Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
518 posts

Ultimate Geek


Reply # 38784 16-Jun-2006 17:13 Send private message

Yeah, I've already got a f-type splitter that I was using at the last place to split the Saturn cable connection. You can actually get quite a few of the free-to-air channels straight off the cable without using the Saturn Decoder.  The quality does vary a bit however, and I think the audio frequence is slightly offset from what a normal uhf broadcast is.

Interestingly enough only the video content is encoded, you can still hear the audio without issue.  There's also a few channels in there that last time I played with it aren't in the Saturn channel map, including a couple of uncoded ones.  Sadly don't have cable anymore.  When I moved the new place isn't in a "cable coverage area". :(

That said, they physically disconnect the cable from the pole now when you disconnect. So the only way to have it hooked up is to have cable tv/internet through them in which case you probably have the decoder anyway.  Especially since you can't get cable internet only these days.

Jp.




Working for Service Plus - www.serviceplus.co.nz

Authorised Service Agent for Apple, BenQ, Navman, Sony, and Toshiba - warranty & non-warranty repairs.

19267 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1139

Moderator
Trusted
Biddle Corp
Subscriber

Reply # 38794 16-Jun-2006 19:16 Send private message

jpwise:
That said, they physically disconnect the cable from the pole now when you disconnect. So the only way to have it hooked up is to have cable tv/internet through them in which case you probably have the decoder anyway.  Especially since you can't get cable internet only these days.

Jp.


You can again now. They introduced that stupid rule with their plan changes late last year but as of April when they launched their new plans things have now changed back. You can only get the cheaper plans as part of a phone/internet bundle but the higher plans are available to anybody.

240 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 38796 16-Jun-2006 20:37 Send private message

Will the signal be encrypted?

Some interesting comments here


5914 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 85

Trusted
Subscriber

Reply # 38827 17-Jun-2006 08:39 Send private message

I doubt it will be encrypted, as this adds a cost of CA licence, based on the prices that have been indicated they are only talking of a FTA service.

Further, I bet that by the time the service is in full swing they will have arranged a deal with Sky such that Sky will let their STB's access the FreeVeiw service, both of them need each other, Sky needs TV1/2/3 on their remotes to stop folk moving from their service (and the other programming), FreeVeiw needs Sky because that gives them 500,000 STB's in the market the day they start. Dont forget that when you watch TV1/2 (below Taupo) and MaoriTV on Sky you are actually watching the TVNZ satellite service, the very same transponders that FreeView will eventually become (when D1 comes into service the same transponder frequcies will be used by TVNZ/BCL as the current B1 tranponders).

As for territory covered by the B1 NZ spot beam, this does not extend very far from NZ, it does have a chink in it (by design) so that the chatams are covered, but even there you need a 90cm or greater to recieve it, much beyond the 200mile circumference of the country the signal needs 3-4meter dishes or greater to receive it, and it keeps getting worse further out, as there are not many mammals out that far that can make much use of these signals I doubt this is an issue of any concern.

To demonstrate I have included from the Optus Designer guide the full power spot beam off B1, it is infact operated a few dB lower than this, but the shape and characteristecs are the same, note that for every 3dB less signal you require a dish twice the diameter to achieve the same recieve performance. This would indicate that the outer profile ring shown (47dB) would need roughly a 2.5Meter dish to achieve the same reception performance as mainland NZ 53dB profile (ignore the big 55dB peak around ChCh). It is my understanding that the levels fall off rapidly beyond this shown profile. I understand that it is possible to see the NZ beam on the eastern boarder of Australia, but dish's greater than 10Meters diameter are needed, hardly a threat to anyone.

B1 NZ Spot Beam



Cyril

820 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 40740 10-Jul-2006 12:35 Send private message

Hi people,


I wonder if the more learned in this forum could confirm or further explain (in plain language) a few matters regarding digital tv for me (and maybe others less techie inclined <s>) please.  It is my understanding that -


1: The Govt/TVNZ have annnounced that free-to-air digital TV transmissions will be coming in about a years' time?


2:  To view the digital channels, one can use the analogue TV one currently has by using a "set-top" decoder/modem box?


3:  High Definition TV's are by definition already capable of receiving digital signals without the need (all things being equal as per 4: below), for the set-top box?


4:  The digital transmisson protocols are yet to be defined, there being at least two standards already in use, e.g. European and American?


5:  Some sort of copy protection will be built-in to the newer HD TVs?  How does this effect currently owned analogue TV's?


