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      12-29-2007, 04:50 AM   #1
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HD TV advice

We've still got a Toshiba 32inch CRT telly that I bought about 8 years ago.

Got a bit exited about all the reduced prices on LCD's yesterday and ordered one of these:

Samsung LE40M87BDX

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...ctiveda3017-21

Reviews seemed really good and I'm very pleased with the 22inch Samsung monitor I bought for the computer earlier this year.

Questions though :

1. Is it worth getting Sky HD and if I get it do I also get channel 4 and BBC HD at the same time?

2. I have an upscaling DVD player (although only up to 1080i), which I'm going to connect via HDMI. Does it matter how much I spend on a cable?
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      12-29-2007, 07:01 AM   #2
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If you get Sky HD you do get Channel 4 HD but I've only seen a few programmes schelduled in HD format so far. I run my DVD player through the component input and I can't tell any difference between a disc and an HD broadcast (disc dependant of course).

Regards

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      12-29-2007, 08:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post
We've still got a Toshiba 32inch CRT telly that I bought about 8 years ago.



Questions though :

1. Is it worth getting Sky HD and if I get it do I also get channel 4 and BBC HD at the same time?

2. I have an upscaling DVD player (although only up to 1080i), which I'm going to connect via HDMI. Does it matter how much I spend on a cable?

1) Sky HD is yet not a source for true 1080p video, so it will not exploit the full potential of your new TV. Some Blu-ray discs are recorded in 1080p format and on a 40" panel you can fit all 1080 lines without any rescaling/omission. The PS3 also outputs 1080p with some games. Many other devices, including Sky HD, switch between 720i and 720p.

2) Yes. You can get 50Hz and 100Hz HDMI cables, and there is vast difference in signal deterioration and purity. If the transmission distance is 1m then you have nothing to worry about, but for a bleed free/interference free picture, a 50 cable should do nicely. I can point in the right direction if you want.

The other way to connect is to use component video cables, but this interconnect is analogue and therefore inherently inferior to HDMI. It also does not carry an audio signal, leaving you to use phono jacks or coaxial to carry the sound. Sky HD does transmit HDCP (High Def Content Protection) signals to prevent some of their prime content from being recorded. HDCP packets can only be carried via HDMI compliant connections. Therefore, if you do use component video cable to connect a sky HD box to recording device, the HDCP anti piracy regime is effectively circumvented.
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      12-29-2007, 10:03 AM   #4
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Thats a top TV, I think you'll be very pleased with it.

As said elsewhere, cable is important. I have SkyHD and true HD programmes look amazing, normal progs tend to look better, but not as good. I would say HD is worth it.

I use a cheap DVD upscaler and I do notice a nice difference watchng normal DVDs, it was worth every penny.

Enjoy your new TV.
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      12-29-2007, 10:46 AM   #5
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...ok electronic geniusesss...

Why if it's a digital signal, (HDMI that is) does it need a dhielded or expensive cable ?

seriously I'm interested to know... I spent over 200 quid on the 3 heavy duty hand made ones I use (PC to amp, DVD to amp, amp to LCD panel), so am just as much in the dark.

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      12-29-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serjames View Post
...ok electronic geniusesss...

Why if it's a digital signal, (HDMI that is) does it need a dhielded or expensive cable ?

seriously I'm interested to know... I spent over 200 quid on the 3 heavy duty hand made ones I use (PC to amp, DVD to amp, amp to LCD panel), so am just as much in the dark.

Becuase a digital signal remains susceptible to electrical interference, the shielding prevents this from happening. The phenomenon is sometimes referred to as "crosstalk". An external shielding prevents electrical interference from environmental sources, and each of 4 video carrying bundles are internally shielded to prevent crosstalk.

As far as the differences between cables are concerned, factors such as cable bandwidth, speed, shielding and length determine price.
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      12-29-2007, 11:15 AM   #7
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NFS, I have Sky HD with a Samsung HDTV (32") LE74BDX. I am very impressed with HD, particularly the Sports. There seem to be a few more HD channels than there were a few months ago, and likely to be more and more added as the months/years go by. I am pretty sure that the Sky HD Box does not support the 1080i format, it is 780i (?), that is the question I asked the sky installer.

