If you thought the VP50Pro’s connectivity was impressive, you should check out its features. There really is far more going on here than I’d expected to find on such a relatively affordable video processor.
Its apparent obsession with helping you get the best from your theatre system kicks off right away, for instance, in the form of a suite of built-in test patterns to help you optimise your display device’s settings. Then, of course, the VP50Pro provides the key video processor fundamental of being able to upscale and output any sources to a variety of different video formats, depending on what best suits your display device.
But even this video processing ‘starting point’ is actually anything but basic on the VP50Pro, thanks to the sheer number of output resolutions supported. We personally found ourselves sticking for the majority of the time with the 1080p/60 mode as we tested the VP50Pro on a combination of a JVC DLA-HD1 projector and a Panasonic 65VX100E 65in plasma monitor (the latter of which handily has an option to turn off all internal scaling so we can see the VP50Pro at its purest). But it’s hard to imagine any TV or projector situation that the VP50Pro doesn’t have an output option to suit.
The unit’s slickly presented but crowded onscreen menus, meanwhile, are bulging with fine-tuning options. For starters, the level of adjustment possible in core picture areas such as brightness, contrast and especially sharpness is little short of mind-boggling, enabling you to fine-tune pictures to your tastes with complete precision.
Also adjustable to within a millimetre of their lives are fine detail levels, edge enhancement, Y/C delay, and a Chroma Filter that can auto-detect and remove chroma upsampling errors found in video sources which have been MPEG encoded and then poorly decoded.
You get a wide variety of aspect ratio options too (handy for anyone thinking of using an anamorphic lens with their projector), as well as mosquito noise reduction processing, a Lipsynch adjustment to help you ensure that a film or TV programme’s sound and vision are always perfectly aligned, and multiple frame rate adjustments. This latter feature could have a quite profound impact on your TV or projector’s performance with a Blu-ray player, for instance, as the pretty basic processing carried in many TVs can struggle to portray Blu-ray’s 1080p/24 native format at all convincingly.
If you’re starting to worry at this point that the VP50Pro is going to ‘do a Philips TV’ on you and drive you into its tweaking menus every five minutes, we’re glad to report that the unit ships with five memory slots where you can store your preferred settings for different source types.