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10th March 2010
Can you tell me if HDCP (High-bandwidth Content Protection) is used or ever will be used on HDTV Freesat or Freeview? I understand that channels can opt to set a 'content protection' bit to force HDTV tuners to check that the TV monitor connected through the HDMI or DVI cable is HDCP compliant. If it is not compliant it can disable the video output or output just a low resolution picture?
You can buy HDTV tuners that connect to laptops through USB. However HDCP is not used on USB. So if in the future Freesat or Freeview were to activate HDCP, my USB tuner may suddenly stop working with HDTV channels.
I would like to know because I am about to buy a new laptop and need to ensure it is future proof and therefore need to know if a USB input will be adequate or if I need to find one with an HDMI input.
Thanks for you question and apologies for taking a few days to get back to you. I'm sorry to say my future-gazing abilities are probably no better that yours, but I can certainly describe the current situation and I hope offer you some guidance going forwards.
As you say HDCP is an option for broadcasters on their high-definition transmissions. It's not currently widely used on Freesat and I imagine the same is true for the new Freeview HD transmissions. There is always the possibility the percentage of copy-protected programming on both platforms will increase with time so I would plan for such a scenario at least.
I would be surprised if you can find a laptop with an HDMI input, as most will only have outputs. That said you need to remember that HDCP only operates over HDMI so if you are able to use an alternative connection method such as analogue composite you should be able to enjoy HD programming in reasonable quality without any DRM.
3rd March 2010
Could you please tell me if a would need to buy a Freeview HD box to receive Freeview HD? I live in the Granada TV region and I have a full HD TV which is an LG 42" LG5000. Many
In short the answer is yes; you will need to purchase a new decoder box in order to be able to receive high-definition Freeview transmissions.
Although you have a television capable of displaying a high-definition picture, the Freeview decoder in your television will not yet be HD capable as the transmission standards for Freeview were only defined a relatively short time ago towards the end of 2009. In time I'm sure high-defintion capable tuners will be built in to some flat-panel televisions but as present there probably isn't suffient demand in terms of programming and availability, and the cost compared to a standard definition tuner is also likely to put manufacturers off in the sort term.
2nd March 2010
I have a Philips 37PF9631D LCD TV and I have had it a couple of years. My Virgin V+ box is connected into the HDMI2 socket. I recently purchased a Samsung HT-TX500 Home Cinema System. I connected this to the HDMI1 socket on the TV. When I turn on the TV it briefly dislays the Samsung logo (about 2 seconds) before reverting to a blue screen. When I unplug the Virgin V+ box and plug the Home Cinema in to HDMI2 it works fine.
The Virgin box won`t work in HDMI1 either. Do you know if there is a setting in the TV which I need to adjust to enable HDMI1?
Thanks for your question. This one of those one's where I'd prefer to be there in person as trying to figure out what's wrong over email a little harder.
I'm assuming you have plugged your V+ box in to your home cinema unit and then connected that to the first HDMI input on the television. It sounds as though that setup would work fine connected to HDMI2 but does not when connected to HDMI1. If that's not the case I would guess there is some kind of connection problem passing though the V+ box picture though the home cinema unit and I would check that the right input is selected and is the startup default.
If the problem purely relates to which input you use on your high-definition television, I would be very surprised if there were any technical or feature differences between those inputs so I would explore the configuration settings and options within your television to see if there mis-setting or default that is the cause of your problem.
8th March 2010
I've recently purchased an lg HD Ready TV (but it only has a standard digital tuner inside, I have now realised) anyway, it can therefore display 1080p, but from the program info, it appears Freeview TV is being shown at only 586 line resolution, so is there any advantage of having a 1080p tv? In fact is even a tv that can only display 720 resolution pointless as the broadcast is only 586 line resolution?
High-definition transmissions only began at the start of the year in January, and only for a few areas where digital switchover has already happened. Consequently as present there is relatively little demand for the higher initial cost of building in a high-definition tuner in to televisions., but this will change in the next year or so.
