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Sky Digital Picture Problems

B

Burt

Guest
I 've only just got Sky Digital installed and expected to get a vast improvement over analogue TV, however a large number of channels are pixellated and when I access the menu screens the text is fuzzy / sparkly. Is this normal or should I contact Sky?

Would buying good scart lead improve the problem or is it more likely to be a signal issue?
My signal strength is approx 60%, Signal quality approx 50%

Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ian:confused:
 

GavTNewbie

Novice Member
sky digitals picture quality is generally crap:

1) pictures are transmitted as mpeg's - which is a compressed file format, and is prone to having extra noise, which will show up on the tv as fuzzy or pixellated pictures.
2) sky digital has only a limited bandwidth, and as more (crap) channels are launched and interactive functionality vies for the same bandwidth, you can expect non-sky channels to transmit worse pictures and sound as Sky reserves a larger bandwidth for its own channels (compare E4 and Sky Movies to see what I mean).

Dont buy a new, good quality scart lead for this; this will only improve the transport of an already imperfect signal from your sky box to tv.

I would contact Sky if you want a laugh - they will roll out the old excuses such as a tree being 500 metres away blocking the transmission path to your satellite!!! :mad:

Im not sure about the signal strength and quality point though - my figures are about the same (I live in Falkirk, Scotland) and my pictures are acceptable at the moment.

Oh, and just to cheer you up, the Sky World subscription is going up for the 2nd time this year, to £38.

Gav.
 

electrolyte

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Burt
when I access the menu screens the text is fuzzy / sparkly. Is this normal or should I contact Sky?
Burt it sounds to me like you aren't viewing Sky via RGB. In the service menu check that under picture settings that RGB is selected rather than PAL. Also check that your scart is plugged into an RGB compatible AV socket (usually AV1 on most modern TVs).

Hope this helps....
 
B

Burt

Guest
Thanks for the advice - I am currently viewing on the PAl setting - will try RGB & see if it makes a difference.

I spoke to SKY who said it sounded like the signal hadn't been properly domnloaded and that they would have to resend it? Means nothing to me!
 
J

juboy

Guest
Sky claim that they can increase the strength of signal to individual Skyboxes, might be worth asking them to do this.

Once they've told you that they have in fact done this for you, also ask them for an explanation of the 'Placebo Effect' :)
 

AV Junky

Active Member
Originally posted by Burt
I 've only just got Sky Digital installed and expected to get a vast improvement over analogue TV, however a large number of channels are pixellated and when I access the menu screens the text is fuzzy / sparkly. Is this normal or should I contact Sky?

Dear Burt
The picture problems you describe sound exactly as I experienced before I switched the output from the Digibox to RGB (as described in the reply by electrolyte).

Changing to RGB made a dramatic improvement...
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Originally posted by GavTNewbie
sky digitals picture quality is generally crap:

1) pictures are transmitted as mpeg's - which is a compressed file format, and is prone to having extra noise, which will show up on the tv as fuzzy or pixellated pictures.
2) sky digital has only a limited bandwidth, and as more (crap) channels are launched and interactive functionality vies for the same bandwidth, you can expect non-sky channels to transmit worse pictures and sound as Sky reserves a larger bandwidth for its own channels (compare E4 and Sky Movies to see what I mean).
Dont buy a new, good quality scart lead for this; this will only improve the transport of an already imperfect signal from your sky box to tv.
I would contact Sky if you want a laugh - they will roll out the old excuses such as a tree being 500 metres away blocking the transmission path to your satellite!!! :mad:
Im not sure about the signal strength and quality point though - my figures are about the same (I live in Falkirk, Scotland) and my pictures are acceptable at the moment.
Oh, and just to cheer you up, the Sky World subscription is going up for the 2nd time this year, to £38.

Gav.

Just to clear some things up for the sake of people that take the above seriously:)

SKY digital picture quality is generally excellent.

