AVS Discussions

Misc. Video => Video Processors => Topic started by: ARROW-AV on June 13, 2020, 08:56:45 PM

Title: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 13, 2020, 08:56:45 PM
Hi everyone,

This thread is for discussing the new and upcoming madVR Envy Video Processor.

There are a number of these out in the field now, with beta testers, as well as early adopters.

I myself have a madVR Envy Extreme.

We have been carrying out some direct A-B comparisons between the madVR Envy Extreme and a madVR HTPC, as well as the Lumagen PRO, with some surprising results.

The biggest surprise is the fact that an HTPC using the free madVR software currently significantly outperforms the madVR Envy Extreme with respect to video performance.

Furthermore, it's not just me. I know of at least THREE other people who have independently arrived at exactly the same conclusions.

A variety of appropriately selected content has been used. Projectors include the likes of JVC RS4500/Z1, JVC RS3000/NX9 and RGB Laser Projector. Source devices include the flagship $2,449 Pioneer UDP-LX800, OPPO 205, OPPO 203, and Kaleidescape Strato, all set to the optimum settings.

It has been discussed over on AVSForum the fact that the difference in video performance is in part due to the fact that the native pure 24p 4:2:0 video signal cannot be passed directly via HDMI and due to the limitations of HDMI this has to be upscaled to 4:2:2 such that it can be outputted to the madVR Envy and that this process reduces the video image quality.

However, this in itself does not explain the magnitude of the comparative difference in video performance that we (and others) are observing.

It has also come to light and has been previously discussed openly on AVSForum that within the madVR Envy Extreme, despite the name this does not contain the best, most powerful Nvidia GPU as of right now, namely the RTX TITAN. It does not contain the lesser model below this either, namely the RTX 2080ti. It contains a model below this.

Furthermore, there are potentially other factors at play here as well, including additonal items such as HDMI cables, and an HDMI input video capture card, which do not feature within a madVR HPTC.

Hence, there are a number of contributing factors the summation of which results in the video performance of an HTPC with the free madVR software being significantly superior as compared with a madVR Envy Extreme.

Is there anyone else who has experienced the same thing?

What does everyone think about this? :-\

I should add that I genuinely wish for the madVR Envy to succeed, however this difference is being referred to as being "insignificant" by a certain someone over on AVSForum, and I cannot fathom why. I personally has tremendous respect for this person, they are one of the most knowledgeable people that I know regarding A/V. However, as a consequence the validity of this particular point is being viewed with a lesser importance than it should be.

Personally, my ONLY motivation here is to achieve the absolute ultimate in AV performance. And this is the goal of our customers as well.

I personally have been extremely supportive of the madVR Envy and initially posted overwhelmingly positive first impressions, and as per usual I am completely impartial and unbiased here. At the present time we have decided not to jump on board and sell the product due to work still needing to be done, however, if or when the product development progresses in a positive direction, and the business side of things solidifies, then we may very well do so.

The fact of the matter is that we should all be able to discuss both the positives and negatives of A/V products in a relaxed manner. And IMO these sorts of discussions are important, especially when there appears to be a difference of opinions with respect to a very small amount of data points as of right now.

So has anyone else also carried out A-B comparisons between an HTPC using the free madVR software and the madVR Envy? If so, what is your feedback regarding the comparative video performance?



Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: 2Alpha on June 14, 2020, 12:49:26 AM
I myself have had the opportunity to do direct comparisons of the madVR Envy and a well setup High-End HTPC.
The results in respect to the Envy unit are not at all flattering considering its projected retail pricetag.
Basically it boils down to the HTPC having considerably better video performance than the Envy Extreme. those who have viewed the comparisons between the HTPC and the Envy Extreme conclusivley agreed .

Just a note here though.....the above observations are purely in reference to outright image quality. 

Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: AVSCraig on June 14, 2020, 08:54:39 AM
I myself have had the opportunity to do direct comparisons of the madVR Envy and a well setup High-End HTPC.
The results in respect to the Envy unit are not at all flattering considering its projected retail pricetag.
Basically it boils down to the HTPC having considerably better video performance than the Envy Extreme. those who have viewed the comparisons between the HTPC and the Envy Extreme conclusivley agreed .

