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Sky HD box behaviour with SD material

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by NicolasB, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Do we know yet how/whether the Sky HD set top box will handle SD material? It seems likely that customers will be able to use only the one box for all programmes, SD or HD, so it seems reasonable to assume that there will be DVI or HDMI output of SD material.

    The question therefore arises, in what form and at what level of quality will this be? And, specifically, will it render redundant the practice of doing SDI mods on old V1 Sky boxes because there will be a ready-made digital output on the new hardware? Or will it, for example, cock it up by only ever outputting a progressive signal which prevents one from using an external deinterlacer? And will the box have upscaling abilities?
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    The new HD box will be have full access to the SD channels since the chipset can decoder both mpeg4 and mpeg2 datastreams.
    I would expect that everything could be routed through the HDMI, it would I suspect be the easiest and cheapest option but of course the box will also have component and I would be shocked if a RGB scart and RF outputs are not also included for SD content. The use of HD via component is expected (broadcaster allowing of course).

    I wouldn't really see the point of having a "normal" SKY+ once you have the SKY+ HD although there may be people with a high quality display in another room which would benefit from a SDI SKY+. Then again why mod the v1 when you could just buy another SKY+ HD :)
    I would hope that the new STB will have scaling/deinterlacing abilities after all it's nothing special these days and there may be a mixture of 1080i and 720p broadcasts abd you would expect the STB to convert HD sources to PAL spec on the fly for viewing in another room.

    This could be all wishful thinking since SKY and Thomson have not issued any specific specs for the new hardware apart from the basics:)
     
  3. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Well, that's what I was asking about, really. Will the Sky HD box be able to produce a 576i digital output? If so, then SDI modded Sky+ boxes will no longer be useful (except as second boxes).
     
  4. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Since only about 3 channels out of the entire Sky channel line-up will be in HD at the launch of the HD box, I'm pretty sure that HD boxes will be able to handle SD. Sky would not be able to convince many people to have two boxes.
     
  5. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I've just been informed (over on another forum) that part of the HDMI licence requires all copy-protected material to be HDCP-encrypted. This suggests to me that the digital output from a Sky HD box will be HDCP-encrypted pretty much all of the time. That would mean that an SDI-modded V1 Sky+ box would still have the advantage of bypassing encryption for SD material.

    As things stand, most screens with HDMI inputs can only accept "standard video" resolutions through them. So you can't, for example, feed a plasma at the native resolution of the panel via HDMI. If you had a screen like this which had a non-HDCP-compliant DVI input, then you could potentially feed the panel at native resolution (via DVI) using an SDI-modded Sky+ box, but you couldn't do the same thing using the output of the Sky HD box.

    Of course, if the panel's DVI input supported HDCP and 50Hz input, it wouldn't matter.
     
  6. Starburst

    Starburst
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    If that is true then you would be right.
    However that is something I would have to see to believe, I can't quite get my head around the idea that the SKY+ HD HDMI output will have HDCP enabled when viewing say BBC content or any SKY content which they themselves are not being forced to protect by the distributers.

    However I suppose that would be one of the reasons for having component/rgb scart for those people who do not have a HDCP compliant display or wish to view on a standard PAL telly.
     
  7. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    It's possible that BBC channels (for example) wouldn't be encrypted. Presumably it would be up to the channel rather than the satellite feed whether or not the material was flagged for copy protection.

    But the industry in general tries quite hard to prevent lossless digital outputs. This is why we've never seen DVI outputs on DVD players - it's actually against the DVD technology licensing agreement to include any sort of non-encrypted digital output.
     
  8. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    You are speculating again. The BBC haven't even announced a start date for HDTV, unless you know something we don't. The problem with forums is that speculations are carried from one forum to another and somehow become facts.
     
  9. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I'm not even talking about HDTV. What the hell is your problem? :rolleyes:
     
  10. Starburst

    Starburst
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    Speculation, isn't it wonderful:)
    Of course there are some subjects that can only be talked about in terms of what ifs and maybes, High Def has been this way for the last few years.

    It is however reasonable to assume that the BBC's HD output (when it arrives) will not be encrypted on Dsat and given that they have I suspect the highest in house production ratio of the UK broadcasters there will be minimal external pressure for them to enable any content control.
     
  11. HarshKarma

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    I think you're misunderstanding the context of 'copy-protected' in this instance.*

    I read it to mean "if a copy-protected flag is detected then the signal must be encrypted". Whether or not a copy-protected flag is present will be entirely down to the studios/broadcasters etc.

    *Edit - Assuming I haven't misunderstood your post of course, I don't think my best at 1am :)

    Edit #2 - Okay, just read some of your later posts & I think *I* misunderstood - time for bed methinks :boring:
     

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