SKY + Picture Quality

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derbyshireduck

Guest
Hello All,

Thanks for the advise in this forum on the use of SKY +.

I am hoping to take the plunge and order it myself this week. Can I ask if I will notice any diffrence in the picture quality ? I will be getting a digital optical cable so thay I can listen to the 5.1 surround sound, but was wondering if this cable would also improve the picture quality.

I have a Toshiba 32ZT29B and whilst the picture quality from my DVD's is fantastic, I must admit to be a bit disapointed with some of the outputs from my current SKy box, an old Amstrad.

Will I ever get the same quality picture from a Sky receiver, that I receive from my DVD player ?

Any advice would be gratefully received.

Tony
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Will I ever get the same quality picture from a Sky receiver, that I receive from my DVD player ?
No - because the PQ Sky use is awful whereas some DVDs are actually quite good! That said you should always ensure your doing everything possible at your end to improve PQ:

I have a Toshiba 32ZT29B
Now I don't know this TV but from what I've seen in the past most Toshiba TVs only have one RGB Scart socket. If so do you have the DVD player on AV1 and Sky on AV2/3? If so I presume your watching Sky in video (labelled as "PAL" on the Services/Setup/Picture Settings menu). You'd notice a dramatic improvement in PQ if you get a 2into1 Scart controller to ensure both DVD and Sky goto AV1 on the TV. If your already doing all this apologies for teaching you to 'suck eggs' so to speak ;)

I will be getting a digital optical cable so thay I can listen to the 5.1 surround sound, but was wondering if this cable would also improve the picture quality
Digital optical cables only carry the audio - not the picture! You should use reasonable quality Scart leads between your Sky unit and TV to ensure you get the most out of both. QED offers a good compromise between quality and cost:
http://www.hificables.co.uk/Product...D/2388/v/66892465-6701-4689-b17e-e2ac79e56d33
 

Galaxy

Active Member
I believe your Tv has component input as well, it would be a worthwhile upgrade if your DVD player has no component output to replace the DVD player and use component transfer for DVD, and then use the RGB scart transfer for Sky viewing.

Best regards David
 

STOWITBELOW

Active Member
Clearly there has been a PQ issue on + (all the discussion in this forum) However my PQ was as good as my old Panasonic digibox ?!!? Also there has just been a software upgrade that is supposed to have resolved it. Not having suffered in the first place I can't say. Knowledgeable people seem to talk about bitstreams & bandwidth, & from what I've seen Sky + is not as good as DVD, but far superior to my terrestrial signal & video. I don't believe the picture can be as good as DVD, but as it's far better than any other source, I'm not complaining. When you've experienced the convienience of + I doubt the - ever so - less than DVD quality picture will even be noticed.
 
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DTS Rocks !

Guest
Hi all,i just got SKY+,they gave me the new Amstrad digibox,which is V.3,and i must say,the picture is noticably better than previous SKY.Don't know what they did,but it is better.:smashin:
 

essex

Standard Member
Hi, I'm new to this forum.

I've had sky+ for a few months now and the picture quality seemed great on a normal 32 inch 4:3 TV.

I've taken the plunge and bought a PLASMA (Hitachi 32 inch from Richer Sounds) and have spent the last few days back and forth to Richers for quality cables.

I've put my Cambridge Audio DVD through composite video leads now and this has a great quality picture.

My only problem is viewing through SKY+. I've set sky to 16:9 picture setting now I've got a widescreen plasma. I've tried it with a (fairly)decent £20 cambridge audio scart through each of the scart sockets on my hitachi receiver box. (av2 looks best) but the quality of the picture seems pretty 'grainy' though.

Is this to do with the fact that a lot of the pictures seem to be transmitted in 4:3 by sky but are getting 'squashed' to fit into my 16:9 screen now?

I went back to richers. they sold my a £40 s-vhs cable which made no difference, and then a THOR £40 scart lead (which I still have) but this seems to make no difference. (They tell me I can get my money back on them luckily enough)

Funnily enough, some of the sky movie channels look ok, but this might be because they're transmitted wide screen?

One more thing, when I go to the tv + teletext picture side by side, the quality of the tv picture is perfect. I take it this is to do with the tv picture being in 4:3 format when I do this?

So is there anything I can do?

Sorry to waffle on.......

