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Newbie help with HDTV signal/ connection

Discussion in 'TVs' started by MrRod, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. MrRod

    MrRod
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    Hi There,

    I'm a newbie to this HDTV thing (only came across it when looking at plasma/LCD screens)

    Could someone please explain the various signal types ("480p, 720p, 1080i scaled for 720p viewing", etc).

    Also, the screens I have come across mainly seem to have NTSC/ATSC tuners. As I will only be connecting via S-video or SCART composite, does this matter?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. dan1979

    dan1979
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  3. Waser

    Waser
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    I have a question. On the connector ports section of the above web site I see:
    * DVI-D / ** HDMI / ***HD-Component (Y/Pb/Pr)

    My TV, a Panny TX32LXD1, has component inputs. Will I be able to view Hi-Def Sky through this connection? As I heard recently only HDMI or DVI connections will be supported by Sky HDTV set-top boxes.

    All help appreciated.
     
  4. dan1979

    dan1979
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    With the information currently held - no

    But that could change nearer the time, Sky would be alienating a lot of potential users.
     
  5. blackfly

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    I've heard said that HDMI is required for security and encryption reasons, I doubt this is true though.
    At my Wifes place in FL many channels are broadcast on HD (they even have HD ota :rolleyes: ), whilst some (eg HDNET, ShowtimeHD etc) are subscription based and blocked. Our TV connects through the component jacks (YPrPb) so the STB must do the blocking.
    Is there any reason Sky could not use the STB to block ppl recording premium content instead of requiring HDMI?

    I have to disagree with something though, I don't belive you can technically rule out SCART for HDTV. RGB SCART is the same signal as VGA, our projector has a VGA port for a computer display of up to 1280*x1024, and supports all HDTV stds at both the component jacks and the VGA socket. The manual for our projector tells us to connect RGB SCART devices to the VGA socket using an appropriate cable (POA-CA-SCART), but points out that a typical SCART signal would be limited to 575i

    Clearly almost all equipment outputting a signal through RGB SCART is limited in this manner, but that is not due to the cable itself, it's simply RGB.

    I hope I am correct in all this, and will soon find out when I try my 480p games on my NTSC xBox through my RGB SCART output to the VGA on the projector.
    I'll let you know how it goes.
    If it doesn't work, looks like I buy an xBox HDTV pack and use the YPrPb jacks instead (although I would prefer to keep the whole signal path as RGB rather than YUV conversion for the sake of jack compatability).
    Only serious problem I see ahead of me is that the regular xBox dashboard (onboard OS) needs to detect the American HDTV pack to display the HDTV menus and allow me to enable the various modes (480p, 720p, 1080i).
    Of course, I can use an "alternative" dashboard to get around this issue, for testing purposes, although I don't know if changes through the alternative dashboard will have a permanent effect on the EEPROM even after rebooting in the M$ dashboard.

    Sorry if a lot of this seems off topic, not seen much info on consoles and HDTV here so far.
     
  6. Stephen Neal

    Stephen Neal
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    With regard to the HD you have observed at your wife's place in the US, it sounds like you are plugging in an HDTV cable box but aren't subscribed to all the HD channels.

    You are thus only able to receive - directly on your TV - the subscription free HD stuff?

    If you had a cable set top box or a "cable card" for your TV you'd be able to watch all the subscription stuff in HD too - and the STB would be outputting this in component analogue, Firewire MPEG2, DVI or HDMI depending upon the connections supported. The Firewire MPEG2 and possibly the DVI or HDMI if you box supports HDCP would be flagged as "Don't copy" or encrypted to prevent recording, or copying of a recording.

    What I think you are suggesting could yet be what Sky do (though I doubt it) - provide a receiver with HDMI and component analogue HD outputs, but disable the analogue outputs during premium "protected" programming.

