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SkyBox, RGB out, Perils of Custom Installation!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Buying & Building' started by Gordon @ Convergent AV, Nov 29, 2001.

  1. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Not sure where to post this bit of info....

    We have just finished an installation with a Plasma and off board scaler. The scaler is fed a signal from a Sky Digibox downconverted from RGB to s-video. The RF output of the Sky box is fed around the house by a distribution amp which has IR relay back to the Digibox allowing control of it from all the remote rooms (of which there are alot!)

    During the initial install the picture on Sky get disappearing from the Plasma. It'd be fine for 10 minutes, then go off. Sometimes it'd be on for 1hr, then go off. Everytime it went off you just needed to pick up the Pronto and press "TVguide" or "Up arrow" and it's come back on......I presumed it was some form of sync problem with the RGB convertor. So John Sim kindly sent me a modified one to try and fix it.

    I went out and installed this new unit and all seemed much better. Then over the weekend the customer mentioned the same thing was happening. Went out yesterday and followed the exact sequence of events they said had caused the pic to go off. Re-created the fault...then spent about an hr trying to work out what was causing it....so is everyone ready!

    It seems that when you press the "TV" button on a Sky remote it sends an IR command to the Digibox which turns off the RGB output! Any further SKY commands sent to the box re-awaken it's RGB output.

    So the day I put the new RGB convertor in I was the only person in the house and no-one was in other rooms turning tellies off with Sky remotes. The other days there were folk in kitchen, play room etc who would get Sky remote, Press "tv", "stdby" to switch off the TV in the remote room and the picture would disappear from the plasma as the RGB was disabled...nightmare.

    Not sure if any of you will ever come across this but forewarned is forearmed as they say. Also if anyone has any idea how to get around this please tell me....soon!

    Gordon
     
  2. Norman

    Norman
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    Not sure if this will help, but since you are converting the RGB to S-Video, it may be worth changing the Digibox for one that has a permanent S-Video output, like the Sky + box?
     
  3. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Norman,

    We are considering that. However, the client doesn't really want the added expense of it just now. Looking like downgrading picture to Composite may be the requirement.

    Gordon
     
  4. mart.stokes

    mart.stokes
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    Oh, hum, sorry you have discovered this in a customer environment. My wife kept asking me why I kept putting my hand over the IR transmitter part of the remote just before I performed certain TV actions (I don't rely on Scart pin 8 to switch)!

    As Norman suggests if you use a Grundig second series box or a Sky+ box then it isn't an issue.

    The whole logic of the Sky boxes is a bit idealistic but still flawed. My next door neighbour had a problem where every so often his TV picture would show co-channel interference despite the fact that he was connected via RGB. Turns out that the installer had programmed the neighbour's handset to switch to channel 6 when Sky was pressed and sometimes this would override Scart pin 8 being raised (but not all the time because of the flawed logic of his Philips TV!).

    Sky+ is even more flawed on the RGB output because if you say no to Scart control you seem to lose RGB.
     
  5. mart.stokes

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    Does it actually drop RGB or is it just dropping the RGB pin (is that 16?). I can't remember if 16 just carries a voltage or an actual signal, perhaps that can be set "high" from another pin via the Scart to test it.
     
  6. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    It drops RGB completely. It's not a voltage control thing. I have my old Grundig box in the shop wired RGBcomposite sync (only these 4 wires) to our Vigatec processor. Pressed "tv" and sure enough the picture goes off.

    I originally thought it was voltage control issue or rgb blanking thing but it wasn't.

    Gordon
     
  7. mart.stokes

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    So, you need a solution that doesn't transmit the IR signal from the "TV" button being pressed but allows the remote control to switch its functionality to control the local TV.

    Do I get the prize for most obvious statement?

    Obviously if the guy doesn't fancy the cost of a Sky+ box then I doubt he is going to be interested in a learning remote control being used. That's how I get round the problem at home, I don't use a Sky remote in a remote location (I didn't REALISE I had got around the problem, I have just never had it because of my implementation).
     
  8. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    I'm currently debating whether we should use learning remotes in the other rooms or perhaps get an RF base station colour Pronto to replace the B+W one. The RF pronto would also get round the IR problems you have with plasma's.

    For those who don't know Plasma displays chuck out HUGE amounts of IR noise. This can block ir relay systems, send false commands and generally be very annoying. Special Plasma friendly ir receivers have been developed to help cut down on this but they have a special "feature" which means they don't work very well with Sky Digibox ir control. (they chop off high ir frequencies where some of the Sky commands live)

    Gordon
     
  9. Paden

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    Gordon
    Regarding the instalation you carried out at the top of the thread, can you tell me what the scaler does & if it makes much difference to the picture?
    My brother has a plasma fed s-video from a Sky+ box & I like spending his money!
    Cheers, Paul.
     
