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1080i versus 720p from SKY HD or automatic

anderc02

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Jan 15, 2008
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Hello, Having had a play with my new Russ Andrews/amstrad HD SKY box I am still not sure which is the best setting or HD/sd output ,is it 1080i or 720p? How can I make sure my TV is doing the upscaling as at the moment it does not seem to.Ie SD picture is 576p. Any brainwaves?
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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To force the TV to upscale set the SkyHD box to auto. Your TV will display 576p because that's what it's receiving from the Sky box, NOT what the TV is actually displaying (it's basically telling you you're watching an SD feed).

If that's the case you know the TV is upscaling otherwise the picture would be in a small box in the middle of the screen...
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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I leave mine set to auto, and let the rest of the system do the work. What your TV is showing is the input signal, not the on-screen resolution, which it will automatically upscale to fill the number of pixels available on the display panel.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
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Can't believe you you spent £600 on an RA upgraded Amstrad, but still...

Leave it on automatic, it will then output HD at it's native 1080i, and SD at 576p (you can't get a native 576i signal out of a SkyHD box via HDMI) your TV will then upscale/deinterlace...
 

anderc02

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Jan 15, 2008
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Thanks , will do that.
Re the Russ Andrews SkyBox; I did not spend the full amount ,I had some vouchers and they did a discount plus I got £63 for the old box on Ebay so the net outlay was £437.However It is a leap in picture quality especially SD and SKY movies it should be cheaper but is pretty good. I suppose all Hi Fi purchases are subjective and whimsy!
 

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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Thanks for the heads-up on the RA Sky HD box - we've just ordered up a review sample. Now we just have to sort out 200m of Kimber Kable to run to the LNB!
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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anderc02:Ta Andrew, you are always prompt at answering posts.

You're welcome I'm sure...
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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I just made this point on the LGPK350 thread but thought I'd copy it here, whilst the above settings may work better on some screens I found it very poor on mine. Using 1080i over HDMI all EPG menu's etc are totally crisp and clear, the picture is very decent on SD (depending on channel! Watching the Matrix on ITV the other week I actually thought it was HD until I checked the channel I was on!). When I switch to "automatic" however, everything becomes soft and indistinct, colours are poor and there is a lot of picture noise, I turned the set off and on as a check but no improvement.

As I mentioned in the other thread this could also be how the set handles freeview/freesat internally so may be why the PK590 was criticised for its SD performance in the WHF review. Via Sky 1080i the SD is as good as I would ever expect on a 50" - the closest point I would sit at in my room is about 6' and it's noise-free at that distance. It's certainly something worth checking out on your own set as one generic setting may not suit all!
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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AEJim:
I just made this point on the LGPK350 thread but thought I'd copy it here, whilst the above settings may work better on some screens I found it very poor on mine. Using 1080i over HDMI all EPG menu's etc are totally crisp and clear, the picture is very decent on SD (depending on channel! Watching the Matrix on ITV the other week I actually thought it was HD until I checked the channel I was on!). When I switch to "automatic" however, everything becomes soft and indistinct, colours are poor and there is a lot of picture noise, I turned the set off and on as a check but no improvement.

As I mentioned in the other thread this could also be how the set handles freeview/freesat internally so may be why the PK590 was criticised for its SD performance in the WHF review. Via Sky 1080i the SD is as good as I would ever expect on a 50" - the closest point I would sit at in my room is about 6' and it's noise-free at that distance. It's certainly something worth checking out on your own set as one generic setting may not suit all!

All that means is that the upscaler in your TV is not as good as the one in the Sky box (which is a scary thought!). As you suggest results will be TV dependent.
 

AEJim

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2008
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That's what I mean - it's not a universal solution for all screens!
Thing is my Sky box looks great on SD, the scaler seems fine in it - perhaps it depends which supplier's version you have? I have no idea why the scaler is so poor on the TV, that's why I turned it off and on, to make sure it had registered everything properly, perhaps the input makes a difference, maybe the HDMI doesn't scale the same as the other inputs... I've not heard anything bad about LG's scalers but this looks shocking on the Sky boxes automatic mode.
 

digigriffin

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Sep 25, 2008
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I believe I have seen on other forums that all material is broadcast to the Sky+ HD box at 1080i?
If this is the case than any other setting to the 1080i will involved processsing by the Sky+ HD to change the resolution?