1) SKY digital, DTT and cable digital all use mpegII compression wich is the same format as DVD's so the technology is very good.
2) The SKY digital platform has as much bandwidth as it wants. There are currently 4 satellites supplying the platform from two different companies (Astra & Eutelsat). Any new channel that is carried does not take bandwidth from other channels, there is not a set amount which is shared between the hundreds of channels. SKY do not stop any channel from using as much bandwidth as they want. The smaller channels might aquire bandwidth from SKY as part of the carriage agreement but the bulk of the channels buy bandwidth direct from the satellite owners. The bandwidth available to all the CH4 content (ch4 regional, E4, F4) are not dependent upon SKY, CH4 aquired it's own transponders and then overloaded them with all their channels, they are not willing to spend more the money required to match the bandwidth used on SKY's premium channels.

The scart lead supplied with a digibox is indeed suitable for the vast majority of homes.

While you are under warranty call SKY if you ever have any problems, they are responsible in the first 12 months for the hardware they supply and install. Digibox software is so flakey that almost anything can be attributed to it and unlike extended warranties you are not charged in the first 12 months even if the engineer can't find anything wrong.
A tree half a kilometer away blocking the signal, made up excuse me thinks:)

SKYworld prices have not gone up twice this year.
The last increase was Jan 1st 2002, the next price increase is Jan1st 2003.
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Originally posted by Burt
I 've only just got Sky Digital installed and expected to get a vast improvement over analogue TV, however a large number of channels are pixellated and when I access the menu screens the text is fuzzy / sparkly. Is this normal or should I contact Sky?
Would buying good scart lead improve the problem or is it more likely to be a signal issue?
My signal strength is approx 60%, Signal quality approx 50%
Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks
Ian:confused:

How do you mean pixellated and which channels?
Since mpegII compression is used for digital telly some channels save money and cut corners by using very high compression which costs less and results in poor pictures.
SKY branded channels seem to have the lowest compression and CH5 runs at a high bitrate as well.
Menus should be fine as the graphics are not generated over the air but by the digibox itself so the connection method could be an issue as you've already been told although PAL via the scart is by no means a low quality connection method.

Here are two captures, s-video and composite.
Alas I can not capture a RGB source but as you can see the two connection methods give you perfectly acceptable pictures....Captures


Does your TV have 100hz scanning and digital picture enhancments? They are known to have a detrimental effect on a digital picture is the source, if your telly has them then turn off all the TV's digital processing and see if that makes a difference.
If you still have problems can you hook up the digibox via the RF cable just to confirm that every video output on the digibox gives the same results because you could be looking at a fault with the digibox tuners output.
 
B

Burt

Guest
I changed my input setting in the setup menu to RGB as advised and what a difference - picture quality greatly improved and the menu text is crystal clear. Thanks for the advice!

I have noticed however that picture quality particularly with C4 seem to vary dramatically. Is this attributed to the C4's high compression / lack of bandwidth or is it weak sygnal / interference.

Just wondering though, If you are unfortunate to have a TV which does not have an RGB scart do you simply have to live with a less than satisfactory picture with PAL?

:p
 

AV Junky

Active Member
Just wondering though, If you are unfortunate to have a TV which does not have an RGB scart do you simply have to live with a less than satisfactory picture with PAL?
Yep, unless you're one of the (lucky?) owners who have a Grundig Digibox, in which case you can use the S-Video output.
The Sky+ box has S-Video also.
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
Yes S-video should give a better (cleaner) output than composite.
The luminance & chrominance (colour) information are sent on separate wires ; the audio will ahve to be via scart or phono , of course (s-video only caters for the picture).

Chris Muriel, Manchester.
 

AV Junky

Active Member
Originally posted by Burt
Will S-video give a petter picture than RGB?
Yes S-video should give a better (cleaner) output than composite.
Agree entirely with Chris on the above.

Answer to your question is that the general consensus is that RGB is better than s-video. Relying on the comments of the relevant magazine experts here, as I've never actually done a head-to-head comparison myself. Only use s-video for my S-VHS VCR at present, and have only used composite and RGB from the Digibox.
 
Ive just done an A - B comparison with my sky+ box , s-vid against rgb through my rgb to vga plasma converter , the rgb is definatly better .
 

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