Does a SKY HD Box Upscale SD?

PannyAdams

Novice Member
I've just got Sky HD and I was wondering what it does when you are watching SD Channels? Does it still send these to your TV at 1080p? Or does it vary the output to the resolution of the channel?

The reason I ask is, that if I put it through an upscaling amp like the Onkyo SR875 - will the amp just leave the signal alone because it is 1080p dispite the fact it could probably enhance the picture otherwise?

Thanks

Barry
 

Mac User

Well-known Member
em.. No, And to just let you know if you did'nt know already.. The Sky HD will only delivery 720p/1080i signal when viewing an HD channel

The reason I ask is, that if I put it through an upscaling amp like the Onkyo SR875 - will the amp just leave the signal alone because it is 1080p dispite the fact it could probably enhance the picture otherwise?
Not to sure about this..
 

thommcghome

Novice Member
It depends, check the System Setting menu, Display Settings. If the Resolution is set to Auto it'll output, as is, i.e. 576i (HDMI 576p) or 1080i depending on the channel. You can also force 720p or 1080i.

Presumably the Onkyo would do a far better job at scaling than the Sky HD box though, so Auto's probably your best bet. Let your eyes do the deciding on that count ;)
 

mswarren

Novice Member
Hi,

Actually, it can.

If you look in the picture settings menu, you will see that under resolution, you can choose 720p, 1080i or automatic.

720p will produce all output at 720p, and upscale or downscale as required, so SD goes up, native 1080i goes down.
1080i will produce all output at 1080i, and upscale as required, so SD goes up, native 720p goes up too.
Automatic shows everything in it's native resolution, but generally this is either 576p for SD, or 1080i for HD

Hope this helps, Matthew
 

Mac User

Well-known Member
? So currently I have my Sky HD set to 1080i.. Are you saying that SD material is upscaled to 1080i ? I don't think so ?
 

dannius

Well-known Member
? So currently I have my Sky HD set to 1080i.. Are you saying that SD material is upscaled to 1080i ? I don't think so ?
What does your TV say? If the TV says it is receiving 1080i then that is what it is receiving, if you are watching a SD channel then the Sky box must be upscaling the picture.
 

Mac User

Well-known Member
Interesting, I will try and let you know
 

Mac User

Well-known Member
I stand corrected, The Sky HD box does have an upscaler.. ITV still looks:eek: the content not that great also, I would even say its :eek:
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
In my experience AUTO mode - where the Sky box de-interlaces 576i to 576p (not very well) but doesn't scale, is the only way to get reliable automatic HDMI aspect ratio switching on SD channels. This is with a Sony Bravia W2000.

In 1080i or 720p mode the Sky box permanently outputs a 1080i or 720p signal - with 576i SD stuff de-interlaced and scaled to 1080i/720p (both 16:9 formats) and doesn't pillarbox 4:3 content - and many TVs assume 1080i/720p stuff is always 16:9 (as there are no 4:3 HD standards) so 4:3 SD content appears stretched unless (if your TV allows) you manually switch aspect ratio, or (perish the thought) like watching 4:3 stuff stretched.

The two negative points of the Sky implementation are :

1. No native 576i output via HDMI (unless you have a way of fiddling your display EDID) - so if your TV does a much better job of de-interlacing than the Sky box you can't easily let it.
2. No 4:3 pillarboxing when in 1080i or 720p output.

Presumably 2. is to stop people complaining that their picture doesn't fill the screen - but it should at least be an option.

That said - Sky - bizarrely - do the same when broadcasting 4:3 SD content on Sky Sports HD (they stretch the upscaled 4:3 SD to 16:9 HD - though for Sky One they pillarbox...)
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
Unless you have a very cheap or old TV the HD box will always be worse at upscaling than your TV.

I keep the box in Auto, and I wish that I could get 576i from HDMI, but 576p will have to do. I know that you can use component or an external upscaler to get 576i but I can't be bothered.
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
That said - Sky - bizarrely - do the same when broadcasting 4:3 SD content on Sky Sports HD (they stretch the upscaled 4:3 SD to 16:9 HD - though for Sky One they pillarbox...)

On Sky One HD they do an awful 14:9 conversion which means you lose the bottom and top of the screen. I much prefer the 4:3 you get from C4HD.

Also Sky One HD often produces terrible green bars at the edge of the pillar boxing.
 

malcom

Novice Member
Well according to a questions and answers in this months What Video TV the current generation of HD boxes SD is not upscaled by the HD box. However they point out that slim line TV's will upscale anyhow.......See edition 334 page 72.......
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
Well according to a questions and answers in this months What Video TV the current generation of HD boxes SD is not upscaled by the HD box. However they point out that slim line TV's will upscale anyhow.......See edition 334 page 72.......

