Pioneer SC-LX904 vs Pioneer SC-LX901 Detailed Comparison
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SCORE:
92
SCORE:
91

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Overview

Here we are comparing Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 to Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 to reveal their common strengths and weaknesses as well as the differences between them which will help you in making a correct decision before the purchase. Both receivers have 11 channel and equally powerful amplifiers.

Let us have a look at some highlights of the models.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Highlights

Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 Highlights

  • 11.2 channels
  • 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay 2, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs
  • 11.2 channels
  • 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven)
  • Dolby Atmos, DTS:X capable
  • HDR10, Dolby Vision, 4K Upscaling, 4K Passthrough
  • AirPlay, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi
  • Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
  • USB and Phono inputs

We have evaluated both receivers. Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 gets higher overall score in our ranking system which is based on the amplifier specifications, audio and video features, connectivity, multizone capabilities, radio and many other details.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904

Pioneer Elite SC-LX901

AMPLIFIER
92
VIDEO FEATURES
94
AUDIO FEATURES
92
CONNECTIVITY
92
MULTIZONE
92
MISCELLANEOUS
89
RADIO
92
OVERALL
92
AMPLIFIER
93
VIDEO FEATURES
93
AUDIO FEATURES
90
CONNECTIVITY
90
MULTIZONE
92
MISCELLANEOUS
85
RADIO
92
OVERALL
91

Amplifier score is based on power ratings, minimum impedance load, power supply, transformer type, total harmonic distortion, damping factor, signal to noise ratio and other small details. Audio score depends on the number of channels, front wide channel support, maximum channel processing, support of audio formats, DAC specifications, room calibration algorithm... Video score is based on HDR, Dolby Vision and 4K passthrough, upscaling, analog to HDMI upconversion. Connectivity score is defined from all wired and wireless inputs and outputs, internet and bluetooth connections, HEOS, SONOS and others. Multizone score depends on the number of zones with their outputs. Radio score is evaluated form digital radio support and analog tuner with its frequency range, signal to noise ratio, harmonic distortion...

Advantage of Pioneer Elite SC-LX904

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 over Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 has higher bluetooth standard. It supports IMAX Enhanced and Amazon Alexa. In video department only Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports HDCP 2.3 copy protection and Hybrid Log Gamma.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
IMAX Enhanced
HLG
Works with Amazon Alexa
AirPlay AirPlay 2 AirPlay
Newer HDCP Version 2.3 2.2
More HDMI Outputs 3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2) 2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
USB Input 2 (1 Front) 1 Front
Solid Aluminum Front
Newer Bluetooth Version 4.2 4.1 + LE

Advantage of Pioneer Elite SC-LX901

This section shows those features and specifications which are the reason to choose Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 over Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 has higher bluetooth standard. It supports IMAX Enhanced and Amazon Alexa. In video department only Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 supports HDCP 2.3 copy protection and Hybrid Log Gamma.

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Music Playback via USB MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
High Resolution Audio Formats via USB Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
Video Signal Upscaling 1080p to 4K up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite Component**, Composite
Component Video Maximum Resolution 480i/576i 1080i
FireConnect
More HDMI Inputs 7 (1 front) 8 (1 front)
More Component Video Outputs 1

Common Strengths and Weaknesses

Here we list common strengths and weaknesses of both receivers.

