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SkyHD installation: first impressions

May 23, 2006
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skyhd sampleFinally May 22nd arrived and with it the first official installations of one of the first HDTV services in the UK: SkyHD.

In my case the actual installation was just a matter of unplugging the previous Sky+ box and replacing it with the new SkyHD box - easy peasy.

Currently I have the SkyHD box connected to an older Pioneer Plasma 433 (43"). The TV supports 1080i over component and that is how it is connected at the moment.

A HDMI to DVI cable has been ordered and I am looking forward to comparing the picture quality of HD over component vs. over HDMI.

skyhdbox.jpgThe SkyHD Box
SkyHD has a 300GB internal hard drive but only 160GB is allocated to the customer, the rest is "reserved" for Sky. Recorded HD content obviously requires more HD space than standard definition (SD) content and there is a risk of running out of HD space quickly. Star Wars III in HD requires around 10% of the SkyHD available space!

SkyHD comes with a new remote but my multi-remote that was programmed for the previous Sky+ box is working fine. This seems to suggest that Sky+ and SkyHD share remote control codes but I have heard reports of SkyHD remote not being able to control a Sky+ box.

The box has internal fans but sitting 6 meters away from it I was not able to hear it over the TV sound.

You can choose to output in 1080i, 720p, 576 or leave it on Automatic where the SkyHD box will switch according to the source.

The Automatic option may seem best but unfortunately the switching between HD and SD channels creates a flicker.

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  1. Alan Patterson Says:

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    how does an HDMI to DVI cable work.
    Does the signal still need to go through the pioneer media box or can it go directly to the screen?
    I have a pioneer 503 and the picture keeps pixilating. I think the problem is the media box and to bypass it would be an ideal solution.

  2. Danny Sullivan Says:

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    Nice, David. Just got mine and wrote up a similar summary here, linked over to your nice tips on figuring out if material is upscaled. I wish they'd just tell you that was the case.

  3. jurgen Says:

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    i have the basic sky box connected to 1 lnb if i need to replace my old sky box to sky hd decoder i need to replace the lnb and the wiring?

    David says:

    With SkyHD (as with Sky+) the second lnb is used to record a show on one channel while you are watching another channel (dual tuners).

    In theory you can run SkyHD on one lnb only but you will be missing out on the feature of watching a show and recording another one at the same time.

  4. Debikf Says:

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    Userful blog. Thanks!

    David says:

    Userless spam. Thanks for nothing!

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