Freeview Boxes: Do they vary in picture Quality?

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' started by Paul Cooksley, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. Paul Cooksley

    Paul Cooksley
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    Hi there

    I just wondered if there was generally any *significant* difference in picture quality from various Freeview boxes.

    At the moment I have a Goodmans GBD3 box which although I have had to change it recently (kept switching on and off - common fault with them apparently!) the picture quality, to my eyes seems very good.

    I appreciate that different boxes will use different software for the EPG and timers/tuning methods etc.. but I just wondered if say, the more expensive Freeview boxes, like a Sony one which I saw today for £99.99 give a significantly improved picture - or is it just purely down to things like the brand name and type of EPG etc?

    Any help appreciated

    Thanks
     
  2. wormvortex

    wormvortex
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    as digital signals can only be 0 or 1 i don't think that a picture should vary through box to box, this is just a guess though,

    However a better tv would make a difference however as would what type of connection u have.
     
  3. Supersonic

    Supersonic
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    I have the Sony VTX-800U (£79 from Sainsbury's!) and the pq is great compared to my Pace NTL box, so I'd suggest you check a few out first as there are bound to be differences. What hi-fi did a round-up a few months ago and put the Sony top.
     
  4. Warpaint

    Warpaint
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    The 0's and 1's are only there until the piture info is converted to analogue so you can display it on our TV. The conversion process and the video processing in the digibox will definitely be different from machine to machine.

    Over the years I have owned four different freeview boxes (or ON digital as it once was)
    A Philips, a Nokia and a two Pace boxes (currently Pace Twin). Each one of these had a different picture quality.
    The Nokia one was the best IMO. (The Philips was the worst)
    I have also tried a Pioneer box just out of curiosity and I thought the picture on it was better than any of the others but I wanted the dual tuner in the Pace twin.

    There are loads of freeview boxes available at the moment, All I can suggest is try them at home and see for yourself what works best on your TV.

    (I think a Panasonic DMREH60 might be on the cards for me)
     
  5. Steve.J.Davies

    Steve.J.Davies
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    I vote for the Sony 800U - first timeI plugged it and and saw the picture my socks blew off !
     
  6. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Yep I keep repeating myself but I do honestly believe the Sony is the best and has cracking faultless software to boot, although not the most feature packed.

    Nokia's also produce a rather sublime picture in a different way to the Sony, better subtle colour range but are pants in every other respect other than super sound.

    I wouldn't say the difference is earth shattering but it makes enough difference to make a choice of what box to watch! The Sony has rather richer vibrant colours than all the competition I've seen but perhaps it's failure is to have the subtlety of colour range that the Nokia's exhibit.
     
  7. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    OK so now you know why Sony IDTVs are so well rated, with this they add a TV and CAM support to the VTX800 tuner
     
  8. Starfury

    Starfury
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    I'd agree that the Sony has a great picture, but not that it has 'faultless software'. Since there was the over the air upgrade to version 1.12 a lot of people have discovered that the box inexplicably turns the Smartlink feature off at random intervals. Apparently Sony are aware of the problem and it will be fixed for the next upgrade, but its still bloody annoying.
     
  9. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Hi guys,

    I have just bought the Sony box from Curry's(they matched their Web Exclusive price of £79 instore) and am mostly pleased with it.

    Over the last few days the pic quality seems to degrade when you watch a channel for a long period of time. For example, on Sunday whilst watching Lost on E4 the picture got worse and worse but after changing channels and then going back to E4 it was ok for a while and then started to go bad again. Is this normal?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  10. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Perhaps you could explain how the pic gets worse?

    Pic quality responds to a box reset if it looks bad which has happened once to mine.

    Picture break up is due to a bad signal which is more than possible for many at this period of time until transmitter power is increased.
     
  11. creative-av

    creative-av
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    The picture just basically breaks down i.e. becomes very blocky and then the sound goes off and on etc. I think as you say it is just a bad signal. Looks like i'll just have to keep changing channels or turning it off and on!

    Steve
     
  12. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    You are right it is a bad signal. To improve things you either need to upgrade your aerial to pull in the channels more efficiently to a *digital* one, this gives maximum gain for Freeview since channels can be grouped into different frequency's from analogue transmissions and/or buy a booster (a good one) to increase signal strength.

    Or if not already there place the aerial on the roof.

    As a last resort sell up and move closer :)
     
  13. creative-av

    creative-av
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    Thanks per-Sony-fied. Am only renting the place so won't be breaking my neak to get up on the roof to check out the aerial!

    Might get a booster box for it and hopefully that will make a differece.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     

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