    I don't think this is likely - the number of calls they'd get from people with component displays blanking during PPV films would be expensive to answer. (Many believe the "Why is my picture black and white?" questions that could be caused by S-video output on a composite TV is why Sky have never enabled the S-video outputs initially part of their receiver spec - and detailed in the original Pace manuals)

    Analogue component outputs are inherently insecure, but reasonably high quality. By making an analogue HD source available, professional pirates (so the "Hollywood" thinking goes) could record the analogue HD feed onto a digital HD VTR (HDCam, HD-D5, DVCPro100 - with HDV being my best bet!) to allow remastering and piracy in quality.

    For this reason they are ensuring that new HD territories (like the UK) employ encryption on all HD outputs from an HD receiver (satellite, cable etc.)

    The aim is to remove the insecure analogue link from the chain.

    Whilst this might deter casual pirates, I'm sure the harder core guys will either crack HDMI (and thus get an uncompressed digital feed), or break the encryption systems used by HD-DVD and/or BlueRay and get a compressed version.

    As for SCART - it is technically capable of carrying RGB at HD resolutions, just as it is technically capable of carrying digital audio, component analogue etc. The issue is that these aren't part of the SCART standard.

    Your comment about VGA and SCART isn't quite accurate - VGA requires separate H and V sync feeds, SCART uses a composite (i.e. mixed syncs and video) for its sync feed - even if the video isn't present it needs mixed H+V. It is possible, again, to carry separate H and V syncs on SCART, but again it isn't a standard.

    Given that SCART is based on late-70s technology, and mechanically and electronically isn't that robust, I think it unlikely it will become an HD connection standard now we have HDMI - which is far better suited to feeding "fixed pixel" displays like plasmas, LCDs, DLPs etc. on a 1:1 pixel addressed basis.
     
  7. blackfly

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    Ok, it seems I missed the point with HDMI security, this issue is about ppl who have subscribed to premium content being able to copy it in high quality, not access unsubscribed channels.

    The fuss about HDMI is because it's a digital connection, they don't want anything copied at all and will push ppl to use Sky+/DVR technology instead of external VCR or DVD recorder.
    If EU STB's do not have YPrPb jacks and only HDMI there will be a very limited user base by current stds. And since STBs are essentially made to an international std (lots of electronics now 110-220V PSU), couldn't we just buy one from the US and replace the HDMI only one provided?

    What you say about SCART I understand as correct, sync is H/V on the composite line, but VGA devices don't necessarily require separate H and V sync. Two examples
    1) My projector. The VGA socket can be either "computer" or "SCART", selectable from the projectors menus. What do you suggest is going on here considering the pinouts of SCART and HDB15 VGA?
    2) My PC monitor. Although I use the VGA input with the PC mostly, it also has BNC terminals for R, G, B, H/V and V. Clearly it is able to accept composite H/V as well as separate H V.
    From the pinouts for HDB15 however, what exaclty goes on in an RGB SCART-VGA cable for the sync signal?
    Clearly SCART uses H/V (pin 19, output) whilst HDB15 is separate H V (pins 13, 14 - grounded to 5 & 10)
    Given that my projectors HDB15 socket can handle an RGB SCART signal (RGBs?), I am to assume that pin 13 is much the same as the H/V BNC connector on my monitor? Seems perhaps that composite sync can be applied to the H sync connection, and V sync terminal can be used where separate sync is available for higher quality.

    Thinking back to my xBox situation though, I have aquired an HDTV AV pack - this allows me phono audio out and YPrPb video. My SCART AV pack has optical dolby digital however, so I would prefer to use that if I can get progressive scan RGB output to a VGA connector.
    After playing around with both AV packs and changing my Xbox from PAL to NTSC etc, it appears that M$ lock out the progressive scan menu and disable HDTV output if you don't have the HDTV AV pack attached and are running in NTSC. Considering there are now 480p games available (and DVDs at 480p of course) in PAL, how does M$ expect PAL users to output progressive scan?

    I suspect if I open up my SCART AV pack and treat the right pin in the correct manner, I can fool the Xbox into thinking it has the HDTV pack attached. Of course, this may mean that I get a YUV signal through my SCART cable, which is no good for HDB15 VGA.
    Would be nice if everyone just moved to HDB15, has done wonders on computers for many years
     

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