DVDO Edge Video Processor Review Overview

DVDO Edge Test Performance

I used a number of test disks to evaluate the Edge’s video processing abilities.  Starting with the Oppo DV-980H, I fed the Edge a 480i signal, using a test DVD provided by DVDO that has a variety of torture tests for deinterlacing, bad edit detection and cadence detection.  Then, I used my standard Faroudja, Avia Pro and HQV test disks.  As I normally use an Oppo DV-983H as my reference DVD player, which uses much of the same processing as the Edge, I wasn’t surprised to see that the Edge performed very well on all of these tests.
I then fed the Edge a 480p signal from the Oppo DV-980H, to leave see how the Edge’s PRePTM (progressive reprocessing) worked.  The DV-980H has fairly decent deinterlacing and scaling, but not up to the level of the Edge, so I wanted to see if PRePTM would improve the picture.  Expecting the same improvement in the deinterlaced signal as moving from the DV-980H to the DV-983H, I wasn’t disappointed.  Tests like the HQV “Jaggies” test, which gave the 980H’s deinterlacing some problems, were no problem for the Edge.  Its motion and edge-adaptive capabilities made for a smooth, artifact-free picture.

Similarly, the Edge did an excellent job of deinterlacing an upscaled 1080i signal from the DV-980H.  Again, hard-edged motion in any direction was smooth and free of motion artifacts.  Overall, the Edge’s performance was about as good as it gets with test material.  That being said, no one sits and watches test disks, so let’s see how the Edge performs in real world applications

DVDO Edge Video Performance

Starting out with the HR20, I tuned to some SD channels to see what the Edge could do with the highly compressed signal some of the Directv channels use.  Channels like TV Land and Hallmark have very poor quality, partly due to compression and often due to the quality of the older sitcoms that makes up much of their programming.  While I didn’t expect miracles (garbage in = garbage out), I was pleasantly surprised by the improvement the Edge provides.  This is where some of the enhancement features (which I’m always skeptical of) can be used to advantage.  The mosquito noise reduction and detail enhancement really helped make what is usually an unwatchable picture on a big screen, bearable.  On some of the better channels (usually the pay channels like HBO), the improvement was less noticeable, but still an improvement nonetheless.

Switching over to some HD channels, I turned off the detail enhancement and mosquito noise reduction and was impressed with the Edge’s ability to improve an already decent picture.  As was noted in the Test Performance section, its deinterlacing and upscaling of 720p and 1080i sources was excellent.  Pans in scenes were smooth.  Sports with fast motion such as tennis and hockey looked very good as well.  Any issues were the fault of the projector, not the Edge.

Moving back to the Oppo DVD player, I tried some familiar favorites, like The Fifth Element Superbit and a Japanese Superbit version of Joan of Arc.  Both have excellent picture quality and looked superb being deinterlaced and scaled to 1080p by the Edge.  Colors are full and vibrant, with no enhancement or detraction from the processing.  As you would expect, the picture quality of DVDs was very much the same as when viewed through my reference DVD player (the aforementioned Oppo DV-983H) which uses essentially the same processing.

Finally, I viewed some Blu-ray disks from the Sony PS3 through the Edge.  Here, I wasn’t really expecting to see improvement and there really wasn’t any.  The Edge did a good job of staying out of the way and not detracting from the 1080p signal from the PS3.  The advantage of the Edge here was the ability to pass the decoded Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD MA audio to my receiver without having to send the video along for the ride.  I didn’t have any lipsync problems, but the manual lipsync correction adjustments of the Edge will allow the user to solve that problem should it occur.

I should note that the Edge also has a Game mode that is said to eliminate video processing delay, which I didn’t try.  I also did not try the Edge with an HTPC.  However, as I was writing this review, DVDO came out with a firmware upgrade that addresses improvements for gaming and HTPC compatibility, as well as adding some general improvements, including built-in test patterns.  Go to DVDO’s website (www.dvdo.com) for more information on this upgrade

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