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576 posts

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Topic # 17418 26-Nov-2007 13:33
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K, since I've basically been absent from geekzone for over a year I've just had to catch up on the state of Scart -> Component on Sky.

Long story short, have been upgrading home theatre system and finally moving to component. Got the Jaycar WQ7255 cable, and subsequently found out I've got the old Motorola/Zenith 310A (TP3?) decoder - component not supported.

After some runaround with Sky and a tech being scheduled, then speaking to the tech on the phone and him confirming it's not supported they've said I have to 'pay' for an upgrade box.

Two phonecalls back from them are still pending, but in the meantime...

Which box is the best overall box?

From what I've read the Pace DSR2000 (slim silver?) appears to be the current box, and does support component, but I've also read some feedback about problems with over saturation particularly in the red and slightly in the blue channels.

I'm still working on not having to pay for the upgrade given this box is as old as the hills, but if anyone has any feedback on the performance of other component capable Sky boxes I'd be interested in hearing. :)

My second option which at the moment isn't the preferred unless I find out otherwise is to use RGB SCART->SCART to the TV. The TV can take RGB input via the Scart, but from what I've read the preferred for quality is Component to TV. RGB output however is listed as supported on the 310A.

Thx.
Jp.




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  Reply # 97073 27-Nov-2007 08:34
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The lattest box is the Pace DS-230 which is slim, small and silver, I have not seen the issue regarding over driven reds that others have commented on, but it may be display dependant. The DS2200 is a quite large Pace unit that also supports component. All the latter Motorolas support component and once again I have not noted any real problems with the component output, so it may vary batch to batch.

Cyril

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  Reply # 97078 27-Nov-2007 08:54
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As the picture from Sky is so compressed  you will not gain anything  by going component over Svideo.  If they ran 6~8 Mbit streams over all channels then you may..




Regards,

Old3eyes


 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 97086 27-Nov-2007 09:31
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Hi Cyril, thanks for that.  I've seen quite a few of your posts here and audioenz, and they've been quite helpful.

Will have to see how I go regarding attempting to get an upgrade without having to pay for their tech to visit.  I've also raised the question of swapping it over the counter at one of the branches but noone seems to know the answer, and I'm still waiting on the 2 calls back. *shrug* oh, well. I'll chase them up again when I have more time.

old3eyes - I've seen your comments aswell.  Currently it's using composite, so component should be an improvement, but I'm not expecting any massive improvement, but some improvement would be nice. Plus if they do move to less compressed feeds it'll be ready for it.  Also as I'm going to be using component from the Wii, the DVD, and *hopefully* soon the Sky it'll mean less setup for the system, and one less cable up to the TV.  I've got a universal remove (Logitech Harmony 525) but it can get annoying having to program the separate inputs on the TV for the different devices.

For the curious (and I couldn't resist throwing a few links in) the intended setup is:
TV - Acer AT3705-DTV
DVD - DSE 5.1 G-3031 (using digital coax and soon to be component)
Home Theatre - Sony HTDDW1600
Console - Nintendo Wii (with component cable)

But at any rate, back to the topic, since adding the Home Theatre unit into the mix which has the video input switching built into it, I'm moving everything to component.  Based on cyrils comments it looks like any of the current Sky boxes would do the trick, although the slim Pace unit sounds interesting.  

Any comments on the best way to get an upgrade box without having to pay for a tech visit to just unplug one and plug the other in?

Thx.
Jp.
 




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  Reply # 97126 27-Nov-2007 13:02
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JPwise,

How do you find the Sony HT??  I have the same unit and I feel it's good bang for the buck.  Did your model come with the two or three HDMI inputs??  
Mine has two but I was told that the later amps have three..




Regards,

Old3eyes


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  Reply # 97128 27-Nov-2007 13:03
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I was one of the first digital customers in Wellington and therefore had the original decoder.

After about 6 years it would crash every couple of weeks requiring me to power reset it. I logged a few calls with Sky but all they would do is send a tech around who would reset the decoder. I got sick of waiting so stopped logging calls.

After upgrading my TV to an LCD I thought it would be time to get a component capable decoder. Did the research, knew what decoder I wanted and called Sky. They were happy to swap it out but wanted to charge me a service fee.

I whinged and complained and moaned and threatened to cancel my subscription. No joy, they insisted on charging me. Can't remember what the cost was, something like $45 so I ended up paying for it.

