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4th January 2010
I'm considering buying a new HDTV with built in freesat. Will I need a satellite dish or is it possible to receive broadcasts without one?
Secondly, are there devices in the pipeline that will make satellite dishes obsolete in the near future?
Thanks for your question. In order to receive Freesat you do need a satellite dish, there isn't really a way around that, and it's unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.
With regards to future devices and technologies, depending on where you live you will be able to get a limited number of high-definition channels via Freeview sometime between now and the completion of digital switchover in 2012. Beyond this more and more IPTV (via broadband) television services will begin to appear, but it's hard to say when these will achieve parity with existing methods such as Freeview, satelite and cable, and if (or when) IPTV will end up replacing them.
2nd January 2010
I have a hDTV LCD televison and it has 100Hz capacity, but the signal I get is only at 50 hz.
The HD cables have a rating, but which cable should i get to recieve at 100Hz? My current one is 1.3 but i have seen cables with 1.3a 1.3band 1.3c which should i get ?
In short you shouldn't need a special HDMI cable for your television. The 50Hz is the is frame rate of the video signal you are sending to the television which will be one of the standard high-definition picture formats that range from 24-60 frames per second.
Once the video signal reaches your television if it's so equipped the television will be able to interpolate additional frames in to raise the signal to 100Hz. If this doesn't appear to be happening I suggest you look around the televisions menus to see if this feature needs to be turned on; and beyond that I would suggest contacting the manufacturer for further advice.
You shouldn't need a special HDMI cable. The 1.3a/b/c simply defines the revision of the HDMI specification the cable conforms to, there is no difference between them in terms of performance or features supported. So long as you have a cable that's working that all you should need, there's no need to 'invest' in a 'higher performance' cable unless you really want to, or if your existing cable is clearly no working for you.
27th December 2009
I have a Sony HD ready tv and Sony DVD HD player/recorder. I am considering purchasing a Freesat box, to receive HD transmissions, but because both my TV and DVD recorder only have one HDMI socket each, does this mean I can only connect to the TV or the DVD recorder? ideally, I would like to connect the DVD to the Freesat box via the HDMI socket and then the TV to the DVD via a second HDMI socket, enabling me to watch hd direct from the Freesat box and also watch HD recordings. Is there any unit or means available to give me this second HDMI socket and am I correct in assuming this configuration would work?
Thanks for your question. HDMI isn't really a network architecture like you may associate with computer networking, ports are either inputs or outputs and I think you will struggle to find a Freesat receiver with both an HDMI input and an output.
What you really want is an HDMI switcher/multiplexer unit. These devices will give you a single output to which you would connect your television and a number of inputs to connect to your other audio and video equipment. You can then either automatically, manually or by remote depending on the model you buy, be able to cycle through the HDMI inputs to select the device you want to display on your television screen.
15th December 2009
I have just bought a panasonic 37" LCD (V10B) TV, which is reported to be one of the best quality products of this type. This replaced a 9 year old Sony Trinitron 28" TV.
I receive Virginmedia digital cable channels via a normal set top box and Scart lead, which i have not changed, as i dont need HD channels.
The reception quality is extremely poor compared with the old TV, which is very frustrating as the old reception quality was pin sharp! Most channels have a slight ghosting effect with small diagonal lines around the edges of certain features (e.g. snooker balls, even when not moving)
A Virginmedia techician called yesterday to check it and advised that they cant improve the picture quality, and that this often the case with new high definition TVs!! He also advised that replacement of the set top box wont make any difference whatsoever (except to HD channels).
Surely this cant be the case or no one would buy 1080p TVs. Can you please help as I'm at a loss as to what to do next? Manty thanks in anticipation.
I'm sorry to hear of your problems, it certainly sounds like there is something wrong. I'm not intimately familiar with Panasonic televisions so I can only offer you some fairly general advice I'm affraid.
My first port of call would be the menus/settings to see if you have an image processing feature enabled that's perhaps only suitable for use with high-definition pictures. To me it sounds like the television is trying to do something clever but the result is simply not working for you.
