Is Sky HD a bit of a con

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Barr_y, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Barr_y

    Barr_y
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    I have a Pioneer Plasma 43" XDE which already had a superb picture with SKY+. I upgraded to HD and quite honestly I can't really see a lot of difference. IT is set to 1080 because Auto just makes it pop before changing where 1080 setting doesn't.

    If you record a program like Stargate Atlantis on HD, then the next day record it on SKY2 ordinary I can't really see a lot of difference, apart from the 5.1 digital sound.

    If you press the i button on a lot of the HD programs they are not even HD, just shown on the HD channel. I think this week or in the near future they are showing Star Wars as HD, I can't remember if they were ever made in HD or is that something the scaling does to produce a better picture?

    At the moment I think I have jumped on the HD wagon a bit too early, not all programs shown on HD are HD ready and most not even having 5.1 digital sound. What does anybody else think?
     
  2. Starburst

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    You must have an excellent SD picture (upscaled to HD by the display) if you can not see any practical difference:)

    Having said that SKY1HD isn't broadcast at a stunning bitrate, demo something off the BBC HD channel or SM9HD, even live footy on SS1HD or a good wildlife doc from Discovery/NG.


    All 6 Star Wars movies are being shown in native 1080i on SM9HD on new years day, the HD versions are created from the cleanup 35mm masters and in the case of ROTS the HD master itself.
    All the movies on SM9HD and SM10HD are HD native, same for Discovery, National Geographic. SKY1HD, SKYSports1/2HD and ArtsworldHD are a mixture of upscaled SD and HD, content is increasing just too slowly.

    Don't forget you can get a full refund from SKY in the first month.
     
  3. mistycat

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    Wow! I am glad that Pioneer have such an excellent, deep and rich SD picture. On my 5-" 1080 Samsung, there is quite a bit of difference. Less difference if you are viewing SD upscaled via HDMI (such as Band of Brothers last night on FX which was almost as good as HD!), but still quite a bit of difference as far as the detail you see on people's faces etc. SD is like a painted picture, whereas HD is so clear you can see where every wrinkle starts and ends on a person's face!
     
  4. Barr_y

    Barr_y
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    The picture on Pioneer is excellent on SD that is why it is hard to tell the difference. I can notice a slight difference on BBC for example Robin Hood, but even that is hard to tell.

    The thing that bothers me, is the amount of programs, when you press the i button you find out they are not broadcast as HD or DD that is the real con. You only have to put it back to digital and press the i button to see the difference is possibly a W for widescreen only.

    I had a person who was servicing my softwater container and he said he had never seen such a clear picture and it was only on an ordinary analogue station.

    I had a new aerial put up in a supposed non digital area, but the pictures I get on free view digital are equally as good as my Sky picture.
     
  5. Starburst

    Starburst
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    HD content will increase over time just as colour was introduced in the 1960's and widscreen in the 1990's, it's upto the viewer if they buy into the technology at an early stage or wait a few years.
    Doing some basic research into a PAY service before signing up normally tells you what you need to know and to be honest I can tell HD from SD quite easily although that says more about the poor bitrates that are used by the UK broadcasters.
    However many people have noticed and improvment in SD quality thanks to the HD production values that are becoming the norm especially on the BBC and SKY Sports.

    Analogue is uncompressed and regulated where as digital is not but I prefer the digital broadcasts (with suitable bitrate), they look brighter and sharper plus of course they are widescreen.

    The BBC, ITV and CH4 provide higher resolutions and bitrates on DTT compared to Dsat, satellite viewers get the short end of the stick with only Five (of the main terrestrials) providing better PQ on Dsat compared to DTT.

    Like I said you have a 1 month no penalty cancellation option, I think you should use it and look into HD in a year or so or perhaps not at all:)
     
  6. Barr_y

    Barr_y
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    Thank you starburst for all the information. It is a bit late now to ask for a refund, I have had HD for just over a month. We live in an area where channel 5 is only available on Sky not even on freeview digital, unless you have your aerial pointing a different way.

    I will just have to wait for more HD TV I suppose. I am not disappointed with what I have though because like I said all my pictures are superb. It was more the HD not really being HD, just upscaled SD, that seems the con from Sky.

    Yes I think SD pictures are better now because of the HDMI connection from the Sky box, another reason I have a job telling the difference between HD and SD.
     
  7. TomWilko

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    Not really chipping in with any real technical advice but I am in agreeance the number of channels is low at the moment. However the channels that are being received, especially my end are really grin worthy in the quality its putting through.

    Very happy with Sky HD even though its my folks who actually own the TV and the Sky...but they are pleased to :)

    If we can get a 5 or more channels by the end of the next year onto HD that £10 will seem like very good value for money imo.
     
  8. S3rv3d

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    I have a 436xde also and sometimes it is hard to tell the difference, but i am still running mine in have put about 100hrs on it in a week.The difference is there though.I was flicking through channels earlier today and American chopper or whatever its called was on Discovery (not Discovery HD) and it looked poor. Well, at least to an epsiode which was on Discovery HD the other day. The difference was quite obvious.
     
  9. guestlinger

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    I have the Pioneer 506XDE and see a big difference between SD and HD. Not sure if the 506XDE does SD worse than the 436XDE or it's the extra size that highlights the difference. I guess it's the latter - I assume the 436 and 506 use the same core technology?
     