Just a note here though.....the above observations are purely in reference to outright image quality.

Ease of use probably doesn't go to the HTPC I imagine. 
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: AVSCraig on June 14, 2020, 08:58:19 AM
Hi everyone,

This thread is for discussing the new and upcoming madVR Envy Video Processor.

There are a number of these out in the field now, with beta testers, as well as early adopters.

I myself have a madVR Envy Extreme.

We have been carrying out some direct A-B comparisons between the madVR Envy Extreme and a madVR HTPC, as well as the Lumagen PRO, with some surprising results.

The biggest surprise is the fact that an HTPC using the free madVR software currently significantly outperforms the madVR Envy Extreme with respect to video performance.

Furthermore, it's not just me. I know of at least THREE other people who have independently arrived at exactly the same conclusions.

A variety of appropriately selected content has been used. Projectors include the likes of JVC RS4500/Z1, JVC RS3000/NX9 and RGB Laser Projector. Source devices include the flagship $2,449 Pioneer UDP-LX800, OPPO 205, OPPO 203, and Kaleidescape Strato, all set to the optimum settings.

It has been discussed over on AVSForum the fact that the difference in video performance is in part due to the fact that the native pure 24p 4:2:0 video signal cannot be passed directly via HDMI and due to the limitations of HDMI this has to be upscaled to 4:2:2 such that it can be outputted to the madVR Envy and that this process reduces the video image quality.

However, this in itself does not explain the magnitude of the comparative difference in video performance that we (and others) are observing.

It has also come to light that within the madVR Envy Extreme, despite the name this does not contain the best, most powerful Nvidia GPU as of right now, namely the RTX TITAN. It does not contain the lesser model below this either, namely the RTX 2080ti. It contains a model below this.

Furthermore, there are potentially other factors at play here as well, including additonal items such as HDMI cables, and an HDMI input video capture card, which do not feature within a madVR HPTC.

Hence, there are a number of contributing factors the summation of which results in the video performance of an HTPC with the free madVR software being significantly superior as compared with a madVR Envy Extreme.

Is there anyone else who has experienced the same thing?

What does everyone think about this? :-\

I should add that I genuinely wish for the madVR Envy to succeed, however this difference is being referred to as being "insignificant" by a certain someone over on AVSForum, and I cannot fathom why. I personally has tremendous respect for this person, they are one of the most knowledgeable people that I know regarding A/V. However, as a consequence the validity of this particular point is being viewed with a lesser importance than it should be.

Personally, my ONLY motivation here is to achieve the absolute ultimate in AV performance. And this is the goal of our customers as well.

I personally have been extremely supportive of the madVR Envy and initially posted overwhelmingly positive first impressions, and as per usual I am completely impartial and unbiased here. At the present time we have decided not to jump on board and sell the product due to work still needing to be done, however, if or when the product development progresses in a positive direction then we may very well do so.

The fact of the matter is that we should all be able to discuss both the positives and negatives of A/V products in a relaxed manner. And IMO these sorts of discussions are important, especially when there appears to be a difference of opinions with respect to a very small amount of data points as of right now.

So has anyone else also carried out A-B comparisons between an HTPC using the free software and the madVR Envy? If so, what is your feedback regarding the comparative video performance?

I don't game, but when I go to websites where you can buy custom high end gaming computers built to order, usually they spell out the parts and you have the option to upgrade the GPU, graphic cards etc. ( for more money ). I'm not sure why they aren't doing that with the Envy. Or considering the price, use the best at the time it's built as a running change. 
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 14, 2020, 11:42:50 AM
I posted this and much along the same lines over on the other forum, so I will repost it here...



madVR HTPC has the advantage of producing the best video performance, but with the disadvantage of being more complex to setup and use than a madVR Envy, and can't be used with streaming sources. To be perfectly honest I find it to be a colossal pain in the arse to setup up and maintain, however, without a doubt it offers the best video performance and significantly so.



Whereas, the madVR Envy has the disadvantage of producing comparatively inferior video performance, however this is potentially offset by the advantage of being simpler and easier to setup and use, and the fact that, unlike the madVR HTPC, it be used with ALL sources.