STRENGTHS
Certified 4 Ω Performance 👍
Bi-amp Capability 👍
Many Channel Processing 👍
Dolby Atmos 👍
Dolby TrueHD 👍
Dolby Digital Plus 👍
Dolby Surround Upmixer 👍
DTS:X 👍
DTS Neural:X 👍
DTS-HD Master Audio 👍
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio 👍
DTS 96/24 👍
DTS Express 👍
DTS-ES 👍
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network 👍
Gapless Playback 👍
DSD via HDMI 👍
DSD via USB 👍
Dialog Enhancement 👍
Dialogue Lift 👍
Sound Retriever 👍
Compressed Music Enhancer 👍
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. 👍
HDR10 👍
BT.2020 color space 👍
Dolby Vision 👍
3-D Ready 👍
4K or 8K Video Passthrough 👍
4K or 8K Signal Upscaling 👍
Analog To HDMI Upconversion 👍
FlareConnect 👍
Chromecast Built-In 👍
DTS Play-Fi 👍
Works with SONOS 👍
Ethernet 👍
Wi-Fi 👍
Bluetooth 👍
New HDCP Version 👍
Many HDMI Inputs 👍
USB Input 👍
Many Analog Audio Line Inputs 👍
Phono Input 👍
Composite Video Inputs 👍
Component Video Inputs 👍
Analog Pre-Outs 👍
Zones 👍
Detachable Power Cord 👍
Analog Tuner 👍
Pandora 👍
Spotify 👍
Tidal 👍
Deezer 👍
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer 👍
Transformer Stabilizer 👍
New Bluetooth Version 👍
WEAKNESSES
No Front Wide Channel Support 👎
No DTS Virtual:X 👎
No Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer 👎
No Sound Retriever AIR 👎
No High-resolution Music Enhancer 👎
No HDR10+ 👎
No DLNA 1.5 👎
No eARC 👎
No Multi-Channel Input 👎
No Napster 👎
No SiriusXM Internet Radio 👎

Selected Features

Amplifier

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 have 11 channel amplifiers. They both deliver 140 W (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2 channel driven) and have stable performance at 4 Ω load. Since 2016 all receiver manufacturers have dropped front wide channel support and these models are no exceptions.


Video Features

Both receivers support 4K passthrough up to 60p. Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 can do 4K upscaling and Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 can do 4K upscaling up to 60p. The receivers support HDR10, Dolby Vision.


HDR10

High-dynamic-range (HDR) video has greater dynamic range than standard-dynamic-range (SDR) video with brigter whites and deeper blacks. HDR10 was announced on August 27, 2015, by the Consumer Technology Association and uses the wide-gamut Rec. 2020 color space. It sends static metadata via video stream to the TV which calibrates its screen brightness and color according to that. HDR10 supports up to 1000 nits of brightness and 10-bit color which corresponds to 1024 shades of the primary RGB colors.


Dolby Vision

Dolby Vision is an update to HDR10 by adding dynamic metadata that can be used to more accurately adjust brightness levels up to 10,000 nits maximum brightness on a scene-by-scene or frame-by-frame basis and supports up to 12-bit color depth (4096 shades of RGB) and 8K resolution.


Dolby Atmos and Dolby Surround upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 support Dolby Atmos with its Dolby Surround upmixer. They can be configured upto 7.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers.

Dolby Atmos is the first cinematic audio format in which sounds exist as individual entities, called audio objects. In Dolby Atmos, any sound - the helicopter, a car screeching around a corner, a melodic bird call - can exist as an independent audio object, free of channel restrictions. They can be precisely placed and moved anywhere in your room, including overhead, to flow above and around you in three-dimensional space. Through the use of audio objects, overhead sound, and all the richness, clarity, and power of Dolby sound, Dolby Atmos turns your room into an amazing place for entertainment. You'll feel like you're inside the action, in ways you've never experienced before.

Dolby Atmos for the home represents every sound in the original cinema mix as an audio object. Extensions to the Dolby Audio™ codecs, along with an advanced scalable algorithm, allow Dolby Atmos to be delivered via Blu-ray Disc and streaming media. A spatially-coded substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. A Dolby Atmos audio/video receiver (AVR) adapts the cinema experience to your home theater from seven speakers to as many as 34 in 24.1.10 configuration, recreating the original artistic concept. The format supports up to 128 simultaneous independent audio objects in a mix for rich, realistic, and breathtaking sound. It recreates the director's original concept through descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for home theater and delivers sounds above you through overhead speakers, special upward-firing Dolby Atmos speakers, or a Dolby Atmos enabled sound bar.

If the content is not mixed in Dolby Atmos then the Dolby surround upmixer will expand the audio to all channels including ceiling speakers. The upmixer has replaced the Dolby Pro Logic II family with improved upmixing algorithms.


DTS:X and Neural:X upmixer

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 support DTS:X with its Neural:X upmixer. Both of them can be configured upto 7.1.4 channels using internal amplifiers.

