Sky+ to Sky+ HD? What box?

Sammer

Standard Member
Hi All,

I have a SKY + box with a PWD8 (had it for a few years now... after receiving much advice on this forum)

I have to say that I havent quite caught the HD bug yet and am very happy with my SD picture that I get.

I have an Onkyo 603 receiver and an S video connection to the SKY + box... from the receiver. Component cable from PWD8 to Onkyo 603. I have an optical cable (for sound) going from receiver to Sky+ box.

My normal sky box (in a different room) has given up.... so I called Sky and they offered to move my existing sky+ box to the second room and I would have a SKY HD box in the main room (though havent subscribed to HD yet...)

I have read somewhere that the HD boxes are not good for SD pictures....

1) How true is this?
2) Which make of box should I request to get the best PQ for SD
3) How will I connect my Onkyo 603 receiver to the new HD box - Will it have an S video connection?

Sky are due to come in tomorrow so any advice ahead of that will be greatly appreciated... :)
 
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andy1249

Distinguished Member
I have read somewhere that the HD boxes are not good for SD pictures....

1) How true is this?
2) Which make of box should I request to get the best PQ for SD
3) How will I connect my Onkyo 603 receiver to the new HD box - Will it have an S video connection?

SD picture quality is fine , its not as good as it could be over HDMI , but from the scart connections its fine , its as good as any standard Sky + box.

Regarding which box to request .... well it doesnt work like that , you get whats in the van , sky dont supply specific manufacturers on request , its whats in the van or nothing.

If you are especially nice to the installer ( Tea/Coffee + biscuits ) , he may give you a choice of what he has in the van , but he may just have the one type.

The new box , whatever type it is , should have an S-video port.
HD boxes of course , have HDMI as the main video out port , the preferred connection , if you cannot use that then you are stuck with SD only , that means either Scart or S-Video.

The original boxes had component , but they have been phased out and none of the boxes being installed now have those.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
SD picture quality is fine , its not as good as it could be over HDMI , but from the scart connections its fine , its as good as any standard Sky + box.

Regarding which box to request .... well it doesnt work like that , you get whats in the van , sky dont supply specific manufacturers on request , its whats in the van or nothing.

If you are especially nice to the installer ( Tea/Coffee + biscuits ) , he may give you a choice of what he has in the van , but he may just have the one type.

The new box , whatever type it is , should have an S-video port.
HD boxes of course , have HDMI as the main video out port , the preferred connection , if you cannot use that then you are stuck with SD only , that means either Scart or S-Video.

The original boxes had component , but they have been phased out and none of the boxes being installed now have those.

Thanks for the reply.....

1) I havent used a scart connection for a long time...... (not sure if PWD8 and my Onkyo 603 lets you) - do you know? and is this better than s-video to component upscaling that my Onkyo does?

2) Re HDMI - I dont think my Onkyo 603 supports HDMI... so this sounds like a no go.... presumably this means that I wont be able to see the free to air HD content either.... (If i did manage to get a box with component... would that allow me to see HD content?)

3) Re component... is there any possibility of requesting a refurbished box (if he has one in the van)... as that would sound like the best compromise?

4) What are the better boxes - is there a pecking order - in particular for SD content? Just so I know whether to cry ar smile when I see whats popped out from the van.... teas and biccies will definitely be the way to go....
 
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andy1249

Distinguished Member
Scart would have to be connected straight to the TV if that is possible.
No av receiver supports it. Scart carries RGB component as opposed to YPbPr component which is the type that AV receivers support.
Scart RGB is considerably better than S-video.

If your Receiver or TV doesnt have HDMI then obviously that connection is no good to you. You will still be able to see all the HD channels , just not in HD.

Only the old Thompson boxes had the component out. These are long gone and Sky wont have refurbed Thompson boxes.

These boxes had trouble with the power supplies. This is however , easily fixed , and you may be able to get your hands on a used one. Sky wont have them though , so check the classifieds on here or Ebay.
Satcure satellite dish LNBs digital TV aerial information supply capacitor kits for fixing these boxes for approx £10 so if you can solder then its an option. Otherwise you can buy a power supply with the correct rated capacitors for approx £50.

