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Meridian Unveils 10-Megapixel Projector

New York — Meridian, working in association with IC developer Marvell, introduced here Wednesday what it called the first 10-megapixel video projection system for the home theater market.

The projector, which will be available at the end of the third quarter at a $185,000 suggested retail, is based on JVC’s state-of-the-art D-ILA chip technology and uses three 1.27-inch panels to produce 4,496 by 2,400-pixel resolution (just under 10 megapixels).

But where D-ILA panel supplier JVC masks the chips down to a 16:9 configuration using only the sweet spot, Meridian removes the masks to get the full linearity of the panel, said Ken Forsythe, Meridian technology director.

By removing the masks from the D-ILA panels, “we now have access to 2 million more pixels,” Forsythe said of the chip that JVC has marketed in display products primarily for the military and commercial markets. The modification process requires four days of calibration work to optimize the panels for home theater applications, he added.

The Reference 810 video projection system is the fifth video projector brought to market since Meridian teamed with Faroudja and the first complete Meridian projector product.

The overall system is comprised of four individual components including the light engine, containing three JVC 1.27-inch D-ILA panels, a series of custom lens packages that allow placing the projector anywhere in a room for use with any size screen, an anamorphic (Cinemascope) lens add-on that enables a full 10 megapixel presentation with 2.34:1 or 2.40:1 material, and an 810 Reference Video Scaler co-developed with Marvell.

The scaling engine is billed as a special processor designed to optimize the imaging of HD and standard-definition resolution inputs for the 10 megapixel output of the projector.

At the heart of the scaler is Marvell’s 88DE2710 digital video format converter with QDEO video processing.

The 810 scaling engine uses four separate 1080p scalers that connect with four DVI connections to the projector. Images from each of the four quadrants of the panels are seamlessly stitched together in the projected image.

“In that application the QDEO technology is absolutely unique to Meridian,” Forsythe pointed out.

The processor uses a suite of advanced technologies to clean the image of artifacts. Per-pixel noise and compression artifact reduction removes noise typically inherent in digital video. Per-pixel motion-adaptive 3-D de-interlacing removes jaggies and eliminates feathering. Adaptive Contrast Enhancement (ACE) and Intelligent Color Remapping (ICR) render rich and vivid images, Marvell said.

To generate an immersive image experience, Nikhil Balram, Marvell digital entertainment business unit VP/GM, said the QDEO system addresses source signals from three approaches: noise reduction, resolution conversion (interlace to progressive and scaling), and contrast, color and detail adjustment.

“All of this processing has to handle a wide variety of content,” observed Balram, who as a former executive with Faroudja led the team that developed the popular DCDi processing technology. “Since we live in such a diverse world now, it has to deal with content and resolution that goes from Q-VGA and iTunes Mobile all the way up to 2K-by-4K HD.”

Norm Steinke, Meridian chief operating officer, said the 810 Reference Video System will be distributed through Meridian’s base of custom installers and A/V specialty dealers.

A small inventory of models will be available at launch, but units for the most part will be built to order, he said.