Certainly 576p is not what SD is usually broadcast at, so the box is doing something here?

I leave my box set to 1080i as with auto there is a blue screen delay in the resolution switch between HD and SD channels.
I cannot detect any improvement in my setup with auto so setting to 1080i and leaving it there
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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digigriffin:I believe I have seen on other forums that all material is broadcast to the Sky+ HD box at 1080i?
If this is the case than any other setting to the 1080i will involved processsing by the Sky+ HD to change the resolution?

I'd be surprised if that were the case as that would mean that non-HD Sky boxes were accepting an HD broadcast and downscaling it as well, which seems unlikely, especially for older boxes that are probably still out there (like one of mine for example).

Certainly 576p is not what SD is usually broadcast at, so the box is doing something here?

It's de-interlacing I believe (something else they're not great at either), the broadcast is 576i.

I leave my box set to 1080i as with auto there is a blue screen delay in the resolution switch between HD and SD channels. I cannot detect any improvement in my setup with auto so setting to 1080i and leaving it there

Well all I can say is I had my HD box set to 1080i for a couple of weeks after I got the TV (KRP-500a) and always felt the SD stuff looked dreadful, so I set it to auto and it was like someone had wiped a smear of mud off of the screen it was so much better.
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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the_lhc:Well all I can say is I had my HD box set to 1080i for a couple of weeks after I got the TV (KRP-500a) and always felt the SD stuff looked dreadful, so I set it to auto and it was like someone had wiped a smear of mud off of the screen it was so much better.

Would be interesting (or geeky, depending on point of view) to check the manufacturer of our HDMI boxes, from memory Sky used two or three vendors. The effect I had was the exact opposite of yours oddly enough.
 

The_Lhc

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Oct 16, 2008
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AEJim:
the_lhc:Well all I can say is I had my HD box set to 1080i for a couple of weeks after I got the TV (KRP-500a) and always felt the SD stuff looked dreadful, so I set it to auto and it was like someone had wiped a smear of mud off of the screen it was so much better.
Would be interesting (or geeky, depending on point of view) to check the manufacturer of our HDMI boxes, from memory Sky used two or three vendors.

Sadly I haven't the faintest idea.

The effect I had was the exact opposite of yours oddly enough.

As you suggested with your comments about the WHF review of your TV I suspect it says more about the TVs than the Sky boxes.
 

AEJim

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Nov 17, 2008
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the_lhc:AEJim:
the_lhc:Well all I can say is I had my HD box set to 1080i for a couple of weeks after I got the TV (KRP-500a) and always felt the SD stuff looked dreadful, so I set it to auto and it was like someone had wiped a smear of mud off of the screen it was so much better.

Would be interesting (or geeky, depending on point of view) to check the manufacturer of our HDMI boxes, from memory Sky used two or three vendors.Sadly I haven't the faintest idea. The effect I had was the exact opposite of yours oddly enough.As you suggested with your comments about the WHF review of your TV I suspect it says more about the TVs than the Sky boxes.

Oh I know the TV scaler could well be abysmal, but the reason I wondered about the Sky boxes themselves is that mine looks great on SD on the 1080i setting whereas others seem to be highly critical of it - I can't really see how it could be any better to be honest! I get no posterisation or pixellation, colours are good, noise is minimal even on the 50" screen etc.

Does anyone know how many variants of Sky HD box there are, or have any experience of the differences in manufacture over the last few years (if indeed there are still multiple suppliers)?

*Edit - checked Wikipedia (as reliable as it is):

"The first generation of Sky+ HD Digibox were produced by Thomson. Sky have since added Samsung, Pace and Amstrad as manufacturers. The Thomson box has been discontinued and is no longer available as an A-grade/refurbished item due to its inclusion of YPbPr component video. A manufacturing fault led to a batch of up to 90,000 units manufactured by Pace / Sky starting to replace boxes, commencing in February 2009 and still ongoing in spring 2009."

So these may all have different components of differing quality, might be something to consider...
 

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