So after seeing the DVP-5100CIE announced quite awhile back I had always planned to check one out when it hit the market. Of course being a little late to the party this time (personal reasons) still didn't spoil the fun time I have had with this really cool looking unit. This newer fancier model emulates the same display (pics below) and processing as the original Darblet DVP 5000 (Review here) which took the market by storm! This time however I was able to combine it in my theater room with an Oppo 103D (Review here) which has DarbeeVision built in. For Blu-ray playback I have always preferred the Hi Def mode at 44. Animation and 3D movie (or sports with TV) I am a big fan of the Pop mode around 72. I rarely use the Game mode but that is just a personal taste. In the theater room I am using a newer Sony VPL-VW1100ES 4K projector. The results with either using a Darblet or the 103D have always made a nice impact on the image. Now with the 103D set at HD 44 and then going into the 5100CIE I had forgot to turn off the 103D's Darbee controls. I had the 5100 on Pop 72 when I noticed the impressive cross-link effect from combining the two component's DarbeeVision processing. So basically the 5100CIE was Darbonizing the 103D's Darbee processing. I not only could see the extra sharpness added to the image with the HD mode but that extra boost as well with Pop engaged. It did however introduce a few artifacts but after playing with the 5100CIE and turning the Pop mode into the lower 20s it was fine. At that point it was adding the sprinkles on top! I spoke with Adam and Tom from DarbeeVision Inc. and both pretty much said the same thing. Others are combing two Darblet DVP5000s to achieve the same effect. And before you say that is crazy just imagine getting the best of both processing modes in one!
As you can see the back is pretty basic. One HDMI in and one out. An IR in for remote use (if needed) and a USB in. The USB is for future firmware upgrades. That will make it super convenient. You also have your power spot. So what else does the 5100CIE offer over the other Darblets? DarbeeVision added phaseHD technology which not only extends the reach of HDMI cables but also makes them play nicely with other components. It can be frustrating when your components don't make a good HDMI handshake. I am happy to report I tested the 5100 with seven or eight different displays and never had a single hiccup. The oldest TV was a 46" Insignia from 2010. I also tested it on a just released 4K model from Sony.The XBR55 X850C which already has an amazing image was able to "pop" even more with the Darbee processing. Football fields and helmets look even richer and close ups during movies and shows are stunningly sharp!
On a personal note it is really inspiring to see Mr. Darbee's signature on my 5100CIE. I definitely enjoy pointing out his amazing accomplishments in the video world. It never gets old especially when someone asks about the 5100 and his signature...
The front of the unit has LEDs which point out a good HDMI connection, which Darbee mode is engaged, whether Darbee processing is on or off and up and down indicators if you are increasing or decreasing the processing. Also LEDs for A and B demo modes and a power indicator. And before you think it will look like a Christmas tree they are dimmable. The last point I want to hit on is the remote control. Sure it is exactly like the original but this time it comes in a cool black color. It matches my other remotes and does not stick out like an eye sore in my remote control stand. Below are a few pics of the 103D and the 5100CIE processing together. No enhancing (by camera) has been done...
Equipment used for some or all of the Reviews in the "lab" are:
Sony VPL-VW1100ES, Datasat RS20i pre-pro & RA7300 AMP (Fronts, Center, Sides & Backs), DarbeeVision DVP-5100CIE, MARANTZ AV8802 Pre-Pro, DVDO Mini 4K Scaler, Simplay Labs DVDO DUO VP, DirecTV Genie, Xbox One, Sony FMP-X1 4K server, Monster Power HTS 5100, Oppo 103D Blu ray, Monster/Optoma/Sony 3D glasses, Parasound HALO A51 AMP (Heights & TOP), Antec Component Coolers, Vutec SilverStar Curved 3D Screen, Speakers: MARTIN LOGAN STAGE X Center, THEOS (Left and Right), VANQUISH (HEIGHTS & ATMOS & T), AXIS (Backs), Subwoofers- Martin Logan BalancedForce 212 X 2, Dayton APA150 Sub AMP x 2, 8 Aura Pro Bass Shakers, 8 Black Seatcraft Venetian Home Theater Chairs (with Raffel Integrated Lighted Cup Holders), Remote: Harmony 1100. Monster 1000 HDX Ultimate HDMI cables top to bottom. And two Monster 35 foot HDX Hyperspeed HDMI cables.
In closing... I would like to just add that many (like me) have been waiting on the 5100CIE with a Christmas like anticipation. Well Santa was worth the wait! DarbeeVision states the benefits of their processing is a stunning enhancement of image realism which complements any existing image. I have been asked too many times to count what does that Darblet "thing" do exactly? Seeing is believing which leads to addiction. Once you see a Darbonized picture your eyes will be disappointed without it.
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Special thanks to the Wife for being there like always and enjoying movies as much as I do. Next up the MARANTZ AV8802 Pre-Pro! I am looking forward to a busy Fall but before we get there I will be spending time with the SONY VPL-VW350ES. I am also hoping to be able to announce a surprise game changer product Review this Fall. Stay tuned...