DVDO iScan HD Audio/Video Processor

Evan Powell, July 22, 2004
Review Contents

Performance

The degree to which the iScan HD can improve your projector's image depends upon how good your projector's onboard processing is to begin with. But even with the latest in projector technology, improvements can be achieved. We tested the unit this week with both the Optoma H77 and BenQ 8700, two projectors we happen to be reviewing at the moment. On both projectors the iScan HD rendered a noticeably smoother, sharper, and more three-dimensional image from DVD as compared to the images the projectors were capable of without it. Some of our better quality DVDs were actually improved to the point where they appeared to be HD format. Thus for videophiles who have these projectors and are seeking the best possible DVD performance out of them, the iScan HD is worth the investment.

The iScan HD also does a good job cleaning up images from VCRs. Sharpness is improved and noise is substantially reduced. VHS tape is in general not a good video source for large format projection. But the iScan HD renders tapes that might otherwise be marginal quite watchable by giving you a cleaner and more stable image.

We found the results with standard television to be less compelling. With standard television via satellite we did see a slight improvement in sharpness and stability. However, like VHS tape, television blown up to very large screen proportions never looks particularly good compared to DVD, and the consumer should not anticipate that the iScan HD will deliver a dramatically improved television image. It is slightly better, but still nowhere as good as DVD.

We have not had a chance to test the iScan with a wide variety of projectors. However we would expect that owners of older projectors with less than state-of-the-art onboard processing will see noticeable improvements in DVD, and marginal improvements in non-DVD sources, just as we have seen on these new Optoma and BenQ models.

Perhaps the best way to see if the iScan HD is right for you would be to test it with your own projector. Fortunately, Anchor Bay Technologies makes this easy with a 30-day "No Quibble" return policy. Within 30 days if you need to return it you get a 100% refund, less the cost of shipping, assuming you return it with all parts, accessories, and so forth, with original packaging. So there's not much risk to give it a test drive in your own home.

Review Contents: Introduction Performance