Friday November 16, 2012 6:57 pm
Darbee Darblet review
We always recommend that HDTV purchasers get their sets calibrated professionally--you just end up getting way more for your money when your television is optimized for your viewing environment. When we heard about the Darbee Darblet from DarbeeVision, we were skeptical. This is supposed to be a gadget that you integrate into your home theater setup that adds a level of sharpness and depth that's unreachable even with hours of calibration. Sounds like a cheap gimmick, right? Well, we decided to put the Darblet to the test, and…wow…we came away impressed. Join us in our Darbee Darblet review to find out why every videophile needs to pick one of these up!
Here at Gear Live HQ, we’ve got a 65-inch Panasonic VT30 plasma HDTV that Tyler from Bionic AV spent about five hours manually calibrating, resulting in a beautiful image. Yet, when we added the Darbee Darblet to our setup, it was the finishing touch we never knew we needed. Details pop with a perfect sharpness that just can't be achieved with any built-in controls on any television set that we’ve ever seen. That's the magic of the Darblet software...the guys at Darbee have figured out an amazing algorithm that makes everything seem "higher definition" than you're used to.
To be clear, this isn't just an auto-sharpness tool, and it doesn't mess with your calibrated color settings at all. The Darblet just adds a level of depth and detail that you just don't get without it, even after hours of professional calibration.
Set-up is super-easy, too. Just remove the HDMI cable that is going into your HDTV and plug it into the Darblet input, then connect another HDMI cable to the Darblet output, and plug into your HDTV. Done. Do note, the Darblet only has one input and output, so if you have more than one HDMI cable going into your HDTV, you'll need multiple Darblets if you want to take advantage of the optimization on all inputs, or you can get an HDMI switch or receiver to consolidate them all.
You get three modes on the unit: Full Pop, Game, and HD. We found that HD is the best, setting it right in the middle at 50. Set it once and forget it and you are done.
Gallery: Darbee Darblet unboxing
If we had any complaint about the Darbee Darblet, it's the build quality. It sucks. It's just horribly cheap. That includes the unit, the remote, and even the AC adapter. For a product that costs $319, we would have hoped that it wasn't reminiscent of a mid-1990s translucent pager. Luckily, as we said earlier, you plug the thing in once and you are pretty much done with it, no need to mess with it, and if you want, you can even tuck it out of sight. That's what we did. Just make sure you have some fun with the remote first, because you can quickly enable and disable the Darblet while watching TV to see the optimizations turned on and off for comparison. The star of the show here is most definitely the software.
Should you buy the Darbee Darblet? If you care about the image quality that you get on your HDTV, yes. If you're a videophile, yes. If you enjoy watching high-quality content, like Blu-ray and other 1080p video, yes. If you don't care about these things, or spend your time watching low-quality 720p streams and DVD, then this product isn't for you as its current price tag. For the rest of us, though, it's a game changer. You can pick up the Darbee Darblet now for $319 on Amazon.
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