Best picture from Sky SD on Samsung LCD TV

sonofluigi

Standard Member
Hi,

From the sounds of it a fairly regular kind of query...

I recently bought a Samsung LE37R87BDX HD Ready LCD and got Sky +. I'm not very impressed with the picture and I'm guessing it'll be a combination of three things:

1. Cheapo SCART lead
2. Settings on the TV
3. Upscaling limitations of the TV from an RGB SCART source

I've played with the settings a bit, set Sky+ to RGB, used RGB SCART input on telly, bought a Philex 26481H SCART cable. Waiting for the cable to arrive, so hopefully should see an improvement.

I have considered buying an upscaling DVD recorder with HDMI, since I a have a naff DVD player anyway and would like to free up space on the Sky+ box, but how likely is the upscaling on the DVDR to be better than the TV, if my budget is £200?

Can there be a better way of connecting my set-up?

Can anyone help me with the TV’s picture settings? I have played with the contrast, brightness, colour and sharpness using advice from ' Samsung R86/87/88 Owners Thread/Optimal Settings & Discussion' thread, but still not convinced I’ve got it right, particularly with the set-specific processing features.

I’m sure the picture could be a bit sharper and motion isn’t particularly smooth. I know I shouldn't expect a perfect picture when feeding a Sky SD signal into a 37" HD Ready set, but surely my edges shouldn't be pixelated to a point where it distracts me from the programme!:confused::confused:

I’m basically looking to make the most of my set-up without forking out a fortune…

Any help greatly appreciated!
 

DeadKenny

Active Member
Based on my experience with the F71 and a standard Sky SD box (not Sky+), I've managed to get a good enough image by adjusting settings.

Hard to advise on settings as everyone has their own preference, however I would advise turning down sharpness settings, not increasing them. The better the input source the less sharpening you need.

Also in the main I use the TV in movie mode now which seems to have the least processing.

Upscaling in the TV seems to work well, especially on good quality sources. Some channels are better than others here though.

Upscaling of my Sony DVD player via RGB SCART seems outstanding, but I do understand it can be even better (look in particular for Oppo or Denon upscalers, depending on budget).

As for a DVDR with upscaling, note that to record it will have to take the analogue signal out of the Sky box and re-digitise it which is not good.

Another solution however could come from a SkyHD box. Ignoring the HD part, these boxes I believe can upscale SD and you have an HDMI output so eliminate a D->A->D conversion. Problem is the cost of the box and fighting with Sky to get one without subscribing to HD (which I wouldn't advise until they drop the £10 a month on it).
 

sonofluigi

Standard Member
Thanks Dead Kenny.

I prefer the picture in Movie mode too, and tend to keep the sharpness down as it tends to emphasize any pixelation.

The new SCART lead is making very little improvement, I guess it only makes a difference if everything else is fully optimised...
 

DeadKenny

Active Member
Only differences I've ever found with SCART cables is just that a cheap one may pick up interference (but this would be obvious ghosting patterns), and really cheap ones used to sometimes not come fully wired up and so not have the RGB pins connected. Of all the better cables I've used (£10+ :D ) right up to an individually screened cable and can't really tell the difference between them. The only benefit I've found is some are a better build quality.
 

sonofluigi

Standard Member
Hmm. I have also heard of one-directional video-only RGB SCART cables and possible feedback interference when more than the necessary pins are connected.

My new cable appears to be a uni-directional, multi-application one.

Do you, or anyone else, know how much of a difference an RGB video only SCART makes? I've seen on Wikipedia (search 'SCART') that you can make a SCART one-directional SCART by pushing one of the pins in. Is it worth it/advisable?
 

DeadKenny

Active Member
The directional business is just that you can have composite pins for input and output. This allowed VCRs to just have one SCART socket and both play and record.

As Sky+ isn't recording off the TV you don't need the return pins so could snip them but it depends if the TV or Sky+ box has any signal going down them. As you're using RGB I would guess you could snip all the composite pins I think, and likewise could snip the audio pins if you don't play the audio through the TV (note that I've never tried any of this and don't know exactly what should be cut!).

I've noticed there are some places selling 'RGB Only' SCART leads which I guess are the same kind of thing (i.e. only the RGB pins are wired, though hopefully the widescreen switch pin too else it won't switch ratio for widescreen programmes).

I don't know if it will make much of a difference though. As I say I got an individually screened cable (each wire has shielding) and it made no noticeable difference compared to the cheap £10 cable that wasn't screened.

I suspect you'll find a far bigger improvement if you get an HDMI feed into the TV. As I say, SkyHD would get you this. Just a slight issue of the cost :(.

To check you could try out an upscaling DVD player with HDMI to see how good that is.
 

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