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8th June 2011
My Panasonic TH-42PZ81B shows ?No signal? for BBC1HD and BBC HD on Freesat, but receives ITV1HD and C4HD, as well as other Freesat channels. Should I contact Panasonic or a satellite provider?
I think this should simply be a matter of either rescanning for channels or if you have certain models of Panasonic HDTVs resettingthem to factory default.
There's some more information on the Freesat site here:
8th June 2011
I've been succesfully archiving material from my Mk1 SkyHD box to PC for a long time, either through S-Video or for a while via Component in 720p. My Mk1 has now died (despite upgraded PSUs) and I'm now on a silky smooth 1Tb box. But it has neither S-Video or Component output, and output via the old yellow composite video is very poor (by comparison). My PC capture card is also showing signs of imminent failure, so I'm in the market for a new one, and I note that there are now reasonably priced and well regarded cards with HDMI inputs, as well as the normal Component, S-Video and composite connectors.
I understand that such cards adhere to the HDCP standards, so I won't be able to record from Blu-ray, or subscription channels, but what about FTA. Are BBC-HD, C4-HD etc. HDCP protected when output from a Sky-HD box? And what about Freesat and Freeview-HD?
This is a nasty question to answer as right now HDCP isn't widely used but can vary from programme to programme, channel to channel and provider to provider.
Sky HD makes fairly common or even universal use of HDCP while Freesat and Freeview and relativity unencumbered at the moment. I think you'll have better success capturing Freesat and Freeview but that may not necessarily have the programmes you're after. Beyond that your options are either to circumvent the HDCP copy protection with something like an HD Fury or as you mention to live with the relatively poor standard-definition analogue output you have at present.
It's probably also worth looking to the Hauppauge PVR line of devices as you may be able to find a slightly different capturing solution that fulfils your needs as some of their newer products can do some quite interesting things with protected content.
8th June 2011
I have a Virgin hd box connected to an HDTV TV and receive crystal pictures but no sound. Its a first generation HDTV and has no HDMI input socket just one marked DVI what can I do?
If there's way of getting audio in your HDTV connections wise that suggests a lack of loudspeakers also. There's a variety of speakers you could use ranging from some cheap computer-style powered ones, though soundbars attached to the television to full multichannel setups with or without an external amplifier.
Without further knowing your particular circumstances a soundbar mounted underneath the HDTV makes the most sense. You shouldn't have to spend too much but just make sure you're able to connect it to the audio output on your Virgin HD box.
4th June 2011
We have a Sony LCD TV that only has Freeview, but I wish to upgrade the Freeview to HD - simple enough answer? Except I dont want to have an additional box and cable dangling from the base of the TV to the floor. Is there a device that I can simply plug in into the back of the TV (via HDMI) to receive the Freeview HD channels?
What it sounds like you're after is a RF remote controlled Freeview HD receiver that's small enough to mount on the back of your TV either directly or on to one or more VESA mounting points, but I'm not sure such a product exists. Decoder boxes are typically quite large due to the audio and video connectors required to cater to most consumers and infra-red remotes are a cheap, simple and proven system for manufacturers to implement.
One option is to spend a couple of orders of magnitude more that an HDMI cable on a wireless HDMI sender and live with the decoder/receiver box away from the TV but just in terms of cost that doesn't make much sense to me. More realistically it may be worth looking in to different slim/flat HDMi cables and seeing if you can work around your problem that way.
2nd June 2011
I have a full HD Sony Bravia TV and am having a VHD box installed at the weekend.
My question is that do I need to activate the VHD box to receive HD or will the channels transmit automatically in HD since the telly comes equipped with full HD?
You don't mention which Sony HDTV you have but if you have one that includes a built in Freeview HD tuner, you live in an area of the country where digital-switchover is complete and have a suitable aerial Freeview HD should work for you in the interim.
Otherwise in the absence of any other source of high-definition programming you will need to wait for the Virgin service to be activated before you can watch in HD.
1st June 2011
I have just purchased a Samsung LE40D580 television and my old Sky box only has scart leads. The problem is when I plug the lead into the new type television, the picture quality on the full Sky HD package I have is worse than the previous television.
On the menu selection screen all the words seem fuzzy and seem to be moving about slightly. My question is that, is my new television compatible with a very old sky box (one of the first ones out) And when I subscribe to hd and receive my new set top box will the picture be any better using an HDMI cable instead of scart (this is on all channels not just HD)
As you seem to be experiencing standard-definition content can look no better or worse than on a standard-definition television on a bigger screen. Your SCART connection should give you a reasonable picture so if you think that's not the case check/clean the cable and ensure it's securely connected to both devices.
A high-definition package and decoder from Sky should give you a good selection of HD programming but be aware that not all the channels Sky offer will be available in high-definition and not all programming is produced in HD so you are still likely to encounter some standard-definition programming.
I also see that the Samsung LE40D580 includes an inbuilt Freeview HD tuner so if you have access to and aerial that may provide you with an additional source of HD programming.
31st May 2011
Apologies from a 70 year old, and not too conversant with all these new technologies. I am confused when it comes to purchasing a "box" (recorder ) simply to watch some TV programmes I would otherwise miss, and not that many, say a dozen a week.
I read some TVs have Full HD with Freeview HD and some others Full HD with Freeview, but mine is an LG 37LE4500 LED Full 1080p. I do not want to watch DVD's on my TV only TV basic and Freeview channels with a scattering of recorded programmes. I would be grateful for pointing me in the correct direction of what type of recorder should I purchase, = HD doesn't come to Reading Area until Feb 2012.
If don't think you'll want to record high-definition programming when it comes next year then you can pretty much choose any Freeview recorder, these are also marketed as Freeview+ (Plus). Such a box will have an Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) and usually two or more tuners so you can record and watch simultaneously.
If you want or think you'll want to record high-definition programming you'll need to purchase a high-definition Freeview+ HD recorder. Such a device will also work with and allow you to watch and record standard-definition Freeview now and in the future. Purchasing a high-definition recorder will also allow you to watch high-definition programming when it becomes available in your area next year. A high-definition recorder will be a little more expensive but will provide you with a better integrated EPG/recording set up that if you decide to purchase a separate HD decoder box later on.
23rd May 2011
My question is regarding HD formats in general. Do I understand correctly that an HD format is always 16:9, so to specifying something as 1080 16:9 FHA is somewhat redundant?
Also I understand there is no NTSC or Pal as far HD is concerned. I'm not clear about 25p or 29p. Also does the 50 or 60 in say, 1080 50i relate to Pal or NTSC? Are ther any good sites on the web to explain this?
High-definition picture standards are typically 16:9 but don't necessarily have to be, all that's really actually being specified with 1080i/p or 720p is that there are 1080 and 720 lines of horizontal resolution. The vertical resolution is not fixed/specified so can vary, but as you say it's usually in the ratio 16:9 for the most common picture formats.
There is no equivalent to NTSC and PAL with regards to the encoding of the HD video signal itself, although as you have noticed the frame rate can vary. Where you may see 50i in Europe you would see 60i in the US as the frame rate is equal to the frequency of the mains electricity supply in each market.
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