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Old 09.01.2006, 11:29
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Hd Tv

So I guess with the plethora of techies out there maybe one of you has some info on this.

I was back in the UK over Christmas and there was plenty to read about the upcoming HDTV "conversion". Apparently Sky will start simultaneous broadcasts of HD and normal TV as of May. To view HDTV you need a new decoder (Price guestimate 400!!!) and of course the right tele! Sky will then be sending the World Cup out in HD and to view on a normal TV you need a new box before finally pulling the plug on 625 line TV at the end of THIS year.

This brings me to two points. Has anyone else heard anything similar and what is happening in this area in CH?

Cheers for the replies

Richard
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Old 09.01.2006, 11:58
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Re: Hd Tv

SkyHD will be a few channels at first and rumoured to be 10 per month more.

Analogue turn-off is by 2010, they say. Also normal Sky boxes will drive alternate outputs for the forseeable future, I believe (scart, UHF, s-video).

As my Sky box is inserted into my cable TV network, HD might be an issue for me. Seems good enough quality right now - but nothing's ever been connected to my beamer HDMI socket - yet!

German TV will also carry HD World Cup - and there are a couple of HD test transmissions on various birds right now.
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Old 09.01.2006, 12:17
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:
SkyHD will be a few channels at first and rumoured to be 10 per month more.

Analogue turn-off is by 2010, they say. Also normal Sky boxes will drive alternate outputs for the forseeable future, I believe (scart, UHF, s-video).
This is exactly what I thought, however not what they were saying in the UK over Christmas they had a one hour radio program about rip-off sky and how they intend to make a mint over the world cups HD broadcast. The spokesman from SKY basically said HD is the future and they do not have enough bandwidth to dual signal all their channels so they are left with the choice of killing most normal broadcasts or reducing the number of channels and that the normal sky box will not handle HD signals but the new ones available in April will... It seems all VERY confused to me...
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Old 09.01.2006, 13:21
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Re: Hd Tv

Hmmm...

This sounds very similar to the US's proposal to go all-digital by Feb. 17, 2008. Also, note that its not like we have any choice. Its a compulsary switch and any analog UHF/VHF signalling with be shutdown, and your brand new bling LCD will be a piece of trash without a HD tuner box or a built-in one.

Basically, from what I understand, freeing up the analog spectrum is quite lucrative to the government. The auctioning of the analog TV frequency bandwidth to private companies is expected to fetch over $7-8 billion apparently. Out of this, they even plan to give $40 to each US trashTV owner so they can buy a new digital set top box or HDTV! The senate already passed a $1.5 billion bill to expend money to people this way.

I guess the rest of $5-6b will be used to reduce debt or make another war.
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Old 10.01.2006, 21:49
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:
This is exactly what I thought, however not what they were saying in the UK over Christmas they had a one hour radio program about rip-off sky and how they intend to make a mint over the world cups HD broadcast. The spokesman from SKY basically said HD is the future and they do not have enough bandwidth to dual signal all their channels so they are left with the choice of killing most normal broadcasts or reducing the number of channels and that the normal sky box will not handle HD signals but the new ones available in April will... It seems all VERY confused to me...

Sky is a bit of a ripoff but at least it provides many expats with a service they wouldn't otherwise have been able to get. My info however is that the HD hardware will not be any more expensive than current devices, in order to encourage takeup.

They should have plenty of bandwidth to offer SD and HD services concurrently. HD doesn't take up as much additional bandwidth as you'd think, due to more efficient mpeg4 compression. There will only be a few HD channels at first, anyway. A version of Sky Sports, Two Movie Channels and a version of Sky1 as well as a PPV Movie channel. Price for the HD service is rumoured to be a tenner a month on top of the existing sub. Not sure if you need to have a full sub or you can just take out a cheaper one and pay a tenner for the movies, sport and Sky1 on HD.


I don't know how fast people will take it up. It's not like everyone with a CD player has rushed to embrace SACD or DVD-A. Quite the opposite in fact, as consumers seem to be preferring to move to technically inferior lossy compression formats like mp3.


Gav
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Old 10.01.2006, 23:26
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Re: Hd Tv

Hi Gav,

I do appreciate your opening line. It is only this year that you can officially get Sky in Switzerland ie order it for over here. Previously you needed to get it installed at a UK address deinstall it and then ship it over here... And have you seen the cost of having it officially over here?!