  10. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Paul: Plasma's are fixed pixel devices. The image is made up of lots of little dots. Different plasma's have differing amounts of dots. Inside every plasma is a device which takes the incoming picture info and regardless of it's resolution, scales it to the exact amount of pixels in the panel. ie NTSC DVD comes in at 720 x480 and in plasmaX is turned in to 853 X 480 pixels.

    An external video processor does this scaling, it also de-interlaces any interlaced sources to make them progressive and it will also have normal colour video decoders etc like the plasma or a TV set (ie colour, contrast, brightness, tint controls)

    The idea is that an external device will probably have much better colour video decoding, better de-interlacing algorithms and better scaling than the parts used inside a Plasma.

    This results in better detail, and less scaling and de-interlacing artefacts.

    Gordon
     
  11. Paden

    Paden
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    Thanks Gordon
    I'm not sure but I don't think this would work with my brothers set up as he has one of those direct digital sets which has an external SDI (serial digital interface) box, which converts the video signal to digital before entering the plasma.
    Appreciate the info!
    Cheers, Paul.
     
  12. Aladin

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    why not use a pronto as opposed to using the sky remote as a universal remote?
     
  13. mart.stokes

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    You have been thinking about this for over three years? :D
     
  14. Flimber

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    Looks like he's only just joined and been poking around the archives :)

    Mike.
     
  15. Aladin

    Aladin
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    Looks like all of you poke around the archives!!
     
  16. Flimber

    Flimber
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    Once you replied it didn't remain in the archives; you popped straight onto the "new posts" first page :)

    Mike.
     
  17. tmcmullan

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    I have been trying to track down this problem in my own config.

    Having just discovered that the RGB goes missing if you press the TV button on the sky remote, apart from using a "Learning" remote - has anyone discovered a fix for this "feature"

    Regards

    Tom McMullan :lease:
     
  18. Roadster69

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    I am looking for some help please!!

    I bought a LCD flat screen to replace the old TV in the kitchen at the weekend which is wired up from the Sky in the lounge using the second RF port on the box. The picture quality was not great so I plugged a DVD player in (to test) and the picture was excellent, therefore how can I get a better signal in the kitchen from the lounge using something other than normal Co-Ax cable, how do dixons and currys get the same picture on all there screens in there stores, how can I do this in the home, any advice please?
     
  19. Tesla

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    Currys and Dixons use RF in almost all of their stores as the means of getting the signal about.

    You may find the odd HDMI / DVI display but that's different.

    If your picture is "really" bad it suggests that there is a fault with the coax cable.

    The best thing you would be able to do would be to use a freeview box or opt for a mirror subscription or maybe even free sat on the other TV so you can feed it an RGB signal.

    With regards to the remote control talk, I have manually programed individual buttons on my Sky remote, perhaps you could reprogram the on/off button?
     
  20. Roadster69

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I spoke with some guy in Currys at Lunch time and he said they were connected via RGB Composite (does that sound about right?) but I think they are only playing DVD's and not true live television.

    It is mainly for the Sky Sports (Football), do you reckon it may be worth while putting a signal booster on the line? as the RF connection goes from the lounge to the loft where it splits out into 3 and goes to the kitchen and 2 other rooms (although they are not connected at the moment)?
     
  21. LV426

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    RGB Composite (does that sound about right?)Sounds about right for what a DSG employee might tell an unknowing customer.

    RGB and Composite are two different methods of connection; RGB is one of the best protocols, and composite is second worst; better only than RF which should ideally only be used for over-the-air transmissions and not for anything else!
     
  22. Roadster69

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    Can you offer me any ideas how I can get a top notch digital picture on a second TV (LCD) located in my kitchen is there no other output from the sky+ box which I could run directly to the kitchen, I am not worried about the remote control side of it just want DVD quality picture on the LCD.
     
  23. Tesla

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    How is your signal split?
     
  24. Roadster69

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    The co-ax from the back of the RF2 port on the Sky+ box runs up into the loft where it goes into a 3 way spliter and then runs back to the kitchen and 2 bedrooms (2 bedrooms are not connected up though), it was perfect picture on my old portable TV but on the LCD it is acceptable but not as good as I would like, especially when I played a DVD through the TV it was spot on.
     
  25. Tesla

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    If the RF signal is perfect as you say then I am afraid you seeing the quality difference between rf and an rgb signal.
     
  26. Redeye UK

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    And the difference between a RF signal on a LCD and an 'old portable'.

    The start of this thread was very informative - I'm glad it got dusted off! Don't tell me Sky boxes still have this design fault?

    On a kind of connected note: I noticed the other day that whilst a NTL box will happily route the 'RGB on' indicator from it's second scart socket it doesn't actually bother with the RGB itself.
     

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