the
There is some variation as to what each set of
inputs can support. Some inputs can
support only composite or S-V, some can support only SD content, and some
can be extended to support European RGBS (4 connections) inputs by
borrowing a jack from another input.
Click Here to Go to Part II.