I know what you are saying about the services and the additional cost. The point the nice slimey sky spokesman was making is that in order to receive the service you will need a new decoder and that is where the 400 comes in for those who want to have one in April. Note that Sky are intending to broadcast the world cup HD and that is why it is important for them to get everything up and running early. Furthermore there does not appear to be clarity about what HD actually means. We all know the US and ROW situation with respect to analog and for that reason at least initially the HD signal will come in two forms and now I am guessing 780 and 1060 lines. No it is not 780x1060. Until everyone is happy to go to the higher res then there will be bandwidth burn...

The key thing and the real reason for starting this thread is that there are a whole load of suckers out there STILL going out and buying plasma that does not support HD and are totally ignorant that this will have limited and potentially very limited life. It is not as if they are cheap. And the cable and satellite companies seem to be conspiring not to communicate their real intentions.

Richard
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Old 11.01.2006, 09:19
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Re: Hd Tv

Richard
The official Sky line is only UK and ROI. This has not changed.
Companies like Germansky, skycards.net et al have been offering their "service" for years and years.

SkyHD should be 1080i but of course could be 720p. And their box will be priced akin to the original Sky+ box when it was released - plus extra per month.

Also you will most likely need a HDMI slot into which you connect the box.

HD "standards" are close - the fewer lines, progressive scan that I think the US favours -vs- ROW at 1080 lines interlaced. Quality is about the same for each - like NTSC and PAL right now. You'd think that NTSC with fewer lines would look crap but the refresh rate is higher ergo the eye sees a similar picture.

You can read more in these links: http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=hdtv+explained

FWIW this morning in 20 Minuten there was this news item: http://www.20min.ch/news/wirtschaft/story/26921393

A badly-translated version of the page by Google: http://translate.google.com/translat...language_tools
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Old 11.01.2006, 13:56
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Re: Hd Tv

[QUOTE=Lob Rockster]Richard
The official Sky line is only UK and ROI. This has not changed.
Companies like Germansky, skycards.net et al have been offering their "service" for years and years.
[\QUOTE]

Seems you are right. I got an email from a company called CATV offering me sky full package for a fixed annual fee CHF350 which I thought was very reasonable but the set-up cost was CHF4k for the decoder, viewing card and installation which is a rip-off and they said it was officially approved by sky. Seems like it was not just a rip-off but bullshit...

I have no idea how much the original box was just the quote of ca 400 for those wanting it in April/May. This seemed a bit steep and that they were profiteering on the back of the World Cup.

Thanks for the links the 20 minutes was interesting reading and now we will need to see what Cablecom offer. I guess that they will insist on a decoder at some unrealistic price though and still offer 90% Swiss language sites...

Richard
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Old 11.01.2006, 15:29
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Re: Hd Tv

Cablecom digital seems to be flexible but value-wise I'm unsure.

A point to note is that for those not wishing to pay the premium for Sky UK could take a ride to Gracia near Lugano and visit Media Markt there - who had a stand with Sky Italia on sale last weekend.....and most stuff is in English (or original langauge) and Italian And Sky Sport is relatively cheap and carries a lot of Premiership footy.

Of course I am not sure about HD from Sky Italia but it's an option assuming they let those outside Ticino have it....
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Old 11.01.2006, 16:17
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Re: Hd Tv

I visited the sky italia site and although I am not a sky subscriber and have little intent to sign up to the uk version I do think 20 per month is attractive for the combination I want. I do have a couple of questions though and you do seem to be the one in the know...

1. Is this anything to do with bskyb?
2. Is there any way to get an english version of the site - I tried /en without success...

Richard
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Old 11.01.2006, 16:50
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Re: Hd Tv

Sky Italia is part of Murdochs empire.
Italian website in English? Bwaaaahh!!

I'd not sign up using their website, perhaps I should've checked the Sky Italia stall as perhaps it might be geared to the trillions of Italians that come across to Grancia to stop....? Hopefully not
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Old 11.01.2006, 17:59
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:
Hi Gav,

I do appreciate your opening line. It is only this year that you can officially get Sky in Switzerland ie order it for over here. Previously you needed to get it installed at a UK address deinstall it and then ship it over here... And have you seen the cost of having it officially over here?!

As Lob Rockster said, you still can't have it officially outside of the British Isles.

However, I suspect most people will be happy with the BBC and ITV channels and they are now FTA so you can watch them using any standard Digital Satellite box. Rumour has it that C4 might go that way too shortly.

Or just get hold of a digibox and 'Freesat' card and you'll get all the basic UK channels plus a few others for a one off payment of 20quid + cost of box (probably about 100 quid for a new one).

