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76 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 59551 6-Apr-2010 20:19
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After much hard work i finally convinced 'her indoors' that we needed a new TV. We have had a philips 32" Widescreen CRT for about 5-6 yrs.

After a fair bit of research I decided a Panasonic Plasma was the way to go and got one from Harvey Norman on the weekend, getting it for $1430 (down from $2k due to a sales at Noel Leeming and their matching price policy).

It;s a 42 inch, Full HD, model -TH-P42S10Z

I run MySkyHDi via an HDMI cable. After reading a fair bit re people getting ripped off paying $150 for a cable, i bought one new on Trade Me for $25, as many people have advised not to spend more than $30-40 for one.

Generally the picture quality on TV1, TV2 and TV3 is great, but have to say most of the remainder of the SKY product is pretty average. FYI -It has Freeview HD built in, but haven't the correct arial for that, so watch all channels through MySky.

I watched the Warriors the other day and spent the whole game thinking how crappy the picture quality was compared to how it was when i watched on the Philips. A bit blurry and fuzzy around the players bodies.

I just called SKY tonight and got the HD ticket, i watch a fair bit of English Football, NRL and Cricket and i know most of this is displayed in HD, but as yet haven't seen a game to compare.

I feel the picture quality is far greater on the older Philips, and I'm not that impressed (neither is the wife!)

The Wii doesn't look as good either, although i have ordered a 5 pin component cable which a mate of mine says has made his look a lot better. Currently looks a little pixelated.

Am i missing something here? Is there something i can tweak or do. Even the on screen SKY Guide looks a bit pixelated. Or is this just the way it is? Would welcome all comments and suggestions.

Thanks

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  Reply # 315539 6-Apr-2010 22:18
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Okay - to cover off the basics.

Full HD is accepted to be a resolution of roughly 2 million pixels (1920 x 1080 pixels).
HD ready is deemed to be around the 1 million pixel range (720 vertical lines).

BUT - 'Full HD' and 'HD Ready' are not exact definitions... which is a little confusing to say the least.


1: Your old TV was 32" wide. Your new one is 42" wide.
If you watch a source (say 1 million pixels) on a small screen, it will look better than on the larger screen because the pixels won't have to be stretched to fill up the extra space (up-scaling).
As 'HD Television' in NZ is only giving you an HD Ready picture, then it will not give you a full high definition picture.
Many people buying a new TV assume that Sky HD and Freeview HD will give them a 'full HD picture'. However, this simply is not true. Did you ask the sales person at Harvey's about full HD vs HD ready?

The only full HD sources that are readily available are...
1: Blu Ray movies.
2: PS3 games.
3: Full HD camcorders.
If you want to see what your TV is capable of, get a Blu Ray player (stand alone units like the Panasonic BD60's are going for $300 at the moment)... buy a Blu Ray movie or two and be prepared to be happily surprised! That way you'll see your TV giving you the highest quality picture it possibly can.

Neither your Nintendo Wii or Sky HD service are going to give you a source that is as good as your TV is capable of, as they are HD Ready, not Full HD.
I think it'll be quite a while before TV in NZ does offer a Full HD picture unfortunately. And yes, you will get a better picture from your Wii with a component cable.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 315563 6-Apr-2010 22:55
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dougierydal: 

Generally the picture quality on TV1, TV2 and TV3 is great, but have to say most of the remainder of the SKY product is pretty average. FYI -It has Freeview HD built in, but haven't the correct arial for that, so watch all channels through MySky.

I watched the Warriors the other day and spent the whole game thinking how crappy the picture quality was compared to how it was when i watched on the Philips. A bit blurry and fuzzy around the players bodies.



Sky channels are heavily compressed to save satellite bandwidth. Whilst their Sports channels are OK, Vibe, Food, ESPN etc.. are horrendous on my 40" LCD.  Like you i used to have 32" CRT widescreen. Going to 40" LCD made those channels look even worse because of the larger screen. Moving to HDi improved quite a bit even without HD ticket.
There other issues that may result in a poor picture, like satellite signal quality or atmospheric condition at the time. Also, i switched off settings on my LCD like Noise Reduction etc..

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Master Geek


  Reply # 315584 6-Apr-2010 23:35
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They've pretty much covered the obvious fact that if your new tv is a lot bigger, say from a 32 to a 42 any flaws in your sources will be all the more obvious. Think of it like putting 91 in a brand new ferrari, it might have been fine in your hatchback but you wanna give that baby premium to make her run nice.

Other things that can have an effect on picture quality are your room and tv settings.
Plasmas are more susceptible to ambient light than CRTs or LCDs so make sure any windows or lights are facing away from the tv if at all possible.

Seeing as you got a plasma and used to have a CRT I'm going to assume you like quite a natural picture in which case I'd put it on cinema mode in the picture menu and adjust the settings something like so
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=34&topicid=55274
These settings were obtained with the tvs in quite a dim room so keep your room as dim as possible for best results.




