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Topic # 13526 15-May-2007 11:32
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OK having had my faith in Telstra Digital TV shaken somewhat with their head in the sand approach to wide-screen TV (See here) I am now asking myself if I should stay with Telstra or dump them for TV and switch to Sky.

My question is, with the changes recently to TV in NZ which provides the best quality picture? In particular TV1, TV2. I really need this answered by people that have seen both services after the switch to D1 for the local channels.

The house I am in has a dish. And no freeview is not an option as my family watches the sky channels.








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  Reply # 70748 15-May-2007 11:45
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From recent postings (since the advent of FreeView), a clear consensus has emerged.  In order of quality, the options are:

*  FreeView (however, very limited channel selection)
*  Sky
*  TCL Cable
*  Analogue Terrestrial (off air VHF/UHF)


You really can't beat Sky for channel selection, and my recommendation would be to go for MySky as it saves all the hassle with "Booking" programmes on your decoder -- and frequently finding it doesn't change channels -- then needing to setup your VCR/HDD/DVD recorder separately to record the programme whereas MySky can do it all with one button press and no need to worry about tapes or DVDs.

Again from recent postings, it seems that the bit rate of TV1/2/3 programmes broadcast on FreeView is a little bit better than Sky right at the moment.

TCL cable on the other hand, has a bank of Sky Digital decoders which convert the signal back to analogue, whence it is re-encoded again for broadcast via the TCL cable service.  Such a process cannot help but degrade the quality, making Sky's already low bit rate on some channels, effectively that little bit worse.  Even on the higher bit rate channels such as Movies, the re-encoding process will have an adverse effect.

I hope that helps with your decision.

Cheers,
Grant.

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  Reply # 70751 15-May-2007 12:02
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Just one other factor to consider - channel lineup.

TCL and Sky do not carry identical channels. TCL carry Discovery Travel & Living (most watched channel in my house) as well as Deutsche Welle whereas Sky don't carry either. Sky carry Fox News whereas TCL don't.

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  Reply # 70753 15-May-2007 12:10
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sbiddle: TCL carry Discovery Travel & Living (most watched channel in my house) as well as Deutsche Welle whereas Sky don't carry either.

Sky has:

*  Discovery
*  Living Channel
*  Food TV


These are all separate channels and they are heavily watched in our house as well.

Deutsche Welle is carried on Auckland's Triangle TV at times, and there are some good programmes there too.  I think that DWTV is also carried by some of the smaller regional broadcasters around the country.



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  Reply # 70756 15-May-2007 12:15
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They have Living looking at their lineup but I can't see discovery travel (different to discovery).

In our house Living and Disney are the most watched two channels so I would have a riot if I took them away.

Grant are they standard or part of a addon?







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  Reply # 70757 15-May-2007 12:18
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Also I would not go for mysky as I already have a HDD recorder and also I have heard too many bad things about it. However that does raise a point. Can you set the decoder to switch to a channel from the EPG so that the recorder can record a program? Telstra digital can do this.







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  Reply # 70758 15-May-2007 12:19
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Grant17:
sbiddle: TCL carry Discovery Travel & Living (most watched channel in my house) as well as Deutsche Welle whereas Sky don't carry either.

Sky has:

*  Discovery
*  Living Channel
*  Food TV


These are all separate channels and they are heavily watched in our house as well.

Deutsche Welle is carried on Auckland's Triangle TV at times, and there are some good programmes there too.  I think that DWTV is also carried by some of the smaller regional broadcasters around the country.


Discovery Travel & Living is a channel - I didn't mean Discovery and The Living Channel (two different channels)




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  Reply # 70760 15-May-2007 12:25
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TCL has all those too - Discovery, Living Channel and Food TV. But Sky does not have Discovery TLC though.




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  Reply # 70761 15-May-2007 12:27
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Nety: In our house Living and Disney are the most watched two channels so I would have a riot if I took them away.
Grant are they standard or part of a addon?

They are "Standard" channels i.e. part of the Start Up Package:
==============================================================================
Start Up - Current Rate: $47.73 per month

Start Up is an exciting mix of over 20 channels covering news, kids' channels, documentaries and sport.
With Start Up you also have access to interactive channels such as SkyBet and SKY Box Office.
Plus you get crystal clear reception on TV One, TV2, TV3, Prime and C4.

Channels available: BBC World, SKY News New Zealand, CNN, Fox News, The Weather Channel, National Geographic Channel, Documentary Channel, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, The History Channel, SKY 1, UKTV, Disney Channel, Playhouse Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Juice TV, J2, MTV NZ, Alt TV, E!, The Living Channel, Food TV, Maori TV, ESPN, TAB Trackside, TV One, TV2, TV3, C4, Prime, CCTV-9, CUE TV, Shine TV, Concert FM, National Radio, George FM, Calvary Chapel Radio, Kiwi, Nui FM, Tahu FM, The Guide, and the SkyWatch Magazine plus access to Pay-Per-View channels 

Take Start Up and then add any of the other packages...
==============================================================================
The Documentary Channel is another recent addition which is also very good.

Because we are not big sports fans, we just subscribe to Start Up and then buy the odd Pay-per-View Movie.

If you remove the Skywatch Magazine from the Start Up package, the price reduces to $45.28.  We find that MySky's EPG is so good, we don't need Skywatch any more.


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  Reply # 70764 15-May-2007 12:32
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Nety: However that does raise a point. Can you set the decoder to switch to a channel from the EPG so that the recorder can record a program?

In theory you can set the standard Sky Digital Decoder to do this, but as I mentioned above, it's flaky:

You can "Book" programmes on your decoder -- but will frequently find that it doesn't change channels at the appropriate time...

Further details are in this thread:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?ForumId=34&TopicId=13436

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  Reply # 70765 15-May-2007 12:36
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One benifit to Telstra is the avaliability of a CAM so you can effectivly use something like FireDTV + CI + CAM to input straight into a PVR like MCE, if they actually kept the signal digital from Sky then you would get a pretty good picture, I know that you are not really allowed to do this, but we are paying for the subscription so I dont think its being too unreasonable... (if only we had the FCC and cablecard legislation!)

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  Reply # 70767 15-May-2007 12:40
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Also Nety, are you on TCL cable internet or phone? you'll find that you save a few bucks with triple-play bundle. I haven't had any bad reception problem in the channels that I watch, if anything I think the signals are now much better, perhaps just my eyes but two sets of eyes can't be at fault at the same time. Just the other night, I was telling my partner that Sky Movie 2's Star Wars III looks impressively great, and switching to TV2, it is just as clear too (in widescreen too). Though TV3 is still a bit fuzzy but it is better than before. Also for us, single bill with all services bundled is better for us, so I won't trade anything to go else where, beside, 10mbit/s download is still better than any ADSL.

My experience with TCL Digital decoder with booking has been great, and I use the "Recording" rather "Reminder" option.

In few months time, TCL may start rolling out MySky-ques's unit, I would stay as long and wait what TCL's new offering maybe, then make an informed decision.




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