The Differences between boxes has always been very slight IMO , but Samsung is probably one of the better ones , in all likelihood that is what you will get.
Pace would be a close second
Amstrad would be the bottom of the pack.

If you can get a Refurbed or properly fixed Thompson box , it is definitely one of the best. Its highly unlikely that you will get this of Sky though.
 
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Sammer

Standard Member
Scart would have to be connected straight to the TV if that is possible.
No av receiver supports it. Scart carries RGB component as opposed to YPbPr component which is the type that AV receivers support.
Scart RGB is considerably better than S-video.

If your Receiver or TV doesnt have HDMI then obviously that connection is no good to you. You will still be able to see all the HD channels , just not in HD.

Only the old Thompson boxes had the component out. These are long gone and Sky wont have refurbed Thompson boxes.

These boxes had trouble with the power supplies. This is however , easily fixed , and you may be able to get your hands on a used one. Sky wont have them though , so check the classifieds on here or Ebay.
Satcure satellite dish LNBs digital TV aerial information supply capacitor kits for fixing these boxes for approx £10 so if you can solder then its an option. Otherwise you can buy a power supply with the correct rated capacitors for approx £50.

The Differences between boxes has always been very slight IMO , but Samsung is probably one of the better ones , in all likelihood that is what you will get.
Pace would be a close second
Amstrad would be the bottom of the pack.

If you can get a Refurbed or properly fixed Thompson box , it is definitely one of the best. Its highly unlikely that you will get this of Sky though.

Thanks...

Scart is a no no.... due to PWD8 not having the connection....

Sounds like I need to do some searching for the Thomson with component.... doesnt seem to be many around.... had a quick look at the classifieds here and doesnt seem to be anything....

:(

By power supply... do you mean the cable leading out of the box... or is it a component in the box itself?
 

andy1249

Distinguished Member
By power supply... do you mean the cable leading out of the box... or is it a component in the box itself?

Its actually a board within the box itself , its easy to do , I wrote a procedure on it that satcure use , ( they gave me a discount for permission to use ) and just involves taking the lid of the case , removing a few screws and a fan , and replacing the board.

The main issue with the Thompson boxes was the capacitors on this board were under rated for the job they had to do , replace these with some good high quality ones and the box is one of the best out there.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
Do you come across these Thomson boxes regularly? are they commonly available?

Also - in terms of PQ for SD content.... will it be the same quality as my Sky+ box? I have heard that PQ is not as good....
 
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sapper696

Active Member
There are a couple for sale in the adds section on this site.
Do you come across these Thomson boxes regularly? are they commonly available?
 

logiciel

Moderator
In reply to your three questions.
Picture quality on SD channels will be as good as that from your current receiver.
You do not get a choice of receiver - Sky supply the Amstrad 500gB HD receiver as standard replacement for Sky+ receivers.
They do not have s-video or component outputs, so to connect to the Onkyo for video you will have to use the Scart output with a converter or converter cable for a phono plug. The video connection would be better done direct to the TV though. For audio you still have the optical and co-ax digital outputs.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
In reply to your three questions.
Picture quality on SD channels will be as good as that from your current receiver.
You do not get a choice of receiver - Sky supply the Amstrad 500gB HD receiver as standard replacement for Sky+ receivers.
They do not have s-video or component outputs, so to connect to the Onkyo for video you will have to use the Scart output with a converter or converter cable for a phono plug. The video connection would be better done direct to the TV though. For audio you still have the optical and co-ax digital outputs.

Hi - thanks for your reply...

Andy suggested the boxes would have the s-video port..... now I am :confused:


i dont like convertors.. i think they detriorate PQ....?

PS - do you know if PWD8 has a Scart connection....
 
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andy1249

Distinguished Member

logiciel

Moderator
Yes Andy was fairly confident: "The new box, whatever type it is, should have an S-video port".
My comment about the Amstrads was based on the 1.5tB so he could be right about that too, that it's the exception and their 500gB might have s-video.
A Scart to phono converter or cable is simply taking the composite video that it would send through actual plugs, so that should have the same effect when connected through the Onkyo as a Scart socket on it would.
As the TV has component in I'd guess it also has a Scart input socket and that would be the better way to do it.
 

