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131 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 9253 2-Sep-2006 19:00
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Hi there,

I'm considering a move from Telecom/Sky to a TelstraClear triple package, but was unsure about the picture quality of their digital TV service. We currently feed the S-Video output from the Sky digital decoder into our 42inch HD plasma and the output quality is pretty good (depending on the channel selected of course).

Question is: will moving to TC digital cable result in a drop in quality? I understand they re-transmit Sky content, but do they re-encode these channels? And what about the free to air channels? We live under Mt Kaukau in WN and our reception from our antenna is less than satisfactory, so we rely on digital TV to get a decent image on the plasma.

Has anyone else any good/bad experiences of switching between Sky and TelstraClear TV?

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  Reply # 45236 2-Sep-2006 22:53
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I have Telstra Digital and from what I have seen of Sky the quality is the same if not better.

That combined with the more than decent broadband they offer means that IMHO anyone living in a Telstra cable area would have to be insane to not go with it!!

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  Reply # 45237 2-Sep-2006 23:02
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OK I was going to switch to Telstra digital i little while ago (am currently on their analogue service) as we got a 42" HD TV however looking into it a bit I was somewhat shocked to find that they only have composite out  on their current STBs!  I sent them a email outlining my concerns and I got a reply to say that they are looking at STBs that have better connection options but no date on when it would happen.

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  Reply # 45253 3-Sep-2006 10:44
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Aside of the fact that the Telstra box's only support composite, and Skys composite, s-video, RGB and hopefully latter this month Component, the pictures should be largely the same. The signals are taken of Skys muxs on B1 and are not decoded but the mpeg streams extracted and reinserted onto DVB-C Qam muxs, thus the same picture quality should exist.

Sadly as mentioned the last leg between the STB and your display is via a connection that is stuck way back mid last century, with limitations intact. Whoever spec'd the TC STB's with only composite obviously had no idea.


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  Reply # 45258 3-Sep-2006 11:53
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Actually I think you will find that telstra already have the new stb with S-Video out - Ive got one.
Its exactly the same model just with an additional S-Video output.
Probably a good idea to tell them you have a plasma screen - the guy that came to do my install brought in one of the older stb initially then went back out to the van and swapped it for the new one when he saw I had a plasma.

The only sensible reason for sticking with sky would be if you want MySky - but even then its easy enough to sort out similar functionality for yourself - import a series1 Tivo from the US for about $300 or build MythTV with a spare PC or........

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 45279 3-Sep-2006 15:11
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Riposte, Do you have a model number for the STB with S-Video?

Good to hear that TCL have come to their senses. Feeding my Plasma from a composite signal would have been a deal breaker for me.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 45280 3-Sep-2006 15:15
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Reading through some older posts on the TCL forum I note that people have complained about TV3's picture quality. Is this still the case with their digital service?

I notice with Sky Digital TV3 has (in my opinion) a slightly better picture quality than the competing FTA channels - maybe a higher data rate and less compression...

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  Reply # 45283 3-Sep-2006 15:45
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As far as I can tell its the same model number as the bog standard one - even the manual that came with it doesnt show the S-Video output. Its ADB ican 3000C Q68 TNZ

I would guess that the board in it had the S-Video capability all the time and TCL just decided not to use it - probably saving $10 or so per decoder in the process - not the best quality decision making Ive seen from them!!

Havnt noticed any problems with TV3 - picture quality seems far more consistant across all the channels than the analogue decoder produces.

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Master Geek

  Reply # 45386 4-Sep-2006 20:54
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Yes they do have S-Video Set top boxes.  I got one about 2 months ago.  I rang and asked about digital and specifically requested one with S-Video out and they supplied one.  AS already said - it looks just like the standard one - just has an extra connection.

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  Reply # 45395 4-Sep-2006 21:44
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Loftus: Reading through some older posts on the TCL forum I note that people have complained about TV3's picture quality. Is this still the case with their digital service?

I notice with Sky Digital TV3 has (in my opinion) a slightly better picture quality than the competing FTA channels - maybe a higher data rate and less compression...

That wouldn't be surprising. Since TV3 provides no digital feed (outside of Auckland I guess) TCL have to grab the signal off air, clean it up, convert to MPEG2 and then send down the cable. All that processing adds some softness to the picture.  You could probably get a better picture with your own aerial if you had a good line of sight of Kaukau

I asked why they couldn't grab the signal that BCL sends across the country but apparently that format is different again and the effort to transform that to MPEG2 was not worth it. I presume they are just waiting fill Freeview when TV3 will in all likelihood send all its channels up to the dish

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