A technique used in DTS:X is similar to the one used in Dolby Atmos. Instead of a fixed number of channels, DTS:X defines object locations from the listener in polar coordinates. An a/v receiver then dynamically renders sound according to the current speaker configuration. The speaker layout employed by DTS:X is the sum of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D. It has standard 7.1 channel base layer, a 5 channel height layer above the base layer on the front and side walls, and 3 rows of speakers on the ceiling.

DTS Neural:X is an upmixer that can take non DTS:X content and upmix it to the DTS:X speaker layout. It has replaced the DTS Neo family with improved flexibility.


Class D3 Amplifier

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 amplifiers have Class D3 design. Such amplifiers contain advanced integrated circuitry technology creating unmatched power without sacrificing sound quality or performance. Class D3 amplifiers use a Direct Signal Path Design to provide the shortest audio signal path possible. By eliminating EMI filters, feedback loops, and current limiters of previous designs, Class D3 reduces ringing distortion and noise, especially in the high frequency audio band.

The power consumption of the Digital Class D3 Amplifier is significantly lower than traditional A/B amplifiers - letting you save energy and generate less heat without compromising performance. The Digital Class D3 Amplifier uses a simple structure employing a straight signal path, resulting in improved sound quality requiring less energy than competitive models yet producing more simultaneous power output. This direct signal path means no EMI filters, feedback loops or current limiting - a true engineering art. Unlike traditional designs, these amps deliver the strength to handle multiple low-impedance speakers without dramatic power loss. The efficiency of Class D3 means cooler operation while drawing just a fraction of the power consumed by conventional amplifiers, enhancing and extending component life and reliability.


Advanced Sound Retriever

Compressed music enhancement in Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 and Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 is done by Pioneer’s Advanced Sound Retriever. Hear the detail, warmth and clarity, the way the artist intended it, from all of your highly compressed MP3 and WMA files stored on USB, Smartphone and portable media players. By restoring data that tend to get lost in the digital compression process, Pioneers Advanced Sound Retriever Technology enhances audio reproduction all the way upto 20 Khz frequencies.


Connectivity


Pioneer Elite SC-LX904

Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver works with Amazon Alexa and works with SONOS and supports[y] AirPlay 2. It has 7 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.3 copy protection. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver. There are 11.2 channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has HDMI and USB inputs.

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Pioneer Elite SC-LX901

Pioneer Elite SC-LX901 can be connected to internet using ethernet cable or built-in wi-fi adapter. It can also connect to bluetooth devices via built-in bluetooth adapter. The Receiver works with SONOS and supports[y] AirPlay. It has 8 HDMI inputs with HDCP 2.2 copy protection. There is a phono input with built-in phono stage for connecting the cartridge output of the turntable directly to the Receiver. There are 11.2 channel analog pre-outs for external amplification.

Front panel has HDMI and USB inputs.

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Detailed Specifications

And in the end let us list the detailed specifications of the receivers side-by-side.

Note: The following table shows only those details which are applicable for both models and excludes the ones that are applicable for only one model. If you want to see a full list of specs for each model please visit their individual pages here - Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 and here - Pioneer Elite SC-LX901.