I should add that when viewing madVR Envy by itself it looks great. It's simply that the madVR HTPC's video performance is better. And it is only when doing A-B comparisons versus a madVR HTPC that you can see the difference in video performance, which is not something that is going to be done very often!



This pretty much sums it up.
 

Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 14, 2020, 11:48:37 AM
Ease of use probably doesn't go to the HTPC I imagine. 
Ease of use with respect to the HTPC is a nightmare. This is the HUGE positive with respect to the madVR Envy.

The problem is that we and our customers want the absolute ultimate in video performance, with all sources. So we want to have our cake and eat it too! ;) ::)

Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Killroy™ on June 14, 2020, 06:46:21 PM
After having MAdVR running on my HTPC since day one...yes, that long, I knew that the HTPC set a bar so high that it would be huge for the Envy to overcome. Not saying it cannot be done but as more people are seeing, the HTPC is about as perfect direct source player as you can get.

Tweaking the HTPC is not that hard to properly set up but it does take time....but not over $6k hard...lol

When the new RTX 3080ti come out in August, you will be able to build the most kick ass HTPC ever for about $2500-3000....saving about $3000-7000 from the Envy. For that much $$$ I can spend a few days tweaking the HTPC even though my current HTPC is already tweaked perfectly so a new version will not require more than a couple of hours work.
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: AVSMike on June 14, 2020, 07:12:10 PM
After having MAdVR running on my HTPC since day one...yes, that long, I knew that the HTPC set a bar so high that it would be huge for the Envy to overcome. Not saying it cannot be done but as more people are seeing, the HTPC is about as perfect direct source player as you can get.

Tweaking the HTPC is not that hard to properly set up but it does take time....but not over $6k hard...lol

When the new RTX 3080ti come out in August, you will be able to build the most kick ass HTPC ever for about $2500-3000....saving about $3000-7000 from the Envy. For that much $$$ I can spend a few days tweaking the HTPC even though my current HTPC is already tweaked perfectly so a new version will not require more than a couple of hours work.
The allure of the Envy is the HDMI input. 
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 14, 2020, 07:18:30 PM
After having MAdVR running on my HTPC since day one...yes, that long, I knew that the HTPC set a bar so high that it would be huge for the Envy to overcome. Not saying it cannot be done but as more people are seeing, the HTPC is about as perfect direct source player as you can get.

Tweaking the HTPC is not that hard to properly set up but it does take time....but not over $6k hard...lol

When the new RTX 3080ti come out in August, you will be able to build the most kick ass HTPC ever for about $2500-3000....saving about $4500-9500 from the Envy. For that much $$$ I can spend a few days tweaking the HTPC even though my current HTPC is already tweaked perfectly so a new version will not require more than a couple of hours work.
I just fixed that for you ;)



Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Killroy™ on June 14, 2020, 07:21:18 PM
I just fixed that for you ;)
WOW!!!! that much difference?!?! I'm out then. No way I can spend that much on it.
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 14, 2020, 07:53:54 PM
WOW!!!! that much difference?!?! I'm out then. No way I can spend that much on it.
And then add to this the fact that the video performance of madVR HTPCs is significantly superior...
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 14, 2020, 08:39:08 PM
I've concluded that instead of a madVR Video Processor which will always have the disadvantage versus a madVR HTPC for the aforementioned reasons, what they should have developed is a 'madVR Media Player' being akin to the madVR Envy but whilst also being the source device itself, as per a madVR HTPC, but which supports all disc formats as well as all streaming APPs including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc...

This would yield the same identical superior video performance as a madVR HTPC but with all of the advantages of the madVR Envy. Hence the best of both worlds.

Such a product would have been unique and would not have had such direct competition from the likes of the Lumagen PRO.



Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: AVSCraig on June 15, 2020, 07:27:57 AM
I've concluded that instead of a madVR Video Processor which will always have the disadvantage versus a madVR HTPC for the aforementioned reasons, what they should have developed is a 'madVR Media Player' being akin to the madVR Envy but whilst also being the source device itself, as per a madVR HTPC, but which supports all disc formats as well as all streaming APPs including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc...

This would yield the same identical superior video performance as a madVR HTPC but with all of the advantages of the madVR Envy. Hence the best of both worlds.

