Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adventures in Upgrading My Old Anthem D2v to Shiny New 3D - Dennis Burger, Resi Systems

When the Anthem 3D upgrade kit was first introduced, Dennis Burger of Residential Systems took a keen interest in having us ship him one for review. With some hesitation, we did (only because this upgrade is solely performed by the Anthem tech team and authorized Anthem dealers)... but with a lifetime of experience tinkering with tech toys, we figured Dennis could handle it - as long as he promised to wear the grounding strap!

Below is a summary of his thoughts, but if you are an installer interested in the details of each step of the upgrade itself, we highly recommend that you read the review in full.

"...when Anthem announced a 3D Upgrade Kit for its D2v and AVM 50v AV processors, I knew I wanted one for my own D2v... It wasn’t so much that I wanted the 3D upgrade, but I wanted to perform the 3D upgrade, not only to satiate my inner tinkerer, but also as part of my never-ending quest to be as custom installer-y as I possibly can."

"I'm loving my new 3D-capable Anthem D2v... not entirely academic after all."

An Anomaly

"There’s that, and there’s also the fact that the Anthem 3D upgrade kit is a bit of an anomaly in the high-end AV market... you’re usually stuck with what you bought when it comes to ultra-high-end home theater gear..."

 "... the upgrade process was also complicated for me by the fact that I have one of the earliest D2vs, which aren’t eligible for the simple mezzanine board replacement for units manufactured later. Still, I wanted to give you guys a glimpse at the upgrade process, in case you have any old D2vs in the field that haven’t been upgraded yet."

Dennis then went through detailed (and pictorial!) step-by-step instructions on how the upgrade/install is done. Click here! to read about this process in full.

Half an hour tops
Pictured above, the completed upgrade.
"Honestly, the trickiest part of the entire upgrade process for me was labeling all of my interconnects, digging the D2v out of my rack, and re-installing it once everything was done. The upgrade process itself took about half an hour, tops. On a scale from 1 to No Freaking Way, I’d peg the difficulty level of the entire upgrade process as falling somewhere between replacing the video card in your PC and swapping out its processor and heat sink."

Noticeable Improvements
"What’s most interesting for me, though, is the fact that although I embarked on this upgrade process for the sheer academic pleasure of doing it, I’m loving my new 3D-capable Anthem D2v. The first four HDMI inputs now switch so much faster (so, so much faster), and not only that, but it’s allowed me to simplify the cabling behind my rack, routing my OPPO Blu-ray player’s HDMI output entirely through the D2v, rather than splitting the audio and video signals and running the latter directly to my display, which my Control4 system appreciates very much. So the upgrade ended up being not entirely academic after all."

Want to upgrade your Anthem processor?
Contact your local dealer to see if your model is upgradable.

to read Dennis' 3D upgrade review with step-by-step instructions.