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Home Theatre: 32" loewe CRT, Harmon kardon amp, dvd player, image 418 speakers, rega planar 25 turntable :)

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  Reply # 315622 7-Apr-2010 07:53
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Standard definition content is always going to a weak point for any Full HD panel. Either the STB or TV have to upscale this content which may only be 720x576 up to 1920x1080. This means it simply won't look as good as feeding the TV content that's in native 1920x1080.

Sky only have average picture quality on many channels, in some cases this is Sky's fault and in some cases it's the fact they're getting low bitrate content from overseas providers.

You should notice the HD content look a lot nice, and TV1, TV2 and TV3 all look fantastic using Freeview|HD. TV3's HD programming looks stunning.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 315638 7-Apr-2010 08:33
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Thanks guys - your comments are much appreciated. We watched Grays Anatomy last night (yeah yeah I know) in HD and the picture was awesome.

Look forward to watching some sport in HD to see what that looks like.

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  Reply # 315701 7-Apr-2010 11:24
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Yeah it has been mentioned a few times here as well that some HD TV sets simply don't display SD sources that well. It's not a problem on an older CRT where everything is limited to SD anyway but basically SD just looks crap by comparison on an HD TV set, and getting a bigger screen just makes this even more evident.

Your TV is a good buy, so hang in there.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 315727 7-Apr-2010 12:26
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Look forward to watching some sport in HD to see what that looks like.


The EPL on MySkyHD is awesome!
Colours are beautiful and the detail is amazing, and Sky get a quite a few of the games in HD (like football feast on a Saturday)
Pity the same can't be said about champions league in heavily compressed  4:3 format on ESPN. (It's truly bad, but nowhere near as bad as the picture was on my old Telstra cable box - but that was only svideo)

I think the NRL this season is some of the best HD sports I've seen, although the night games accenuate this because of the high powered lights around the ground.


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  Reply # 315748 7-Apr-2010 13:16
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as they say, 'garbage in, garbage out'

HD content from Sky and Freeview looks nice, the SD conent is variable

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  Reply # 315774 7-Apr-2010 14:48
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We bought my mother-in-law a new Sony 32" EX400 for her 70th birthday last week. Previously she had a 20" NEC CRT set which always had great analog pictures. After I set up the digital channels they looked great however the analog looked terrible. She only uses Trackside so she only has to switch to analog once. I guess new TVs are optimized for the digital channels as they should be and the analogs are there because they have to be for the next 50 years or so.....well in NZ at least..




Regards,

Old3eyes


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  Reply # 316060 8-Apr-2010 09:46
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another thing that I forgot to mention...

if you want to admire the beauty of HD footage, flick over the the coverage of The Masters. Flicked over to the coverage of the golf this morning briefly, some really nice sharp pictures.

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  Reply # 316107 8-Apr-2010 10:54
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Im not sure if is relavent to broadcases as I did my playing around on my 37" Panasonic some time ago, but setting the TV to "show like" 24p resulted in a poor picture. That setting may be worth playing with.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 316159 8-Apr-2010 12:04
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Just looking at the IPL now, terrific picture in HD.

Question - What is a better picture? TV1,TV2, etc through SKY or through Freeview HD, or is it the same?

BTW - feeling better about my TV now!

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  Reply # 316174 8-Apr-2010 12:38
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Changed to a Magic TV box which up scales everything to 1080p, sure SD sources upscaled are not quite HD but the picture is impressive.

When you do view an HD program however it's fantastic, the detail is amazing.

Since getting the Magic TV box theres been no problems with picture quality, before that on the DVB-S service it was shocking.

So it all comes down to the source.


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  Reply # 316187 8-Apr-2010 13:01
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dougierydal: Question - What is a better picture? TV1,TV2, etc through SKY or through Freeview HD, or is it the same?

Typically satellite 'space' is limited so you're likely to get a better quality picture off the terrestrial/freeview HD service as this has a wider available bandwidth.

Someone here will have the data rates, but I'd be picking the freeview HD picture will be better than the same channel off the satellite.  Not sure how SKY's HD channels compare so hopefully someone can chime in with that info.  Also, what format is SKY using for it's HD transmissions?  Is it DVB-S2? (encrypted obviously though).

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  Reply # 316189 8-Apr-2010 13:03
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sbiddle: ...

You should notice the HD content look a lot nice, and TV1, TV2 and TV3 all look fantastic using Freeview|HD. TV3's HD programming looks stunning.


+1 for TV3.  My TV is currently out of action but my PVR is going still. I have been watching TV3 shows like Bones etc. on my 1080P projector on a 100" screen and they look awesome. Actually even TV2 content looks pretty decent on this setup.

It's a shame there isn't more of it. OTOH TCL cable stuff looks really crappy when upscaled to 1080p - it's jsut the nature of the content - you can't make silk purse from a sow's ear.




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


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