Such a product would have been unique and would not have had such direct competition from the likes of the Lumagen PRO.
I'd guess that a device like that would take considerable resources to develop and market though. 
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Killroy™ on June 15, 2020, 07:56:59 AM
I've concluded that instead of a madVR Video Processor which will always have the disadvantage versus a madVR HTPC for the aforementioned reasons, what they should have developed is a 'madVR Media Player' being akin to the madVR Envy but whilst also being the source device itself, as per a madVR HTPC, but which supports all disc formats as well as all streaming APPs including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc...

This would yield the same identical superior video performance as a madVR HTPC but with all of the advantages of the madVR Envy. Hence the best of both worlds.

Such a product would have been unique and would not have had such direct competition from the likes of the Lumagen PRO.

Hate being the Debbie-downer in the group but a media player with all those streaming services will never ever happen on ONE app. And the reason is as simple as DRM.

If you think having an HDCP license (like the one the Envy had to get) was tough, imagine having to deal with four or more completely different DRM schemes that are required for each of those services. Each of them wants to have their own method and NONE of them are anywhere close to be similar to others. There is no unified DRM scheme and that's just for the software...the hardware DRM requirements are 1000X worse. That's why most smaller media players have not even tried. And the big players like Nvidia have such a hard time that they just rely on each service's apps to avoid having to deal with hardware limitations.
 
To quote a very good analogy... "Copy Protection: A clever method of preventing incompetent pirates from copying & legitimate owners from using."
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: claw on June 15, 2020, 08:12:27 AM
I've concluded that instead of a madVR Video Processor which will always have the disadvantage versus a madVR HTPC for the aforementioned reasons, what they should have developed is a 'madVR Media Player' being akin to the madVR Envy but whilst also being the source device itself, as per a madVR HTPC, but which supports all disc formats as well as all streaming APPs including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc...

This would yield the same identical superior video performance as a madVR HTPC but with all of the advantages of the madVR Envy. Hence the best of both worlds.

Such a product would have been unique and would not have had such direct competition from the likes of the Lumagen PRO.
It is the streaming service companies that build the Apps that are installed to players.   The player manufacturers have to convince the streaming provider to build one for their platform.
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 15, 2020, 08:22:24 AM
It is the streaming service companies that build the Apps that are installed to players.  The player manufacturers have to convince the streaming provider to build one for their platform.
So how do all the various devices, such as ROKU and ZAPPITI etc. support literally ALL streaming service apps, everything from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc..? Excuse my ignorance in this regard, I am not an expert when it comes to this particular subject.
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: AVSCraig on June 15, 2020, 09:14:31 AM
So how do all the various devices, such as ROKU and ZAPPITI etc. support literally ALL streaming service apps, everything from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc..? Excuse my ignorance in this regard, I am not an expert when it comes to this particular subject.
Probably a licensing arrangement. More money needed on the front end I'll bet ! 
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Killroy™ on June 15, 2020, 09:27:48 AM
So how do all the various devices, such as ROKU and ZAPPITI etc. support literally ALL streaming service apps, everything from Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Youtube etc..? Excuse my ignorance in this regard, I am not an expert when it comes to this particular subject.

Zappiti and Zidoo do not have streaming services unless they run a verified Android system. Anything else will be a hacked add-on. And even those maybe be limited to subpar 480p or 720p streams.

The problem is that to run those services you need verified and required hardware that make those players nearly impossible to modify. Completely closed systems is pretty much a requirement. How many times have we seen media players lose services due to hardware limitations of new app versions?...looking at you Roku. 

This is the reason why Kodi add-ons for Netflix are limited to 720p and sometimes 480p. They are pretty much modified add-ons that are not fully endorsed by the services or are using a modified web based player that are limited to 480p.

The worst thing MadVR LLC can do is attempt to have streaming services as that rabbit hole that is so deep that it will surely end in disaster.
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: ARROW-AV on June 15, 2020, 12:00:14 PM
Zappiti and Zidoo do not have streaming services unless they run a verified Android system. Anything else will be a hacked add-on. And even those maybe be limited to subpar 480p or 720p streams.

The problem is that to run those services you need verified and required hardware that make those players nearly impossible to modify. Completely closed systems is pretty much a requirement. How many times have we seen media players lose services due to hardware limitations of new app versions?...looking at you Roku.