In your case as Freeview HD becomes available in your area it's simply a matter of purchasing an HD capable Freeview decoder box, but you didn't mention where you live, and the chances are HD transmissions have not begun in you're television region yet anyway.
You have a pretty future proof television as it's able to support 1080p so it will work well with current games consoles such as the PS3 and XBox 360, and also more usefully Blu-Ray players which is the successor to DVD for films.
In terms of television you may well find your television does a good job of up-scaling the standard definition Freeview signal on to your higher resolution TV. If digital switchover hasn't happened yet you could look in to getting Freesat which has a limited amount of high-definition content or another paid for high-definition service, but you are probably best to sit tight and wait for the broadcast technology to catch up with to what your television is capable of.
11th February 2010
I have a question about the Virgin V+ hd box. I had one installed last week and the installer connected my Video/DVD player (via a scart lead through the V+ box). I cannot see a way to watch what is on the Video/Dvd player through the V+ box. (I have un-pluged it from the V+ Box and connected it to another extension on the TV, so I can watch it!)
But need to know how to watch it through the V+ box, I guess the installer pluged it in there for a reason? In essence I cannot see a way to change the V+ box extensions (not the TV).
If you have sufficient inputs on your television for both your V+ box and your DVD/VCR then I would simply plug them in, swap between inputs on the television and be done with it as I don't see any benefit to connecting it though the V+ box myself.
If you do want to stick with the configuration the installer left, it should simply be matter of swapping to the auxiliary input on the V+ box, I don't have one myself to give you the exact instructions but take a looks around the remote, menu and any instructions you have.
3rd February 2010
I have a Virgin V+ HD box at home and have just replaced my anologue TV with a new 32 inch evotel HD-Ready TV. I have connected the HDMI cable to both the new TV and the Vigin box but the picture seems to be no different at all! The HMDI cable i brought was a £5.99 one from Sainsbury's and was just wondering if this was the reason the picture was no different because the quality of the HDMI lead? Are some not as good as others on the market? Or perhaps i am doing something else wrong!
Thanks for your question. Don't for a second worry about the quality of your HDMI cable, it's a digital connection and so long as it works it won't influence the picture you watch.
The obvious thing to say is that you should make sure you are watching some high-definition content, as not all the channels Virgin broadcast are in HD and similarly not all the content on the high-definition has necessarily been recorded in high-definition.
The other thing to check is that you are actually watching the HDMI input and not an older connection such as a SCART or similar that you used to use with your old television.
31st January 2010
I am in the process of having a satellite dish fitted (in a few days) and I'm a little concerned over the location of the dish and the proximity of my neighbours house. Now he can't move his house. What are the "rules" when siting a dish and potential signal obstructions? Help Please!
The dish simply needs an unobstructed view to the satellite which is located 28 degrees east of south, so very roughly south-southeast. As you say if the view to the sky is blocked by your neighbours house there is very little you can do about it, but you or your installed does have a large degree of flexibility in positioning the dish so it's likely there will be somewhere on the side or roof of your home in sight of the Sky satellite. Should this not be the case then the dish can also be mounted away from your house either on a pole or other fixed object, I'm sure they will be be able to find somewhere to mount it, after all success is in both your interests.
28th January 2010
We have SKY HD and recently have noticed that on a number of occasions when the same programme is broadcast on the HD channel at the same time as the programme can be received via our terrestrial digital aerial - the HD reception via satellite is inferior to the digital terrestrial signal.
We have a Pioneer 50" plasma and do not think that either the terrestrial or satellite aerials have any problems. Do you have any ideas to explain this?
Make sure you are using either an HDMI connection or at worst a component connection between your Sky HD box and your television. My suspicion is that you either aren't using this connection (perhaps you have the wrong input selected on your television) or don't have one at all, and are using something like a old SCART connection between your TV and decoder box.
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