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Jaxson

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#21176 17-Apr-2008 23:04
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Hi all,

As I understand it the broadcaster has the option to enforce that the HDCP process, whereby actual high definition output is only permitted via hdmi connections to a HDCP equipped TV.  All other analogue output's are downgraded/limited to standard resolution.  I believe all freeview accredited set top boxes will only output standard resolution via component video, at all times.

Could someone with a HD Terrestrial set top box do a quick check on what sort of content protection the terrestrial freeview service is using please?  I'd really like to know what sort of output you get if you connect the zinwell 620 box to a non HDCP display (such as an older dvi computer monitor), both during normal broadcasts, and also during TV's actual HD broadcast.

I'm sure there are many people out there with early plasma's and lcd's that are maybe only DVI equipped, but definitely not HDCP enabled.  Looks like HD via analogue component is definitely out of the question.  A DVI/HDMI adpater or cable is easy to sort, but can we get any picture from the zinwell at all via a digital connection without HDCP?

Hope some of the above made sense?!

Cheers,
Jackson.

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Spong
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  #124571 17-Apr-2008 23:36
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One way to feed a Freeview HD box via HDMI with HDCP into an analog VGA connector is the HDfury - see: www.hdfury.com -  I'm looking at possibly getting one for use with my Panasonic 6th gen plasma (no HDMI or DVI inputs). Actually, has anyone checked to see if Freeview are in fact invoking the ICT flag and hence causing component to output 576 lines only?




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Jaxson

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  #124613 18-Apr-2008 08:42
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Hi,

As I understood it any freeview acredited box HAD to have the analogue output reduced to SD regardless of the ICT flag.

I'm one better off, in that I have a DVI in, so I can use a DVI/HDMI adapter or different ended cable.  I'm definately not HDCP enabled on that DVI input though, so I'd like to know if I'll get ANY picture at all via HDMI/DVI or if I'll get some but maybe not on certain programmes that do activate the ICT flag - maybe the TV3 HD stuff for instance?


Could someone with a Zinwell HD 620 box do a quick check of the outputs for us please?


Cheers,

Jackson.


mentalinc
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  #124619 18-Apr-2008 08:50
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The problem is the broadcaster can turn it on and off at their whim.
Sure it may be off now but by the time you read to the end of this line they may have turned it on again.

In short if you are going the STB route you will need an HDCP compliant device somewhere.




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Jaxson

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  #124637 18-Apr-2008 09:24
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If I'm connected via HDMI to a display device that is not HDCP enabled, what is the behaviour of the Zinwell HD box when

a) the ICT flag is not present?
b) the ICT flag is enabled?

eg.
Do I get a picture initially or do I get a black screen?
Do I get upscaled output and then black during copy protected content, or can I still view the copy protected content, but just at SD resolutions?

This is only an issue for my lounge TV which is an older/early plasma.  It would be nice to feed HD to it, but the main reason is that I like how some freeview content is in native widescreen aspect ratio, which would be preferable for anyone with a widescreen tv.  I just have bad reception on some channels so would like to go to the digital service to sort that.  There's always the sat service if it's really not compatible but using existing UHF aerial is easier.

sbiddle
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  #124645 18-Apr-2008 09:40
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It would be nice if Freeview could provide a few more technical details in regards to issues such as this. The fact that DRM is part of our rollout is very significant, particularly since ICT is not common in other parts of the world.

Personally I believe Freeview's marketing has actually been very poor, even TV3's story on the Freeview|HD launch several days ago was shocking and is simply helping to feed the misinformation that is starting to appear in the marketplace.

We have the best DVB-T network in the world and it's a fantastic asset - it's just being let down by small things such as this.

Spong
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  #124669 18-Apr-2008 10:21
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I bought a 6th gen 42" Panasonic 1024x 768 HD plasma new a few years ago from HN, and it's main selling point over the cheaper 852 x 480 model avaialble at the time, was that it was HD ready for the future. I was a good little geek and bought it for around 3+ the times the price of todays models. The only way to get HD into it is via component or VGA. I accept these things though. What pisses me, is that NZ alone appear to be enforcing the ICT flag, or we're being told by Freeview and Sky that they will. This hasn't happened in USA or the UK, because there are a lot of TV's out there without a means of utlising HDCP. I believe that someone in NZ should take responsibility for this situation, rather than just let it happen. I'm now forced to upgrade to a new TV, or buy an expensive DVI to VGA convertor with HDCP stripper. I wonder if anyone's tried having a go at Panasonic or retailers about HDTVs being sold that are not fit for purpose in NZ? I realise that standards change, but unless there is a critical mass of people behind this, we're going to get ICT forced on us when it's possible that Freeview/Sky could negotiate their way out of it like the UK/USA did, at least for another 5 years or so. I'm considering approaching HN about this, and would be keen to hear if anyone else has been down this path.




Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz


mentalinc
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  #124682 18-Apr-2008 10:53
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Spong: your screen is far from HD its a 4:3 resolution streached to hell and back.

The biggest problem in the NZ market is companies selling panels that should never have been made.
No one should need or want anything less than 720p or better still 1080p any other random resolution should not be sold never mind manufactured [/rant]




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Spong
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  #124685 18-Apr-2008 11:12
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You say my Panasonic TH-42PV30 is "far from HD it's 4:3 resolution stretched to hell and back". I'm guessing you're approaching this from a purist's point of view, which I don't consider the point here, as most 42" plasmas have this pixel pitch. Sure 1024 x 768 is normally a 4:3 resolution on a PC screen with round pixels but I believe most plasmas have rectagular or oval pixels, hence the illogical resolution for widescreen. The point is, it's a widescreen display, and keeps the family happy, while I watch my huge firesale collection of HD-DVDs on my projector.




Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz


sbiddle
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  #124690 18-Apr-2008 11:25
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You do raise a very good point and it's an issue that retailers simply chose to ignore. They were more interested in selling people products, even if that involved misinforming them.

Sky finally made a move about 2 years ago advising the market that HDMI (with HDCP) would be a requirement for Sky's future HD offering and Freeview backed this as well. This was a result of many retailers passing off TV's as being "HD compatible" when the reality was that they weren't. I remember an article at the time in the Dominion Post were somebody from LV Martin was quoted as saying that they couldn't advise people that a "HD capable" TV was because nobody was telling us what the requirements were which was clearly untrue. If they had bothered to ask companies such as Sky they would have received an answer!


The reality however was that HDMI wasn't standard on early panels and this is the reason that the ICT flag hasn't been implimented in most markets overseas due to the large numbers of TV's that meet all the HD requirements with the exception of having no HDMI connector. I stand to be corrected if I am wrong but I believe Foxtel & Sky's HD offerings will be the first News Corp networks enforcing HDMI for HD content and implimenting ICT for downscaling via component. I guess that they believe the fact we have been late adopters of big screen TV's makes it OK.




Spong
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  #124696 18-Apr-2008 11:42
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Even in the last 2x years there have been HDTVs and players from reputable manufacturers sold with flawed HDCP or incompatible HDMI versions. Installers have been having a bad time all round, and I believe it's going to become a bigger issue as more jump on the HD bandwagon. One personal example I've had is a cheap but cheerful AOC 27" LCD TV I bought new for use in my workshop. It took 3x firmware updates, including dialogue with AOC before a working HDCP solution was found and this was when connected to common products like a current Sony DVD-HDD Recorder and Toshiba HD-DVD Player.




Tivo upgrades to operate with the new OzTivo EPG, support and service. Over 400 performed here so far. See: www.hillcrest.net.nz


sbiddle
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  #124698 18-Apr-2008 11:51
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I have a 50" series 6 Pioneer Plasma that I'm well aware may have some HDCP issues. There have been numerous reports in the UK of issues that required firmware upgrades to fix. There were also problems last year in Australia with TV's (can't recall the brand now but ?Samsung or ?LG) that also required firmware upgrades to work properly with their DVB-T services as they were choking on some of the HD content.



rugrat
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  #124716 18-Apr-2008 12:31
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To answer Jaxson original question,

Through DVI, HDMI  I believe no picture will display from a Zinwell through this connection if TV is not HDCP compliant. It's in the zinwells current software and nothing do with with what the broadcaster broadcasts - ICT flags etc, resolutin of broadcast.

If you buy one you will be able to get SD resolutin through componet or composite cable 576i, HD broadcasts will be down scaled by box to this.

If you go the Satillite way, you'll get a couple of extra channels for now (Cue and Stratoes etc) but Prime is unlikely to be on Sat in the near future, where as I see heavy pressure on them to put it on the UHF digital one.

Also if you get UHF one and get compliant TV later will be able to watch HD then.

Hopefully in couple of months TV3 starts doing DD5.1, if they do that don't think the sound is protected, so can run through TOS or coaxial cable to Amp if have that.

