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Topic # 13137 24-Apr-2007 08:49
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Freeview approved STB are now available from the following stores.

DSE, Harvey Norman, Betta Electrical, Noel Leeming and Bond & Bond

DSE are currently stocking an order only basis, stock should be instores this week.

There are two models that DSE will be stocking.

G7500 is the DSE model (Zinwell rebadged).

G7501 is the other approved model, Hills HSM075.

They both are under $300, and the Hills HSM075 should be avaible from the other retailers.



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  Reply # 68261 24-Apr-2007 09:18
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HSM075: "Composite Video (CVBS), S Video, and RGB over scart socket programmable"

it can't be just that? that'd be quite sad

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  Reply # 68266 24-Apr-2007 09:28
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ZiglioNZ: HSM075: "Composite Video (CVBS), S Video, and RGB over scart socket programmable"



it can't be just that? that'd be quite sad


Hills does SCART -> Component & Composite




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  Reply # 68271 24-Apr-2007 09:41
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The Hills STB has two scart outputs,

The first one is to be used with the supplied scart to composite adatper.

The second one is programable, for use with a scart to RGB(component) or to Svideo.

Both of the scart outputs will output the same channel, ie it is not a dual tuner. So if you connect two tv's you will be watching the same channel on both tv's.

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  Reply # 68272 24-Apr-2007 09:46
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Hills does SCART -> Component & Composite


Surely the quality of SCART->Component would be crap, woudln't it?
how can it be more expensive? plus none of the 2 approved boxes seems tp have HDMI, interesting

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  Reply # 68273 24-Apr-2007 09:49
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ZiglioNZ:
Hills does SCART -> Component & Composite




Surely the quality of SCART->Component would be crap, woudln't it?

how can it be more expensive? plus none of the 2 approved boxes seems tp have HDMI, interesting


There is nothing wrong with SCART -> Component since you're only going to have a 576i signal.

There is also no need for HDMI since the boxes don't support any HD standards. To get a HD via DVB-S2 once that launches next year you'll need a new box or get a DVB-T box since that will arrive first.









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  Reply # 68274 24-Apr-2007 09:51
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You have to remember that the signal is only SD, therefore having HDMI connectors would have no benefits to anyone, as the signal quality is just not worth it.

When the DVB-T starts next year, we may see STB's with HDMI or native component out. But you would have to live in one of the ten main centres to be able to get the UHF signal.

Also the broadcasters may not wish to transmit a HD signal, they are more keen on using the D1 satallite. Which only transmits a SD signal.

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  Reply # 68276 24-Apr-2007 10:00
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There is also no need for HDMI since the boxes don't support any HD standards. To get a HD via DVB-S2 once that launches next year you'll need a new box or get a DVB-T box since that will arrive first.


Well, I had no idea that the boxes wouldn't allow HD, since I had been hearing about MPEG-4. But maybe that'd apply just to DVB-T.
To me it's really important to make this point clear: DON"T BUY THE NEW FREEVIEW BOXES, they're old pieces of crap!!

Far more expensive than any cheap DVD player, which at least does progressive scan, if not upscaling



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  Reply # 68278 24-Apr-2007 10:08
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I do not agree, these are not pieces of crap. Maybe the satallite services hsould have started sooner, but they havnt, and its here now! Well the 2nd of May anyway.

Alot of people who own caravans/mobile homes have been waiting years for these. They probably dnt care that it is not in HD, all they want to do is watch TV and listen to the radio, without interferance!


Last time i checked, your cheap DVD player will not let you watch free-to-air TV channels, or listen to the radio.

Yes some of us with SKY or Saturn do not necessarily need this, however i have cable TV. I also have a spare dish on my roof, so id love to get it going with freeview, as I my normal UHF/VHF reception is appalling.

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  Reply # 68279 24-Apr-2007 10:17
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ZiglioNZ:
To me it's really important to make this point clear: DON"T BUY THE NEW FREEVIEW BOXES, they're old pieces of crap!!



I suspect the 30% of NZers who can't get satisfactory terrestrial TV coverage would disagree completely.

Why should I not buy one? Upscaling can't turn a SD picture into HD and depending on the picture it can either make it look amazing (some times) or worse (most of the time).

For anybody who has a large screen TV and no Sky/Saturn I'd recommend Freeview as a must buy, just for the fact you get a great picture and get to see content in native widescreen.






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  Reply # 68280 24-Apr-2007 10:21
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Just to note, only TV3 and C4 will be available in 16:9 widescreen.

TVNZ plan to change over to 16:9 sometime in the middle of this year.

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  Reply # 68282 24-Apr-2007 10:33
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Ok, I'll correct myself: they might not be old pieces of crap but THEY USE EXPENSIVE OLD TECHNOLOGY:
- Interlaced video
- low resolution

the only novelty is 16:9... well it was about time... I'm happy for all the kiwis that can't get good analog broadcast, I'm amongst them. But shouldn't we lobby for a decent year 2000, TV transmission?

Just for that night we don't spend in the campervan ;-)

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  Reply # 68283 24-Apr-2007 10:34
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Like it or not, SD will be with us (planet Earth not just NZ) for a longtime yet. There is no way the bandwidth used by HD (even at 10-13MB/s mpeg4) can be justified for a good 70% or more of programming. Further to that, on screens sizes of 32" or less the advantage of HD is marginal if any.

