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Another picture quality question on new TV

tonysab

Standard Member
On a similar vein to a recent poster, I have just bought a 42" Plasma, the LG 42PJ550 and have been a bit disappointed with the picture quality. On some of the HD channels it is pretty good but normal SD channels eg BBC1 and ITV (101 and 103 on sky) are pretty poor to say the least - just a bit of a fuzzy picture when close up and lots of patchy bits - hard to describe but defo not brilliant. I don't know what is wrong though - if I look at my signal settings on my sky box (a new Samsung HD) - it showed strength 100% on both with quality at around 80% on both. I started to wonder if the dish maybe needed re-aligning as we had to move it a couple of years ago when we had building work going on, and when it was put back it seemed ok at the time (and certainly never gave a problem on our old 32" CRT). Anyway I have been keeping an eye on the strength and quality levels throughout this evening and after the initial levels reported above I noticed that Input 1 is now pretty much constant on 100% on both strength and quality whilst input 2 quality has dropped a bit, maybe 60-70% but strength still 100%.
I'm now not sure if its a dish problem if input 1 is showing as 100% for both, isn't input 1 normally for viewing with input 2 as recording? So how come I have 100% strength and 100% quality but the picture is still pretty poor??

Interestingly I then swapped the input cables - after firstly unscrewing input 2 I still had a picture so this proves input 1 is viewing. However when I swapped the cables input 1 was still showing 100% for both with input 2 showing 100% strength and about 80% quality!!

I also switched the TV into 'antenna' mode to run from the main aerial on freeview and the picture quality on here was much better than via the sky box.

Any advice on why the picture is so poor would be greatfully received, I just don't know what to think if the strength and quality are both 100% but the picture is poor - thanks in advance.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
Welcome:)

As with the other post you are simply seeing the effects of a larger flat panel dealing with very viable and well below optimum SD digital broadcastings which has been in effect in the UK since 1998 thanks to no regulation for digital.
The strength/quality readings in your case are well into the "good" range and well have no impact on the digital data the decoder and video processing stage has to deal with to create the image that is sent to the TV via what ever cable you are using. A word of warning, if you start swapping LNB feeds over always make sure the box is off at the mains.

It's not a shocker that the same channels on DTT look better than Dsat, they are broadcast at variable bitrates and even in some cases resolutions which are obviously going to be exaggerated when the TV scales the SD picture up to fill a HD screen. Also worth noting that an internal tuner doesn't have to bother with signal conversion when outputting to a cable which is then processed again when it enters the TV and of course a modern TV will allow individual inputs to have their own picture settings so it's very likely the internal tuner and av input are set up differently.

Fuzzy SD is pretty much what you would expect, you can tweak a TV to minimise this especially if the TV has it's own video processing options but at the end of the day it's SD on a HD screen, enlarge a low bitrate video on the PC from a window to fullscreen, the perceived quality reduces, it's exactly the same principle:)
 

tonysab

Standard Member
Many thanks for your reply and advice. Interesting. What I would also add is that on HD channels the pic is obviously a bit better but even then not as brilliant as I would have thought. An interesting comparison is that I was watching itv SD in the pub the other day and it struck me that the pic quality was much better than mine, it was prob equivalent to my HD. I think it was a slightly smaller screen tho. I'm not sure whether it would be worth getting an engineer to come and have a look - tho if strength and signal are at 100% im not sure there is a problem as you say. Just seems a bit odd.
 

MartinPickering

Well-known Member
You say your Sky Digibox is a Samsung HD but you've posted this question in the "Sky and Sky+" section. That leads me to ask whether your Digibox is connected to the TV ONLY via an HDMI lead? If not then connect it this way to make sure the TV is not getting a signal any other way.
 

tonysab

Standard Member
Hi yes I posted in this section as I felt the question is more general sky related than specifically HD but will move it if appropriate. But yes I just have an hdmi connection, no scart. Thanks.
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
Many thanks for your reply and advice. Interesting. What I would also add is that on HD channels the pic is obviously a bit better but even then not as brilliant as I would have thought. An interesting comparison is that I was watching itv SD in the pub the other day and it struck me that the pic quality was much better than mine, it was prob equivalent to my HD.



I haven't been that impressed with the HD footy from SA, seen much better from SKY Sports and even BBC/ITV have done better with UK and European game coverage. HD picture quality is far more dependent upon source quality or more to the point production than SD ever was so again a HD programme may be a perfect replica of what was produced but not have the "wow" factor you may expect. It's probably the one reason why HD doesn't impress everyone at first or even second glance:)



What was the comparative viewing distances for watch the two screens and yes they were probably two different broadcasts on two different screens, the variables with HD displays seem to be far greater then the established CRT technology.


