TAW Digilink II DVD Player and Rock Pro Processor
By Grant Clauser
The TAW DigiLink II DVD player and Rock Pro video processor together probably cost more than many of the plasmas and projectors they get connected to, but what they bring to the table is going to be worth it to the video extremist. TAW started several years ago by buying B-stock Barco projectors and hot-rodding them for better performance. Now the company offers a line of processors, digital projectors and the DigiLink DVD player.
Although available separately, together these products make a unique combination. The DigiLink II sports a Serial Digital Interface (SDI) output jack (a 75 ohm cable with BNC connectors) and the Rock Pro accepts an SDI input and outputs either an RGB/HV or digital DVI signal. Faroudja, Dwinn, Silicon Image, and others offer processors, of course, but TAW is one of the few companies we've found that can package a processor with a digitally connected DVD player.
TAW is keeping an eye toward the future for its customers by making the processor upgradeable. As new algorithms are developed, users, or their installers, can download the updates and add them to the product. The DVD player itself is multi-format in every way. Not only does it work with NTSC, PAL and SECAM systems, it's an all-region player, as well as DVD-Audio, Super Audio CD, MP3, JPEG CD and the standard selection of recordable DVD formats. Its menu is pretty straightforward and easy to set up and navigate.
The best use of the TAW combination is to connect the DVD player to the processor via a single SDI cable then run a DVI to the display from the Rock. The Rock's DVI output is not HDCP compliant. All inputs to the display, except an HDTV receiver, will be passed through the DVI output. HDTV set-top boxes can use the HDTV pass-through port so the signal goes through the processor unmolested and direct to the display.