Projector Reviews

Darblet DVP 5000 Video Processor Review – Performance

Performance Overview

The setup I used for evaluating the performance of the Darblet DVP 5000 was with Directv and Blu-ray Disc video sources connected to a Denon AV Receiver and the output of the AVR connected to the Darblet DVP 5000, whose output was connected to an Epson Home Cinema 5020UB projector.  All connections were via high speed HDMI cables.  I had previously done a brief informal evaluation of the Darblet in a system using a Sony VPL-VW1000ES projector.  My overall observations of the Darblet DVP-5000’s performance were consistent with both systems.

Video Enhancement

The Darblet DVP 5000 appears to provide increased contrast between lighter and darker details within the image to emphasis fine details in the image.  Like most types of image enhancement processing, the available adjustment, when set toward its upper extreme,  results in far too aggressive image enhancement with the predictable undesired side effects.  However, when set within the moderate range of 30% to 50% I found that the Darblet is capable of providing visible improvements to the image without introducing objectionable noise or visible digital processing artifacts for most of the video material used for my evaluations. I found that keeping the enhancement level at 40% worked very well for most all Blu-ray Discs with no negative side effects, while levels up to 50% worked well for much of the programming I watched from Directv.  The level of video enhancement is easily changed using the up and down buttons on the Darblet’s remote control and the enhancement level is briefly displayed on-screen.  The screen shot photo on the right was taken with the Darblet DVP 5000 operating in split screen Demo mode with 50% enhancement applied to the right half of the image.

Click Image to Enlarge

It is very difficult, if not impossible, to fully capture the effectiveness of the Darblet DVP 5000 in photographs taken from the screen.  With that caveat the following screen shots are presented to show the original video image (with the Darblet set to 0% enhancement) and additional photos showing the video image with the Darblet providing video enhancement.  The video source was the Blu-ray Disc of the movie Casino Royale.

The initial group of images below are used to illustrate the effect of the Darblet DVP 5000’s image enhancements for a brightly lighted scene.  The first image is the full frame (with no processing), the second image is an extreme close-up photo (with the individual pixels clearly visible)  taken off of the screen showing only a very small portion of the building at the far end of the plaza and still with no image enhancement applied.  The third image is another close-up photo but with the image enhancement level set to at 50%.

Video Enhancement - Plaza Image

The following set of photo were taken from another scene within the same movie where the scene lighting was moderate.  The first image is (almost) the full image frame while the second and third photos are close-up photos of the screen taken from this same image.  Photo 2 has no image enhancement while photo 3 has the image enhancement set to 50%.

Video Enhancement - Bond Image

The final set of screen shots are from the night train screen frequently used here at Projector Reviews for assessing the shadow detail performance of projectors when displaying a very dark scene.  The following photos were over-exposed somewhat and presented in Black and White in order to make the shadow details more visible in the photographs.  The first photo is the full image frame, the second photo is an extreme close-up without image enhancement and the third photo is a close-up photo with a 40% enhancement setting.

Video Enhancement - Dark Image

Summary of Video Enhancement

As I stated earlier, it is difficult to capture the real image improvements in a “screen shot” photograph. Depending of the source material and the specific scene the effect with a moderate enhancement setting (between 30% and 50%) ranges from subtle to obvious.  The effectiveness of the Darbet DV{P 500’s image enhancement is far better than the simple sharpness control, found on virtually all projectors. Based on my limited testing it appears the Darbet DVP 5000 image enhancement processing is also potentially more effective that the “Super Resolution” feature on the Epson projectors or the “Digital Reality Creation” feature on the Sony projectors.  However, the Darbet’s image enhancement processing can be used in combination with these projector’s own advanced image enhancement capabilities.  So if you purchase a Darbet DVP 5000 for use with such a projector you may want to experiment to find the best combination of the projector’s settings and the Darbet’s settings that give the most pleasing results.  For my evaluation setup, I found that with the Darblet set to 40% I could use the “Super Resolution” setting on the Epson projector set one or two clicks up from the minimum setting, depending on the source material.

In watching a number of movies with the Darblet DVP 5000, most frequently set to 35% or 40% enhancement level, I did notice an increase in the fine details within the image without a noticeable increase of video noise in the image.  In dark scenes, such as the “night train scene” from Casino Royale, the Darbet’s processing appeared to expand the difference in brightness between the darker shades of grey.  This suggests the Darblet was perhaps dynamically adjusting the gamma in selective areas of the image.  In any case, the image “night train” scene appeared more detailed with the Darblet’s enhancement engaged.  In other scenes I noticed the texture of fabrics and fine facial features were also more obvious with the Darblet enhancements applied.