BASICS Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
BrandPioneerPioneer
SeriesEliteElite
ModelSC-LX904SC-LX901
TypeA/V ReceiverA/V Receiver
CountryNorth AmericaNorth America
Release Year20192017
AMPLIFIER Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Channels11.211.2
Front Wide Channel Support
Amplifier DesignClass D3 (Direct Energy HD)Class D3 (Direct Energy HD)
THX™ Certification
Continuous 6 Ω Rated
Certified 4 Ω Performance
Bi-amp Capability Front, Center, Surround, SP-B
AUDIO Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Digital Signal Processing (DSP) EngineDigital Quad-Core 32-bit DSP (Cirrus Logic) + Aureus™ Floating-Point DSP (TI)Cirrus Logic (Quad Core) x 1
DACESS ES9026PRO x 2ESS SABRE32 Ultra (ES9016S)
Maximum Channel Processing11.211.2
Air Studios Monitor Certification
Dolby Atmos
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization
Dolby TrueHD
Dolby Digital Plus
Dolby Surround Upmixer
Dolby Pro Logic
Dolby Digital EX
Surround EX
DTS:X
DTS Neural:X
DTS Virtual:X
DTS Neo
DTS-HD Master Audio
DTS-HD High Resolution Audio
DTS 96/24
DTS Express
DTS-ES Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1 Discrete 6.1, Matrix 6.1
IMAX Enhanced
Auro 3D with Auro-Matic Upmixer
PCM 2-ch/Multi-ch Input 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
Music Playback via USBMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSDMP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
High Resolution Music Playback via USB and/or Network 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz/24 bit
High Resolution Audio Formats via USBApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSDApple Lossless, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, AAC, DSD, Dolby TrueHD
Multi-Channel Music File Playback via USB up to 192 kHz/24 bit up to 192 kHz/24 bit
Gapless Playback
DSD via HDMI 2-ch/Multi-ch Input 2-ch/Multi-ch Input
DSD via USB 2-ch Input 2-ch Input
DSD to PCM Converter
USB DAC
Jitter Reduction PQLS & PQFA PQLS & PQFA
Dialog Enhancement
Dialogue Lift via Dialog Enhancement
Sound Retriever Advanced Advanced
Sound Retriever AIR
Digital Noise Reduction
Tone Control All Channels All Channels
Compressed Music Enhancer Advanced Sound Retriever Advanced Sound Retriever
High-resolution Music Enhancer
Audyssey Dynamic EQ
Audyssey Dynamic Volume
Audyssey LFC
Audyssey Sub EQ HT
Audyssey DSX
Direct Mode
Pure Direct Mode
Auto Surround
Optimum Surround
Advanced Surround10 + 111 + 1
Wide Surround
Front Stage Surround Advance
Headphone Surround
Virtual Speakers
Virtual Depth
CALIBRATION Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Auto Speaker Calibration System with Mic. MCACC Pro MCACC Pro
Manual MCACC
MCACC Memory33
Reflex Optimizer
Phase Control
Full Band Phase Control
Standing Wave Control Multi-Point (9 points)
EQ Bands9-Band9-Band
Symmetric EQ
Distance Adjustment0.05 feet0.5 feet
Precision Distance
Polarity Check
Auto Subwoofer Crossover
VIDEO Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
HDR10
HDR10+
BT.2020 color space
Dolby Vision
Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG)
Quick Media Switching (QMS)
Auto Low Latency Mode Pass-through
Variable Refresh Rate (VRR)
Quick Frame Transport (QFT)
3-D Ready
Video Signal Passthroughup to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Video Signal Upscaling 1080p to 4K up to 4K/60p (YCbCr 4:4:4)
Analog To HDMI Upconversion Component**, Composite Component**, Composite
Component Video Upscaling
Analog to Analog Video conversion
Component Video Maximum Resolution480i/576i1080i
Stream Smoother
Pure Cinema
Video Parameter Adjustments
Super Resolution
isf Certified Calibration Control
CONNECTIVITY Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
MHL Input
DLNA 1.5
FireConnect
FlareConnect
Chromecast Built-In
DTS Play-Fi
Works with Amazon Alexa
Works with SONOS
AirPlay AirPlay 2 AirPlay
Apple Product Connection Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only) Made for iPhone, iPod and iPad (Airplay only)
