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Topic # 30938 26-Feb-2009 11:50
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Hi all,  a newbie with his first post, any suggestions will be warmly appreciated.

I've just had sky installed last week to run on a Samsung 42" 100Hz plasma.  Unfortunately the budget doesn't stretch to include HD so I'm trying to get a reasonable picture with what I have.

Equally unfortunate is how all of the sport channels are carrying a pixelated ghost image around all characters, especially when panning out to a wide view of the playing field.  Often it is impossible to read the numbers on the backs of the jerseys or recognise the players' faces with the wide view.

Other channels are all fine, movies, docos, uktv etc. 

I was under the impression that the sports channels are provided with a reasonably high bit rate.  If this is the case, why are they the worst performing channels on my tv?  I know I will not achieve HD with an SD decoder, but I'd be happy with a passable picture of the rugby. 

The connection between decoder and tv is a scart to component.

If I can't sort it I will probably have to send the lot back to sky and go down to the pub to watch the rugby 

Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  Reply # 198201 26-Feb-2009 11:56
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Have you tried adjusting edge enhancement, noise reduction etc? Many of these post processing "features" will make a picture worse, not better and can normally be turned off.

Do you have 100Hz on? This can be both a good thing and a bad thing and can make some content look like it's sped up.

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  Reply # 198216 26-Feb-2009 13:28
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Yep, I've checked and played around with every "feature" combination provided by the decoder and the tv that I can find, all with varying degrees of success. Thanks sbiddle.

The non sports channels are actually ok, it's just the sports channels themselves, (the ones I am most interested in Frown), that are the problem.  I am just surprised that such a popular range of channels are performing so poorly.  Could it be that sky has deliberately downscaled (if that is the right word) the sports channels to provide a greater contrast between their SD and HD services?

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  Reply # 198355 27-Feb-2009 10:31
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No, it's just a crap service.
Every time I see the ads for Sky Digital for 'crystal clear pictures' I want to smack them in the face.
I got Sky Digital installed at the same time as my large screen and it was essentially unwatchable. I seethed for about a year, and then finally got HD which is everything Sky should always have been.
My best recommendation is to spring the money for HD, if you watch a couple of games at home instead of at the pub, then the drinks saving will pay for the upgrade. Plus you get MySky as well, so live pause and recording etc.
It really is worth it!!

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  Reply # 198358 27-Feb-2009 10:49
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Thanks Johna, I think you're right.  I was looking at the picture a little more critically last night and noticed that the vast majority of people shots in movies and television programs are usually close up and detailed shots.  Very seldom do you see a wide angle shot with people only a few inches high, such as players running around a football pitch.  

This could help explain why non sports channels look better than sports channels, or am I just looking for excuses here?  

I think I might have to go sell a kidney and shell out the bucks for HD.  Frown

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  Reply # 198360 27-Feb-2009 11:00
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No, you're exactly right. If you look at the lineouts, for example, when the camera is usually up close, then the picture quality is as 'good' as the other channels.
The only catch with HD is that not everything is broadcast in HD. So about 1/3 of the Super 14 for example is SD. You can look in SkyWatch (don't get me started on this subject) to see what is HD.
Sky only broadcasts 4 or 5 channels in HD. TV3 is really good and I record movies off it frequently.
Prime (which is owned by Sky), is very frustrating - it is not available in HD either from Sky or Freeview (it is the only mainstream channel like that), and it has a number of good programs (like Mad Men)  which I sit morosely through grumbling about the quality. The only good thing is that they take up almost no space when you record them because the bitrate is so low!
Good luck, I am sure you won't regret getting HD and things can only get better!!!

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  Reply # 198396 27-Feb-2009 14:27
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if you watch ESPN then dont expect any change in quality if you switch to hd this has to be the worse sport channel to watch , i have given up watching the champions league on espn, the quality is crap just like you describe

Common sense is not as common as you think.

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  Reply # 198520 28-Feb-2009 12:18
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Thanks for the comments guys.

The sky techie came out today, swapped boxes, scratched his head, but could not improve the picture.  So I've made the call to sky and ordered a MySky HD box.  Hopefully this will sort the problem as well as make the rest of my life ad free.  Wahoo!

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