Sky card in a TM5402?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Grumpyman, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    First of all, sorry Logi if this should be in the SKY section. I couldn't decide which myself...

    I contacted Sky today to see if I could just buy a Sky card. I already have TM5402 & a motorised dish that we use for German TV so I don't want or need a sky box or dish.

    Anyway, I was categorically told that I could only put a sky card into a skybox...
    Is this true?
    I would happily buy a sky card/subscription (legally....) as long as I could put it in my technomate box.

    any thoughts?

    cheers
    me.
     
  2. kevkbuk

    kevkbuk
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    It's not true. You can use the subscription card in other receivers BUT HD subscription channels will not clear. This is to stop card sharing. Currently all SD channels are working but there are no guarantees for the future. There was talk of the latest red cards ending it all but such discussions have gone rather quiet.

    Another issue is entitlements, I'm not sure if the 5402 currently supports those. If not you'd need to put the card back into the Sky box periodically for it to update.
     
  3. logiciel

    logiciel
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    You're OK here.
    You can't buy a card - it's the subscription that you pay for.
    It's currently either £15 or £25 a month.
    Obviously you CAN put it wherever you like, including the Techno.
    To get it to work there you'll need the box key from a Sky machine.
    It will need to be re-entitled occasionally.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  4. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    Thanks for the replies guys.
    I guess although it is ok for SD it's not such an option if there is no HD. I have not long ago bought a big Sony flatscreen so if i'm paying out for sky I would want HD. I have never had SKY so I don't what the coloured cards mean.
    I will re-consider a skybox then and stop the chap from putting up one of their dishes if I decide to go with them. There is always room for more boxes ;)
    thanks again.
    me
     
  5. kevkbuk

    kevkbuk
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    If only £25 was the most expensive package :D

    They update the subscription cards every few years, the red one is just the latest variation. You don't get any choice about it.

    Didn't you have a motorised setup? A fixed dish on 28.2e can be a handy addition.
     
  6. pedro2000uk

    pedro2000uk
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    Also you need the box key from the sky box the card is paired to, to get it to run in a 5402, not sure if there is a way round that
     
  7. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    ok cheers, didn't realise it was so tied down.
    No wonder the poor woman from Sky i spoke to sounded like she thought i was from Mars!
    Might consider a Tivo from VM over next few days. Finding my set up a little limited these days.
    cheers again.
     
  8. pedro2000uk

    pedro2000uk
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    Always get the same reaction time & time again that the picture quality is better on the TM5402HD than Sky, just installed a motorised 5402 system to a new Samsung 4k curved tv for someone who has a wealth of experience in sat & av ... exactly the same reaction without prompting - & off 28e you'll find better HD but to get loads of HD you will need a sub.
     
  9. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    So true Pedro, I have seen sky HD on friends skyboxes and it looks terrible. The 5402 is crisp and smooth and clearly a better HD picture than a skybox. But considering the crappy little dishes and pathetic cables they use I am not surprised. Why do they use that skinny cable? My folks had a sky install done and I re terminated all their cables as the connectors were shocking!
    Anyways, will have a longer think about it all for while.
    always helpful here :)
     
  10. pedro2000uk

    pedro2000uk
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    Sky has a very long history of cheap boxes + cheap installs from day one.

    I say now it's (1) .. down to the chipsets in the Sky HD boxes & (2) their HD channel's bit rates & shared bit rates especially when it bottlenecks etc.. apart from a few headline HD channels that you'd see demo'd in Currys, it used to be Sky 1HD that had the biggest bit rate & Sky Sports 1& 2HD next & the rest went lower & lower to some really daft bit rate levels & still calling them HD, not tested them for ages but according to some well respected experts (including on here) some have got more & more diluted, there are more opportunities to reduce bit rates with newer compression techniques producing bit rate savings without further quality loss but it's more about squeezing more & more channels in & calling them HD.
     
  11. kevkbuk

    kevkbuk
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    The dish and cables make no different picture quality... you may see a mild improvement from receiver to receiver, but the real problem is the heavy compression and low bitrate Sky use. There's nothing you can do about this but look elsewhere...
     
  12. Grumpyman

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    interesting stuff. Would I get a better quality SKY HD feed through a tivo box on VM ground network?
     
  13. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Fundamental error, dish size and connections are not relevant for digital. If you have a stable picture without digital artefacts or total loss of signal, that's as good as it gets, for the box you are using. Increasing the signal beyond the margin required to avoid the digital cliff will make no difference. Of course a box with superior mpeg decoding and video producing can give better pictures. The same box connected to a Shy minidish with WF65 will do the same.

    If the source content is poor (low bitrates, heavily compressed audio), another box can only make a marginal improvement (You cannot make silk purse out of a sows edge).

    Sadly most Sky subscribers cannot be described as being particulary susceptible to picture quality (those that are tend to be on forums like this one).

    As a result Sky squeeze more and more content onto a single transponder, reducing quality, and have the cheek to ask more and more money for it. :eek:

    Analoge picture quality declines into noise as the signal level falls. Digital is different, the picture quality remains constant until the built in error correction fails, failure to do this is very obvious.

    This graph though for terrestrial is equally applicable to satellite.

    Freeview/Freesat Digital TV
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  14. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    I sense a can of worms has just been prised open ;)
     
  15. kevkbuk

    kevkbuk
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    Never had VM but I can't see Sky providing them higher bitrates then they broadcast themselves... it is what it is... joe public doesn't care.
     