Masteriser

Active Member
This thread has a picture of the Samsung box in post number 1 , S video connection is clearly visible ,

http://www.avforums.com/forums/onkyo-products/1192260-onkyo-607-sky-hd-cable.html

I dont know about the amstrads and the pace boxes , but as the Thompson and the Samsung do , I assumed they all did.

I know the new 1TB boxes dont have them , but I thought they were an exception.

Samsung no longer supply HD boxes to Sky and have not done so for a few months. Unfortunately for you it means you would be extremely unlikely to get one now. Currently, and probably for the forseeable future, the only supplier is Amstrad (now owned by Sky) and none of their current boxes support S-Video.
 

logiciel

Moderator
And the 890 is what - the standard 500gB Amstrad receiver?
It has the composite video on its own socket, so doesn't need the Scart converter.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
Sky man came round..... only had amstrads....

Told him needed s video..... so sent him home....

Hopefully will be back next week with a Samsung....
 

logiciel

Moderator
Scart is a no no.... due to PWD8 not having the connection
do you know if PWD8 has a Scart connection
I wasn't sure whether that was a question or a statement so I looked but haven't been able to find an answer!
It would be better to connect the Sky receiver direct to the TV so what connections DOES the TV have?
 
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Doctor_AB

Well-known Member
I believe that the onkyo has component in and so you could use a scart to component converter. The picture will be better than the s video set up.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
I believe that the onkyo has component in and so you could use a scart to component converter. The picture will be better than the s video set up.

Yes the Onkyo has component in.... How much does a Scart to component converter cost?

What is a good brand/version?

Also dont the converters deteriarate the PQ?
 
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Sammer

Standard Member
I wasn't sure whether that was a question or a statement so I looked but haven't been able to find an answer!
It would be better to connect the Sky receiver direct to the TV so what connections DOES the TV have?


The TV has VGA and component in.....
 

logiciel

Moderator
That's quite a restriction but you still have several options.
Buy a Sky receiver that has component output.
Maybe take the Sky offer and sell the receiver to get more than you paid for the one with component.
Buy one of the many inexpensive Scart to component cables on Ebay and see if they work.
Use a Scart to phono converter or cable and go back to connecting through the Onkyo.
That would be equivalent to getting the Scart to component and it would work.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
That's quite a restriction but you still have several options.
Buy a Sky receiver that has component output.
Maybe take the Sky offer and sell the receiver to get more than you paid for the one with component.
Buy one of the many inexpensive Scart to component cables on Ebay and see if they work.
Use a Scart to phono converter or cable and go back to connecting through the Onkyo.
That would be equivalent to getting the Scart to component and it would work.

Thanks....

Sounds like my best options are

1) Buy an old Thomson box which has component out
2) Buy a Scart to component convertor

Each of above is better than S video.

If I want to view HD - Option 1)
If I dont want to view HD - Option 2)

1) Will cost me about £100... though could recover the cost via selling sky box...
2) Will cost about £100


In terms of Option 2....

a) would the signal quality be SCART quality or Component quality? Presumably SCART as the convertor wouldnt be IMPROVING the signal in any way....

b) Also what are the recommended convertors to buy? If I did decide to buy... I would want a good one.
 

logiciel

Moderator
You should find Thomson receivers for well under £100 and be able to sell the new receiver for well over.
Scart to component cables on Ebay start from about a fiver but as I implied I don't know if they work.
A Google search will find elaborate converting devices from about £75 but I'm not sure about those either.
As the TV resolves only 852x480 it can't really do much with any higher resolution input anyway.
 

Sammer

Standard Member
You should find Thomson receivers for well under £100 and be able to sell the new receiver for well over.
Scart to component cables on Ebay start from about a fiver but as I implied I don't know if they work.
A Google search will find elaborate converting devices from about £75 but I'm not sure about those either.
As the TV resolves only 852x480 it can't really do much with any higher resolution input anyway.

I have ordered a refurbed box from ebay with a 1000GB hard drive. Paid £140.

Did I pay the right sort of price?

I have been asking the sky man to get me a refurbed samsung.

Now that I have a Thomson (or should do soon), which box should I get from sky? ie which one will be easiest to sell on?
 

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