I have the silver slim line and eagerly setup component to see the improvement over composite. I was feeding composite into my MCE box and then composite into my old CRT. As my MCE box didn't support component in I thought I would test back to back svideo via MCE and component direct to the set.

As it transpires the MCE box does a good job of cleaning up the picture. The picture is better via svideo to MCE then dvi to LCD than it is direct over component to the LCD.

As previously mentioned the picture is so compressed that there is no benefit to using a higher quality connection at the moment.

I have just installed a freeview dvb-s card into my MCE box so I can compare the quality of 1/2/3 over Freeview and Sky. There is clearly a quality difference, there is a lot less artifacting on Freeview though the picture is still nowhere near as good as the HD720 stuff that we should see next year.

Roll on HD. I read somewhere that Sky are looking to implement HDCP when they go HD - this will make it impossible to use a PVR. Anyone else heard this as well?

Matt.



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  Reply # 97137 27-Nov-2007 13:45
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old3eyes - It's pretty good. I don't have alot of experience in the stereo/home theatre arena, but I managed to get it for a good price through Harvey Norman when they had their late night sale for the Halo launch. As it turns out I had to wait a week to get it because they didn't actually have one in the warehouse (2 in system - 1 on backorder from another branch, and 1 on display in the showroom), so they got me a brand new one from Sony Auckland and delivered at their expense. : )

It seems to have a reasonable sound quality as far as I can tell, and the flatmate who's a bit more into his stereos seemed to think the clarity was better than his one for MP3 playback (input through av from laptop). It also goes quite nicely when you crank the volume up. :) Off the top of my head it only as 2 and the output, and that was brand new a couple of months ago. The Sony website still lists it as 2 inputs aswell.

Mattmannz - which decoder did you end up getting? The Pace DS-230 that cyril mentioned, or another one? Interesting feedback on the s-video. I'm going to be running everything via the HT unit so there's no s-video inputs and it only has 3 component inputs, so I'll be fully populating it once I get component on Sky (DVD, Wii, Sky). Interesting to hear your experiences with sky aswell. So far they keep quoting me $39.90 or some such for a tech to visit. They did however also mention something about 'if I was due for an upgrade', but when I queried them what qualifies for an upgrade their list essentially summarised down to 'if it's faulty we can upgrade it'...

Oh, well. Might have to see if any of the retailers have the new sky boxes running through component so I can see how they look.

Jp.




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  Reply # 97156 27-Nov-2007 15:56
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I PM'ed you but you havn't read it so I thought I would just post instead... may help others (as long as Sky doesn't read it ;)

Argument 1:

When I was a Sky subscriber I said that my STB kept on "rebooting" overnight, every morning I would get up and it was back on the Preview Channel (25 back then now #28)... Important to say it keeps on switching to the Preview channel as that is what the STB always boots to. I didn't know why it was happening bla bla bla, found it annoying that I kept on having to change back to my regular TV channels, also happened once infront of me but doesn't happen all that often, they can't prove it so you should be ok.
This worked for me :). Then when the guy comes to replace it ask if they can give you the small silver Pace STB.... and don't take no for an answer if they try and put in one of the other model STB's.

Argument 2:

You can also say you get Rain Fade every now and again.... that is another good way to get them out... Rain Fade however is easier for them to prove that you are taking them for a ride...... But what you could always do is loosen the bolts on your dish, and put it slightly out of alignment, make sure that you check your set top box and make sure your signal goes down just enough to still get a signal and say you get rain fade when it's slightly cloudy... But if they do come out they should put a new LNB that I have a pic on my Blog about. The LNB white plastic thing pointing to the dish is "Oval" instead of "Round"... means you can pick up two satellites (D1 & C1) instead of just one (D1).

Might be worth doing both, even better change the skew of your LNB as well (rotate the LNB clockwise or anticlockwise 5-10 deg to mess it up!)

It's all about sounding as vague as you possibly can, if you even sound like you know what you are talking about they will charge you :)







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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 97164 27-Nov-2007 16:31
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Hi BarTender, thanks for that. Just saw it now.

Yes, I was kind of leaning between the vague and the knowledgeable approach when I tried to arrange it the first time round. Unfortuneatly the tech actually knew what component was, and that the unit I had didn't support it, so that kind of got shot down, if he hadn't it would have been a walk in the park.

