If you are interested in an extended interview on the Darblet, check out Scott Wilkinson’s Home Theater Geek’s Podcast here: http://twit.tv/show/home-theater-geeks/135
I’m passionate about my audio and video setups. Getting good audio and good video can go into thousands of dollars. So, when I saw the ability to get startling video quality from a +/-$300 unit, called a Darblet, I was hooked and had to try it. I ordered a Darblet after reading this review at hometheater.com. I ordered it online from www.SolidSignal.com (great place by the way). Here are my honest impressions.
Does the Darblet work? Yes it does. There certainly is a difference in the picture. For those familiar with photoshop, the difference is similar to an unsharp mask. Details are certainly crisper and scenes like the crowd at the US Open in pan shots or people in a stadium have more detail.
What is the best setting? The High Definition TV setting is clearly the best as reviewers have said. Game, etc. messes too much with the contrast and just doesn’t look right.
You may be asking if I calibrated vs. Spears and Muncil, etc? No, I didn’t re-calibrate my TV using the Spears and Muncil disk. My TV is already pre-calibrated to that. My impetus for doing that would be to see how it performs in the sharpness arena. My odd hunch is that it may have over-sharpened that specific test. But, I never tested that.
Is it worth it? Tougher call for me. If all you have are your sources connected directly to your TV then it’s a great product and a good, inexpensive call. However, in my case, I have an Anthem 50v pre-pro with a great scaling engine built-in. So I was testing the Darblet between my TV and the Anthem. I just didn’t feel it was worth $300 in my specific setup, so I ended up returning it. I never had a chance to test the Darblet vs. the TVs sharpness setting to see if I could get close to the same effect. Like I said, after my Anthem’s processing of sources, I felt like the only thing it offered me was additional sharpness and some gamma enhancement. Please let me be clear here: I don’t want to belittle the product as it certainly does more than that, but if I was to provide a “cliff note” summary, that would be it.
|The Darbee Darblet is a really slick product that works as advertised.|
So, in my opinion, I think that some users will find the product to make bigger differences in some setups than in others. In particular, I think that if there is a high-quality pre-pro between the sources and the display, the impact that the Darblet offers will be less than if the sources are connected straight to the monitor. There’s no question that the product works and works as advertised; I just think that different users will experience different ranges of difference with the Darblet in their system.
I lived with the Darblet for about a week and I didn’t conduct extensive, systematic tests, so I don’t want other users to take my comments as absolute; rather, they were just impressions from a higher-end user who lived with the product first-hand for a short period of time.