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Darbeevision
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Ron W



Joined: 07 Aug 2009
Posts: 516
Location: Mississauga


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Based on the video I saw discussing this product with one of the developers, it sounds to me that the ultimate goal of this company is to license out this technology to the major manufacturers to install directly in to their monitors, hence, it seems to me they are more focused on recognition and sales volume than what the videophiles think on how it might affect picture accuracy.
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CIR Engineering



Joined: 25 Aug 2008
Posts: 3886
Location: Chicago USA & Berlin Germany


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ron W wrote:
Based on the video I saw discussing this product with one of the developers, it sounds to me that the ultimate goal of this company is to license out this technology to the major manufacturers to install directly in to their monitors, hence, it seems to me they are more focused on recognition and sales volume than what the videophiles think on how it might affect picture accuracy.

I have done some digging and I agree. I think you will start seeing VP's, projectors, and TV's with this integrated into them. That way if you like it you can turn it on and if not you can turn it off.

I have been able to see one of these and the FPGA inside is quite good... and also expensive. They can't be making much money, or they may actually be losing money on every sale. This implies that direct sales are not the plan, but gaining publicity and notice are.

craigr

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cinema mad



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 219



PostLink    Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Craig
So you played around with A Darblet, what was your take on it?

I got mine yesterday, in the short time Ive spent with the Darblet im pretty impressed with how it performs on low to moderate settings..
It adds more Depth, detail & brings the backgound more into focus without adding Ringing unlike conventional sharpening...

But it must be sent RGB (Also outputsRGB) to perform its best due to A YcBcR bug other wise the image is softer from what I noticed.. Its internally processing is performed in YcBcR444 @10Bit..

Hopefully Darbee fix this YcBcR(Edid) bug soon as many modern displays internaly process in the YcBcR 422/444..
Although it isnt field upgradeable & must be sent back to Darbee vision unfortunatly..
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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinema mad wrote:
Hi Craig
So you played around with A Darblet, what was your take on it?

He said he saw one, not that he played with one. Smile

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cinema mad



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 219



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I Guess Im Hopen/reading into Craig post as in Seeing A Darblet could mean playing with one Laughing

From what I see under the hood The Darblet uses a design based upon the Altera Cyclone-IV FPGA
(field programmable gate arrays)
Its the Latest edition from the Cyclone FPGA Family simlar to whats used in the Radiance series VPs(cyclone
II)

Heres A closup pic (Super Macro) of the Darblets internals..



Cheers..



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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinema mad wrote:
I Guess Im Hopen/reading into Craig post as in Seeing A Darblet could mean playing with one Laughing

Yeah. I'd rather see him bench it than play with it. Smile But your comments/evaluation would be welcome here as well, along with which display devices you're using it with.

Quote:
From what I see under the hood The Darblet uses a design based upon the Altera Cyclone-IV FPGA
(field programmable gate arrays)

They have to use a chip with a lot of horsepower for their algorithm. Even with a dedicated GPU, reprogramming it at the firmware level only gets you to 1080i. (Which is an option they offer.) For 1080p you need the FPGA.

Quote:
Heres A closup pic (Super Macro) of the Darblets internals..

Thanks! That's interesting. I see they're using an LPC1756 as a control processor (32-bit ARM micro from NXP, in the Cortex-M3 family), which I've spent a fair amount of time programming.

Quote:
Although it isnt field upgradeable & must be sent back to Darbee vision unfortunatly..

Sad, but true. I don't think they anticipated finding bugs or problems so quickly, and would only need to eventually do updates for feature adds or performance tweaks. So they didn't build anything in for field updates. They need direct access to the JTAG pins to reload at least the FPGA code, though the MCU has numerous comm channels it can be programmed over (if they had provided an interface to any of them).

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cinema mad



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 219



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks alot for your input Video Grabber interesting stuff..

Agreed that Darbee never anticipated bugs from what came across in the first posts Darbee made on AVS, But Darbee clearly underestimated HDMI Laughing

So do you think it would be possible to be field upgradeable in its current state if Darbee included the
needed Jig & firmware..

Cheers..
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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinema mad wrote:
So do you think it would be possible to be field upgradeable in its current state if Darbee included the
needed Jig & firmware..

Oh, certainly. With an image, and their PC-side loader software, I could do it easily in my lab. For the ARM side, I can do that directly in my debugger. I haven't programmed any FPGA's but the software is pretty standard there too. Mainly detecting the wrapper, to know where to load the embedded image.

But feasible in the field? No, I'm almost 100% certain that they'd never do that. Anything that requires connecting wires to internal DIP header pins isn't something they're going to let out of house. Nor would I. Too much potential for problems. That's why I asked over there whether there was any serial or USB interface hiding there, which would allow a Bootloader with field update capability to be created. (The answer was 'no'.)