Don't pay the ripoff prices being asked by people selling Sky in Europe. Just about anyone who has an interest in watching British TV should have a friendly address in the UK where they could get a Freesat card shipped to.


Gav
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Old 11.01.2006, 18:05
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Re: Hd Tv

Hi Gav

It was never my intention to pay for sky as even in the uk I find the price horrendous unless you are a couch potato which I am definitely not (most of the time...).

I do have a FTA digital satellite used for BBC and ITV and have thought about getting other channels for small fees but as I tend not to be a teleholic have not bothered. Perhaps the temptation of watching movies on a 50" Plasma might tempt me.

Btw I had a lonnnnngggg conversation over the weekend about 42" vs 50". In particular the heating problems and associated noise of cooling with the 50"ers. Did you do any research wrt this before you bought yours?

Richard
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Old 12.01.2006, 09:42
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Re: Hd Tv

On the C4/five going FTA, they're tied into using Sky encyption ("soft") until 2008. The question is - can they get out early without penalties?

And if you're running a standard sat system, consider multi-sat setups - I have 3 LNBs on my dish running into a switch which sends them down one cable to my second box - so I have 28e (BBC etc), 19e (mostly German) and 13e (mixture). With a Dragon CAM and the latest software loaded, I can get D*+ from Spain and T*P*S from France decoded without charge. For evaluation purposes of course.
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Old 12.01.2006, 10:23
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:

And if you're running a standard sat system, consider multi-sat setups - I have 3 LNBs on my dish running into a switch which sends them down one cable to my second box - so I have 28e (BBC etc), 19e (mostly German) and 13e (mixture). With a Dragon CAM and the latest software loaded, I can get D*+ from Spain and T*P*S from France decoded without charge. For evaluation purposes of course.
I have a dual LNB which just catches hotbird and astra. When I bought my house I never really thought about satellite and am south west facing unable to pick up anything east of hotbird which is proving to be a bit of a pain and I do not fancy sticking a dish in the middle of the lawn to get the others...
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Old 12.01.2006, 11:29
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Re: Hd Tv

the two Astras are east of Hotbird....so I'm confused. Are you getting Astra signals?
If you look over your LNBs at the dish, the LH side of the monoblock should be the one getting the east-most signal.

I have prime focus on 28e with 19/13 hanging off the side.



As you can see they're not that far apart....
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Old 12.01.2006, 12:08
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Re: Hd Tv

Okay you are clearly the expert then I can't get anything east of Astra. I have both of those set up was what I was trying to say and Turksat for example is impossible...
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Old 12.01.2006, 12:36
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:
Okay you are clearly the expert then I can't get anything east of Astra. I have both of those set up was what I was trying to say and Turksat for example is impossible...
it's a long long way around to 42e
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Old 12.01.2006, 23:00
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:
Hi Gav

It was never my intention to pay for sky as even in the uk I find the price horrendous unless you are a couch potato which I am definitely not (most of the time...).

I do have a FTA digital satellite used for BBC and ITV and have thought about getting other channels for small fees but as I tend not to be a teleholic have not bothered. Perhaps the temptation of watching movies on a 50" Plasma might tempt me.

Btw I had a lonnnnngggg conversation over the weekend about 42" vs 50". In particular the heating problems and associated noise of cooling with the 50"ers. Did you do any research wrt this before you bought yours?

Richard
Well, I chose a 32" LCD as it was big enough for my smallish living room and I just think that LCD is a better technology than Plasma. Less power consumption and heat, but more importantly no burn-in issues.

The issues with the defect aside, it is a great set and I'd recommend a good LCD flatscreen to anybody.


Gav
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Old 12.01.2006, 23:03
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Re: Hd Tv

Quote:
On the C4/five going FTA, they're tied into using Sky encyption ("soft") until 2008. The question is - can they get out early without penalties?

And if you're running a standard sat system, consider multi-sat setups - I have 3 LNBs on my dish running into a switch which sends them down one cable to my second box - so I have 28e (BBC etc), 19e (mostly German) and 13e (mixture). With a Dragon CAM and the latest software loaded, I can get D*+ from Spain and T*P*S from France decoded without charge. For evaluation purposes of course.

Did you ever try the Dragon CAM with a bona-fide Sky UK card?

Supposedly you can use it to get the Sky channels. Teamed up with something like a Dreambox or Topfield it would be great and a serious alternative to a Sky+ box.

I thought about it but went for Sky+ in the end as it was guaranteed to work in the long term.


Gav
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