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Help! Sky is RUBBISH on my HDTV!

Discussion in 'TVs' started by wilko1972, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. wilko1972

    wilko1972
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    I wonder if anyone can help.

    I've just bought an LG 32LX2R HDTV ready LCD television. However, although DVD picture quality is excellent, the picture from my sky digibox is truly awful. Much worse than it was on my old 28" widescreen CRT television.

    Does anyone knew if I can improve it? I am using a standard gold plated SCART cable from my Skybox to my Pioneer DVR-420H, and then another gold plated SCART from there to my TV AV1 input. Even if I go direct from the SKY box to the TV, picture quality is still awful.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Piers

    Piers
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    Don't know the LG model that you mention but I assume that your Sky box is set to output RGB not composite (or PAL as Sky call it) and that the input on the LG that you are using can accept RGB?
     
  3. av addict

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    i upgraded my scart lead with qed p2110 scart lead from my ntl digital cable box to plasma and the picture is spot on-i think it was about £20 from tvcables.co.uk or cableuniversal-hope this helps
     
  4. Starburst

    Starburst
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    LCD's require a far higher level of source material than a CRT does, what you are seeing is not unusual especially since bitrates across all the channels on satellite vary alarmingly.
    If the picture is truly bad even on Five (which is very good on Dsat) then you may simply need a better cable making sure as mentioned you are feeding RGB to the panel and take more care with it's setup.
     
  5. thetelletubby

    thetelletubby
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    Have you made sure your sky box is outputting in 16:9 widescreen
    setup-picture-format 16:9

    My Parents had a widescreen LCD installed by a supposedly reputable dealer and were shocked at the improvement.
     
  6. wilko1972

    wilko1972
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    Thanks guys, I've tried a few things that you suggested.

    I have ensured that output is 16:9. My Sky box, however, was outputting as "composite" and not "RGB". Also, my SKY box was connected to SCART2 and NOT SCART1 as I thought. Apparently on this model of LG TV, only SCART1 has RGB capability.

    Next thing I'll do is to get a better SCART cable.

    Five has a great picture now - really sharp. But the other channels are still a bit iffy, particularly Sky Sports.

    Thanks a lot!

    :clap:
     
  7. Rimmer

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    If you daisychain your DVD player through the Sky box you will continue to get RGB from DVDs as well, despite having only 1 RGB SCART socket on the TV e.g. DVD SCART > Sky box VCR SCART, Sky box TV SCART > TV AV1.
     
  8. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    A common mistake that people make with large screen sets is to wind up the sharpness control, and all that does is to enhance the digital artefacts in the SD pictures. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear with a sharpness control. When HDTV comes out, you will get all the detail you need, but in the meantime you'll have to make do with a slightly blurred picture.
     
  9. mattliley

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    Just remember that SKY compresses their signal to MPEG4 so it's pretty mince anyway... Sky looks damn good on my panny 42PV500 though... Perhaps it's the contrast, pixel, colour count etc... Oh well... :rolleyes: Just get some decent IXOS cables and make sure you do what everyone else is doing on this thread. You all seem very switched on everyone! It's a pleasure to be sharing a thread with such brilliant folks! :thumbsup:
     
  10. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Err - not yet they don't. Sky, BBC, ITV etc. on DTT, Cable and DSat are all MPEG2 for standard def broadcasts.

    MPEG4 H264 / AVC is being introduced for HD broadcasts - and is expected to deliver better quality at a given bit rate, or similar quality at a lower bit rate.

    Many of the digital channels in the UK are either overcompressed, or compressed using poor quality encoders (they've improved a lot over the years)

    Different channels use differing amounts of compression - and in some cases different resolutions on Sky.

    ITV1 is 544x576 and heavily compressed, whereas BBC One is 720x576 and not quite as bad in the compression dept. If you watch the X Factor on Saturdays you'll see how bad the compression can be on ITV1. The fast editing and large crowd scenes completely kill the picture quality.
     
  11. pjclark1

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    This will just waste your money, RGB works perfectly through cheap scarts!

    There is a lot of low quality signals being broadcast on soaps, music and sport. (Emmerdale is not only a poor soap, but just about the poorest quality video I have ever seen with many artifacts. Sport and Music channels also tend to be very poor quality broadcasts, sometimes MTV is so bad that I can't stand watching it.)
     
  12. Dutch

    Dutch
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    As has previously been mentioned, check out Home And Away on Five which is shot in 1080p - probably the best quality picture currently broadcast on Sky at the moment.

