Product Review

Algolith DragonFly Digital Video Processor (De-interlacer/Scaler/Cadence Corrector)

Part I

July, 2006

Ofer LaOr



● Digital Video Processing
● Inputs: 2 HDMI, 1 Component, 1 S-Video, 1 Composite;
    Coaxial, Optical, Analog Audio
● Outputs: 1 HDMI, 1 Component; Optical, Coaxial Stereo
● Resolutions: 480i/p, 576i/p, 720p, 1080i
Dimensions: 1.5" H x 17" W X 12" D
Weight: 10 Pounds
● MSRP: $2,995; Each Optional Module is $495 USA

Algolith Electronics


The DragonFly is one of this year's highly anticipated video processors, by Algolith, a Canadian company dealing primarily with video processing and image enhancement algorithm solutions.

The Mosquito and the Flea, Algolith's previous endeavors in the video processing arena, focused on reducing MPEG noise artifacts (digital noise added by the process of compressing and decompressing content through digital satellite, OTA or cable systems).

The DragonFly emerged due to the cooperation between Algolith and Silicon Optix (SO), a California based company that now owns Teranex the company that is still considered the apex of the video processing world.

SO's integration of Teranex resulted in the Realta chip, a very high speed parallel processing chip capable of running Teranex algorithms like HQV (Hollywood Quality Video), a variation on Teranex's video processing algorithms.

The cooperation between the companies stems from the fact that HQV now includes a variation on Algolith's MPEG noise reducing algorithms. Cross licensing seemed like an obvious choice.

With the DragonFly, Algolith has focused on the projector market, and this is clearly seen by the menu selections and options as presented on the DragonFly.

The Design

The unit comes with two options. One is the Noise Reduction Option, which adds MPEG artifact removal that is apparently unique to DragonFly's implementation of the HQV system. The second is the SDI option, which provides a small box that converts SDI (still a very popular choice for videophiles) into non-copy-protected HDMI, that allows the DragonFly to support that format as well.

Click on the photo above to see a larger version.

The outer housing on the unit is, simply dazzling, for the lack of better terminology. A clean anodized brushed aluminum design with Algolith's infamous metallic prism is on the front. This minimalist design looks amazing, but the lack of any buttons (including an on/off switch) is less functional than other devices of this caliber. I can only hope that other scaler manufacturers start taking notes when looking at this unit, because they don't realize that video processors are no less of a fashion statement on part of videophiles than vacuum tube amps are for audiophiles. Designs should be flashy an inventive, so don't just put your processor in a dull black box. I want to show off my system, and a video processor is definitely something I want my visitors to raise an eyebrow at.

The 1U form factor is clearly too tight for the DragonFly, because it hardly has any room for all the inputs that users might find useful. It fits just one of each type of input, except for HDMI where there are two, which is usually enough for projector owners that usually have two sources. However, some users have up to six sources, so it would be nice to have more inputs.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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