I'm not sure whether it would be worth getting an engineer to come and have a look - tho if strength and signal are at 100% im not sure there is a problem as you say. Just seems a bit odd.



No I doubt very much it would make a difference, the meter readings are fine and reception is not as much of a grey area as with analogue, digital has a very specific drop off point so up until then the error correction (if required) means you get the signal, the benefits of a broadcast made up of 1's and 0's.
Check out the Plasma forum for fellow owners of the LG and their setups, you may find useful information.
 

tonysab

Standard Member
What was the comparative viewing distances for watch the two screens and yes they were probably two different broadcasts on two different screens, the variables with HD displays seem to be far greater then the established CRT technology.
Thanks. The viewing distances were roughly the same.

Because the signal strength and quality settings are quite high, this to me suggests that the dish and cables to the sky box are fine. Therefore it could be the HDMI cable - I am using the one supplied with the HD box just delivered so it's doubtful I guess - unless they are known to be just a cheapy version. I do have another HDMI cable so I will try that and then also for what its worth unplug the HDMI cable and route via the Scart just to see the comparison.
 

tonysab

Standard Member
OK I have viewed ITV1 on SD using 3 different HDMI cables, all the same (poor). Viewing via the scart gives a better picture! Does that sound right?
 

SevloW

Distinguished Member
OK I have viewed ITV1 on SD using 3 different HDMI cables, all the same (poor). Viewing via the scart gives a better picture! Does that sound right?

A lot of people view SD via Scart rather than hdmi as they say this gives a better picture.
 

moonrakerz

Active Member
Thanks. The viewing distances were roughly the same.

According to this:
Viewing Distance Calculator

Your viewing distance for SD should be 14.6 ft: for HD it should be 5.5ft.

I, too, have a 42" plasma (Panasonic) and am able to change my viewing distance for each type of programme.
At "long" distance my SD is very good. At "short" distance it is awful.
For HD at "short" distance, the picture varies a lot depending on the quality of what is actually being broadcast. It can be superb (Sky News HD, "studio" shots), it can be poor (some of the football from SA).
I did find that a Scart lead does give a slightly better SD picture that an HDMI lead.
The critcal factor is the distance though !
 

aidanbrophy

Standard Member
It is SKY my friend, it is just not good enough - you (sorry we) should not have a fuzzy picture on SD. These guys who say it is to be expected on a large are talking baloney, freeview, freesat is excellent - sky used to be excellent on large TVs, so why not now. It is so so common on here that it is not just a few who have the issue it is a lot of people.
 

moonrakerz

Active Member
It is SKY my friend, it is just not good enough - you (sorry we) should not have a fuzzy picture on SD. These guys who say it is to be expected on a large are talking baloney, freeview, freesat is excellent - sky used to be excellent on large TVs, so why not now. It is so so common on here that it is not just a few who have the issue it is a lot of people.

Cobblers !
 

Starburst

Distinguished Member
Cobblers !



Indeed:)


You can not take a SD resolution image, scale it up to HD resolution with a corresponding increase in screen size and not expect to see significant degradation of the picture. If you have the best SD broadcast programme on the best SD channel you are still dealing with scaling and de-interlacing chipsets that are part of the build to a price point policy of the mass market.
If you threw a £1000 dedicated scaler into the mix then yes you should see some benefits but with mass market HD displays costing less than a grand it's not really practical is it:)

That said there is definitely issues with the standard of SD digital broadcasting, there has been since 1998 thanks to it's lack of regulation and of course every STB, TV and other device which can upscale performs to a certain level. We know there have been and still are issues with certain SKY+HD models and no argument they can add to the reduction in perceived PQ all else being equal but that's a specific issue which relates to one aspect of SKY and not the whole operation.
It certainly doesn't negate the underlying issues of mapping SD sources to HD displays via scaling which is why we have HD if for no other reason to provide the source and destination compatibility we had with PAL and CRT's.
 

leedebs

Well-known Member
OK I have viewed ITV1 on SD using 3 different HDMI cables, all the same (poor). Viewing via the scart gives a better picture! Does that sound right?

I have the 42pj650 and have just got sky hd.
Tried a few settings and have settled on 1080i
tbh with this setting through hdmi the picture seems slightly better than rgb scart, I have disconnected the scart now. I think it helps having the picture mode as "just scan" as this eliminates the overscan and slightly sharpens the picture

Just watched a bit of GMTV and compared to my pw7 the lg picture looks better
 

malik007

Standard Member
I have the same problem. Just a quick question. My tv has 3 hdmi connections. mine is connected to hdmi 3. Would this make any difference. Cheers.
 

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