I generally prefer to be honest, but the way it's going I'm starting to contemplate how the unit can 'honestly die'.  Will give it some more thought and maybe if I can be bothered have a closer look at the box to see what can be done.  I'm still surprised at their approach to it given when I was with Saturn/TelstraClear I got my cablemodem upgraded without a problem, no charges or anything.  Try to get a new decoder from Sky, even offering to pick it up over the counter, and they plead ignorance and $40 charges.  oh, well.  I suppose I shouldn't have expected more from a company that initially insisted you give money to the installer when they install it (do they still do that?).

Anyways, back to the topic, was that photo you linked on the PM the DS-230?  I have to say it doesn't look anywhere near as attractive as I thought it would for the latest model..  I envisaged something more along the lines of DVD player type style/slim look.


Thx.
Jp.




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

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


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 97167 27-Nov-2007 16:46
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I have the 230, it's pretty innocuous beside all my other devices, at least it's now the same colour as everything else.

Yep you still have to pay the tech onsite - does seem a bit strange. They upgraded my LNB whilst they were there.

I contemplated my STB having a permanent failure, it had been alluded to by Sky but I couldn't bring myself to do it. For the sake of $40 I couldn't be bothered with the hassle.

Cheers
Matt.

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  Reply # 97168 27-Nov-2007 16:52
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jpwise: oh, well. I suppose I shouldn't have expected more from a company that initially insisted you give money to the installer when they install it (do they still do that?).

They did expect us to pay $80 directly to the installer with a cheque when the sky tech came out and "moved" our sky box from our old home to our beachhouse for the summer just before I left sky and went to TCL for the Triple play.

jpwise: Anyways, back to the topic, was that photo you linked on the PM the DS-230? I have to say it doesn't look anywhere near as attractive as I thought it would for the latest model.. I envisaged something more along the lines of DVD player type style/slim look.


The new Pace boxes are pretty small.. about 1/2 the size of the wellington white pages, just a smidge fatter.. so IMHO for a vendor supplied STB that's pretty small, especially when you compare it to the older Pace STB's or Moto's that Sky still issue.. but not as small as the Dreambox (which is the box ontop in the PM ;).







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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 97305 28-Nov-2007 09:25
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Hrm.. just did a quick dig on the Dreambox, might have to do some more research on it.  That could be another option, just throw the Sky box in the cupboard and replace it with a unit I control. hrm.. :)   Will do some more research later.




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  Reply # 97345 28-Nov-2007 14:24
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BarTender: I PM'ed you but you havn't read it so I thought I would just post instead... may help others (as long as Sky doesn't read it ;)

Argument 1:
When I was a Sky subscriber I said that my STB kept on "rebooting" overnight


When i was a sky subscriber I got so pissed off with how long it was taking to change channels and navigate the guide on the older box i had rang them and complained.  They sent out a tech with a new box out to replace mine and I asked him to give me one that had the right connectors.  He didnt have one on him so he dropped one off to me on the next day - even gave me the cables to hook it up with.




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 99915 14-Dec-2007 11:18
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Hrm.. weird.  Just had 2 message waiting notifications and a thread reply notification arrive...  from the 26th & 28th Nov, but just turned up.. Oh, well.




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  Reply # 101835 26-Dec-2007 16:00
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As the picture from Sky is so compressed ?you will not gain anything ?by going component over Svideo. ?If they ran 6~8 Mbit streams over all channels then you may..

That is very interesting. I'm buying a 60" Sony Bravia LCD tv, and it arrives tommorow. I'm getting my Sky UHF replaced with Sky digital on the 10th of January too. But, my connection is like this:

Sky decoder -> DVD recorder -> TV

I just use composite/RCA leads at the moment, because quality isnt important on my current setup. But I now want some decent cables for my new tv and new sky setup.. However, your comment I quoted above.... is very interesting. :)

First of all, my DVD's will be played through a Blu-ray player connected directly to the tv with HDMI.

Now, my DVD recorder only has composite or svideo in (for the sky decoder)...... but it does have component video + svideo + composite for the output (to the tv)..... what cables should I buy? I'm thinking a bog standard sky digital decoder with an svideo lead to go into the dvd recorder..... and maybe a cheap component lead to hook up the dvd recorder to the tv?

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  Reply # 101838 26-Dec-2007 16:43
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To be completely honest Sky just looks like rubbish on a 60" TV - there is no other way of describing it. The bitrates are just way to low for a screen of that size. Even SD stuff starts to look poor however feed some nice 720p HD stuff into the TV and it looks absolutely stunning.

You'll be best using a SCART -> Svideo for the DVD recorder and using component output on both DVD recorder and Sky into the TV.

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