6:  Is the copy-protection contained in the actual transmission signal, the set-top box, or the TV itself?  What does the copy protection prevent being recorded, viz. will VCR's and DVD-R's become redundant if one receives the digital transmissions?


Many thanks,


Ricky.


5914 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 85

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 40749 10-Jul-2006 14:14 Send private message

To correct and clarify some of you points Rick.

The expected start of the FreeView service via satellite is expected to be 6-7months away, the terrestial DVB-T (same service but via UHF antenna rather than satellite dish), will happen a short while latter depending on where you are, expect the main centres to come on line sooner. The service will be the same, just the delivery path is different. Satellite requires a DVB-S STB, terrestial requires a DVB-T stb, both STB's are very very similar, just the very input stage of the STB varies according to the transmission method. The Sky service uses a DVB-S STB. At this point the service is only a SD service.

A STB takes the digital transmission and outputs analog video and audio for connection to your existing TV. Some folk seem to think that the final conversion back to analog just gives you the same potential quality as the current analog system, however the current analog transmission system limits what a good analog video connection can achieve, so by upgrading the connection from the transmitter to your STB to digital but having analog between the STB and your TV has the potential of a massive improvement especially if you chose to use S-Video or component analog connections between your STB and TV.

A HD ready TV still requires a STB to receive digital transmissions. There do exist on the market (not in NZ yet) ""Integrated digtial TVs" that have the digital STB built within, however it should be pointed out that by and large these are not favoured in the market place, they are typically significantly dearer than the same TV (without the built in STB) and external STB. Integrated SD digtial TV's also exist, however once again in Europe these have proven less popular.
 
A HD ready TV will however be capable of accepting and displaying Hi Definition transmissions if broadcasters choose to transmit HD programs over the digital service. Sky has indicated they intend to do HD in 18orso months time, at this time the Freeview operators have not indicated doing any HD, but once their system is in place they readily can. You will however need a HD STB to recieve HD pictures as well as a HD ready TV. It is also recommended that if you are buying a HD ready TV that you ensure it has HDMI inputs with HDCP. HDMI is a digital interconnect between the STB and TV, no analog connection is involved. By and large SD (standard def) picutres do not gain much advantage by using this digital interconnect over a component analog connection, however HD pictures do obtain an advantage of the HDMI interconnect.

The digital transmission standard for NZ was set in place in 2003, it is based on the European DVB system, SkyNZ also use this standard. The American ATSC system (and in particular the 8VSB terrestial transmission component) is as usual a bit of a lame duck, the COFDM technology used by the DVB-T system is universally concidered superiour.  What has not been finalised is what feature list a Freeview STB should have, this largly refers to what firmware/software features it must or should support to take full advantage of the freeview transmissions, in particular interactive features, and extended EPG features.

SD digital transmissions will not have any copy protection applied, however HD transmission may have HDCP protection applied. Thus for the upcoming SD Freeveiw service your VCR will work just as before, however as discussed before to recieve full resolution HD pictures from any future HD service is it recommended that you have a display that has HDMI inputs that support HDCP.

The most likely STB's that SkyNZ use will by of a PVR type, thus you can still record material (in HD or SD), these STB's simultaneously output SD signals, so you can record HD programming (albeit as SD) to tape. If your HD ready TV only has HD analog component inputs and no HDMI then for now you will be able to get full resolution analog signals from these STB's, but it is expected that in a few years time the broadcasters (or more correctly the copyright holders) will invoke the ICT flag that still allows the HDMI signal at full resolution, however the analog component output will be reduced in resolution. All the above copyprotection systems are implemented by the STB from commands from the broadcasters. It is still unknown if FreeView broadcasters will impose such copyprotection, but I would expect the copyright holders will force them to do so if they wish to transmit certain copyrighted material.

HDCP (Hi Def copy protection) on an HDMI (Hi density Media interface) requires that the source device (STB or HD-DVD etc) recieves a suitable key from the recieving display, if not accpetable then the source device wont send any transmission. As part of this HDCP system, if the ICT flag is set by the broadcaster (on behalf of the copyright holder) then the analog ports of the source device will only output downresed pictures. At this point the copyright holders have decided not to set the ICT flag until at least 2010-2012 due to the large number of HD ready TV''s that dont have HDMI/HDCP. Thus you can still view HD pictures at full resolution via the analog component outputs. 


Hope this helps.

