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  1. #1
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    Aug 2004

    Neu-Neo or Marantz?

    I'm trying to decide between the new neu-neo upscaling via component player and the marantz 6400 which i know is a multiplayer.Which would have the best PQ if any over the other.I have a panny 36hx40 hdtv which only has component connects.Please help.

  2. #2
    Forum Regular edtyct's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by enrique
    I'm trying to decide between the new neu-neo upscaling via component player and the marantz 6400 which i know is a multiplayer.Which would have the best PQ if any over the other.I have a panny 36hx40 hdtv which only has component connects.Please help.

    I hope that you don't mind my asking how you found out about the neu-neo player. Have you heard good things about it from a friend or an accredited third party? Someone asked about it on 4/2, and I checked out the neu-neo site. It left me with a lot of reservations about the player. On the basis of them alone, I'd advise going with the marantz. But the marantz is a solid player in its own right. The other consideration, on a level playing field, is that your CRT will not benefit much, if at all, from upscaling via component or DVI/HDMI. The fixed-pixel LCDs, LCoses, and DLPs have most to gain from upscaling, but even with them, the advantage isn't always evident. So, I can't imagine any reason to choose the neu-neo except for price. But I'm skeptical about it for a number of reasons. What follows is what I wrote about the neu-neo player on this board after reading through the info on the website (with corrections):

    For the countless thousands of you who are interested in this topic, I should add something that has some bearing on neu-neo. A DVD player that is HDCP compliant is always on the lookout for a target device that is HDCP compliant, too. It will not send a signal otherwise. However, a noncompliant HDCP DVD player will technically be able to send a signal to any display, compliant or not. As an apparently noncompliant player, the neu-neo could very well do everything that it claims to do via a digital connection. However, the Bravo V1 and V2 players, which are noncompliant, are reported to fail with some devices. I simply have no way of knowing the range of the neu-neo's compatibility. It is not part of the audio/video community as we know it, and none of the product literature that I've seen shows any signs that the player has any interest in joining it.

    I just spent a lot of time looking at the HVD208 (the 108 doesn't seem to be available anymore) and reading the faqs and specs. A bunch of things puzzles me about it. First is the upscaling through component video (a range all of the way to 1080p). I don't know how they can claim to upscale copy-protected disks through an analog input. Did they hack it? I know that a few players out there (the first Bravo V, for one) could upscale via component, but only non-protected disks. The vast majority of manufacturers do not offer such upscaling through component, however, as a concession to content providers, who prefer that it be done digitally with HDCP in place. NeuNeo doesn't elaborate at all about the parameters. If they are simply making the point that digital HDCP doesn't apply to component, then they still haven't addressed the disk-encryption method that does. The description of the player's features is too vague.

    Second, the HDMI capability is ambiguous. At various points, it claims support of 1080p, though one of the answers in the faq denies it. NeuNeo states that HDCP compliance is not necessary for upscaling via HDMI or DVI. Strictly speaking, that's true. Many of the first DVI devices did not have HDCP, meaning that early DVD players without HDCP (like the Bravo) could send upconverted material to DVI displays. That situation has largely changed. The display device must now be HDCP-compliant if the DVD player is in order for them to share upscaled data, and most these days are. HDCP comprises part of the standard for HDMI. Does NeuNeo get around it? Again, the product literature is vague. Witness this Q & A entry in the faq:

    "I have a Panasonic PT-AE500 projector with HDCP on DVI-port. Can the HVD208 handle the HDCP-protection? I'm planning to use the dvd-player with HDMI-DVI cable.
    You will have no problem using your AE500 with our HVD208 via DVI connection. Even if your projector doesn't have HDCP, you still can get high definition video from DVI input."

    Okay, the first sentence of the answer seems to be straightforward. But the second sentence leaves me scratching my head; it seems to suggest that the question was based on the projector not having HDCP, which is obviously false. The answer now deviates to claim that a projector without HDCP will work with the HVD208, which is either irrelevant or a roundabout way of saying that the 108 isn't HDCP compliant. This turn for the worst negates any confidence that the direct answer in the first sentence applies to the question as stated. If the HVD208 is noncompliant, why not just say so?

    Third, leaving aside the matter of copy protection, another faq asks which upscaled HD resolution is best for a 480p projector. The answer given is 720p, which is described as "very close" to 480p. Since when? Never mind that. Why upscale at all to 720p with a projector that can do no better than 480p? Upscaling makes sense only if the display is capable of resolving the HD resolution in question.

    Fourth, the website has links to what are supposedly independent reviews of this player. Once you get to them, however, it becomes clear that these reviews (by unknown sources) are simply verbatim rehashes of the company's product information, smelling a little too much like a dead fish.

    By the way, upscaling to 1080p is next to useless at this point. Precious few devices on the market are capable of that resolution, and even those that may be relatively affordable, like Sharp's 46" LCD panel, can scale to 1080p (its native resolution), but they can't accept 1080p. Maybe the Sony Qualias and SXRDs can, but they are limited editions, because of price and low production. They certainly are not waiting for a $200 DVD player to fulfill their potential.

    I won't even bother to tackle the companies' proprietary HD disks. I'm not suggesting that NeuNeo doesn't have legitmate responses to the issues that I've raised. But even if they do, they still have some s'plainin' to do, as Ricky used to say to Lucy. Somebody with a little time, a little extra money, and the right equipment might pick up one of these things and put it through its paces. It ain't gonna be me.

    I should add that though the FCC approved HDCP last summer, devices capable of high-resolution formats need not be HDCP-compliant until July 1, 2005. Technically, this means that NeuNeo is able to avoid it until then and at least theoretically send a digital signal to any display. But this situation doesn't account for all of the questions about this player and what it can or can't do.


    Last edited by edtyct; 04-19-2005 at 12:11 PM. Reason: corrections and more information (in italics)

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