Seiki’s Upconversion-in-an-HDMI Cable Is an Add On

– Uses Marseille Technology’s Smart Upconversion Technology

The availability of made-for-UHD content should not be a factor in whether or not to buy a UHD TV. Good upconversion technology can make most 1080p HD and less content look made-for-UHD. That’s why a UHD TV set’s upconversion ability should be the most important factor for the next few years in selecting which brand of set to buy. Here’s a chipmaker whose upconversion technology enables every UHD TV to produce UHD-like video or better from any source.

Marseille Network’s 4K upconversion chip upconverts HD content to UHD video quality from any source: pay TV, Blu-ray disc, net-top boxes and surround sound systems.

 

HD goes in from any source; UHD (4K) plays on a UHD TV Set

 

The China-based low-cost TV setmaker Seiki has launched a $59.95 HDMI cable that has Marseille’s VTV-122 video processing chip that does UHD upconversion. The chips are the only ones certified as fully UHD compliant by Technicolor, which gave the chip “4K Image Certification.”

 

UHD Upconversion Chipset with Marseille’s Chip in an HDMI Cable
People that we have talked with about Seiki’s UHD sets have said that when showing UHD content, they look great. But it’s not so good when showing non-UHD content. The new Seiki-brand HDMI cable with the upconversion chips ($42.95 at Amazon) should give Seiki’s lower-priced UHD sets the same upconversion ability that higher-priced sets such as Samsung and Sony have.

Here is Seiki’s chart that explains how it upconverts from various resolutions.

 

 

Seiki’s Upconversion Chart

 

It’s the best chart we’ve seen that explains how much upconversion technology can do with various resolutions from 480p up to 1080p. In every case, Marseille’s technology does picture quality enhancement of videos of any resolution, which we translate as massaging each pixel based on its location on the screen so that the overall picture looks best.

Technicolor, which has operations in post-production and creative services for Hollywood studios, has certified the Marseille technology as meeting the rigorous standards of Technicolor’s “4K Image Certified” test suite.

Seiki says its U-Vision upconverter “delivers a near native 4K video experience” and says there’s “no need to wait for native 4K content!” It also says, “Gamers will love the improved look of anti-aliased graphics up-converted from 480p/720p, 60 to 1080p, 60 with contextual edge restoration. Cable audio/video latency is less than 1ms—perfect for gaming.”

 

‘The Art Form Is the Processing That Is Done in Addition to the Scaling’

 

There is upconversion technology and then there is smart upconversion technology, which is what Marseille says it has.

We asked Marseille Technology’s VP of marketing George Alexy about the company’s UHD technology. He said, “Good upscaling is pretty well defined. The art form is the processing that is done in addition to the scaling to enhance the image and not introduce artifacts in the process. This is one of the reasons we’ve had people remark that content processed by us looks better than native 4K. This processing is done by proprietary algorithms that differentiate the quality of a particular solution. This is where Marseille has made significant investment. Our algorithms determine what type of pixel we’re dealing with (edge, field, noise, etc) and apply appropriate processing if needed. That last point “if needed” is critical. Many algorithms execute the same processing on every pixel which introduces unwanted artifacts while our approach is contextual or context aware.”

Alexy’s point seems to be what we have heard from other UHD experts: UHD is not only about more pixels; it’s about better pixels.”

 

Seiki’s UHD Set Prices Are the Lowest


Seiki says its upconversion HDMI cable performs real-time detail enhancement, edge restoration and noise reduction.
Seiki’s UHD set prices are very attractive.

Here are their current prices at Amazon.com:
39-inch        SE39UY04       $339.00   (Note: Samsung’s 40-inch UHD set is $999 at Amazon)
50-inch        SE50UY04       $999.00   ($499 at HH Gregg; Vizio says its 50-inch UHD set will also be $999)
55-inch         SE55UY04       $999.89   HH Gregg (LG’s 55-inch UHD set is $1,799 at HH Gregg)
65-inch         SE65UY04       $1,175.59   (Samsung’s 65-inch UHD set is $1,700 at Amazon)

The $999 price for a Seiki 55-inch UHD is quite remarkable.

Add $42.95 for a HDMI cord that upconverts HD to near-UHD and Seiki UHD TVs are still a bargain.

Seiki has also launched a $99 Blu-ray player with the Marseille Networks’ upconversion chip built in.

Seiki’s UHD sets are sold at Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, Amazon and Costco.

 

The Impact
Seiki’s upconverting HDMI cable and Blu-ray player with Marseille’s upconversion technology will…

 

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