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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 158267 20-Aug-2008 10:28
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raydenl: Got mine installed yesterday. The black unit looks sexy, but the remote is ugly and bulky. Didn't get sport or movies, really only got it for the improved reception (our tv reception was crap before - couldn't get prime, etc), and to have a digital recorder with EPG (worth it for that alone).

I've got a Philips 47" 1080P LCD - SD channels now look worse than they did with our terrestrial reception, we didn't have sky previously, and I can't believe how pixelated and blurry everything looks, free to air channels and sky channels. With the amount of people getting big screen TV's, sky really needs to up their bit rates! It's currently like watching YouTube.

On the plus side, well done TV3! Watched CSI last night in HD and it was great! Sharp with vibrant colours. To be honest the programmes (non HD) on TV3 before and after CSI looked just as good, broadcasting everything upscaled to 1080i was a smart move. Now just need to wait for SKY and TVNZ to make up so TVNZ can do the same. SKY should also be upscaling everything at source, but I guess this wont be possible (bandwidth wise) till the new satellite goes up next year.

Now onto the problem, I get Pillarboxing (with 4:3 content) on SD and HD channels no matter what I set the box to. I have tried every possible setting but nothing seems to work. I am beginning to think it has something to do with the TV, but it stretches 4:3 content fine when I'm not viewing TV thorugh the sky box. I have set it to Fullscreen on SD and HD settings, TV type is set to 16:9. I have even set it to bypass the STB and use TV settings (wide screeen signaling on and off), but that doesn't work either. Anyone else have this problem???

Are you sure you have it connected via HDMI? You should see an improvement over analogue - at the very least no more dot crawl and other yuckyness in PAL.

The FTA channels (TV1, 2, 3, C4) and NatGeo are permanently broadcast in 16:9 with pillar boxing added at the broadcaster end and encoded into the MPEG2 video stream. This is compared with a channel like Vibe where flags are set in the stream and it's left to the decoder to adjust the aspect ratio as per the decoder settings.

1784 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 158269 20-Aug-2008 10:42
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Add Maori, Prime, CI, SS1, SS2, SS3 and SS Highlights to permanent 16:9 frame list (all 4:3 content is pillarboxed within the 16:9 frame ).




Ross

 

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86 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 158271 20-Aug-2008 10:45
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Yes definately connected via HDMI, as stated, I didn't have sky before, I'm only comparing FTA channels, and the amount of compression on TV1,TV2 compared to my old terrestrial reception.

So you're saying some channels will always have pillowboxing regardless of the STB setting, if it has been encoded in the stream??? How come, prior to having sky, my tv could stretch out these FTA channels properly? Unless you mean sky does this before THEY broadcast it???

8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 158272 20-Aug-2008 10:48
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raydenl: Yes definately connected via HDMI, as stated, I didn't have sky before, I'm only comparing FTA channels, and the amount of compression on TV1,TV2 compared to my old terrestrial reception.

So you're saying some channels will always have pillowboxing regardless of the STB setting, if it has been encoded in the stream??? How come, prior to having sky, my tv could stretch out these FTA channels properly? Unless you mean sky does this before THEY broadcast it???

Yes, that's right. The FTA broadcasters are actually encoding those black bars into the picture (they aren't added by the box) so the box believes it is getting a 16:9 picture and acts accordingly.

On terrestrial analogue the sides are simply chopped off that 16:9 picture (I think they don't chop it completely down to 4:3 but something like 14:9) so you won't see those bars.

86 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 158276 20-Aug-2008 10:59
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Well that's good to know for my sanity. I guess it isn't too bad, just looks weird when you get some ads that are pillowboxed and letterboxed...

8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 158279 20-Aug-2008 11:03
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Yeah those ads are fake 16:9 to give it a supposedly "cool" effect on a 4:3 screen. Most of those types of ads tend to be made in Australia.

649 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 158309 20-Aug-2008 12:17
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wreck90: 
Everyone MUST ring sky and complain. Everyone who does not ring gives Sky the impression that the problem is minor and affecting few users.