    Steve
     
  13. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    Hmm - for my money the Proms on BBC Two are worth a look as well. They are shot 1080/50i and look cracking (better on DSat than DTT usually). Also pretty much every US drama series is shot 1080/24p these days, so should also look good on Sky One or C4/E4 (though the bitrates and resolution C4/E4 use aren't great)

    For me Home and Away doesn't look that amazing. They are shooting 25p, to ape a "film look" - but they are still lighting, racking and grading as if it were video, and so it kind of has a "mixed message" to me when watching. If they racked it to look more like film, or shot at 50i, it would work better for me.

    Pictures are relatively sharp - and it is shot 1080/25p - however it is downconverted to 576/25p (segmented field within a 576/50i signal) and edited using 576/50i DigiBeta standard def edit suites. Vertically it should still be sharper than 576/50i as they take care to avoid any processes in editing that would involve vertical filtering. It is then frame doubled to 576/50p (via repetition not interpolation) for terrestrial broadcast in Aus. (In other words it is shot 1080/25p, but not edited or broadcast in this format.)
     
  14. wilko1972

    wilko1972
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    Thanks guys - after a bit of fiddling with the cables and using different AV inputs I have now got my SKY picture to be as good as it was on my CRT TV. So all is good, although some channels are still a bit pants (both in content and picture quality!).

    Thanks for all your replies!
     
  15. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    Utter nonsense! There can be a huge difference in PQ achieved when upgrading Scart cables. Ask anyone on the Cables forum.
     
  16. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Depends who you ask - those who make a profit out of them, or those who have eyes in their heads.
     
  17. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    Those of us with eyes can tell the difference between a cheap and a good £40 Scart cable and there's plenty of documented evidence to support us.
     
  18. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    There are a number of issues here :

    1. Mechanical build quality - VERY cheap SCARTs often don't connect properly and suffer from poor video, or fail early. You end up with loose pins, pins pushing through the connector etc.
    2. Decent screening on video and audio. Some very low cost SCART cables don't individually screen the video feeds, and thus allow cross-talk between RGB, or composite in and composite out. Some have video audio cross-talk issues so you hear video buzz on audio.

    HOWEVER - a mechanically well made SCART cable using decent connectors and decent screened cable doesn't have to cost a fortune. Once you get into the esoteric world of Oxygen free this, and crystal aligned that, then you really do need to start thinking carefully.

    Bottom line - very cheap cables (I've seen 2m SCART-SCART fully-wired sell for less than £1) are far from great.

    However once you have an electrically and mechanically sound cable - the benefits of continuing to pay over the odds are unclear to me.
     
  19. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Well, that's strange - I worked in the TV industry for over thirty years, and have probably seen more scart cables than most people have had hot dinners, and I can honestly say that I have seen plenty of problems with scart cables caused by very poor TV design, but not many caused by the quality of the cables themselves.

    I've always found it quite amusing that people will often seek out the cheaper brands of TV on the market where the manufacturers cut corners, and then spend the rest of their lives trying to make up for it with over-priced cabling.

    I have no doubt that a £1 scart cable will be of poor quality - why expect it not to be so ? I also have no doubt that a £70 scart cable will be no better than a £15 cable from a reputable manufacturer. A great trick is to gold plate the plugs with a couple of microns plating, which adds about 10p to the cost, £15 to the price, and does absolutely nothing for the performance.
     
  20. Rapid 17

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    I think you have hit the nail on the head matey - good reply. Geoff. :thumbsup:
     
  21. neilmcl

    neilmcl
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    All I'm saying is that I personally can see the difference a decent scart can make and so do many others, if you don't then thats fine. I agree you don't have to spend stupid money on them nor will a good cable miraculously cure a bad TV but to say that spending money on a decent set of cables is a waste was the wrong message to give.
     
  22. colonel_butt

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    LCDs have big problems with anything that isn't the exact resolution. You can clearly see this on an PC LCD. I have said it other threads that for generic TV viewing across many different types of feeds, aspect ratios, quality, Plasma is superior.
    One way, albeit expensive, to solve the pixel mismatch problem, is to buy a professional high quality scaler to do the work that is beyond LCD screen electronics, e.g.:

    http://www.kramerelectronics.com/pdf/VP-740.pdf
    (I haven't used these things, but I hear they are quite good)
     
  23. gizlaroc

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    I have to agree on the cables, the scart socket is a terrible connector, but if you have to use it then a decent £10 cable will do the job. A rubbish £50 one will not!
     
  24. Stephen Neal

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    Hmm - the scaling issue for plasma and LCDs are the same when it comes to non-native resolution. Also the comparison with PC LCDs is not strictly helpful - as PC LCD monitors vary in their performance.

    Basic PC LCDs don't do any scaling or filtering when it comes to non-native resolution - they just display a nasty blocky version of the source. However the better LCD monitors use scaling techniques, as do LCD TVs and plasmas, to filter and interpolate a smoother version of the non-native source.

    Of course the internal scaling will vary in quality between different models - however a blanket LCD bad, Plasma good in this regard is not accurate.
     

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