Cyril


3878 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 18

Trusted

  Reply # 40757 10-Jul-2006 18:11 Send private message

cyril7:



HDCP (Hi Def copy protection) on an HDMI (Hi density Media interface) requires that the source device (STB or HD-DVD etc) recieves a suitable key from the recieving display, if not accpetable then the source device wont send any transmission. As part of this HDCP system, if the ICT flag is set by the broadcaster (on behalf of the copyright holder) then the analog ports of the source device will only output downresed pictures. At this point the copyright holders have decided not to set the ICT flag until at least 2010-2012 due to the large number of HD ready TV''s that dont have HDMI/HDCP. Thus you can still view HD pictures at full resolution via the analog component outputs.


Hope this helps.

Cyril



As a point of interest, since Sony's entry level PS3 will not have HDMI, I can see why Sony would not want to disenfranchise those purchasers by issuing their BluRay movies with the ICT flag on! After all their goal is to drive the BD market with the PS3. And I am sure they would pressure the other content providers also not to enforce ICT.

Of course the rules change dramatically if they see a large amount of pirate HD content out there




System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR running on Gigabyte Brix, Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Logitech Revue, Pioneer AVR, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player, Roku XS media player

Check out my blog at lchiu.blogspot.com

820 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 40788 11-Jul-2006 09:47 Send private message

Hi Cyril,

Many thanks for your very full answers, it is most appreciated. A couple of additional questions if I may -

1: Is there any significant difference in terms of reception quality between DVB-T and DVB-S. I gather satellite feeds do suffer "rain fade" and aircraft interference more so than terrestial UHF?

2: Presumably the DVB-T feeds will come from the same transmisson towers/sites that currently transmit TV1 & 2, and therefore one would only need to purchase a UHF antenna (plus STB-T) to replace the VHF one already on the roof?

3: As you say, the best cabling between the STB and the TV will be component and S-video, but presumably would also have an RF coaxial to accommodate older TVs and VCRs'? In this regard, I'm interested to know where one would place a VCR/DVD recorder ... currently it's TV antenna-to-vcr/dvdr-to-TV. I'm only using a DVD recorder now so would like to know if the incoming digital signal is recorded before or after the STB? Will it still be possible to "watch one channel and record another" as now ... I appreciate that with standard Sky you cannot do this because the channel/program is transmitted as a single 'request' (in the USA I saw cable service set-top recorders that permitted the ability to watch one and record another, which I assume MySky is all about).

4: I am beginning to understand the copyright protection matter, but if the "key" to allow viewing of any particular transmission/program is confirmed by the TV, would not using a recorder between the antenna and STB also record the appropriate codes that upon passing through the STB would agree with those in the TV?
As you say, HD is a little more down the line, but even 3 or 5 years is not long really.

Regards,

Ricky.

5914 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 85

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 40800 11-Jul-2006 11:01 Send private message

Ricky. you are correct, DVB-S transmissions are immune to man made interference, however rain fade is DVB-S's main enemy, that said, I would guess only 10-15minutes/year shoulld affect a properly installed dish in the NorthIs.

DVB-T will be in the UHF band, and yes in Auckland it will initally be from Waiatarua. I would recommend that you ensure any UHF antenna you install is done to the best quality standards, this means RG6 Quadshield (as used for the satellite L Band feed from a dish) and F-connectors used at all connection points. Any splitters should be Fconnector shielded ones. What may be a slightly annoying interference on analog can become a real annoying freezing picture and blocky dropout affair with DVB-T, so ensure unwanted interference is minimised. Overseas experiance with DVB-T suggests that antenna condition is very important.

Most STB's have various analog outputs, all have composite, S-Video, RGB and Component are options depending on model. Most if not all have a built in UHF modulator to support legacy RF connections, these are fine for using with a VCR, however I would suggest that better analog connections such as S-Video or component are used if a DVD/HardDisk is used. The RF connection is the bottom of the bunch in technical terms, fine for VHS recording though.

You will need a dual tuner (or two STBs) if you want to record and watch TV at the same time. PVRs that are similar to the MySky but FTA versions with dual tuners (both DVB-S & T) are readily available, and make more sense than using a independant recording device like a VCR or DVDrecorder. FreeView will have an EPG like Sky does making recording on these devices easy.

The whole purpose of the HDCP thing is to stop people from having access to a HiDef digital version of the material to record, therefore HDCP will only work with displays not recorders, except in the case of authorised recorders (such as authorised PVR's) but beware time limited access to recording may exisit. There is however nothing to stop you recording lower res (SD) versions that are output from a HD STB. The main issue here is that the copyright holders (Hollywood studios and the like) are paranoid about the recording of full definition HD material, they are happy that you still have access to SD or lower res versions of it for recording as we always have.