Failing that I would check all the connections are secure and undamaged then I would try resetting the screen back to it's factory default settings.
If you still get nowhere I can only recommend contacting Panasonic directly and seeking their support.
6th December 2009
Why is the sound from HD Channel 108 on my Foxsat box, much, much, louder in HD, than in SD, on my TV? It is also much louder if I am recording on the foxsat box whilst watching. (I only have a single LNB at present). It is very irritating having to constantly readjust the volume level on the TV remote, because the foxsat remote, has no effect when switched to Channel 108. Can you help me solve this problem.
As you say the volume control on your Humax Foxsat box doesn't affect the volume level of the BBC HD channel (108), so what you need to do is use it to raise the volume of standard-definition channels to match. The idea is to equalise the output levels between the standard and high-definition channels to approximately the same level, then use a real volume control on your television or AV system to control the final level you wish to listen at.
4th December 2009
I moved from USA with a 1080P Samsung HDTV, having ATSC tuner. I could resolve voltage issue, but have one question - if I get a Sky HD or Virgin HD subscription can I get normal reception (HD and color). Do I have to do anything additional?
The ATSC broadcast television system is used primarily in the North America and parts of Asia but not in Europe, so you won't be able to receive any over-the-air digital television broadcasts using the internal tuner while you're in Europe.
In terms of standard definition if your television is able to handle a PAL input signal (it ought to) there is nothing to stop you purchasing an external decoder for Freeview, Freesat, cable or satellite and plugging that in to one on the inputs on your television.
Similarly for high-definition, post-broadcast the picture formats are the same as used in the US, so with an high-definition cable, satellite or over-the-air decoder plugged in to a digital HD input on your television you should you should be able to enjoy high-definition while you're here.
4th December 2009
I am currently interested in buying a PVR to replace my exisiting DVD player but don't want to fork out any more money to Sky. (I know I'm probably cutting my nose off to spite my face as Sky + would be the obvious choice but I'm just stubborn!)
All the ones I've seen come with Freeview built in and I am unsure whether I would be able to record from my Sky box or whether they will only record from the Freeview channels. I've searched online for a definitive answer to this question but can't seem to find one, I hope you can help.
You may or may not have a couple of ways to achieve what you want.
Recording an analogue output from your Sky box is likely to be the easier route if you can find a recoding device with a SCART input (not just outputs) that is able to digitise the signal from your Sky box on to disk or DVD. In principle this is quite a simple set-up if you can find an appropriate recording device but you will need to remember to leave you Sky box on the right channel when you want to record so you may end up finding the whole recoding process a little clunky to say the least.
Similarly, you may be able to find some sort of grey market device that will allow you record one of the digital outputs on you Sky box, but success will be harder to achieve as the digital outputs tend to be protected against this kind of copying. As with the analogue set-up above there's still the issue of selecting the correct programme and scheduling the recording which will not be very seamless compared to a dedicated device.
I am in no way trying to push you in to spending an extra £10 per month with Sky to record, but do consider if you are going to want to record regularly, their box will give you the most integrated and straightforward set-up.
1st December 2009
I am at present a Sky subscriber using Sky+ with a dish obviously installed. If I buy a new freesat television that is HD ready will I be able to receive freesat HD broadcasts from BBC?
It's not uncommon to have both Freesat and Sky connected to to the same television, but you need to take care your installation and equipment set up is correct to allow this to work.
To watch the BBC HD channel on Freesat you need some kind of high-definition set-top box/decoder to convert the satellite signal into an HD picture that a high-definition television can display. Consequently you will need to make sure the inbuilt Freesat decoder in your prospective television purchase is suitable for use with Freesat HD.
In terms of installation, you will need one or more additional connections to your satellite dish to feed in to your new television. This may involve one, other or both of adding new cable connections to your dish and replacing the LNB on the dish, to support the increased number of outputs you need. Consequently if you do need to update your installation it may well be worth speaking with a good independent satellite shop to explore your options.
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