HD wanabe

lovegadgets

Active Member
Hi guy,

First of all, apology for hijacking this specific area of interest but this is the closest I can think of where I may get help from.

Anyway, i think I am ready to join the HD world after weeks of speculation. I am thinking of upgrading my current Sony 32" Tritron WS CRT tv to a Sony KDL-46W2000 46" LCD 1080p TV. In addition to that, I will also get a PS3 because of its BluRay playback and upscale capability. I will also get a Sky HD box to enjoy the HD channels.

I have some questions and wonder if someone can help ...

1) Is my choice of kits (KDL-46W2000, PS3 and SkyHD) sufficient to enjoy HD?
2) The Sky HD box can only record upto 40 hours of HD boardcast which is rather insufficient. Is there a way one can record the Sky HD via a different device/additional HDD?
3) Is BluRay better than HD? Am I right that there isn't yet a recordable device for either format?
4) Is cable HD better quality than Sky HD?

Please help.

Regards
Charles
 

Stephen Neal

Distinguished Member
Hi guy,

First of all, apology for hijacking this specific area of interest but this is the closest I can think of where I may get help from.

Anyway, i think I am ready to join the HD world after weeks of speculation. I am thinking of upgrading my current Sony 32" Tritron WS CRT tv to a Sony KDL-46W2000 46" LCD 1080p TV. In addition to that, I will also get a PS3 because of its BluRay playback and upscale capability. I will also get a Sky HD box to enjoy the HD channels.

I have some questions and wonder if someone can help ...

1) Is my choice of kits (KDL-46W2000, PS3 and SkyHD) sufficient to enjoy HD?
Yes - I have a 40W2000, PS3 and Sky HD, and thoroughly enjoy my HD.
2) The Sky HD box can only record upto 40 hours of HD boardcast which is rather insufficient. Is there a way one can record the Sky HD via a different device/additional HDD?
Not currently - though there is an eSATA port on the Sky+ HD box that could allow for future external hard drive additions (as some boxes in the US now allo) This could allow you to add an external hard drive to boost your Sky+ storage - though this isn't guaranteed.

Also - the Sky+HD storage includes extra space reserved for Anytime, which includes HD material, some of which may be of interest, and this isn't included in the approx 40 hours of HD you can store. (The actual storage capacity depends on the data rate the broadcaster choses to broadcast at)

In the UK there are no current consumer products to record HD broadcasts in HD - no BluRay or HD-DVD recorders that will work with Sky HD for example.

(It is possible to record BBC HD using a satellite card in a PC and burn these recordings to DVDR or BluRay for replay on the PS3. I've done this with DVDRs. There are unofficial ways of doing this with Sky HD as well if you have a subscription and the right hardware. This is not for the faint-hearted... However there is a suggestion that the ability to play domestic BluRay recordings may be removed from the PS3 as it is used for piracy reasons - though it is also used by people editing their HDV and AVCHD camcorder footage...)

3) Is BluRay better than HD? Am I right that there isn't yet a recordable device for either format?
BluRay HD releases can be better than broadcast HDTV - as BluRay can run at much higher data rates. However this doesn't mean that broadcast HD is poor quality - just that BluRay can be cracking.

Both are streets ahead of broadcast standard def material on Sky.

4) Is cable HD better quality than Sky HD?
My understanding is that cable is no better quality than Sky HD, and has fewer channels? However Virgin Media does HD video on demand.

AIUI Virgin Media uses the older MPEG2 HD codec, whereas Sky HD is using MPEG4 H264.

Whether cable and Sky HD are similar in quality terms, or Sky HD better, I don't know. Others will be better placed to comment.
 

NicolasB

Distinguished Member
1) Is my choice of kits (KDL-46W2000, PS3 and SkyHD) sufficient to enjoy HD?
Sure. Personally I think 46" is way too small for a 1080p screen, though. This is not snobbery, it's to do with the limitations of the human eye. On a 46" screen viewed from a distance of 9 feet a person with normal eyesight cannot resolve more than 720p (1280x720) resolution - no matter how detailed the picture is, it cannot look any better than a 720p picture does. So the extra money you spend on buying a 1080p screen rather than a 720p screen is effectively wasted.

Unless, of course, you're planning on sitting less than 9 feet from the screen. Optimum viewing distance for 1080p on a 46" screen is about 6 feet.

2) The Sky HD box can only record upto 40 hours of HD boardcast which is rather insufficient.
Does Sky really claim 40 hours? :eek: Wow. Either that's a flat-out lie or there's something wrong with my box. 20 hours is more like it. (That doesn't include "Anytime").

Is there a way one can record the Sky HD via a different device/additional HDD?
Thus far, no.

3) Is BluRay better than HD?
BluRay is HD. Do you mean "is it better than HD-DVD"? If so, the answer is "maybe, maybe not". A couple of the bigger studios have recently announced that all of their hi-def releases will be HD-DVD only for the next 18 months, but some other studios only release on BluRay. It's a bloody mess, frankly. :mad:

Technically speaking there's not a lot to choose between the two. BluRay discs cost more to make, but hold more data. HD-DVD discs are little more rugged. HD-DVD players are cheaper, but there's no native HD-DVD games console (it's an add-on for Xbox) while the PS3 supports BluRay out of the box.

Am I right that there isn't yet a recordable device for either format?
In the sense that I think you mean, yes. You can buy a BluRay-writing drive for a PC, but there's no way to capture a high-definition TV signal to make a recording of it.

If you are not concerned about breaking the law, there is a fair amount of high-definition material available for download (illegally) on the Internet. Please do not ask me to advise you on this, as I won't. :)

4) Is cable HD better quality than Sky HD?
If it's raining heavily you won't lose the signal with cable, but otherwise there's not much to choose between them AFAIK.
 

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