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# 44414 27-Oct-2009 14:05
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Hi,
I've just got a new TV with Freeview tuner built in. To be quite honest I have been surprised at the picture quality, it is better than I expected. Unfortunately my Telstra Saturn quality now looks awful in comparison. The new bigger TV highlights the deficiency even more!!
The MySkyHDi option looks a bit expensive so I am asking if normal Sky SD picture quality is just as good as the Freeview I am currently watching??

Thanks.

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  # 267265 27-Oct-2009 14:20
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A TV with an inbuilt freeview receiver will be displaying HD freeview, not SD freeview as is received via a satellite. The quality of a sky SD picture will not be as good as the HD channels on freeview.




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  # 267268 27-Oct-2009 14:23
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Ah. OK,

So even if it's not an HD broadcast as such the picture is still upscaled or something so that it is better quality than SD?

Pete

 
 
 
 


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  # 267302 27-Oct-2009 15:45
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"So even if it's not an HD broadcast as such the picture is still upscaled or something so that it is better quality than SD?"

Yes.  The upscaling they do is pretty good an dmakes most programs look excellent.

And to answer your original question, Freeview via satellite (which you're not currently doing) even though SD STILL looks better than Sky (thats my opinion).  Its all about the bitrates and compression.




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  # 267330 27-Oct-2009 16:51
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Sky vary both bitrate and resolution depending on the channel.

Anyone who say Freeview SD looks better than Sky SD is being very economical with the facts. I would suggest they have done anecdotal research at best.

If you compare one of the "higher" bitrate channels say SS1/2/3 with Freeview say TV3 you will find they run the same resolution (720x576), and similar average bitrates depending on the program being broadcast.

Yes there are channels which run lower resolution and bitrates (eq Disney), but Freeview do much the same with say TVNZ 7 for example. Fact is you need to compare apples with apples.

The same applies with HD content - Sky broadcast equal (if not higher) bitrates to Freeview on the HD channels. The highest average bitrates I have seen are from SS1/2 both of which consistently exceed the highest numers put out by any of the Freeview channels.

The picture quality out of SS1/2 in HD beats anything I have seen from Freeview outside of the Olympics - week in week out. Thats on the same box, using the same video card, with a pure digital path.

You will see a big difference between say a SD Sky decoder using a composite video cable, and a Freeview HD box using HDMI, for example, but that has nothing to do with the signal being broadcast.

Badly compressed/low bitrate MPEG can be broadcast by anyone - ask anyone who complained to TVNZ while they chopped the bitrates during the regional feeds trial...



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  # 267341 27-Oct-2009 17:21
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Hey thanks,

This really is a bit of minefield!! I'm an ex telecommunications engineer turned software engineer trying to figure out what to do. What if you're not technical at all?

So I wonder what will Telstra's HD offering be like when it materialises. Perhaps I should wait rather than jump ship.

Pete

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  # 267347 27-Oct-2009 17:32
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Do you have a s-video cable from your TCL box to the TV?

If you do the picture quality from TCL will be virtually identical to the regular Sky SD channels. TCL's feed is not recompressed in anyway, it's a direct passthru of the MPEG2 signal.




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  # 267564 28-Oct-2009 08:34
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Yes I have got an S video cable between the Telstra box and the TV. I tried that last week although the difference between that and composite video was only just perceptible.
It's interesting that you think the quality should be just as good as Sky SD, I've been very disappointed watching sport. I need to go and see similar programming eg. English football on a Sky SD system.
Maybe I have a cable issue and need to query Telstra re the quality. I'm not sure how they would respond to that.

Thanks
Pete

 
 
 
 


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  # 267784 28-Oct-2009 18:11
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petedawson: Yes I have got an S video cable between the Telstra box and the TV. I tried that last week although the difference between that and composite video was only just perceptible.
It's interesting that you think the quality should be just as good as Sky SD, I've been very disappointed watching sport. I need to go and see similar programming eg. English football on a Sky SD system.
Maybe I have a cable issue and need to query Telstra re the quality. I'm not sure how they would respond to that.

Thanks
Pete


The difference between composite and s-video is significant because it removes the dot crawl that is very obvious on all composite video.

The quality you're getting isn't a Telstra issue and any perception in difference can really only be put down to the difference between the TV's or picture quality of the feed. TCL don't do any transcoding of video like they used to do, the same MPEG2 video that Sky transmit is simply rebroadcast over the TCL cable network. Component output (which TCL's boxes don't have) can make a noticeable difference on some content but overall isn't noticeable to most people.

 

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