[That was like, job #1, on our communications interface and protocol translator modules. But that's because we're experts in dealing with ECUs on vehicles, and developed secure and reliable field reflash mechanisms for them. Because we know how frequently this is required, even though you think you have everything perfect. And how much of a PITA a product recall is. Our own modules detect when the firmware they're running is out of date, and update themselves automatically over the internet (via the PC host diagnostic software). The whole process takes less than a minute, and most users don't even notice it has happened.]

They'll just have to deal with one cycle of returns (which not everyone even needs to do). They're obviously not too concerned about it, or they'd temporarily halt shipments until they fixed the current issues and updated their remaining stock.

For future products (if any, in the consumer space), Larry has already indicated that they will do things differently.

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mp20748



Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 5359
Location: Maryland

TV/Projector: 9500LC Ultra / Super 02 and 03 VIM


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinema mad wrote:
I Guess Im Hopen/reading into Craig post as in Seeing A Darblet could mean playing with one Laughing

From what I see under the hood The Darblet uses a design based upon the Altera Cyclone-IV FPGA
(field programmable gate arrays)
Its the Latest edition from the Cyclone FPGA Family simlar to whats used in the Radiance series VPs(cyclone
II)

Cheers..


That chip I'm not familiar with, but I have been working on similar circuits where the chip is "Flashed" right in the circuit using one of several windows software programs and a serial connector to the board. That board seems to also show a very similar program connector.


This is from the manual of one of the software's that I mentioned.

Quote:


NXP Semiconductors produce a range of Microcontrollers that feature both on-chip Flash
memory and the ability to be reprogrammed using In-System Programming technology
.
Flash Magic is Windows software from the Embedded Systems Academy that allows easy
access to all the ISP features provided by the devices. These features include:
Erasing the Flash memory (individual blocks or the whole device)
Programming the Flash memory
Modifying the Boot Vector and Status Byte
Reading Flash memory
Performing a blank check on a section of Flash memory
Reading the signature bytes
Reading and writing the security bits
Direct load of a new baud rate (high speed communications)
Sending commands to place device in Bootloader mode


This method of programming requires an interface board that connects to the PC using RS232. It then has a five wire mini connector that attaches to programmed board. the five wires are:

Ground

Send

Receive

Reset

B+
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cinema mad



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 219



PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the detailed answers VideoGrabber & Mike P,

So its safe to say it will have to be sent back in house for updates then Smile which while A hastle Larry has indecated that they will offer no out of pocket expense for international customers which is pretty damn good if you ask me..

After having the Darblet 3days now This little box is pretty damn amazing with what it does, While it has issues/Bugs the Plus side out weighs the negative imo.. It Definitely appears to increase MTF On fixed panel displays such as my Pana VT plasma but seems A little less affective on CRTs that are inherently low MTF, but perhaps more likely because CRTs dont have pixels? .. The higher the MTF of the display the easier to see improvement the Darblet appears to make..

All the same it still makes quite A noticable difference to the image on all program material. Adding more Depth bringing the background more into focus 3D like bringing out subtle detail throughout & especially close ups .. I love this thing for Sports programing, it is an amazing little magic box/algorithm..

Just hope that Darbee bring out updates soon to fix the Color space, Luma/Chroma artefact bugs ..

Cheers..
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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinema mad wrote:
It Definitely appears to increase MTF On fixed panel displays such as my Pana VT plasma but seems A little less affective on CRTs that are inherently low MTF, but perhaps more likely because CRTs dont have pixels? .. The higher the MTF of the display the easier to see improvement the Darblet appears to make.

Thanks for the commentary!

First off, I'd agree with you that the higher MTF the display has for you to work with, the more effective/visible the Darblet will be. The same is true of the source material. For softer (or SD) content, the information that the Darblet uses should result in minimal enhancement. That's because to restrict the impact of the processing, it has to be confined to a local radius of each pixel. (The difference with CRTs is not due to lack of a pixel structure. However, one would expect any change there to be less dramatic than with FPDs.)

I was hopeful it might still be useful for CRT displays. When you say 'a little less effective', does that mean you still found it to make a significant and worthwhile difference? But less so than with your plasma? I.e., if you were just gauging the before/after exclusively on the CRT (without having your digital system as a mental reference), how would you characterize the pros/cons?

(I'm concerned that the answer could be, 'A subtle and not particularly visible improvement, up to a setting point where the effect then becomes clearly detrimental'. Smile)

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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had written,

> That's because to restrict the impact of the processing, it has to be confined to a local radius of each pixel. <

That's because in the upscaled HD signal, there are no longer any strong transitions to work with. Just a side note that the Darblet might still be effective in this scenario, by placing it at the output of the SD device, before the signal was upconverted to HD.

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cinema mad



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 219



PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote"When you say 'a little less effective', does that mean you still found it to make a significant and worthwhile difference?

Yes it still makes A significant improvment to my Projector(G70, Sim Grade Tubes, Moome v2 < Darblet <Lumagen Radiance3D.. Just not as much as to FPD's..

I wish more people would remain more open minded and give this little Magic box a fair ago
Perceived sharpness/MTF plays A bigger factor to how us humans interpret A quality image than Resolution, does it not?
& thats what the Darblet brings to the table..