PS my sky+ box is a standard sky one. underneath it says PACE Model number bskyb 3100
 

cerebros

Active Member
Originally posted by essex

I went back to richers. they sold my a £40 s-vhs cable which made no difference, and then a THOR £40 scart lead (which I still have) but this seems to make no difference. (They tell me I can get my money back on them luckily enough)
Definitely get your money back, Thor's are only £20 here although they were cheaper a few months back
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Originally posted by essex


I've put my Cambridge Audio DVD through composite video leads now and this has a great quality picture.

My only problem is viewing through SKY+. I've set sky to 16:9 picture setting now I've got a widescreen plasma. I've tried it with a (fairly)decent £20 cambridge audio scart through each of the scart sockets on my hitachi receiver box. (av2 looks best) but the quality of the picture seems pretty 'grainy' though.

Is this to do with the fact that a lot of the pictures seem to be transmitted in 4:3 by sky but are getting 'squashed' to fit into my 16:9 screen now?

Funnily enough, some of the sky movie channels look ok, but this might be because they're transmitted wide screen?


First thing to remember is that as you increase the screen size and the digital processing required to generate the image the better the source has to be to maintain a level of quality you may have been happy with on a smaller screen.
DVD's of course are mastered with picture quality in mind (well most of them) and will benefit from a nive BIG 16:9 screen, they compression can handle the larger displayed image.

Most of the programming on SKY Digital has nothing to do with SKY, the BBC, ITV, E4, MTV etc etc all control their own broadcasts and choose what picture ratio to broadcast at.
There is plenty of 16:9 material on the "terrestrial" channels carried on SKY D and since last year the widescreen content on SKY1 and MIX has exploded with most of the new shows being presented in 16:9.
However the bottom line is that UK digital TV platfroms all use mpegII compression and with few exceptions they cut corners in terms of picture quality to save money. This as you have seen may be less noticeable on smaller televisions with no digital processing but even the poorest channels look terrible on any TV.
SKY's "premium" channels are at the upper end and some of the movies have looked stunning and equal to any dvd especially with DD audio being used.

I do not know how your plasma deals with 4:3 content, if it is zooming into the picture to fill the 16:9 frame then the image resolution will drop and the picture look very poor.
Try to override the plasma and display a 4:3 program as broadcast with pillarbox borders on the left and right, you might percieve a difference in picture quality.
 

essex

Standard Member
Starburst. Thanks, although not the answer I was hoping for! I CAN go for the pillar box effect, but I don't think it goes to 4:3 (only if I go for the TV + TELETEXT) and then the picture is fine (but small). I'll make sure I haven't got the screen set to zoom setting and go for the widescreen option.

I have noticed some of the other SKY channels being better, and now you mention it, yes they are the premium ones.

So in other words, better cables etc won't help me?

PS Cerebros, whoops, I meant £30 not £40, but thanks for the link.
 
H

hammerman

Guest
whilst I agree with everything starburst has said,it has to be said that the terrestrial digi channels look far worse on sky than they do on freeview!.......infact,maybe its just me,but the commercials on ITV1 look much better than the popular programmes they interrupt!:confused: .....(corrie being a great example)




hammerman
 

Starburst

Novice Member
Originally posted by hammerman
whilst I agree with everything starburst has said,it has to be said that the terrestrial digi channels look far worse on sky than they do on freeview!.......infact,maybe its just me,but the commercials on ITV1 look much better than the popular programmes they interrupt!:confused: .....(corrie being a great example)

hammerman



I would agree.
With the exception of FIVE all the terrestrial channels have been less than stellar examples of digital broadcasting on dsat.
As for the advertising it's no surprise that corners cut on program broadcasting are considered ok when only the viewers are of any concern but they would not be appreciated if those same corners were cut when showing the products paid for by the advertisers.

Adverts, remind me again, what are they?
:)
 
M

MatthewS

Guest
The issue is basically the level of compression that a channel is using at any given time. I don't know about sky, but on freeview the bitrate varies wildly between channels (for instance; BBC1 is currently broadcasting at 15Mbps, whereas ITV1 is broadcasting at 4Mbps).
 
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leng

Guest
I rarely watch ITV but I have to say the BBC stuff looks OK to me on a 32" CRT widescreen.

Where do you find the details of all the bitrates?
 

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