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SkyHD installation: first impressions

May 23, 2006
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Picture Quality
First channel any new HD viewer should browse to is the BBC HD Preview (145). It is transmitted in very good quality and shows just how good HDTV can be.

Overall HD content is pretty scarce and often mixed with upscaled video. Upscaled means that Sky has converted a SD source and broadcasts it as HD.

Currently the only true HD programmes on Sky One HD seem to be 24, Rescue Me, Enterprise and some episodes of Malcolm In The Middle. The upscaled content is easily spotted as it is a bit narrower than the standard 16:9 aspect ratio and has black bands on the sides (it is more like 14:9).

National Geographic, Discovery and Artsworld have dedicated HD channels but again there is mixed true HD and upscaled content.

The Star Wars III: Return of the Sith is running on Sky Box office in HD and is reported to be of much better quality than the DVD version.

When 1080i is selected the SkyHD box upscales everything in SD to 1080i. This removes the annoying flickering but I find the upscaled picture a bit soft. Most likely due to the fact that the TV has to downscale once extra time and additional conversions are never good.

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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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