This is the reason why Kodi add-ons for Netflix are limited to 720p and sometimes 480p. They are pretty much modified add-ons that are not fully endorsed by the services or are using a modified web based player that are limited to 480p.

The worst thing MadVR LLC can do is attempt to have streaming services as that rabbit hole that is so deep that it will surely end in disaster.
Yikes! I had no idea it was such a minefield! We subcontract all our control system stuff to a third party who specialize in all of this, which includes all the streaming stuff. Clearly this was a good decision! 😲
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Dylan Seeger on June 16, 2020, 01:31:23 PM
Maybe I'm just lucky but I don't have many issues with my HTPC for my theater. I would say it's no less of a hassle than many of the Blu-ray players and smart TV implementations that I've used over the years. Nothing is really hassle free in my experience. The key is to turn off Windows update and use an older validated graphics driver known to be free of issues. Most of the driver updates for GPUs are for improvements to performance in video games, so having the latest drivers is not important.

I have my HTPC setup so I can pop a UHD Blu-ray disc in my tray and it will automatically start playing with no intervention on my part. It works like a regular Blu-ray player in this aspect. I mostly rip my discs to my PC though and when guests are over, I show them my collection through Kodi, which sort of looks and functions like a kaleidescape server.
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Tom Bley on June 16, 2020, 02:34:22 PM
I have my HTPC setup so I can pop a UHD Blu-ray disc in my tray and it will automatically start playing with no intervention on my part.
Dylan, I am not understanding something for HTPC.  Are there actual UHD BD players for HTPC's or do you use a standard BD player that will read and play UHD BD discs somehow with software?  I want to get into MadVR but, I don't want to rip discs right away and want to just be able to play a UHD disc in the HTPC.

I was looking at the Steiger Dynamic HTPC's but, not sure how to configure when it comes to the above. Thanks.

https://www.steigerdynamics.com/products-maven-htpc-configure (https://www.steigerdynamics.com/products-maven-htpc-configure)
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: claw on June 16, 2020, 07:50:22 PM
You need a UHD "friendly" BD drive, not an official UHD drive.   You have to flash the friendly drive with older firmware since their "friendliness" has been disabled by the manufactures in drives with current firmware.

Then you need software such as AnyDVD HD to decrypt the UHD disc loaded in the friendly drive.

I use JRiver with MadVR to play folder backups of my UHD discs, but I can also play the disc directly from the drive.   I sometimes have to wait a couple of weeks for AnyDVD HD to get an update to decrypt a newly released disc.

I have not made any changes to my HTPC configuration since I upgraded the JRiver version in January.   I power up the HTCP into Windows 10.  I have JRiver launched automatically and display a cover flow of all the backed up UHD discs.   I choose a disc and select play that brings up the same disc menus that you would see with a UHD disc player.   I use a Media Center remote to navigate to discs, and select audio options.


With official UHD drives, you need specific Intel CPU/motherboards and Windows 10 with PowerDVD combination that supports the DRM and has ability to decrypt the disc just like a UHD disc player does.     
Title: Re: madVR ENVY | Discussion Thread
Post by: Tom Bley on June 17, 2020, 04:46:24 AM
You need a UHD "friendly" BD drive, not an official UHD drive.  You have to flash the friendly drive with older firmware since their "friendliness" has been disabled by the manufactures in drives with current firmware.

Then you need software such as AnyDVD HD to decrypt the UHD disc loaded in the friendly drive.

I use JRiver with MadVR to play folder backups of my UHD discs, but I can also play the disc directly from the drive.  I sometimes have to wait a couple of weeks for AnyDVD HD to get an update to decrypt a newly released disc.

I have not made any changes to my HTPC configuration since I upgraded the JRiver version in January.  I power up the HTCP into Windows 10.  I have JRiver launched automatically and display a cover flow of all the backed up UHD discs.  I choose a disc and select play that brings up the same disc menus that you would see with a UHD disc player.  I use a Media Center remote to navigate to discs, and select audio options.


With official UHD drives, you need specific Intel CPU/motherboards and Windows 10 with PowerDVD combination that supports the DRM and has ability to decrypt the disc just like a UHD disc player does.   
Hey claw,  Thanks a bunch! 8)
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