Cheers
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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 11:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinema mad wrote:
Yes it still makes A significant improvment to my Projector(G70, Sim Grade Tubes, Moome v2 < Darblet <Lumagen Radiance3D.. Just not as much as to FPD's..

Thanks, CM. That's good info to have.

Quote:
I wish more people would remain more open minded and give this little Magic box a fair ago

I agree that the expectations were/are that it was yet another helping of voodoo+hype. Wink

You have to admit, we've seen plenty of those in the past. Darbee isn't helping things with their emphasis on 'the effect' it can add. While being able to crank up the 'Dramatic' knob is legitimate for some purposes/people/situations, it's not something that's going to be embraced here by those wanting to remain as true as possible to the original.

OTOH, when not used to extremes, if it's helpful in restoring aspects that were lost/diminished in the signal chain (without introducing side-effects), then that's certainly a unique capability, that no other device offers. I'm certainly open minded (while maintaining a balance of healthy skepticism). I'm asking you for reports on what you're really seeing, am I not? Smile

So, on your G70, what Mode and what Level did you find most effective? I'm assuming the 'significant improvement' you mentioned was due to an increase in the 'perceived sharpness'? What happened to the image when you dialed in 'too much Darbee'? Shocked Ringing?

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cinema mad



Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 219



PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that about 40-50 HD mode was fine for vt plasma with SD HD with no visible sidefects artifacts (Ringing) but with the same Darblet settings carried accross to the G70 didn't translate (as affective) So at the moment im @ full pop 50 but this will prob not be the final setting I stay with but who knows..

When I say Visible artifacts that is with real world viewing on A 2.35:1AR 102" Stewarts fixed screen studio tek 130 G3,
Not test patterns (S&M/DVE-HD) I haven't "Yet" bothered about that as I only got it 3 Days ago Smile but I will be taking A Look as I wanto double check for my self the reported Color space issues, as Id prefer to run YcBcR 4:2:2 into the Darblet Verses RGB seeing I have A Radiance in the video chain ..

Cheers..
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Lupin3



Joined: 29 Nov 2008
Posts: 24



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This stuff can be made with a simple plugin on PC (plugin for Media Player HT for example).

Since it would requiere a HTPC/PC, they decided to make into a simple device.

However it has a *HUGE* fail design = NO upgradeability!

Those Analog Devices are just receiver & transmitter.


Last edited by Lupin3 on Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:21 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Lupin3



Joined: 29 Nov 2008
Posts: 24



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ADV7612 (US$ 6.77):
http://www.analog.com/en/audiovideo-products/analoghdmidvi-interfaces/adv7612/products/product.html

ADV7511 (US$ 8.02):
http://www.analog.com/en/audiovideo-products/analoghdmidvi-interfaces/adv7511/products/product.html

ALTERA Cyclone IV EP4CE40F23C7N (US$ 82.96): < super expensive!
http://www.altera.com/devices/fpga/cyclone-iv/cyiv-index.jsp

NXP LPC1756FBD80 (US$ 7.90):
http://www.nxp.com/products/microcontrollers/cortex_m3/lpc1700/LPC1756FBD80.html

The rest are just resistors, capacitors, a IR sensor, clocks, switchers and PCB itself: estimative $50

Grand total: $155.65

Profit: $100 (at least), not bad.

But selling a plugin for $50, they would profit MUCH MORE.
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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lupin3 wrote:
This stuff can be made with a simple plugin on PC (plugin for Media Player HT for example).

You are wrong, but I don't think there's any point in arguing with you.

Quote:
However it has a *HUGE* fail design = NO upgradeability!

This is also incorrect. They can be upgraded easily. Returning them back to the manufacturer to do so may however be inconvenient. More so for those residing overseas.

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VideoGrabber



Joined: 09 Apr 2006
Posts: 933
Location: Michigan


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lupin3 wrote:
Profit: $100 (at least), not bad.

Yes, luckily the years of R&D that went into this cost them nothing at all. That $100 is pure gravy.

Quote:
But selling a plugin for $50, they would profit MUCH MORE.

Another fallacious and unsubstantiated bogus claim. The standalone version has 0 additional requirements, while the plugin you would prefer requires an HTPC. There are far more potential customers that could take advantage of the former, rather than the later.

And that's setting aside the point that the algorithm being used, which achieves its results without artifacting, can not be done in real-time on a stock HTPC. Even incorporating the processing directly into the firmware on certain specific GPUs, only 1080i performance can be achieved. That's why they needed the costly FPGA.

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Lupin3



Joined: 29 Nov 2008
Posts: 24



PostLink    Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

VideoGrabber wrote:
This is also incorrect. They can be upgraded easily.


If you think returning the unit is something "easily" or even considerable then you're nuts! Razz

Don't think you cannot replace this FPGA as plugin, unless you never programmed in ASM nor considered CUDA or DXVA too.
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