Sky HD with Panasonic PWD7 (more questions)


Standard Member
I know this subject has been done to death but despite searching I don't seem to be able to find a definite answer (as the service is not yet available I suppose there may be no definite answer?).

From the Sky HD website ( they seem to imply that the first Sky HD boxes will support an analogue HD signal:

Sky HDs Website said:
Q. I have already got an HD resolution TV but it does not have an HDMI or DVI connector, will I still be able to use it with Sky's HD service?

A. Provided your TV has a minimum native resolution of 720 line and will support 720p/50 or 1080i/25 you will be able to use the Sky HD set top box analogue component connectors to connect to your TV and watch HD programmes....

...These Component Video connectors have been added to our initial set top boxes because we are aware that there are some customers who have already bought HD Resolution TVs that don't have HDMI or DVI connectors.

You can use the initial HD boxes' analogue component connectors to watch all the HD channels in Sky's HD service. But to be safe we are recommending that if you are thinking about upgrading your TV you are best to buy one with an 'HD Ready' label. In any event Sky's subsequent HD boxes may not support analogue component connectors.

From hornydragon's very helpful comments on this thread he implys that in fact when Sky decide to turn HDCP on, the component output will cease to work. Is this correct? Surely they would be mentioning this on the Sky website if this was the case? If this is true how long do people think it will be before they turn on the encryption?

As I know already the PWD7 supports 720p and 1080i signals at both 50Hz and 60Hz over analogue and therefore initially at least the screen will be able to display the HD content broadcast over Sky's upcoming HD service. It is just over digital where the screen has problems with the 50Hz signal. Or is it 50Hz along with the HDCP signal where the problem arises and standard 50Hz will actually work?

From another page on the Sky HD website they seem to say that the 1080i signal will be at 25Hz (1080i/25), is this the same as 50Hz as far as the Panny screens goes (i.e. it will not work)?

I'm hoping that if you get one of the first Sky HD boxes that it will work fine with component video connectors for as long as the HD box works as then it will work fine with both my plasma and my projector. Will Sky really disable the component video feature on their boxes? Or will they just stop selling the boxes and remove the functionality this way?



You are right - this has been done to death - along with the doom merchants who predict that it will all end in tears for those of us who haven't got a 50Hz HDMI/DVI screen!

I have a 50PHD7 and am not worried a jot! SKY are broadcasting HD over component - as they have already published. Given that they are doing this to make it compatible with today's equipment, and will ship out thousand of boxes with this ability, I think it highly unlikely that they will switch it off in the future and risk the loss of business.

It is rather like watching SKY abroad, basically you are NOT allowed to do it - SKY only buy the rights to programmes for UK transmition. Of course everyone watches SKY on the continent, and SKY know that you do, but don't bother to police it because it is income for them. It is not in SKYs interest to get heavy handed, worst case scenario is that the film studios play dirty and insist on the change to full HDCP. If this happens (and I doubt very much) you can buy one of the many HDMI/DVI to VGA converters, I have one, and the analogue output looks better than the HDMI blade on the plasma anyway....

...either way - there is no need to sweat. Those who bought their screens for picture quality rather than HDMI 50Hz paranoia need not panic.......


Standard Member
Thanks for that, backs up what I was thinking really. I will just have to make sure I sign up to the Sky HD package sooner rather than later to get one of the boxes with component video outputs. I wonder if they will do a trade in for a Sky+ box, or I suppose there is eBay. I suppose I save having to get myself a JS Tech RGB Scart > Component convertor which I have been meaning to get for a long time now so can justify the cost in that way :) I can't imaging the box will cost more than £300?


Nick_T said:
I can't imaging the box will cost more than £300?

...don't hold your breath. I would expect £399 at least. That was the price of SKY+ at launch, and this has all that functionality, will have to have a larger hard drive to hold HD material, and will need the HD circuitry, which will need to be a damn site faster than that in the current boxes.....

Just my opinion of course..... they may give them away with a well known brand of breakfast cereal.......


Active Member
Is there any point in having HD with the PWD7 when it cant handle the HD properly, it doesnt have the necessary screen resolution for that you need the PWHD8 i would have thought?


Standard Member
I suppose it could be £400 or more when it first comes out :( I hate getting something when it first comes out as you end up paying way over the odds, but if Sky will be removing component video from later HD boxes I may well just have to jump on the HD bandwaggen sooner rather than later. I will just have to save up and get round to selling that pile of stuff I have in my spare room on eBay :)

It is true that the PWD7 (or 6 or 8 for that matter) doesn't physically go up to that resolution but I am currently using my Xbox over the HD resolution of 720p and also have my PC connected in 720p on the plasma and it makes everything far nicer to look at. PAL Sky currently is broadcast in 576 visible rows of pixels which are interlaced and output via RGB Scart at best. 720 in progressive scan is a much better source and is output via DVI/HDMI/Component Video so will look a lot better on a plasma (I would have thought). I'm also after displaying on my projector which does support that resolution.


Active Member
tscotsman said:
Is there any point in having HD with the PWD7 when it cant handle the HD properly, it doesnt have the necessary screen resolution for that you need the PWHD8 i would have thought?

The PHD7 does have the necessary screen resolution and will handle high def material provided that you aren't going into the DVI "blade" which cannot do 720p 0r 1080i @ 50 Hz. on the PHD7. The analogue input will be no problem with the first generation of Sky HD boxes, though whether they enable component output on ALL high def material remains to be seen and for how long they enable component high def output is also unknown.


Distinguished Member
I think this will happen, all HD programming will be HDCP free apart from the Box Office stuff and things like pay-per-view boxing etc. maybe even they will be free at first, but as newer stuff and bigger events come online the content providers will demand HDCP.

However, how many people actually use Box Office now?

I certainly don't, I buy it all on disc, and I don't expect that to change anytime soon, by the time Sky HD with HDCP arrives on Box Office I will be watching my lovely new HD disc format and only watching the non encrypted HD material via TV.
Also Toshiba has said that all their HD dvd player will output progressive over component and 720 and 1080 over hdmi, so all those with a PW7 will be able to watch HD-DVD too, just that the player will be downscaling rather than the panel.

For those with a PHD5/6/7 just buy a region 1 player and buy your software from and you will be fine, or get a little black box.


Well-known Member
or if you prefer not to have french all over your dvd covers.


Standard Member
I can't say I ever watch Box Office stuff other than a brief test many years ago when I first got Sky. I just go out to the local DVD rental place and rent a film I want to watch, or even buy the DVD.

Currently you can record everything on Sky other than Box Office as it is copy protected onto VHS / DVD etc. (I remember many years ago trying to record the one movie I did watch on Box Office onto VHS and it not working). So isn't it likely that it will be the same on the new HD service, having no copy protection on normal broadcasts but having copy protection on Box Office movies and events? It would be good if this was the case.

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