On my old TV (few months off 3 years so not that old) didn't get any picture off Zinwell through DVI, though the fault may have been with TV. Had arguement with retailer year and half ago when couldn't even get computer to run through it, TV came back from Phillips saying why it wouldn't work was because it was an advanced feature. They concluded this because on similar model TV's could get no joy either. After 4 hours arguing with retailer, talk of Fair Go, lawyers came to an arrangement, which was good price on TV just brought. Very happy with it, plus by getting now could make sure worked when technology was here.

old3eyes
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  #124730 18-Apr-2008 13:15
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Spong: I bought a 6th gen 42" Panasonic 1024x 768 HD plasma new a few years ago from HN, and it's main selling point over the cheaper 852 x 480 model avaialble at the time, was that it was HD ready for the future. I was a good little geek and bought it for around 3+ the times the price of todays models. The only way to get HD into it is via component or VGA. I accept these things though. What pisses me, is that NZ alone appear to be enforcing the ICT flag, or we're being told by Freeview and Sky that they will. This hasn't happened in USA or the UK, because there are a lot of TV's out there without a means of utlising HDCP. I believe that someone in NZ should take responsibility for this situation, rather than just let it happen. I'm now forced to upgrade to a new TV, or buy an expensive DVI to VGA convertor with HDCP stripper. I wonder if anyone's tried having a go at Panasonic or retailers about HDTVs being sold that are not fit for purpose in NZ? I realise that standards change, but unless there is a critical mass of people behind this, we're going to get ICT forced on us when it's possible that Freeview/Sky could negotiate their way out of it like the UK/USA did, at least for another 5 years or so. I'm considering approaching HN about this, and would be keen to hear if anyone else has been down this path.

 

Remember the guy on Fairgo a year back who bought a HD ready TV and later discovered that it would not work on his Xbox 360 in HD.  After Fairgo got involved the retailer took it back and gave hime a new "HD Ready" TV that would work.  Wonder if that could be the case here.  was sold as HD ready but will not work as it is designed to do. or they could just do as the Blu-ray disk Association has done and say  "tough, you were an early adopter of the technology"..





Regards,

Old3eyes


rugrat
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  #124735 18-Apr-2008 13:35
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I remember the fairgo one. It was nothing to do with HDCP. Can't remember which way round it was, but one was 50 Hertz and the other was 60 Hertz which was the reason it wouldn't work.

The Zinwell (which hopefully NZ's standard) outputs at 50 Hertz. So TV needs to be able to accept this as well. Ideally TV's sold today should be able to handle both. Looked at the TV I've got, it's 50 Hertz 576i - but will do 50 and 60 hertz at 720p and up.

Jaxson

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  #124738 18-Apr-2008 13:37
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Thanks to all contributing,

Yeah basically it looks like freeview have gone the extra mile to ensure there will be no future issues with potential copyright infringement.  Whilst they are adamant that they do not product/offer any hardware themselves, they DO have direct control over the standards/hardware configuration that a set top box MUST have to gain the freeview accreditation.

As I understand it this means ensuring that ALL analogue video outputs are limited to SD resolution.  This is normally controlled via ICT flag but freeview have taken the initiative to just prevent it from ever occurring.
It also appears (thanks rugrat) that zinwell or maybe Freeviews standards? have opted to do the same on the digital outs.  I had been hoping that it would just downgrade the output to SD, but it appears you wont get any output at all unless it's a HDCP capable set REGARDLESS of the ICT flat state!

I would like to see a specific list of what technologies/standards freeview has opted for with the New Zealand DVB-T standard.

Analogue component video is capable of HD resolutions so retailers can claim the line that the TV is HD capable.  This is in fact true.  The fact of the matter though is that all devices with HD output (PS3, Bluray, zinwell 620) require HDCP capable TV's to display anything in HD.  Let's be honest, that's a sht situation, and also one that DOES affect lots of people in NZ.

I'm looking at a combo upscaling DVD player + DVB-T tuner all in the same box from
China at the moment.  I'm hoping that the analogue or even HDMI outputs are not locked because it has not been specifically created for NZ's freeview standard.  I've taken a punt on this box and will see if the sample being set works.  As has been mentioned here on these forums though, I can't really look to sell it to others based on that capability in case I cross the copyright protections laws.  The ridiculous thing is though that anyone with a HTPC will not have this problem.

Regards,
Jackson.


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