I hate these magazines. They print rubbish.

The HD box most definately takes a 576i source and outputs it at either 720p or 1080i if the user selects this in the menu. If that isn't upscaling I don't know what is, but obviously the fine fellows over and What Video and TV know better.

Technically de-interlacing could be called upscaling as it is adding more pixels to the image.
 

malcom

Novice Member
The information originates from a review of the HD box so I would imagine they know clearly what they are talking about. I tend to believe them as I certainly see no improvement of SD pictures via the HD box.....Quite the oppposite regardles of settings.......

The bottom line is some TV's upscale better than others which leads some people into thinking they are getting a better deal from the Sky HD box.
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
The information originates from a review of the HD box so I would imagine they know clearly what they are talking about. I tend to believe them as I certainly see no improvement of SD pictures via the HD box.....Quite the oppposite regardles of settings.......

The bottom line is some TV's upscale better than others which leads some people into thinking they are getting a better deal from the Sky HD box.
Upscaling is taking an image, and outputting it with more pixels/lines than the source image. The Sky HD box takes the 576i signal which is around 280 lines per frame, and CAN output those 280 lines as either 720 or 540 lines per frame. The box is upscaling.

I am not saying that the box does a good job, but it DOES UPSCALE.

By default when Sky set-up the box the output is set to "Skys Preferred Output Resolution of 1080i" so if you haven't changed the settings in the HD box menu it is permanently upscaling SD channels.
 

malcom

Novice Member
On the basis of the SD picture quality I have seen on this occasion I believe the magazine technical review.......No SD upscaling from the HD box.......It may have to convert but by definition that is not the same as upscaling.
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
On the basis of the SD picture quality I have seen on this occasion I believe the magazine technical review.......No SD upscaling from the HD box.......It may have to convert but by definition that is not the same as upscaling.
I am not even bothering to continue this discussion.

I will simply say that at no point does Upscaling have to improve the picture quality, it merely has to change the resolution of the picture, which the HD box does. The reviewer either needed to put a caveat "The HD box can convert SD into an HD resolution, but fails to improve the picture quality" or he like you clearly knows nothing about the hardware.
 

winstn60

Novice Member
So really aren't we saying the output resolution maybe 1080i etc etc from an SD picture but no smoothing takes place. The HD box doesn't have any intelligence to do this it just outputs the same line over and over again to get the number of lines to the setting chosen.

On a more personal note the whole subject of upscaling is IMHO not worth considering in any decent setup. It adds no extra detail just smooths out jagged lines it just enables a very large display device to function with a standard definition signal that was never supposed to be viewed on anything much bigger than (originally 20") from a reasonable distance.
 

mattclarkie

Novice Member
So really aren't we saying the output resolution maybe 1080i etc etc from an SD picture but no smoothing takes place. The HD box doesn't have any intelligence to do this it just outputs the same line over and over again to get the number of lines to the setting chosen.

On a more personal note the whole subject of upscaling is IMHO not worth considering in any decent setup. It adds no extra detail just smooths out jagged lines it just enables a very large display device to function with a standard definition signal that was never supposed to be viewed on anything much bigger than (originally 20") from a reasonable distance.
Exactly is upscales the picture directly without any attempt to improve the picture. It is a straight multiplication of lines but that is still upscaling.
 

Jay53

Active Member
It would have to be a straight multiplication of both horizontal and vertical as otherwise you wouldn't end up with 1920 or 1280 pixels across in each upscaled frame.

As others have said though the HD box DOES upscale SD pictures but ONLY if you specifically set it to 720p or 1080i. If the reviewer left it on auto then no it would not have upscaled the SD content.

The problem is that some of the SD content isn't even 576i. Alot of the ITV owned channels on Satellite use lower resolutions with some as low as 504x576i rather than full 704(720)x576i so upscaling this doesn't work very well. As the saying goes rubbish in - rubbish out :D

I really wish people wouldn't blindly trust what is put in magazine reviews. Reviewers are still human, cover lots of different hardware and therefore just as likely to get things wrong ;)
 

muffins

Well-known Member
I dont know if anyone here is from Ireland and ever watches CSI or Desperate House Wifes on RTE2. To me when I watche these shows they seem almost HD like so I guess Im happy with the upscaling capabilities of the box. :smashin:
 

thommcghome

Novice Member
I'd suggest you watch LOST on RTE2 Monday night, then watch the same episode on SkyOne HD. See if you can spot the difference ;)
 

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