InstaPrevue Input Source Prevue
Ethernet
Ethernet Switch
Wi-Fi
Bluetooth SBC, AAC SBC, AAC
HDBaseT Compatible
Enhanced ARC
HDCP Version2.32.2
HDMI Input7 (1 front)8 (1 front)
HDMI Output3 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB, 1 ZONE 2)2 (1 MAIN, 1 SUB/ZONE 2)
USB Input2 (1 Front)1 Front
USB DC Out Port
Analog Audio Line Input66
Analog Audio Line Output
Phono Input
Optical In33
Optical Out
Coaxial In/Out2 / 2 /
Composite Video Input22
Composite Video Output
S-Video Input
S-Video Output
Component Video Input22
Component Video Output 1
PC In
Multi-Channel Input
Analog Pre-Outs11.211.2
XLR Inputs
XLR Pre-outs
Front A/V InputsHDMI, USBHDMI, USB
Speaker A/B
Headphone Out 6.3 mm 6.3 mm
ZONES Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Zones33
Powered Zones2 and 32 and 3
Zone 2HDMI, RCA Pre/Line OutHDMI, RCA Pre/Line Out
Zone 3 OutsRCA Pre/Line OutRCA Pre/Line Out
RS-232
+12V Trigger Output2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)2 (A: 100 mA, B: 25 mA)
Remote (IR) Input/Output2 / 12 / 1
MISC Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
GUI Languages77
AVNavigator
IP Control for CI
PreAmp Mode
FL Dimmer
Function Rename
Detachable Power Cord
adapterport
RADIO Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Analog Tuner FM/AM FM/AM
Presets4040
Digital Radio
Internet Radio TuneIn TuneIn
Pandora
Spotify
Tidal
Deezer
Napster
SiriusXM Internet Radio
CONSTRUCTION Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Solid Aluminum Front
Advanced Direct ConstructionAdvanced Direct ConstructionAdvanced Direct Construction
Speaker Terminals1111
Large Speaker Terminals1111
Color-Coded Speaker Terminals
Gold plated RCA terminals
POWER Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Power SupplyAC 120 V, 60 HzAC 120 V, 60 Hz
Low Leakage Flux Power Transformer
Transformer Stabilizer
Power Consumption340 W340 W
Standby Power0.1 W0.15 W
GENERAL Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Dimensions (W x H x D)435 mm x 185 mm x 440 mm
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-5/16"
435 mm x 185 mm x 441 mm
17-1/8" x 7-5/16" x 17-1/3"
Weight18.5 kg (40.8 lbs)18.0 kg (39.7 lbs)
Warranty3 Years3 Years Parts & Labor
SPECS Pioneer Elite SC-LX904 Pioneer Elite SC-LX901
Power Output (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 2140 W (0.08% THD)140 W (0.08% THD)
Multi Channel Simultaneous Drive (8 Ω, 1 kHz, 1.0%)880 W880 W
THD0.04% (1 kHz, 100 W)0.04% (1 kHz, 100 W)
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Line)200 mV/82 kΩ200 mV/82 kΩ
Input Sensitivity and Impedance (Phono MM)3.5 mV/47 kΩ3.5 mV/47 kΩ
Rated Preout Level and Impedance1 V/470 kΩ1 V/470 kΩ
Rated Headphone Power Output57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)57 mW (32 Ω, 1 kHz, 10% THD)
Phono Overload70 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)70 mV (MM, 1 kHz, 0.5%)
S/N Ratio (Line, IHF-A)108 dB108 dB
S/N Ratio (Phono MM, IHF-A)90 dB90 dB
DSD Sampling Rates via HDMI2.8 MHz2.8 MHz
DSD Sampling Rates via USB11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz11.2 MHz, 5.6 MHz, 2.8 MHz
Video Input Sensitivity/Output Level and Impedance1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/CB, PR/CR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component Y)
0.7 Vp-p/75 Ω (Component PB/PR)
1 Vp-p/75 Ω (Composite)
Ethernet Standard10BASE-T/100BASE-TX10BASE-T/100BASE-TX
Wi-Fi StandardIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/nIEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n
Wi-Fi Terminal Frequency5 GHz, 2.4 GHz5 GHz, 2.4 GHz
Bluetooth Version4.24.1 + LE
Bluetooth Frequency2.4 GHz2.4 GHz
USB TerminalVer. 2.0, 5 V, 500 mAUSB2.0 (Type A) 5 V, 1 A
Extension Terminal
FM Frequency87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz87.5 MHz - 107.9 MHz
AM Frequency530 kHz - 1710 kHz530 kHz - 1710 kHz

* - 480i/576i and 480p/576p only
** - 480i/576i only
*** - no 1080p/24 upconversion
**** - 1080p signal is not converted

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