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SDI Input

Discussion in 'Plasma TVs' started by ROBERTT, Sep 18, 2003.

  1. ROBERTT

    ROBERTT
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    I have been reading in this forum with interest about the various ways of improving the picture from Sky. The 2 most common suggestions are to use a JA Scart to VGA converter or an Iscan Ultra. I am thinking of buying a 42" plasma but picture from sky must be top quality. I have heard of companies that mod the sky+ box to provide an SDI output. Would this connection make a noticeable difference when connected to a suitable plasma?? Am I correct that this connection frees the bandwith for channels in someway??
     
  2. Dutch

    Dutch
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  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    SDI is digital video signal. It is limited to 576i. It's main benefit for us is that it negates a digital to analogue and an analogue to digital conversion process in the source and display or video processor. That is because de-interlacers need digital information to do their tricks.

    ie Sky sends digital video info to Sky box. It does DtoA and sends it out interlcaed analogue.

    The display gets an interlaced analogue input and immediately digitises it.....

    Of course, if the de-interlacing and scaling of the display or video processor isn't that great then having an SDI input may still not result in a superior image.

    Gordon
     
  4. tbrar

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    In theory going digital from source to panel, cutting out the Digital to Analouge/Analouge to Digital conversion (DAC/ADC), would make a difference.

    However, it will be the quality of source which is the 'bottleneck'. You know the saying, put sh*t in you get sh*t out ....

    Also isnt it quite costly to get the boxes SDI Modded? (I know its around £500.00 for a DVD player)
     
  5. Jeff

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    The last time I looked the DEALER price for a regular (non +) SDI Sky digibox was £1100.
     
  6. MAW

    MAW
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    There is a co. who convert the sky, dvd and plasma to sdi, yes it'll cost you! I think about £8k the set. If that's still interesting I'll dig around, got it here somewhere. The picture was at least twice as good as anything else I've seen, is that worth trice the money?
     
  7. Easy2BCheesy

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    Sounds rather costly! The problem with Sky is that you're dealing with a very low bitrate image - you can spend thousands on a SDI output, but you're not going to magically improve the bitrate of Sky's transmissions.

    I'm perfectly happy with my Pioneer 433MXE connected to Sky+ via a JS Technology VGA box. Sure, picture quality is nowhere near as good as my DVD playback via Momitsu V880 but it's still very watchable.
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    Yes indeed, the picture no doubt is excellent. The improvement with SDI has to be seen to be believed, I can assure you, but whether it's worth 8K instead of 3.5k is where the argument falls down. Not for me it's not.
     
  9. Joe Fernand

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    Hello Robertt

    SDI like DVI is, as far as Home Cinema goes, a bit of an unknown quantity at present.

    Theoretically DVI and SDI with there all digital signal paths promise much but are so new in this market that they are either relatively expensive and rare (SDI) or somewhat unproven and just about to become mainstream (DVI).

    SDI is used in the Broadcast and Production market (at Broadcast and Production value costs - much higher than mainstream Home Threat kit) and as others have said has limited availability in the form of an Option on some scalers or an after market modification to certain DVD Players, Digibox designs and Display devices; usually entailing that you also invalidate your OEM warranty. (And you do have to remember that the Electrograph Delphi panel was launched in 2001. See http://www.electrographdelphi.co.uk/index.html )

    The JS Technology converters dont actually 'improve' the SKY signal - they 'merely' optimise the signal and sync type for display on a suitable Plasma; and as many of us who use them can vouch they do a great job.

    The iScan Ultra is a line doubler and progressive scan deinterlacer that effectively bypass the 'lower' quality deinterlacer found in your display; you actually require a JS RGB2YUV converter if your going to get the best signal out of your Digibox and into the iScan.

    I imagine the kit that MAW has seen is from Steve Bone at FrontNiche - who's display at the recent CEDIA show didn't make me want to go buy a £1K+ modified SKY Digibox.

    FrontNiche specialise in the use of SDI in the Production and Presentation market and the last time I spoke to them they were pulling there web site to stop anyone 'copying' there ideas and products!!!

    I'd have a look at a Panasonic TH-42PWD6BX fitted with the TY-42TM6DB (DVI Board) fed from a SKY+ Digibox via a JS RGB2YUV converter and a Silicon Image iScan Ultra if you want an 'affordable' working solution.

    Best regards

    Joe
     
  10. jprada

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    Hi,

    I have sucessfully modded a SKY+ box to provide SDI using the cheap PMS kit.

    It is NOT brainsurgery, but actually fairly easy.

    I hope those absurdly high prices on SKY SDI mods drop forever.


    Here is the info.

    I can provide further info/photos if someone wants to post them.

    We now want to mod the standard PACE (original Digibox) but that mod is a bit more complicated.

    Regards,

    _Joaquín
     
  11. Easy2BCheesy

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    Nice work Joaquin! :smashin:

    I was intrigued by the diagram on this page:

    http://www.pmsvideo.com/index_product_view.php?did=1576&didpath=/1576&page=1&imgid=6650

    SDI from the Sky+/converter kit into an SDI capture card, then output via DVI into the plasma... surely the best way to watch Sky on a plasma, and something that could be added to existing HCPC set-ups? So how much does a SDI capture card cost that could be plumbed into DScaler?

    EDIT: Didn't look very far... the products page on the same website has an SDI capture card for $225 - I'd be very interested in seeing who could get all this to work!

    http://www.pmsvideo.com/index_topic.php?did=1576&didpath=/1576
     
  12. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I believe it's only the original SKYplus boxes that can be modded as current ones hae an integrated IC is this not the case?

    Gordon
     
  13. jprada

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    I'm afraid you are correct Gordon. I have only looked at pictures of the new box though.

