Mk 3 Sky + Box on its way

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by stevefish69, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. stevefish69

    stevefish69
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    Sky gave me a call a couple of days ago asking what i thought of Sky +, whether the box was still OK, and whether i needed to take out the extended warrenty.

    I told them that all was fine, and that i'd either change the hard drive, or wait for the new box if mine packed up.

    The guy on the other end agreed that this was probably the best way to go, and politely informed me that the new Sky + box was due in October, and would come fitted with a 160Gb Hard Drive :thumbsup: .

    Fingers crossed :clap:
     
  2. John

    John
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    They want £400 for the 160 box
     
  3. Rasczak

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    :eek: :eek: How much!?!? I hope it has gold plated connectors at that price.
     
  4. TheeNoMaD

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    Will it come with component out or anything like that? or are they just charging £200 for the extra space?
     
  5. Starburst

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    At this time the only confirmed differences are the 160gig hard drive and two USB ports. It is being marketed as a Premium product and by all accounts they are not expecting to sell them by the bucket load.

    In time there may be services that require either the USB ports ot perhaps make use of the architecture of the new box but at this time it's a very expensive option considering you can get a standard SKY+ for £99 (with a bit of haggling for existing customers :) ).
     
  6. Dextur

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    If they put 160gb drive in it, improve the functionality , add component output, and swop from optical to coaxial and give me 5 free moves, I may consider it. £400??? For an updated hd that would cost about £50 to buy?

    Lost me on that one..
     
  7. TheeNoMaD

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    Yeah it does seem kinda stingy on their part. Im not sure why anyone would actually buy it. It takes a lot to fill the current sky+ box. But component output with progressive scan complience would be good.
    But i hear in 2006 they are going to launch Sky-HD high definition. Since its already used stateside then they will probably just port it to pal. but droool!
     
  8. Dextur

    Dextur
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    LOL yes drool indeed, but I only have a Panasonic PW6 plasma which which does not support HD apparently so somebody will get a very cheap second hand plasma in 2006 , and I will lash out on a quality HD plasma which by 2006 will cost about £1500 I suspect.
     
  9. Starburst

    Starburst
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    A bog standard mpegII based system as used in the US would be the easiest route to take but over the last few months mpeg4 and other variants seem to be gaining ground especially as they use half the bandwidth compared to mpegII with no loss of quality.
    The EBU also seem to favour a more modern codec combined with 720p broadcasting, not capable of forcing that format onto EU broadcasters but they certainly have influence.
    I suspect the French service launching next year will not be mpegII, if only to prevent the influence of US hardware and other interests onto their own markets:)
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Surely there HAS to be more to it than just an extra 120GB of HDD space if they are charging an extra £300!?! HCC has reported it will not have component outputs which (to me) is surprising if they want a reasonable instant takeup on High Def in 2006.

    You don't need to worry to much on that score. I assume you have one of the "low" resolution (852x480) panels? If so then they will display a HD signal (albeit downscaled) and it will still look noticeably superior to standard def. Meanwhile standard def content will continue to look better on your screen than on a High Resolution panel - so it's not worth seriously upgrading your screen until you watch more HD than SD which, at least for me, will be when High Def DVD becomes available in decent numbers.
     
  11. Dextur

    Dextur
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    Realised the Panny will be able to take a high def signal, but didn't realise the pq would improve when fed a HD signal. Is not HD predominantly about res, how can it improve the res if the panel only supports the 852x480 , lots of extra enhancements to the pq within the same res?
     
  12. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Simon,

    Have a look at this link which compares the High Def and Standard Def PW6 plasmas.

    Note there is more to High Def than resolution (increased bitrate for one!). Your PW6 will serve you well into the future by which time there will be sufficient High Def material available (DVD, broadcast) to warrant the 'hit' on Standard Def quality.
     
  13. Dextur

    Dextur
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    Good stuff, thanks
     
  14. Starburst

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    SKY+ 160 is not intended in any way to be part of the HD service, without even seeing the specs I can tell you that at that price point with such a small hard drive and lack of connections is can not be HD ready.

    The STB required for the new HD service will be built around the dedicated hardware required to decode the as of yet unchoosen codec that will be used to compress the video/audio streams. SKY+ 160 is nothing more than a stop gap measure to bridge the gap between current hardware and the next gen hardware while opening up some more revenue generating services via over the air downloads of encrypted content.
    A poster over at DS has said that the new unit will interface via USB with the XTV based portable media player, makes a lot of sense since SKY+ is nothing more than a XTV machine under the skin.
     
  15. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Surely to make the unit High Def compatible all that is need is a suitable decoder (MPEG2/4, WMV etc) - of which a combined processor as found in many DVD players could be used - and suitable outputs (Component/DVI/HDMI). Nothing there that would push the cost of the unit above the £400 price - especially as in the long run, come day 1 of the HD services, there would be a larger installed subscriber base.

    Clearly the HDD would be small for High Def transmissions but then if using a standard MPEG4 codec then 160GB would still equate to about 25 hours - more capacity than allowed by the current Sky+ system.
     
  16. Starburst

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    Well you could replace the mpegII decoder with one that could do two or more codecs, but you need to know the spec of the codec you are going to be using in two years otherwise you end up with a generic decoder which is handicapped by running code for multipule codecs and not being optimised for one.
    Connections are probably very easy to design in (which megs the point why no component on SKY+ and a single RGB scart) but SKY have always operated to price points so you have to ask yourself why would they fund the design of a unit that would be two years old before it even came close to being used. Upgrading during it's lifetime is again something SKY have never done, imagine the mess that would create, SKY can not even upgrade software for a digibox or SKY+ without causing problems!
    You are right about the HD capacity but in a few months there will be portable devices with more capacity than the 160 and in two years the mind boggles:)

    This year the HD TIVO launched at $1000, considering the small UK market, VAT and profit margins both to the manufacturer and SKY anything less that £700 for a dual tuner HD integrated High Def STB with licensed NDS hardware is unthinkable.

    In two years I would expect the High Def SKY+ system to be launched at around £300-£400, costs reduced due to mass production by either PACE or Thomson, both of who will have a track record in HD STB's.

    I guess we will find out once the 160 is launced, just wish the guy in DS could give us more info:)
     

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