Product Review (December 2002)
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.

Performance
Video performance on the Brite View is exceptionally good given its price tag. We primarily used the 480p mode, but did try some material at 1080i. I was surprised to see that the up-conversion to 1080i looked impressive compared to some of the set-top boxes currently on the market. Although my time was limited with the unit, I did not see any noticeable conversion artifacts. The quality of the high performance 3-D motion adaptive comb filter was obvious with good quality source material. We fed a composite signal from our Pioneer CLD-D704 laserdisc player to the Brite View composite input and it did an incredible job processing the video. We also used the composite out from our Sony DVP-NS900V DVD player for our tests. Separation artifacts were minimal and when using the laserdisc player as a composite source, the comb filter performance was comparable with the processing that our reference Pioneer ELITE CLD-99 did for $2400 years ago. We did notice a need to adjust our display's black level. For some reason we found the black level was too high when using this scaler. Once adjusted 10 ticks lower than our reference level, the black level looked fine. With the black level set too high, I did notice some low level noise in the video when using the composite and s-video inputs. However, this seemed to diminish when the black level was set correctly.

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.

The 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.
- Kevin Nakano


Review System

Display: Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF calibrated)
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
Laserdisc Player : Pioneer Elite CLD-99 and CLD-D704 Laserdisc Players
D-VHS VCR: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
Video Analyzer: Sencore VSA794 Video Signal Analyzer
Video Generator: Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer: Sencore CP288 ISF Certified Color Analyzer


Review at a glance
ZINWELL - Brite View Scaler/Deinterlacer

Features

  • Advanced frame buffer technology
  • Double scan conversion
  • Supports up to SXGA (1,280x1,024 resolution) for RGB output
  • Supports 480p, 720p, 1080i for YPbPr output
  • 3:2/2:2 pulldown auto detection and correction
  • Brightness, Colour, Contrast, Sharpness and Tint adjustments
  • Friendly IR Control with smart hot keys
  • The highest video quality at the most reasonable price
  • Dynamic format 4:3 or 16:9 for RGB output
  • 3D comb filter for composite input

    Specifications
    Input Connectors

  • Composite Video: RCA
  • S-Video: 4 pin, mini DIN
  • YCbCr: 3 x RCA

    Output Signal

  • Hardware switch selectable between RGB and YPbPr
  • RGB: 640 x 480 (VGA), 800 x 600 (SVGA), 1024 x 768 (XGA) and 1280 x 1024 (SXGA)
  • YPbPr: 480p, 720p, 1080i

    Output Connector

  • D-sub 15pin, Female type (RGB/YPbPr by switching selction)

    Scan Rates:
  • RGB - VGA: 31.5KHz, SVGA: 37.9KHz, XGA: 48.4KHz, SXGA: 64KHz
  • YPrPb - 480p: 31.54KHz, 720p: 45.00KHz, 1080i: 33.75KHz

    Company Information
    Zinwell Corporation
    7F No. 512, Yuan San Road, Chung Ho City,
    Taipei Hsien, Taiwan, R.O.C.

    Climax Teknologies
    17706 Bay St.
    Fountain Valley, CA-92708

    Source: Manufacture loan
    MSRP: $599
    Dimensions: 206 (L) x 157 (W) x 45 (H) mm
    Weight: 1080 grams
    Warranty: 1 year parts and labor

    URL: www.climaxtek.com
    E-mail: info@climaxtek.com

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