    Regards,

    _joaquín
     
  14. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    My official reaction the idea of a "top quality" picture from Sky:

    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

    :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
     
  15. jprada

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    hummm.... "top quality" and "Sky" in the same sentence?

    I was refering to video quality well of course...
     
  16. Paden

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    Very interesting Joaquín :smashin:

    My brother has the previously mentioned Delphi DD42.
    His DVD & Sky+ are connected to it via a converter, which changes their composite/s-video output (he uses s-video) to SDI.
    This has always struck me as being odd & somewhat defeating the object.
    The SDI Converter DIY Kit you've linked to looks like it might make things work a lot better!
    Did you work out the pin assignments for the Sky+ MPEG decoder yourself?
    I ask this as his DVD player (Sony 725) isn't listed on that website & would have to be worked out.
    Also why are there two 2 SDI outputs on the converter?

    Cheers, Paul
     
  17. Magsy

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    I would be VERY interested in some pics/diagrams etc for the SKY+ mod.
    I've been thinking about this for a while, pump it into a pc, dscale it and shove it back out via dvi!

    Any info you can provide wud be great!!!!
     
  18. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Robert

    As has been pointed out it is possible to perform and SDI modification to Sky boxes...however..

    A much simpler solution is to scale the picture to match your plasma using either a standalone scaler as you mentioned or using an HTPC. There are of course pros and cons with each, a standalone scaler is 'fit and forget', where an HTPC is more configurable.

    Anyway, the guys at pmsvideo are finalising a capture card, which offers high quality analogue picture capture for processing via dScaler, and most importantly for the UK and European marketplace it has RGB , component and PDI inputs, plus the usual composite and SVideo inputs as well. This gives you a new 3rd option if you like, RGB capture from your Sky digibox DIRECTLY in to dScaler, and then outputting the picture to your plasma with 1:1 pixel mapping.


    [Advert] We are distributing the product in the UK and Europe, for more details visit www.pluggedin.tv/sweetspot

    Good luck!
     
  19. Easy2BCheesy

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    Interesting post David and I've signed up for info on the card, but surely the whole point of this is that it's digital all the way right from the Sky+ MPEG2 decoder chip all the way to the DVI output of your PC. There's no analogue conversion at all, which should arguably produce a better picture.

    However, for those who don't want to mod their Sky+ boxes, or those who own a V2 box, I'm sure the board you're offering will provide the best quality input into DScaler. Do you have any idea of the price of the board? That's not on your site and would obviously be fairly crucial information.
     
  20. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Easy: You are correct that SDI should give best signal in to any de-interlacing or scaling solution.

    There are already component, rgb capture cards available for PC's...although I think they aren't cheap.

    Gordon
     
  21. nfordenfield

    nfordenfield
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    Oh dear, just when I had gone Cold Turkey from all this tweaking....

    Soon to be SDi modded Sky+ up it seems then.

    Oh nuts, gotta get a H3d card or sdi input card aswell - Oh well!!!
     
  22. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Easy

    The target pricing for the SweetSpot card is £199 in the UK, Euro299 in Europe with shipping due from mid November.

    As Gordon rightly points out then SDI is the ultimate as it avoids any conversion all the way through in to your scaler. The low bit-rates of typical Sky broadcasts though mean that it is perhaps less critical to have the ‘ultimate’ connection that is SDI, and RGB is probably the best compromise between cost, ease of installation and picture quality, as it is the best that you can achieve without soldering :)

    Hope this helps
     
  23. Easy2BCheesy

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    That is a sweet price for an RGB capture board, I have to admit.
     
  24. jprada

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    If you go all the trouble of an HTPC/Dscaler then I highly recommend going the SDI-all-digital way.

    If you use a scaler then you can go to the display 1:1 with it's native resolution.

    I have bought from them ex-HK and service has always been impecable.

    You can always go the Holo3D route.
     
  25. Easy2BCheesy

    Easy2BCheesy
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    What kit are you using to view the SDI output from Sky+ Joaquín? What are your impressions of the picture quality compared to the more usual VGA/YUV converter boxes?
     
  26. jprada

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    I have an HTPC with a PMS SDI capture card. Then Dscaler (4.1.7) and then to my JVC SX21 proyector at it's native 1400x1050@60 resolution.

    I also have a Holograph 3D-II card with an DVI daughtercard (will allow me to bypass my Radeon) but quite frankly that is not working for me. They have _A LOT_ of issues to sort out. I do not recommend it at all, besides, it is expensive, at least much more than the PMS solution.

    I have not tried YUV, but my feeling is tha the RGB route should be better.

    In any case Sky's overall picture quality leaves a lot to be desired. In that context every little helps...

    OTOH going from YUB/RGB to SDI makes no sense...

    Remember that SDI is an interlaced protocol. If the display device has SDI then it has to do all the deinterlacing and scaling. It is my opinion that it's better to do the deinterlacing/scaling on the PC or using a good external scaler... But it all depends on the internal scaler of the display device.
     
  27. gyre

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    I could kill to get sky digital on my PC in digital format. Please let us know if you get any mods for the original Pace box.

    Thanks!

    -- gyre --
     
  28. tryingtimes

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    Yes and with skyboxes going for <£50 on ebay it's got to be worth a punt.
    I wouldn't like to be the pioneer with SKY+ though :)
    I read on AVS that the PMS in PMS Video stood for 'poor man's sdi'
    Well, that's me:D
     
  29. Magsy

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    Is there a way to record via SDI? I guess if SDI appears as a capture card (which it should?) then some software should be able to support it?
     
  30. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    SDI is uncompressed digital data. I suspect you would need some big HD's for this. Anyone want to do the maths?

    Gordon
     

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