I think, this problem likely affects 100% of users so we need to let Sky know and get this sorted.

Fortunately in the last two weeks we have not yet had a lockup issue. Have been recording something on each days, including concurrent programs and watching live/pause at same time as recording.  Also has not been an issue for our in-laws either?


However the forward/rewind issue is a curse!!

87 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 158333 20-Aug-2008 13:41
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no problems here either, had mine installed on July 30th, hard drive is 3/4 full and haven't had to reset or power cycle once

795 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 80


  Reply # 158336 20-Aug-2008 13:49
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Yep, no problems here either, ours installed 4th August and with multiroom MySky1 ( two years old with not one problem either ), both get thrashed, between us and the kids watching and recording, not one hiccup at all.

112 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 158342 20-Aug-2008 14:07
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raydenl:
Now onto the problem, I get Pillarboxing (with 4:3 content) on SD and HD channels no matter what I set the box to. I have tried every possible setting but nothing seems to work. I am beginning to think it has something to do with the TV, but it stretches 4:3 content fine when I'm not viewing TV thorugh the sky box. I have set it to Fullscreen on SD and HD settings, TV type is set to 16:9. I have even set it to bypass the STB and use TV settings (wide screeen signaling on and off), but that doesn't work either. Anyone else have this problem???



EDIT: Oops, didn't realise there was another page already... Smile

Many channels (TV1, 2, 3 and Prime for example) are now transmitting fulltime widescreen and pillarboxing at their end so there's nothng you can do there. For the rest, try setting your HDi to passthrough, no widescreen signalling and your tv to fulltime widescreen. But why would you want to stretch the picture to the wrong aspect ratio just to fill up the screen?

Regarding the crappy SD pictures, that's how every sky digital subscriber has had it for a good few years now. Too many muxs being crammed into the available bandwidth. The HD channels have higher bandwidth so even SD content is way better. You may want to avoid Discovery and Nat Geo for the sake of your sanity Surprised

649 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  Reply # 158346 20-Aug-2008 14:20
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Hopefully Sky follow Foxtel on Discovery and National Geographic, and offer in HD
These are two stations that certainly benefit from HD!

86 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 158347 20-Aug-2008 14:26
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Yeah actually the pass-through works, but unfortunately my TV doesn't allow me to fix the resolution to 1080i so my tv automatically changes from 576i to 1080i when I go to tv3 and vice versa, and this takes a while. More annoying than the pillowboxing, so I think I'll live with the pillowboxing, I'm sure i'll get used to it.

Hopefully sky will add more hd channels in the near future! even if they only contain upscaled sd content...

Awesome
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  Reply # 158351 20-Aug-2008 14:36
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Mine locked up last night while Outrageous Fortune was recording and my flatmate was watching another channel. She reset the decoder which caused the recording to fail - I was not happy when I got home and wanted to watch it.

Luckily I could watch it on TV3 streaming.

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  Reply # 158354 20-Aug-2008 14:51
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raydenl: Yeah actually the pass-through works, but unfortunately my TV doesn't allow me to fix the resolution to 1080i so my tv automatically changes from 576i to 1080i when I go to tv3 and vice versa, and this takes a while. More annoying than the pillowboxing, so I think I'll live with the pillowboxing, I'm sure i'll get used to it.

Hopefully sky will add more hd channels in the near future! even if they only contain upscaled sd content...


Just FYI it's "pillarboxing" not "pillowboxing". It's not something that actually annoys me and you get used to it very quickly. I far prefer watching 4:3 content with pillarboxing than being forced to watch a 4:3 show in fatovision!

I don't you'll see sky wasting satellite bandwidth transmitting upscaled SD on too many channels! For them to transmit a channel in HD they really want true HD content for it.



86 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 158358 20-Aug-2008 15:05
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pillarboxing... oh yeah, pillowboxing is something girls do on a sleepover Tongue out

if they can upscale sd content as well as tv3, i don't think they'd get too many complaints, better than the current internet quality video we're subjected too

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