DVDO iScan HD Audio/Video Processor

Evan Powell, July 22, 2004
Contents
Introduction

True home theater enthusiasts are always looking for ways to tweak and improve the performance of their systems. If you are among this legion of dedicated videophiles you will want to know about the DVDO iScan HD processor from Anchor Bay Technologies.

The primary function of the iScan HD is to improve image quality on DVD and other standard-definition video sources. It is a small rack-mountable box about the size of a small DVD player that you insert into your system between any video source (DVD player, VCR, satellite receiver, laser disc player, etc.) and your projector. It will take a standard definition signal, process it and upscale it to the native resolution of your projector. If your projector has a DVI input, the iScan HD will deliver the signal digitally, and if not, it outputs analog. Basically, the iScan HD preprocesses the signal and lets you bypass the projector's internal deinterlacing, processing, and scaling electronics. Since the video processing capability of the iScan HD is more comprehensive than that found on most projectors, improved image quality is usually the end result.

Inputs. The iScan HD has eight video inputs including two composite RCA jacks and two S-video ports that accept NTSC, PAL, and SECAM signals, two 3-RCA component ports for YPbPr and RGB/S for the processing of 480i, 480p, 576i, and 576p signals and the pass-through of 720p and 1080i signals, one VGA analog passthrough, and one DVI-I input. In addition to the eight video inputs it features four audio inputs-two digital optical and two digital coaxial.

Outputs. The iScan will output either via DVI-I or VGA analog in either RGB or component format. Audio outputs include one digital optical and one digital coaxial.

The iScan HD has an attractive and functional onscreen menu and ergonomically well-designed remote control, making it extremely easy to use. And there are a variety of features to take advantage of. Each video input has its own picture controls and associated memory. Controls include brightness, contrast, saturation, hue, Y/C delay, and sharpness. So you can calibrate each of your video sources independently; they are stored in nonvolatile memory and automatically reload each time a particular video source is activated.

Output controls let you choose analog/digital, any standard or custom resolution to match your projector, aspect ratio, sync type, RGB or component, and frame rates at either 48, 60 or 72 hertz to create an optimum interface with the projector.

Another key feature of the iScan HD is what the manufacturer calls "Precision AV LipSync™." This is a digital audio delay that matches audio tracks to the video image onscreen. Since video can sometimes be slightly out of sync with audio due to the time required to process the video signal, the audio delay ensures that lips always move in precise sync with the audio.

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