By WL Low
Dick sounded thoroughly excited as he called me on the telephone. He said that I must try out the Darbee Darblet video enhancer. He said he”s never seen anything like it, and this guy has seen all that AV has to offer in the last 30 years or so, yet he sounded like a kid who had just discovered a new candy flavour! Like all curious cats, I asked, and received a unit from AV Designs for review.
Like Dick said in his review earlier, the Darbee looks like some cheapo plastic contraption made in the far east, but looks can be deceiving. This unit is made in the US of A using proprietary video chip processing technology. It’s a simple one way signal in/out device, powered by an equally cheapo looking 5V wall wart power supply. Well no point knocking the Darbee further on the looks/build department, and just dive in to the nitty gritty,
|This credit card size remote come with the package for arm chair adjustment to picture quality.|
Unlike Dick who has the luxury of using a wide screen projector for viewing duties, I”ll make do with my Samsung 64 inches plasma TV. Connecting the Darbee does require an extra set of HDMI cable(which AV Designs supplies as part of the package. However, I feel the continued investment on an extra set of videophile quality HDMI cables does have it”s merits, even with the Darbee in the system.
I proceeded to set up the Darbee to suit my viewing preferences which ended up with High Def setting of between 55-60% depending on the picture quality of a given movie tittle. Dick ended up with similar settings on his display system too, coincidentally.
|The Darbee screen indicator, which can be parked on the left, right or centre of screen. Or in my case, I just have it on “no show” mode.|
It’s easy to appreciate the improvements that Darbee brings about to visual quality. Colours are richer and more evenly saturated, giving pictures high visual impact with a vivid quality. Depth of field perceptions are more dramatic, making imaging presence more well defined and less flat looking picture quality. Colour contrast is better delineated with improve black shading and especially shadow detailing in dark scenes, making movies like The Dark Night more relaxing to follow and easy on the eyes.
However, it was with CGI movies such up Disney Pixar”s Up that show the Darbee’s true colours(pun very much intended!). The highly graphical movie, whose story line revolves around a second chance of a life time adventure, for a grumpy old balloon salesman. The story touches the hearts strings and gives one a warm fuzzy feeling, so watch this with your other half if you can. The movie’s rich, colourful sketches are portrayed with maximum visual impact, yet never letting all those details and highly contrasting colours to over whelm the funny story line. You can say the overall visual coherence of the Darbee Darblet is first rate, no doubt about it. Despite the improved visual details, no part of it stands out especially, yet pictures still maintained a natural, organic quality.
|Watching all kinds of entertainment thru the Darbee was a joy, including musicals, in stereo of course. Here’s Micheal Buble” in action.|
While some may say that there”s no need to invest in high end HDMI cable if one has a Darbee in the system, I beg to differ. I brought in an extra Supra High Speed HDMI just to complete the cable scheme and picture quality took on a more dynamic appearance, with even better shadow detailing than before. I think the Darbee just maximises what ever one adds to the video signal chain, giving maximum performance, regardless of display device used, be it projector, or plasma TV.
|The rich colour palettes of the cartoon UP benefited from the Darbee Darblet.|
Selling at RM$1,200.00/unit(a Wonpro power adaptor and Giraffe HDMI cable is included), the Darbee Darblet is a sound investment, if one is serious about picture quality, much like the cat here getting killed by curiosity.. It just brings the movie experience that much closer to life. Now, the only thing missing is the pop corn!
AV Designs will be show casing the Darbee Darble at the coming KLIAV Show 2013.
Darbee Darnlet is sold by AV Designs, contact James or Tony at 03-21712828.