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Freeview or Freesat for HD / Dolby Digital?

topperdoggle

Established Member
I didn't know whether to post this in the Freeview or Freesat forums. :)

I'm going to build a MythTV HTPC for my parents. I was going to put in a couple of DVB-T cards for Freeview, but you start reading, one thing leads to another...

I'm interested as to which is better between Freeview and Freesat with regard to HD picture and DD sound.

All I can gather is that Freesat has some HD now, and Freeview may at some point (when?). Is Freesat likely to lead the way over Freeview with regard to HD for the foreseeable future? If Freeview is going to have HD relatively soon, I think we could live with that. Also, what are plans for HD expansion on both?

Same question with regard to Dolby Digital sound.

What would you go for if you wanted to try and be as future-proof as possible, you were building an HTPC from scratch and you had both dish and aerial connections on your wall? :thumbsup:

NB Of course I could put in a couple of DVB-T cards and a DVB-S card, but I'm still curious. :rolleyes:
 

Geofbob

Prominent Member
As you are aware, Freesat currently has some HD, on BBC & ITV, with the Luxe HD channel available in non-Freesat mode (ie it isn't on the Freesat EPG). As for the future, at some point subject to contractual issues with Sky, Channel 4 & 5 HD may appear on Freesat; beyond that, no-one knows.

Freeview HD is due to launch in the North West in December, but to date no receiver or recorder is on the market. It will be based on the DVB-T2 High Definition standard, with MPEG-4 coding, so current DVB-T cards will not receive it. Initially it will have HD on BBC, ITV & hopefully Ch 4, with possibly Ch 5 joining in some time next year. As with Freesat, beyond that is anyone's guess.

If you do a search on these forums, you will find quite a bit of inconclusive discussion on the future of HD on Freesat & Freeview - personally, I think the long term future lies more with Freeview, but I wouldn't put any money on it.

PS. Sorry, but DD is beyond my ken.
 
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topperdoggle

Established Member
Thanks, that's good stuff. I had done a search, and as you say, it was a bit grey, so I thought Yet Another Thread couldn't hurt. ;)
 

YellowSphere

Prominent Member
Well, you currently won't be able to buy DVB-T2 cards, so that puts Freeview HD immediately off the menu really, unless you're willing to wait, which you probably should.

We can't say for sure yet, but I'm hoping that Freeview HD will be good. At least, I don't currently have satellite and don't feel rushed to get it. I'd rather not have subscription TV and don't want to lose Dave/Virgin1/FiveUS/Fiver/Yesterday etc. by switching to Freesat.

I don't think it's confirmed, but I'd be very surprised if Freeview HD did not use DD 5.1 for the HD channels (all of BBC's HD output is 5.1 I believe).
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Well, you currently won't be able to buy DVB-T2 cards, so that puts Freeview HD immediately off the menu really, unless you're willing to wait, which you probably should.

We can't say for sure yet, but I'm hoping that Freeview HD will be good. At least, I don't currently have satellite and don't feel rushed to get it. I'd rather not have subscription TV and don't want to lose Dave/Virgin1/FiveUS/Fiver/Yesterday etc. by switching to Freesat.

I don't think it's confirmed, but I'd be very surprised if Freeview HD did not use DD 5.1 for the HD channels (all of BBC's HD output is 5.1 I believe).

Sadly all of BBC HD is not in DD5.1, a lot of transmissions are in DD2.0 as is 100% of ITV-HD. In regard to the OP if he goes down the satellite card route it would be advisable to get a DVB-S2 card as I reckon it won't be long before Freesat HD transmissions will share a common transponder and change to S2 transmission
 

topperdoggle

Established Member
In regard to the OP if he goes down the satellite card route it would be advisable to get a DVB-S2 card as I reckon it won't be long before Freesat HD transmissions will share a common transponder and change to S2 transmission

Thanks all for interesting insight. I might get a single DVB-T card (as it will need an upgrade for HD), and a DVB-S2 card. I'm assuming that when Freesat moves from DVB-S to S2, it won't change codec like when Freeview moves from DVB-T to DVB-T2, so any DVB-S2 card I buy now should be relatively future-proof?

Also, is it possible to get a couple of DVB-S2 cards and an F-plug splitter, and run cable to both cards to record two different programs simultaneously? It's a flat with a communal distribution system - I have no idea about the LNB etc.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
Thanks all for interesting insight. I might get a single DVB-T card (as it will need an upgrade for HD), and a DVB-S2 card. I'm assuming that when Freesat moves from DVB-S to S2, it won't change codec like when Freeview moves from DVB-T to DVB-T2, so any DVB-S2 card I buy now should be relatively future-proof?

Also, is it possible to get a couple of DVB-S2 cards and an F-plug splitter, and run cable to both cards to record two different programs simultaneously? It's a flat with a communal distribution system - I have no idea about the LNB etc.

It won't change codec it's still H264 mpeg4. You can't split a feed from a lnb as unlike an aerial a lnb is not a passive device it has to be controlled by the connected tuner.

This might explain in more detail

Digital Spy Forums - View Single Post - Will the new Humax PVR work with 1 LNB feed?

If you are stuck with a single cable the best bet in my opinion is a Foxsat-hdr which can record 2 channels at the same time using only 1 cable. The choice of 2nd recording and 3rd watching is determined by the choice of the first tuner recording. The hdr has a tuner 1 out to tuner 2 in loop facility

More info

What can I record and watch ? - Hummy.org.uk Forums

Graham
 

Geofbob

Prominent Member
Thanks all for interesting insight. I might get a single DVB-T card (as it will need an upgrade for HD), and a DVB-S2 card. I'm assuming that when Freesat moves from DVB-S to S2, it won't change codec like when Freeview moves from DVB-T to DVB-T2, so any DVB-S2 card I buy now should be relatively future-proof?

Also, is it possible to get a couple of DVB-S2 cards and an F-plug splitter, and run cable to both cards to record two different programs simultaneously? It's a flat with a communal distribution system - I have no idea about the LNB etc.

Well, with boxed receivers, you wouldn't be able to split a single LNB feed like that, so I wouldn't have thought you could wth DVB-S cards. Most older communal systems only have a single feed from the dish to each flat (at least ours does!), though you can sometimes arrange an extra feed, if there's a spare socket in the junction box, and the management don't mind.

Why not settle for a DVB-S & a DVB-T card? (Only the Freeview HD transmissions will be on T2, not the SD.)
 

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