Cyril

820 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 40808 11-Jul-2006 12:36 Send private message

Cyril,


    Thanks again for further information re this matter.


I'm in Wellington so assume digital transmissions will be from Kaukau and, in my case, the Met Office (which I have clear view of).

Thanks also for the cabling & connection recommendations, I installed my own VHF antenna, and roof access etc is easy for me.

Do we yet know what satellite (and thus its position in the sky) will be used?


Apart from the coax antenna feed, all my subsequent connections are component or s-video, so no problem there.


I am, however, still a little confused over the future value of a video recorder (tape or disk), based on your statement that one will need " ... a dual tuner or two STBs ... " to be able to watch one channel whilst recording another. On the basis that my DVDR is also in fact a tv tuner (as are VCRs), I'm assuming therefore that I (and others) can continue the practice of watching one channel whilst watching another? I'm guessing that the STB can only output to the TV just one channel's transmission at a time, and therefore the recorder would be placed between the antenna and the STB?

You say that PVRs make more sense, but remember there is both a hardware legacy and fiscal considerations here.


Cheers,


Ricky.


100 posts

Master Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 40810 11-Jul-2006 12:57 Send private message

Freeview will be on the same Satalite as the new Sky one, so just aim your dish for Sky reception and you will be fine. (Plus the current Sky satalite has TV1 and TV2 for free on it - sorta a pretest for Freeview).

5914 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 85

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 40862 12-Jul-2006 11:09 Send private message

Rick, as ljbade stated, the FreeView service will be at 160E which is currently where OptusB1 is parked (or trying to stay parked), in Sept/Oct D1 will be launced to replace it. B1 and D1 are/will be used by Sky, so the same dish will work. The transmissions from B1/D1 for FreeView are infact transmitted now and have been for some 2-3yrs. However only TV1/2, MaoriTV, DW, CCTV9, NASATV are on it at this point plus a widescreen test channel. When FreeView get started I guess all the channels will ordered into a more structured set, but you can tune in today. The transponder frequencies on D1 wil be the same as B1.

Essentially a STB unless it is a PVR with dual tuners (infact they have dual tuners and dual transport stream handlers, and normally one mpeg decoder, as the incoming mpeg stream is not decoded when recorded to disc but simply picked of the incoming transport stream and filed to disc) can only decode one program at a time, therefore a second tuner/mpeg demod is required if you want to record to a VCR/DVD as well as watch a channel.

Cyril

820 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 40918 12-Jul-2006 20:51 Send private message

Cyril,

     Under the proposed system, how does one change channels?, viz. is the normal TV remote still used or will the SBT & it's remote (if any) be the controlling factor?

R.

100 posts

Master Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 40944 13-Jul-2006 12:04 Send private message

The STBs remote will change the channel, so you just leave your TV set to AV, sorta like people do with Sky ATM. You shuld be able to get a universal all-in-one remote that can operate both TV, VCR, DVD, and STB if you hate changing remotes all the time.

100 posts

Master Geek
Inactive user


  Reply # 40946 13-Jul-2006 12:07 Send private message

The STBs remote will change the channel, so you just leave your TV set to AV, sorta like people do with Sky ATM. You shuld be able to get a universal all-in-one remote that can operate both TV, VCR, DVD, and STB if you hate changing remotes all the time.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic




Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:




News »

Trending now »
Hot discussions in our forums right now:

2010 Honda Jazz, Suzuki Swift - which has higher maintenance cost?
Created by joker97, last reply by KiwiNZ on 29-Jul-2014 20:15 (57 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


2 x PS4s to give away. Geekzone members only.
Created by BigPipeNZ, last reply by PhantomNVD on 29-Jul-2014 20:18 (52 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


Logitech K400r HTPC Cordless Keyboard Half Price
Created by Dynamic, last reply by Blanch on 28-Jul-2014 22:16 (25 replies)
Pages... 2


"keyless" keys - questions
Created by joker97, last reply by Handle9 on 29-Jul-2014 20:30 (24 replies)
Pages... 2


VF, why you lie to me?
Created by kenkeniff, last reply by kenkeniff on 29-Jul-2014 14:35 (46 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


What do Police prioritise?
Created by tardtasticx, last reply by alasta on 29-Jul-2014 20:21 (22 replies)
Pages... 2


Dick Smith in Continual Sale Mode
Created by Dynamic, last reply by eXDee on 29-Jul-2014 19:23 (65 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Checking UHF aerial is working
Created by OnceBitten, last reply by B1GGLZ on 28-Jul-2014 21:49 (21 replies)
Pages... 2



Geekzone Live »
Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.