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FreeSat HD

Discussion in 'Home Cinema, Hi-Fi and Gadgets' started by mfspen, Jan 23, 2008.

  1. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Jan 23, 2008]
    Anyone else come across this :
    http://www.freesat.co.uk/home.php
    (Not to be confused with FreeSatFromSky).

    New joint venture between BBC and ITV to provide most of the Freeview channels via a new satellite service. As a minimum, the 5 main channels will be HD. No subscription required, and independent of Sky.

    It's due to launch this Spring, and boxes will be available from Panasonic, Sagem, Alba and Humax.
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  3. garratt83
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    garratt83 Member

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    [Jan 23, 2008]
    Looks good for receiving HD tv, suppose it depends on how much will be HD. I expect it will cost about £100 to begin with like freeview was and then the prices will fall once Sky says now extra charge for HD and a free HD box.

    We will see!!
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  4. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Jan 23, 2008]
    Interesting...

    I know one of the European Satellites (Hotbird?) already broadcasts some free-to-air HD content but it's good to see that UK broadcasters are waking up to the fact that the majority of people have bought nice new HDTVs only to find that the image quality (unless they're prepared to go to SkyHD) of the 720x576 analogue/DVB-T signal looks absolutely shocking when blown up to fill their 1280x720, or worse - 1920 x 1080 resolution panels.

    All we need now is H.264 support for Windows MCE and things are getting there!

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  5. Shades
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    Shades Member

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    [Jan 24, 2008]
    I've said that myself on here before and naturally I got shot down in flames... Me thinks too many people spent lots of hard-earned on those spangly big screens and didn't want to admit (without the right content) the picture quality is actually quite *****!
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  6. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Jan 24, 2008]
    Well, that's up to them. Having wrestled with these issues on computers for years before HDTV came to our shores I'll remain more sceptical. Well, I'll watch upscaled pants - unhappily - until there is HD resolution content available and then switch immediately. Those that think the blown-up picture looks good can stick with that if's so good - that's up to them!

    Anyway, a little demonstration for those who don't know what we're talking about...

    Firstly, the notes:

    1) The aspect ratio is of course all wrong, I'll allow for widescreen another time (I've only got two minutes), but the resolutions are 'to scale'

    2) Obviously these aren't full resolution because it wouldn't fit in the ASN browser window, however they are true to scale. The first is 25% of an analogue/DVB-T TV size/resolution picture and the others are 25% of 720p and 25% of 1080p respectively so it's a fair example.

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    In my opinion blowing pixels up like that really compromises the image quality. I know some digi-boxes can apply a little sharpening and antialiasing (pixel-smoothing essentially by contrast-blending) but because of the sheer processing power required to do this at realtime 25fps on a 1920x1080 resolution image, they only do it to a small extent (ie with a very small sample size); to do it with a large sample size, and yield a really good improvement, the freeview-box would end up with a very powerful processor indeed inside it (think GeFore 8800 GPU or Intel E6600 CPU)...

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  7. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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    [Jan 24, 2008]
    Very useful post.

    I'm still undecided on which flat panel to get:
    For LCD, the Panasonics seem to have much better viewing angles than the competition, but 32" HD ready or 37" full HD ?
    For plasma, Pioneer Kuro seems excellent, but the seldom mentioned highly reflective screen could be an issue.

    Hmmm.
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  8. PetrolDave
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    PetrolDave Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 24, 2008]
    There's very little genuine HD source material available at the moment, so most HD channels transmit up-scaled SD content a lot of the time.

    The best channel for consistently good HD content is Luxe TV HD on Sky, and the American Football playoff matches earlier this week on Sky Sports HD were really good HD source material.

    At the moment I wouldn't spend my money on an HD service (I work for a company that supplies HD boxes to major broadcasters...).
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  9. alphamail
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    alphamail alphamail

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    [Jan 26, 2008]
    Having looked at the site I couldn't find an exact list of channels or content. I would want to know exactly what I am getting for my money. I bought a not dissimilar product on the net for my pc and it contained 100 channels of *****.
    Can anyone enlighten me?
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  10. mfspen
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    mfspen Member

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