ZINWELL - Brite View Video Scaler/Deinterlacer
Video scalers are becoming commonplace in today's world of fixed-pixel displays. Some of the current displays with built-in scalers have limitations, making an external unit desirable. However, the cost of any quality scaler usually runs thousands of dollars. I recently had the opportunity to take a look at a new product from a company based in Taipei. Zinwell Corporation has just released a scaler/deinterlacer capable of HD scan rates (1080i and 720p) as well as several VESA standards with resolutions up to 1280x1024. While it doesn't cover the requirements of all of the displays out there, it does meet the needs of many on a limited budget. At $599, it is by far the cheapest scaler I have seen. The Brite View is built in a sturdy housing with only a blue light on the front panel. Also behind the small window in the front lies the IR detector for the remote control.
The rear panel has all the video interface connections including the power input, power switch and color space switch. Input connectors are provided for composite, s-video and component video sources. Video is sent out through a high density VGA connector. The power adapter is a switching power unit supplying over an amp at 12 volt DC. The remote is simple and logical with dedicated buttons for Contrast, Brightness, Color, Tint and Sharpness. Additional button are for setting the Resolution, Format (4:3 or 16:9) and Language (English, German and French).
Unlike most of today's scalers that are based on Silicon Image or Faroudja technology, the Brite View is built around the new highly integrated Trident DPTV-3D scan-conversion chip. This powerful chip features 10-bit analog-to-digital converters with a full motion adaptive 3-D comb filter for Y/C separation for the composite input. In addition, the internal input multiplexor accommodates composite, s-video and component inputs. The chip uses four 16 Mbit (16-bit x 1MB) SDRAMs to handle the motion-adaptive video processing algorithms. As a result of using this device, the design is greatly simplified because the video decoding and scan-conversion takes place on the same chip. Finally, the 10-bit digital-to-analog converters are also integrated on the same chip. The complexity of the design results in a substantial amount of power being dissipated from the 208-pin chip and therefore requires a heat-sink mounted on the top for cooling. This insures long term reliability by minimizing thermal stress. However, all of this is hidden inside of the box.
The scan rate is displayed in the upper right corner of the video for a few seconds when the user changes the setting. However, this is not very useful if the display cannot synchronize to the video scan rate. In addition, there is no indicator on the box to let the user know what mode he or she is running in. A set of indicators on the front panel would be an inexpensive improvement to the current design. There is also no support for digital video interfaces such as DVI, which I consider a limitation as we move into a world demanding this type of connectivity. However, the low cost of this unit may justify this omission.
Brite View scaler is an great unit for the money. Video looked clean and free
of objectionable artifacts in the modes we tested, which is amazing given its
price. Taking advantage of today's latest chip technology and video processing
algorithms, this deinterlacer/scaler makes high quality video performance affordable.
The output scan rates offered by the Brite View will ultimately drive your decision
for a possible match with your display. If cost-no-object performance and features
is your goal, then you have several high-end manufacturers to choose from. However,
if you are on a budget and want a quality scaler/deinterlacer that is capable
of converting 480i material to a native resolution, then the Brite View is certainly
a worthy candidate.
Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF calibrated)
|Review at a glance|
ZINWELL - Brite View Scaler/Deinterlacer
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