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Product Review
 

Lumagen VisionPro HDP Video Processor

Part I

March, 2006

Ofer LaOr

 

Specifications:

 

Inputs: Two S-Video, Four Component, Two DVI,
    Two SDI
Programmable SD input types
    (Composite/S-Video/Component)
Connectors: BNC
Outputs Scaled to Choice from 480p to 1080p
    (Including 1080i)
Enhanced Video Processing Capability Through
    VisionDVI
Vertical Refresh: 48-120 Hz
Per-pixel Motion Adaptive HD and SD
    de-interlacing
Programmable Aspect Ratio
On-Screen Set-up and Control with Included
    Remote
RS-232 Serial Port for Upgrading and Control
Rack Mountable with Included Adapter Brackets
Dimensions: 3.75" H x 17"W x 10"D

Weight: 12 Pounds
MSRP: $2,499 USA

 

Lumagen

www.lumagen.com

Introduction

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.

These share 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 inputs.

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.

Connections

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 image).

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.

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