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69 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 26381 20-Sep-2008 20:17
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Having seen my Panasonic HD ready 42" plasma and a Panasonic Full HD ready 42"plasma in Harvey Norman both connected to Mysky HDi via HDMI cables, the picture quality of the SD channels on both sets is rubbish. Very blurry. Some channels are worse than others. In some cases particular content within a channel is worse than other content on the same channel e.g.on TV3 the studio news feed is very good but some live or recorded reports are very blurry and the kids show on TV2 at 4.30 is very blurry but other shows on TV2 aren't as bad.

Does this mean that I am stuffed or are there better plasma's or other upscale solutions that can display better picture quality.

Help as this is doing my head in.


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  Reply # 165866 20-Sep-2008 20:38
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There is pretty much zero you can do about it. Sky SD feeds are disgusting, some channels as you said get a lot lower bitrate than others.
Garbage in > Garbage out.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 165867 20-Sep-2008 20:46
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Very frustrating when you shell out in excess of $2500 only to get picture quality much more inferior to my old 26" CRT.

I hear that Sony Plasmas might provide a better upscale solution than Panasonic.

Is this the case?

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  Reply # 165871 20-Sep-2008 21:12
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Kiwiwolf: Very frustrating when you shell out in excess of $2500 only to get picture quality much more inferior to my old 26" CRT.

I hear that Sony Plasmas might provide a better upscale solution than Panasonic.

Is this the case?


Sony don't do Plasma's - only LCD. IMHO I'd prefer a Panasonic plasma over a Sony LCD any day.

The Panasonic plasma's are great TV's. It's just the issue that very poor quality low bitrate SD content (most of Sky's channels) will look poor on any HD panel.

If you want good quality TV unfortunately your only choice is Sky's HD programming and a Freeview|HD box for all the FTA channels.

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  Reply # 165873 20-Sep-2008 21:22
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Im not sure what makes a LCD/Plasma make sky looks so bad, even with only a small step up in size (eg 29 to 32).

However your HDi i believe is doing all the upscaling, so your TV is getting an upscaled 720p image, not a SD one.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 165875 20-Sep-2008 21:32
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eXDee you must forgive my ignorance. Are you saying then that the 720p signal is actually an upscaled HD signal.


You are dealing with a techno phobe here so 525p and 720p's and 1024x720 etc etc is all jargon to me.


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  Reply # 165968 21-Sep-2008 12:05
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As far as i can tell from our Mysky HDi setup, all of the standard definition channels will get upscaled to HD before sending it over HDMI. So your TV is actually getting a HD signal (720p - 1280x720) even for the standard definition channels.
Pretty much what this means is that there is no issue with your panasonic upscaling - because the its already receiving an upscaled image.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 166042 21-Sep-2008 15:15
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Thanks for that.

I guess the next will be seeing that I will never be able to improve Sky's normal channels, is to subscribe to the Sky Movies ticket to at least get the best out of my telly.

Having said that, will the 1024x720 resolution of my telly be sufficient to really get the most out of Sky's true HD broadcasts?

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  Reply # 166049 21-Sep-2008 15:46
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Sky only does 720p as far as i know, TV3 might be 1080i but your 720p TV should be fine, ours looks good.

Don't feel obliged to get movies just to get a good picture. Ask yourself if you will will use it often or not.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 166119 21-Sep-2008 21:30
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eXdee you have got it wrong. Sky's HD is 1080i. The HDi box can passthrough ie 576i for SD and 1080i for HD or scale to either 720p or 1080i. It is an HDi setup option. Depending on whether the scaler in the TV or the scaler in the HDi box is better should dictate what you choose. I use passrhrough to my 1080p Panasonic but trial and error will tell you which is best. In any case as has been stated previously Sky's bitrates are very low on some content. Be aware the HD channels on Sky will scale SD content before transmission.

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  Reply # 166140 22-Sep-2008 00:38
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Thanks for the correction, i said based on my setup, so there you go. I need to troll through the setup options since the only thing i've done is switch on component.
Is it really 1080i for sports? that's interesting, i would have thought sky would choose 720p, though i can understand movies being 1080i.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 166149 22-Sep-2008 08:04

Most sports are shot at 1080i as the interlaced feed looks better for fast motion.
1080i is the standard resolution for HD content in America, where all the movies are sourced from. I imagine you'll see 720 as a broadcasting resolution going the way of the dodo within the next few years.

Kiwiwolf - is your TV 1024x768 stetched to 16:9 natively or did you mean 1366x768? No matter what happens you'll always be better feeding in the best resolution your TV will take - probably 1080i.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 166163 22-Sep-2008 09:09
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Lotech I have the Panasonic TH-42PV80


http://www.bondandbond.co.nz/audiotv/tv/plasma-screen-tvs/panasonic-th42pv80az-42-hd-ready-viera-plasma-tv/prod92926.html

I did try the passthrough setting on the HDi box. It didn't make any difference to the clarity of TV 1,2,3 and Prime etc and it stretched out the other channels like Fox, CNN, BBC etc and made them look unnatural.

The conclusion I am reaching is that unless you watch a lot of DVD's, play games or have native HD feeds, you are better off with an old CRT when it comes to picture sharpness.


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  Reply # 166168 22-Sep-2008 09:29
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Kiwiwolf:


The conclusion I am reaching is that unless you watch a lot of DVD's, play games or have native HD feeds, you are better off with an old CRT when it comes to picture sharpness.



I disagree. If you have a large screen TV and want a nice picture then you should have Freeview|HD - with TV1,TV2 and TV3 either transmitting HD or upscaled content and other 576i channels running at high birates the picture quality is fantastic.

The problem here with Sky is that that they do run very low bitrates which have always made their picture look bad but most people have been ignorant of this fact. Sky can't do a lot about poor quality low bitrate feeds such as ESPN that they receive and have no control over but they could deliver a better picture for the other channels but choose not to. Why? Because satellite bandwidth is expensive. They either run lots of channels with low bitrates or fewer channels with higher bitrates. It's all about finding the middle ground..

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 166177 22-Sep-2008 09:55

Alas you TV isn't even really HD Capable, just HD Ready. 1024x768 is a bastard resolution that should never have made it to 16:9 TVs (as its a 4:3 aspect ration but stretched to be wide). Where most pixels are square(ish) yours are rectangular and far from ideal for accurate image display. I would say that both SD and HD feeds will always look a bit soft as the resolution about 20% bigger than a SD TV and 15% smaller than a true 720 LCD/Plasma.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 166189 22-Sep-2008 10:26
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Lotech I did get the guys at harvey Norman to plug a full HD ready Panasonic into the Sky HDi. The result was that it didn't improve the picture quality of the crap Sky channels. So I guess the upshot is that a full HD telly will really improve the quality of HD content but will make little difference to the crap channels. And to realy enhance the quality of HD TV content opting for Freeview would be a better option.

Are all channels on Freeview HD or just 1,2 and 3?

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