I have the Sky Box and TV connected by an expensive HDMI cable (it cost £90 if memory serves), I have no idea if it makes a discernible difference to picture quality. I have no idea what a DVD 'upsacaler' is! I play DVDs through a Samsung HDMI DVD surround sound system.

I saw a BluRay DVD picture today in Comet, coincidentally on a Samsung 32" LCD, it looked fantastic, the colours and picture quality were superb.
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      12-29-2007, 11:17 AM   #8
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...I've never understood this "need good quality HDMI" either. As it is just a bunch of 1s and 0s going down the cable, how will interference affect it? Only scenario is that it will degrade the way a freeview transmission deteriorates in bad weather - i.e. not at all until actual data starts to be lost, leading to missing blocks etc. on the screen and eventual loss of picture entirely. I'm not sure I understand how a cheap HDMI cable will actually loose any information, i.e. degrade the signal at all?

This assumes that HDMI is a real digital signal which is decoded in the reciever - is this not the case?
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      12-29-2007, 03:30 PM   #9
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I've jumped the gun and ordered a 1m cable for 19.99 from Amazon :



http://hdcable.co.uk/products/hd-cables/hdplathdmi/
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      12-29-2007, 06:08 PM   #10
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Damn, whatever happened to good old fashioned 2-core flat antenna cable?
BTW, that's a rhetorical question.
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      12-29-2007, 07:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post
...I've never understood this "need good quality HDMI" either. As it is just a bunch of 1s and 0s going down the cable, how will interference affect it? Only scenario is that it will degrade the way a freeview transmission deteriorates in bad weather - i.e. not at all until actual data starts to be lost, leading to missing blocks etc. on the screen and eventual loss of picture entirely. I'm not sure I understand how a cheap HDMI cable will actually loose any information, i.e. degrade the signal at all?
This was my understanding too so I didn't spend much on HDMI cables. Thankfully they are all quite a bit cheaper now anyway.

Blueray DVD's really are fantastic, I'm slowly building up my collection. Sky HD is good too. Once the writers strike is fully over in the States we should see lots more HD programs coming over. Heroes/24/Lost are all broadcast in HD.
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      12-29-2007, 07:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRX View Post
Becuase a digital signal remains susceptible to electrical interference, the shielding prevents this from happening. The phenomenon is sometimes referred to as "crosstalk". An external shielding prevents electrical interference from environmental sources, and each of 4 video carrying bundles are internally shielded to prevent crosstalk.

As far as the differences between cables are concerned, factors such as cable bandwidth, speed, shielding and length determine price.

ahh good explanation.. fair enough

Glad i spend me pennies now...



SJ
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      12-30-2007, 05:03 AM   #13
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Now .. talking about HD broadcasts .. I have another question.

I have a divx capable DVD player (toshiba SD_360). Which will happily play any movie I download from the net in DivX format. Except for the latest HD Divx stuff.

I've got Heroes series 2 and 300 in full HD on my PC. Now How can I play those through my new display (short of physically connecting it to my PC).

By the way, my PC monitor has a resolution of 1680x1050 and 300 looks stunning on it.
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      12-30-2007, 05:18 AM   #14
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I was going to say that I couldn't find "cheap" HDMI cables when I was looking. It cost me £50 for a DVI to HDMI cable...

Keene Electronics are good, Screwfix do a good range now.

