Sky Q HDMI Picture Resolution

Willis1995

Novice Member
I have a Sky Q 1TB connected to an LG UHD HDR OLED TV. Obviously you should set the resolution on the Sky box to 2160p for 2160p content, but which resolution would be best to put it on for watching normal 1080i broadcasts? Would setting it to 1080p be the best thing to do? And would I see much difference in quality?
 

bingodisco

Active Member
The native UK HD broadcast resolution is 1080i so if you want your TV to do the upscaling then leave the Q box on this. You'll need to switch the Q resolution manually to 2160P whenever you want to watch any UHD content, which can be a bit annoying.
Most people tend to let the Q box do the upscaling and leave it set to output 2160P all the time, then you don't need to faff around with settings. The difference visually is usually pretty negligible, especially as Sky compress their HD output so much anyway.
Try it and see what looks better to your eye on your TV. I leave my Q box on 2160P and think it does a perfectly good enough job of upscaling.
 

Willis1995

Novice Member
Hello,

Many thanks for your reply...

But if the broadcasts are in 1080i, then if you set the Q box to 1080p then won’t the TV do the de-interlacing? And, with the other way round, if you set the Q box to 1080i then that will do the de-interlacing? Please correct me if I am wrong here as I am keen to learn.

Also, what about if you’re watching SD broadcasts? In this case, would it be better to set the Q box to 576p so that it will then upscale straight to 2160p? Because, otherwise, if the Q box is set to 1080p or 2160p, and the source material is 576i, then won’t the Q box have to first downscale to 576i, then scale back up to 2160p? Because the more scaling there is going on then the worse the picture quality will end up looking, won’t it?
 

bingodisco

Active Member
If you set the Q box to 1080P then it's doing the de-interlacing. It's turning an interlaced signal to a progressive one.
In truth, there's really no correct answer to your questions. Sky Q is a mass market AV product so it's never going to give you the kind of control over so many different variations of content than you might like. There's so much variety in terms of levels of compression, resolution, frame rate conversion and such like between channels that it's just easier to set Q to 2160P and get used to how it looks on your TV.
By all means run some tests and see what looks best to your eye on your TV but unless you are extremely fussy about how stuff looks and have a lot of spare time, then personally I don't think you'll see that much of a difference.
If you want to show off how good your OLED TV can look then personally I wouldn't use Sky Q as a main source of content to be honest. I have an Apple TV 4K box for example, and on my TV I find that an upscaled 720P stream from the BBC iPlayer app actually looks as good, if not a tad better, than the 1080i or 2160P upscaled equivalent from Sky Q of the same content on the BBC1 HD channel.
 

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
As bingodisco says you are trying to chase the impossible 'correct' answer.

'You' have no control of what happens before the source is broadcast by SKY!

If you are happy to be continually toggling between modes or put up with your TV re-synching every time you switch channels you can try and avoid the processing in the SKY box and allow the TV to deinterlace and upscale.

Most folk find that option a pain and set the SKY box to a global output and live with the deinterlacing and upscaling of the SKY box.

Joe
 

Willis1995

Novice Member
If you set the Q box to 1080P then it's doing the de-interlacing. It's turning an interlaced signal to a progressive one.
In truth, there's really no correct answer to your questions. Sky Q is a mass market AV product so it's never going to give you the kind of control over so many different variations of content than you might like. There's so much variety in terms of levels of compression, resolution, frame rate conversion and such like between channels that it's just easier to set Q to 2160P and get used to how it looks on your TV.
By all means run some tests and see what looks best to your eye on your TV but unless you are extremely fussy about how stuff looks and have a lot of spare time, then personally I don't think you'll see that much of a difference.
If you want to show off how good your OLED TV can look then personally I wouldn't use Sky Q as a main source of content to be honest. I have an Apple TV 4K box for example, and on my TV I find that an upscaled 720P stream from the BBC iPlayer app actually looks as good, if not a tad better, than the 1080i or 2160P upscaled equivalent from Sky Q of the same content on the BBC1 HD channel.
Yeah, I can understand that.

But, just so I know, would it be technically “correct” to have the Q box output at 576p, rather than 1080p, for 576i/p content?
 

bingodisco

Active Member
Yeah, I can understand that.

But, just so I know, would it be technically “correct” to have the Q box output at 576p, rather than 1080p, for 576i/p content?
Sort of. 576P was never an agreed broadcast format. SD was always 576i back in the old analogue days, so the Q box will be deinterlacing it. Unless it’s been deinterlaced at source, ie by the individual channel and the file they have provided for broadcast is already 576P. It can also be the case where the source has already been upscaled from 576i to 1080i by the individual channel when providing the broadcast master file in case it needs to be shown on a channel that broadcasts in HD.
There’s no way of knowing what format or native resolution the source file is with SD content on Sky Q.
 

Willis1995

Novice Member
So, regardless of the source resolution, when you set the Q box to 576p, what is actually happening?

I tend to watch a lot of old SD programmes that are shown on Drama channel. And, as far as I know, Drama only has an SD channel. Most probably because all of the content they show are old series from years ago, that were originally made in SD.
 

bingodisco

Active Member
With 576i source material (which is what UKTV who run the Drama channel specify as their broadcast format for SD material) the Q box will be combining each interlaced field into one progressive frame before outputting it at 576P via HDMI. Your TV will then upscale this to whatever resolution it displays, ie 2160P if it’s a modern 4K model.
Out of curiosity I just set my box to 576P and had a look at the Drama channel in SD. I then switched back to 2160P 10bit and watched the same thing. To my eye the 2160P output was definitely smoother with less visible artefacting and smoother colour gradation.
 

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