Freeview versus Sky (Picture Quality)

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Rasczak, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    What is the picture quality of Freeview compared to Sky? I assume it depends on what Freeview box is used but generally is the quality the same/better/worse? I had heard the BBC uses a higher bitrate on Freeview than Sky - is that correct and does it make a difference?

    I know some people have problems with reception on Freeview but I live quite close to the transmitter and normally get a very good signal so this shouldn't be a problem.

    Thanks
     
  2. LV426

    LV426
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    I have Freeview. I have only seen BBC via Sky on a large screen, briefly, at a friend's house. And this was before the BBC 'broke away' from Sky. Based on that limited observation only, I'd say that there appears to be less digitisation/compression/pixellation effect via Freeview on the BBC channels.
     
  3. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    I have never seen Sky match the picture quality available from a top end IDTV.

    The PQ on DTTV can be gobsmackingly stunning!
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Quite right,Martin....when you compare Sky and IDTV,it often shows up just how poor some of the Sky feeds are.
     
  5. Wayne Moule

    Wayne Moule
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    Freeview is ten times better than Sky for PQ!

    Sky have software probs with theirs.
     
  6. Bernard Barnett

    Bernard Barnett
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    Absolutely agree. It's no contest.
     
  7. Matata

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    I must admit, I was sceptical of Freeview until I saw it at a friend's house, the PQ did seem better than Sky to me.
     
  8. simonr

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    Could also depend on the reciever. I have just bought and returned a Bush freeview box bought from Makro for £59, the picture quality was poor, soft definition, digital artefacts all over the place. Then for £10 more than the Bush I went and bought a Pace DTVA from Argos. Now this is the business, highly detailed pictures hardly noticable artefacts, even the recent England football highlights on BBC1 looked good and I am a very picky person when it comes to picture quality. The pace has its drawbacks one being limited connectivity but I would reccommend it at the price.
     
  9. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    The DTVA is a great little box - extremely quick text.

    Doesn't seem to handle mosquito noise quite as well as Sony TV though
     
  10. swarrans

    swarrans
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    I'm seriously thinking of selling my Sony Sky digibox and Tivo as soon as a good (ie not Pace) Freeview/PVR box comes out - hoping the Fusion will be good.
    Sky always used to be good reception but (as I've rather boringly continually posted!) it's gone to pot now and I get break up and pixelation - not all the time but often enough to be extremely annoying.
    It's great to hear from people that Freeview is now so good - I guess it's wasn't always the case in the bad old days of Ondigital?

    My only problem is that I'm not officially in a valid area to pick up Freeview, but I believe I should be OK in reality and with a new aerial as my neighbour's postcode is OK and he's got an IDTV that works fine. If anything my reception should be better as I'm on a hill and have almst line of sight to the transmitters.

    Simon
     
  11. narabdela

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    The freeview postcode checker tends to err on the conservative side. Get yourself a good aerial and you should have no problems.

    BTW, I've got an old Philips box and the picture quality usually stuns SKY users.

    :hiya: :hiya:
     
  12. Starburst

    Starburst
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    No doubt in my mind that Dsat is very low on the list of priorities of the BBC and ITV, after all terrestrial broadcasting has been the cornerstone of UK television and with DTT it will remain so.
    It would be nice (As a dsat viewer) if both ITV and BBC actually bought enough capacity off of SES and pushed the bitrates up/lowered compression.
    I have had on occasion a need to switch from dsat to analogue terrestrial during a football match purely because the dsat picture was bloody awful.

    However the worst digital pictures I have ever seen were Nationwide footy presented by ITVDigital although I am sure receiving it via NTL D didn't help matters:)
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    ITV are terrible aren't they? I have only seen them on Sky Digital service so maybe that's a bit harsh but it's the only channel where I've clearly seen people and objects breakup into blocks! I don't watch that much TV (mainly DVDs these days) but ITV seem by far the worst!

    On a different note thanks to everybody who contributed to this thread - I think I'll pick up a Digital Set-top box for BBC reception if nothing else.
     
  14. Starburst

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    I would point out that a faulty/poor installation will produce bad reception on any digital platform be it dsat, dtt or cable not to mention external issues such as DECT phones, radar detectors.
    Anyone having widespread problems with pixillation/breakup etc should conside that there equipment is at fault before assuming the whole platform is the problem.

    I will be buying a Freeview STB in the next month (Probably the Philips DTR 1500) but I really have no time for anyone who would claim DTT was perfect:)
    The change in broadcasting formats which bought improved reliability and reception to those channels that use it not to mention increased signal strengths on selected transmitters all have played key factors in creating a better platform.
    However you only have to listen to local radio DTT phone in shows or read dedicated DTT/Freeview forums to see that there are plenty of people still having problems:)
     
  15. Robbie34

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  16. Starburst

    Starburst
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    There were never these problems with SKY Digital, you had to have what they offered:)
    It does look a fine machine and certainly the open standard with no encryption requirments is puching the technology along at a fantastic rate while keeping prices down which is great for the consumer.
    I'm certainly going to wait till the new year before getting a HD integrated Freeview STB but it's quite likely I'll pop into town on a whim to get the Philips:)
     
  17. Robbie34

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    Yes, we are now spoiled for choice.

    I saw the new Philips in my local Tesco and was quite impressed with its build quality. Unfortunately, they did not have it set up so there was no way you could see how it performed. It appeared to be far superior to the Daewoo alongside which looked cheap and nasty.

    Unfortunately, I've never been happy with Philips' products so it looks like the Pioneer for me. At the moment I have a Pace Ondigital box and it is interminably slow in changing channels.
     
  18. swarrans

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    Yes, I concede that I can't necessarily conclude that dsat has gone to pot and that moving over to dtt will solve all my problems, but "something" has changed in my dsat performance and I've tried to analyze all the possibilities that could have caused the change (with your input and help Starburst). I still have a signal strength and quality of 80-90% on dsat (therefore not much room for improvement!) but get occassional pixelation and break-up that I'm not prepared to live with (I am fussy!).
    I guess that's why I posed the question on the Forum - whilst people's experiences can't allow you to draw "definitive" conclusions, it's the best guide to real world use that I know of.

    Simon
     
  19. Starburst

    Starburst
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    I can't argue with your desire to get as good a reception as is possible even if that means changing platforms, being fussy is quite acceptable when it comes to TV which plays a huge role in millions of households. I went through quite a bit of time and money gradually improving my analogue satellite setup trying to squeeze extra performance out of it but there were always a few channels that would have those "sparklies" and they would drive me mad:)
     

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