  10. Martinj

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    Within this question there are two points to answer, one is the quality of the display and the other is naturally the quality of the signal that the display receives. The first is where you are ahead of the posse in that the Pioneer is an exceptional TV and in particular it does an excellent job with standard definition sources and even in 50inch form SD is eminently watchable, even though I would consider that SD has a cut off at about the 40 inch mark of acceptable picture quality. This alone says more about the quality of the pioneer than any mere comparison of simple statistics of pixel count, contrast ratio or brightness.
    The second point is more ambiguous, the amount of compression used in the transmission of the chosen channels. This is in some cases bordering on the criminal, Discovery, National Geographic, History, Movies and Sports when broadcast in HD can all be very good but Sky One is usually taking the proverbial!! This is unfortunately the only channel that supplies us with the likes of Lost, Stargate and soon Battlestar Galactica but seem to be on a mission to see just how much compression they can get away with. The result of this is that sometimes you can notice a bigger increase in quality when switching from Sky OneHD to something like DiscoveryHD than when switching from Sky One to Sky OneHD.
     
  11. Pecker

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    I like my Sky HD, and think the PQ looks better than SD, but disappointingly not much. I watch on a Pio 436SXE.

    After constantly being berated for needing glasses (etc, etc) for not seeing a 'night and day' difference, I decided to sit closer to my TV for a quick trial. The seating distance is usually 3.5m.

    At about 1-1.5m I can tell a very big difference indeed when flicking between simulcast SD & HD channels. Unfortunately, this is far too close to the TV for normal viewing, and would make my living room look very odd indeed.

    Screen width to seating distance ratio is a big factor. Some people recommend setting it by what looks good on your TV, others (myself included) live in a world where normal living rooms are not set up like this.

    BTW, one more oddity.

    I tried to sit gradually further away from my TV. The effect with HD appeared to be...erm...nothing. The picture looked great at 1.5m and looked great at 3.5m.

    Try the same trick with SD and guess what. As I moved away I couldn't notice the deficiancies in the picture. The blurry edges became sharper. The picture actually appeared to get better!

    Steve W
     
  12. Smurkenstein

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    Gaaargh the horror of the hairy Teutil family in HD!

    I'm pretty ok with the HD service at the moment, as I regard it as early days. Not very happy with Sky1HD. Nothing I like is ever in HD and some things like the simpsons actually look worse. Aye, Sky1HD IS a con :( .
     
  13. S3rv3d

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    Lol i dont watch it, just flick though channels alot and remembered the difference in quality
     
  14. jimborae

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    I'm in pretty much the same boat, just got Sky HD & to be honest while there is an improvement in the PQ over SD, I'm not blown away by the HD picture, same as I wasn't with the Xbox HD-DVD. Yes I know Sky's bitrate is not that good and that BBC HD is where it's at.

    However what it has done for me is that I no longer need a seperate HD receiver (had a Humax HDCI 2000 before & it's HD & SD PQ are better significantly better than the Sky HD box, BBC HD really is stunning via this box).

    The SD picture from the SKY HD box via HDMI is better than my old Pace Sky+ box and no longer needs to to be scaled by my Lumagen Vision. So that box has gone as well.

    Finally it shows how good my PH9 is at scaling to it's native res.
     
  15. EasterEEL1

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    When Planet Earth was simultaneously being shown on Sunday nights, I was switching between SD (channel 101) and HD (channel 145) to compare. Both pictures were stunning, you had to look closely to see the difference. If only all SD was that good....

    Compare that to the Sky football SD (401) and HD (408) where the difference in picture quality is massive. One almost thinks it suits Sky to broadcast the SD channel at the low quality it does to promote HD.

    I have a Panasonic TH-42PX600B

    regards....Roger
     
  16. Barr_y

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    Thank you for all comments received, I was about to take photographs of the different channels to show how little difference I am getting, but I see I am exactly the same as many others.

    The pictures are superb with the Pioneer XDE no matter if you are watching analogue SD or HD and much better if you watch the same over and over BBC HD programs.

    I am thinking Sky should maybe have started at £5 a month rather than the £10 they charge. If I am right more HD channels will increase what we now pay. I will wait and see.
     
  17. Starburst

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    They wouldn't make as much money and they had supply problems just meeting the first 30,000 orders, making it cheaper could have spiked demand even more and caused more problems:)

    I doubt that the HD sub will increase no matter how many HD channels enter the pay package, more than likely in the long term the HD sub will be merged into the main package (just as SKY+ did) and used for marketing.
     
  18. gtowns

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    Does this apply to just the hardware. I've had HD for 3 weeks and don't think there's enough HD to justify the 10 pounds. Nice picture though, and the improvement via HDMI is good enough for me to want to keep the box.

    When I phoned Sky they said I was locked in for a year, even though I can't remember signing anything.

    BTW, I've tried their site but it keeps crashing my PC; but then it is Sky!
     
  19. bumblebee57

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    I have a 46'' SONY hd, I tend to agree with you about the SKY
    channels, but the picture quality of HD on the BBc channel is
    superb, but the best quality picture on HD, I recommend the
    NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICAL & DISCOVERY channels, their picture is excellent.

    regards Bumblebee57
     
  20. Starburst

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    If you return the hardware then there is no subscription to go with it and since the first months sub is not taken for a month after signing up (you then pay two months worth) no money needs to be returned.
    As for HD content well nothing has changed from before you ordered it:)

    You accept the terms and conditions by applying for and taking the service, just contact SKY to cancel the SKY+HD service for a full refund, you have a week left.

    Yeah SKY has a lot to learn about maintaining a smooth and functional website.
     

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