I have a Samsung LE40R87BDX. I'm well happy with it. I only have BBC HD through cable, and when there is something broadcast that is worth watching, it's very good. Certainly when I switch the XBox off and watch some telly, the picture looks crap :-)

I would have a look on www.avforums.co.uk for a settings thread about your telly to get the best from it.

has it got an SD card slot, or USB port on it?
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      12-30-2007, 06:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///ajd View Post
...I've never understood this "need good quality HDMI" either. As it is just a bunch of 1s and 0s going down the cable, how will interference affect it? Only scenario is that it will degrade the way a freeview transmission deteriorates in bad weather - i.e. not at all until actual data starts to be lost, leading to missing blocks etc. on the screen and eventual loss of picture entirely. I'm not sure I understand how a cheap HDMI cable will actually loose any information, i.e. degrade the signal at all?

This assumes that HDMI is a real digital signal which is decoded in the reciever - is this not the case?


NFS - watch out for the free HD broadcasts coming soon (NOT SKY!)
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      12-30-2007, 06:58 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post
Now .. talking about HD broadcasts .. I have another question.

I have a divx capable DVD player (toshiba SD_360). Which will happily play any movie I download from the net in DivX format. Except for the latest HD Divx stuff.

I've got Heroes series 2 and 300 in full HD on my PC. Now How can I play those through my new display (short of physically connecting it to my PC).

By the way, my PC monitor has a resolution of 1680x1050 and 300 looks stunning on it.
If your DVD player is like mine, it will only support up to certain resolutions, so a full HD DivX/Xvid is too much for it. I believe that there are programs that you can run on your HD files to produce a lower res version that your DVD player will play, something like this perhaps. With mine, 720 is the highest res supported, so 1080 is too high.
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      12-30-2007, 10:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotw View Post
If your DVD player is like mine, it will only support up to certain resolutions, so a full HD DivX/Xvid is too much for it. I believe that there are programs that you can run on your HD files to produce a lower res version that your DVD player will play, something like this perhaps. With mine, 720 is the highest res supported, so 1080 is too high.
Cheers Scot .. the resolution on the problem films I've downloaded is 832x448.

Everything else is less than 720, so I think this is the issue.
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      12-31-2007, 08:49 AM   #18
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cant you set the sky box to 1080i via the services or set up section,ive tried this a couple of times as the sky fitter set it to 1080i when he installed it,but i have a sony kdlv40a12u which is 720 so i set back to this(im no whizz kid with this stuff though).

i also read an article in one of the magazines,who did an in depth test on various expensive cables,and the upshot was that there was not enough of a difference to justify the cost.
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      12-31-2007, 09:16 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cafe.Racer View Post
I was going to say that I couldn't find "cheap" HDMI cables when I was looking. It cost me 50 for a DVI to HDMI cable...

Keene Electronics are good, Screwfix do a good range now.

I have a Samsung LE40R87BDX. I'm well happy with it. I only have BBC HD through cable, and when there is something broadcast that is worth watching, it's very good. Certainly when I switch the XBox off and watch some telly, the picture looks crap :-)

I would have a look on www.avforums.co.uk for a settings thread about your telly to get the best from it.

has it got an SD card slot, or USB port on it?
4 here
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130513
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      12-31-2007, 09:22 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinka View Post
cant you set the sky box to 1080i via the services or set up section,ive tried this a couple of times as the sky fitter set it to 1080i when he installed it,but i have a sony kdlv40a12u which is 720 so i set back to this(im no whizz kid with this stuff though).
Yes you can set Sky to 1080, but the source signal is 720p so it won't really make much of a difference.
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      12-31-2007, 09:40 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinka View Post
cant you set the sky box to 1080i via the services or set up section,ive tried this a couple of times as the sky fitter set it to 1080i when he installed it,but i have a sony kdlv40a12u which is 720 so i set back to this(im no whizz kid with this stuff though).

i also read an article in one of the magazines,who did an in depth test on various expensive cables,and the upshot was that there was not enough of a difference to justify the cost.
Sky HD supports both 720p and 1080i - see http://sky.com/hd/faq.htm for info. Also check out the Sky HD forum at http://www.avforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=261, where there's a lot of knowledgeable contributors. By the way, my HD box is set to 1080i and works great.
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      12-31-2007, 09:50 AM   #22
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Is Sky likely to go to 1080p at some point?
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