Sky fibre. Various

STS121

Standard Member
Hi guys,

Couple of things with my Sky fibre/ Sky Q.

1. My internet speed to my tv has always been poor, think I’ve always worked on the assumption that Samsung tv’s just aren’t very good at wireless. (My LG was better). Anyway, I’m getting a bit frustrated with watching movies over various streaming sites, prime, Netflix, Apple TV and Rakuten. It’s hard to describe but on dark scenes the blacks are almost blocky. Best way in an describe it is that’s it almost like a “minecraft” effect (pixelated blocks). Again I put this down to me not spending enough on a tv. However, watched a few Blu rays recently and I don’t get this issue. In fact, I’m more than happy with the picture.
Is this just a thing I’m getting because of the streaming or is it due to the slow speed?
I’m planning on a running a cat 6 cable round the outside of the house in the next few weeks so I can have a wired connection, will this help?

2. Sky Q. I have a main box and a mini box upstairs. The router is in another downstairs room. This all works fine. I recently got another mini box which I put in the same room as the router. Since I did this my upstairs mini has connection issues. The other 2 aren’t in use when this happens, but the kids are streaming YouTube on 2 other TVs, playing with phones and iPads all at the same time (multitasking they tell me).
Any ideas why it’s dropping connection? Is it all the YouTube goings on from the kids or should it still work ok? (No idea on the whole mesh thing and how that works)

Lastly, I wondered if it was wise to invest in a new router, read a few things on here and the tplink vr900 seems an obvious easy choice with sky q/fibre. WiFi coverage with my sky router isn’t that bad to be fair but it would be nice to have something that I can control access times for certain devices etc.
Is there any others worth considering? I’m not sure I need something totally out there, but willing to buy something better, especially if I can control things easily regarding devices.

I’m currently on sky fibre 80mb, I have 3 iPhones, 3 laptops, 2 iPads, sky q box and 2 minis, 4 smart TVs, plus some other bits and pieces like my burglar alarm, nest thermostat and smoke alarms, Lightwave switches and hub.
Obviously everything isn’t all on at the same time!!

thanks!
 

psychopomp1

Member
Pretty much everyone who has bought a decent third party router such as the TP Link VR900 has found it to be a big improvement over Sky kit. If you can afford it, can't hurt to try!

 
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mickevh

Distinguished Member
The underlying network transport has little if any effect on picture quality and when it does, it tends to be dramatic - e.g. dropped frames, green outs, pop, bangs or silence in the audio - rather than things like "blocky blacks." The latter occurs because either the source material is encoded with compression levels that cause such artifacts or the rendering device is doing a less good job of smoothing it out or both.

For example, stuff streamed through the Internet (and off air) is generally compressed to achieve lower bit rates that Blu-Ray, hence Blu-Ray looks (subjectively) better. To know for sure whether it's "the network" that is having an effect, one would have to test using identical source material (not just "the same title" but physically exactly the same file bit for bit.) That's unlikely to be possible and those of us who have looked into "the number" see that Internet streaming service and broadcast TV using much lower bit rates than BD. In practical terms, that means the "detail" suffers and how much is down to the target bit rate the supplier is aiming at. Term like "SD/HD/2K/4K" are also somewhat meaningless - it's the bit rate that matters and whether the underlying network transport can sustain transmission at the required bit rate (be it streaming media or anything else.)

I don't subscribe to the view that "all ISP routers are rubbish" and thus all ills can magically "fixed" by "forklift" replacing with an after market replacement. There are differences of course, but a forklift replacement is a gamble. It might be better, it might be be the same, it might be worse.

In Wi-Fi "only one thing at a time can transmit" - the more "things" there are, the more data that needs to be transmitted, the more competition there is for some "air time." In Wi-Fi everything is a transmitter - Wi-Fi is a two-way radio conversation like walkie-talkies, not a one-way "lecture" lik television. If the Sky mini-hub are functioning as Wi-Fi "Repeaters" they are but one such "thing" competing for some air time with against the "main" router and all the client devices. "Repeaters" work by listening to the airwaves, copying any transmissions they hear, waiting for the airwaves to go quiet then broadcasting an almost verbatim copy of the original transmissions. As such, the original transmissions and the "repeats" cannot occur at the same time thereby aggravating the air time competition.

The best way (including VFM) to "fix" Wi-Fi coverage issues to put up a cellular pattern if Wi-Fi hotspots and link each "outpost" back o the rest of the (wired) network using "proper" wired ethernet "backhaul" links. If that's not possible, I'd be inclined to try HomePlugs which puts the backhaul traffic over the domestic mains supply (FAQ about HomePlugs pinned in this forum.) HomePlug is not without it's own risks as their performance is highly dependent on the state of your mains supply. Some people get good results, some people get terrible results and everything inbetween. We can also create "backhaul" over the Wi-FI airwave using Repeaters so-called "Mesh" systems and so on, but they can suffer due to air time completion as discussed. We also need to take care of the physical positioning of Wi-Fi repeaters as they need to be "in range" of a good signal from both the target coverage area and the "base" router/AP. Some experimenting with the position of your mini-hubs may improve matter (and of course will cost nothing to try.)
 
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STS121

Standard Member
Thanks all for taking the time to reply.
Some interesting stuff there to digest.

a few years ago when I just had amazon prime and a sky router (no Q) I had to drag the router into the hallway on a chair otherwise it was unwatchable. That was annoying so I tried the home plug route, that was better but still not great as picture still kept stopping.

I then tried the cheapest mesh option (the tenda one). This was decent and my tv was plugged into a node with a cable.

fast forward a bit more and I’m on sky q so binned the tenda idea, my newer Samsung tv is better than my previous Samsung tv on wireless but I still wasn’t totally happy so it is now on a cable into the back of my sky q main box (which is connected wirelessly to my hub).

this is the best way I’ve found upto now of doing it, of the only way of stopping the picture signal dropping out. To be fair it’s decent and I thought the pixelated picture was down to poor speed, as it’s ok on blu rays and normal tv. Perhaps this isn’t the case as you have said.

Also, if I run Speedtest through my phone when placed next to the tv it shows 43mb/s. when placing my phone next to the router it gets 78 mb/s. Obviously I get all this, WiFi, distance etc.

I have run speed test through my Samsung tv internet app and it’s on 18mb/s on a good day, how accurate is this likely to be? This was the reasoning for running a cable direct to the tv around the outside of the house.
Ping time through the tv using Speedtest is 150ms yet through my phone is around 12ms.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If I might correct something I said earlier to the effect that "SD/HD/2K/4K doesn't really have much meaning and it's all about the bit rate." Whilst at some basic level that's true, it's also worth mentioning that the CODEC's in use can also have a subjective effect in that for any given bit rate, newer codecs such as H265 or H264 might achieve a better subjective PQ than older CODEC's such as MPEG2. It's just one more element to muddy the waters!

However, whatever CODEC is being used, it's still the case that the underlying network transport and it's resultant throughput does not directly affect the PQ - if network glitches occur, you tend to get the aforementioned missing frames, audio glitches or (most likely) the dreaded "buffering." It would not (to use a completely made up exemplar) "make the blues look less blue" or "reduce the detail" - unless the source (e.g. the streaming site, media server, etc.) were able to detect network throughput constraints and "on the fly" dynamically adjust the encoding they are using to send to you which might manifest in a reduction in PQ. A bit like how the "tube" site will adjust the playback quality. I see it sometime with BBC iPlayer (in the UK) when I'm in some of the far flung corners of my home and the neighbours are all "in" (I live in flats) competing with me or Wi-Fi bandwidth.
 

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