I think the approach of launching a mpeg2 DVB-S service is the right one, it in no way procludes FreeView operators in future purchasing more transponder space and running a couple of DVB-S2 muxs to broadcast HD material that justifies HD. In fact by the time TV1/2/3/C4/MaoriTV/TVNZathome/TVNZNews and an extra TV3 channel is running they still will have the whole of transponder at 12.456GHz to use, they could start filling it with shopping channels.........., or maybe a DVB-S2 mpeg4 mux with HD options. There is also no reason why broadcasters such as TVNZ or Canwest would need to operate a fulltime HD channel, it may also make sense that for programming that justifies HD (movies and sport) that you while watching the SD stream can "press the red button" and breakout to the HD stream. This partime sharing of bandwidth for special events could be more cost effetive for broadcasters. Obviously you will need a DVB-S2/mpeg4 STB for all this.

If you look at Aus, they have had HD for some 4-5yrs, last survey by the DTV forum indicated that still over 80% of HD broadcasts in Aus are just upscaled SD material. Sure more and more programs are coming online in HD everyday, but for the majority with 32" or less screens the advantage is little if any. What is interesting is that programs that are recorded in HD are cheaper to produce than 16mm film, and when SD masters are taken from them the results are superiour compared to if they were shot in SD. I think if you view the current line up of primetime US dramas on TV3 widescreen lately you will see the distinct improvement.

Cyril



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  Reply # 68285 24-Apr-2007 10:44
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Can someone shed light on HD via DVB-S and DVB-T.

For example, our topography makes it hard to implement a DVB-T service, yet in AUS it is alot easier.

Can this by why AUS have had HD content for longer?

I have heard that it is easier to transmit HD via DVB-T than DVB-S, and until recently the only option was to use DVB-T, due to the limitations of the Optus satallites?

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  Reply # 68287 24-Apr-2007 11:08
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There is no technical limitation to transmitting HD via DVB-S. FTA broadcasters in Aus are given their channel allocation, they are also mandated to transmit so many hours per year (about 1400hrs/yr I think) in HD. Therefore each broadcaster is given by the state a 6 or 7MHz allocation that gives them roughly 19-22Mb/s of post FEC usable data rate depending on what mode they operate in.

Interestingly a couple of the Aus broadcasters have dragged the chain showing no interest at all in doing HD, 7 is one in particular.

Satellite on the other hand requires that the broadcaster pays the bird owner a rental for transponder access. The current FreeView and Sky transponder configuration (each transponder has two 22,500ksyb/sec 3/4FEC muxs on it) renders a usable post FEC rate of roughly 31Mb/s, per mux or 62Mb/s per transponder. How broadcasters carve it up is up to them. Sky currently operates 9 muxs, FreeView has 1 mux running with a 2nd currently turned off.

mpeg2 SD channels can occupy anything from 2-8Mb/s with variable rate encoding its hard to pin an exact figure, but typical broadcasters try to aim for an average of around 4.5-6Mb/s. HD 1080i mpeg2 is recommended to need 19Mb/s, as mpeg4 13Mb/s seems to be the common aim. In the case of Sky, its in the interest of their bottom line to put more SD channels into the costly sat tranponder space than fewer HD channels. Obvioulsy forf FreeView to nail up half of each mux for one HD channel that could be used for 3 SD ones does not make good economic sense. This is the main issue with satellite capacity, compared to free or near free terrestial capacity.

Most US and European broadcasters that are operate HD have chosen to use the newer DVB-S2 standard. This uses 8psk as opposed to DVB-S's QPSK, this roughly gives a 40-50% increase in effective end usable bitrate, therefore the current Sky/FreeView muxs could achieve 40-45Mb/s post FEC. This would give the extra capacity needed to cost effectively utilize satellite transponder space for HD transmissions.

Interestingly DVB-S2 also has a backward compatible mode, it has rarely been used, although Dish Network in the US did use it for their HD transmissions. With this backward compatible mode, ordinary old DVB-S STB's see the QPSK constellation, but DVB-S2 tuners can see the extra constelation spaces. This means that roughly the same old throughput that a DVB-S mux would acheive is still available for SD transmissions and standard DVB-S STB's, and the extra constellation space can carry enough throughput for a HD channel. This means that for SD transmissions, nothing changes, but new DVB-S2 capable STB's see the extra capacity that can be used for HD. Broadcasters in the US and Europe seem to not want to use this mode, prefering to use the full 8PSK mode that renders slightly more capacity .

By the way, both the ABC and SBS transmit mpeg2 HD over DVB-S on OptusB3 for distribution to there remote Tx's, dont go looking for it as its on a Aus only beam. I dont believe there was any real limitation to the older B series Optus sats from doing DVB-S2, although 8PSK would likely need better linearity than QPSK, that may have been a limitation.


Cyril

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  Reply # 68291 24-Apr-2007 12:40

TVNZs Widescreen debut will be July 31st.
As with TV3, Terrestrial TV will be cropped but Digital (Freeview/Sky) will be in widescreen.

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