  16. Grumpyman

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    Agree with the 'digital cliff' but we've all seen the artefacts you get trying to watch movies on 7w. since i moved from a 1m to an 80cm there are plenty. even on 19.2e on some of the weaker transponders.
     
  17. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Possibly, VM encode there content using the less efficient mpeg2 codec, but they have the bandwidth to make this largely irrelevant.

    You need someone with both to give a definite answer.
     
  18. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Depends what you mean by artefacts. If parts of the picture break up into pixelated squares, you are dropping below the so called digital cliff. If the picture is otherwise stable but displays problems it's down to low bitrates and low quality encoding. A receiver with more sensitivity may be able to work effectively with the weaker signals.
     
  19. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    well i don't pretend to have the knowledge here, but what you are describing (I would have naively thought) could be overcome or improved with a big-ass dish and some good cables and connectors.

    I am not a tech though so I revert to your expertise..
     
  20. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Virgin don't simply simply re-transmit the H264/AVC stream they re-code it using mpeg2. They must have a uncompressed source to do this, otherwise the quality would be dire.
     
  21. Grumpyman

    Grumpyman
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    That would would be a great source for the live feeds thread if only we could find it :)
     
  22. kevkbuk

    kevkbuk
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    Sorry, but your dish is not aligned properly if you have signal issues on 19.2e on an 80.
     
  23. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    If you could what would you do with it ? You don't have the kit (or bandwidth) to handle the amount of data involved.

    Simplistic representation of what's involved in a totally uncompressed full HD stream ( Using component colour space allows the bits/pixel to be reduced from 24 (8 bits for each of Red, Green and Blue) to 16 bits.

    Each pixel requires 8 bits of data for each of the Red Green and Blue subpixels on a HD display (24 bits).

    There are 1920 x 1080 pixel in each frame, That's 1920 x 1080 x 24 bits for each frame (49766400 bits).

    The frame rate is 25 frames/second. So 1 second of video requires the delivery of data for 49766400 x 25 bits. That's 1244160000 bits/second.

    Your internet speed is normally measured in Mbps (Megabits/Second). So the required data rate is 1244Mbps. If your lucky you might have 50Mbps download capability.

    So how is it possible to transmit HD broadcasts ?

    The answer is a so called lossy system of throwing away data and re-creating it as far as possible at the receiving end. There non lossy compression systems (for example you might want to transmit 10 bytes (each one contains 8 bits). Each Byte can contain the decimal numbers 0-255 (256 permutations). For a RGB pixel 3 Bytes (24 bits) is capable of more than 64 million colour combinations. You could send this information in just four bytes, the first containing the number of repeats (10) and the next 3 bytes (the RGB colour). Without this system you would need 10 x 3 = 30 bytes.

    This simplistic system is not going to work for video.

    The answer was mpeg (motion picture experts group) compression. This works by sending complete frame data for a single frame (known as a Iframe), followed by extra frames that provide difference information. The whole Iframe plus difference is known as a Group Of Pictures (GOP).

    DVD and digital SD uses the mpeg2 compression codec (It can also be used for HD but requires higher bitrates (Mbps) to maintain similar quality).

    More advanced compression systems like mpeg4 allow the same bandwidth to transmit much more information. Broadcast HD uses a very efficient codec, a variant of MP4 known as H264?AVC (usually abbreviated to H264).

    There's a new codec that's even more effective (HEVC used for 4K video).

    The more the movement there is in the action on screen the higher the bitrate required to follow it without obvious motion artefacts.

    The broadcasters have another trick up their sleeve. Multiple digital channels sharing the same analogue carrier (Mux in terrestrial speak and Transponder in Satellite). The mpeg spec allows a different bitrate to be used for each GOP. This is known as VBR (Variable Bit Rate). On DVD's and other non dynamic content you can analyse the content and allocate a suitable bit rate for the action. This creates much smaller files (more content) without impact on quality.

    The broadcasters can do this dynamically allocating more bitrate to channels on the mux/transponder with the most challenging content (Known as stat muxing).

    Sorry for the long post, you may realise the subject is not simple.

    As a final example, the BBC possibly has the best encoders and transmits good quality HD content using an average bitrate of around 7Mbps (That's the bitrate used by the very best SD channels pre H264).

    Of course the source will not be uncompressed (You need analogue for that) but created with pro kit with much higher bitrates than could be used for broadcast sources.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  24. pedro2000uk

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    @Grumpyman re what you may have noticed on the new TV

    It might be the screen mode chosen in the tv &/or stb ... the latest TM5402HD M3's favour 1080p for the best output on all outputs (HDMI/AV/ RF etc.) [IMO]

    or even the new TV & the way it renders SD pictures compared to HD, some have IMO put all the processing work on the HD.
     
  25. davemurgatroyd2

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    Note also that Sky digiboxes do not like being connected to a motorised dish - they will often get their knickers in a twist and crash needing a power reboot to start up again. This is almost certainly down to the box regularly looking for the default transponder to download updates for the EPG and as it cannot control the dish. Note also that for this reason making unattended recordings will be a pain in the neck. Definitely easier to have a separate minidish for 28E.
     
  26. winston2010

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    I don't think sky boxes do that. I have had a sky box on 19˚E tuned to BBC World using other channels continuously on for months on end with no problems.
     

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