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stevee1966's picture
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Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

I currently connect my Panasonic plasma to a Sky+ box via a bog standard, out of the box, 1 metre SCART to SCART lead, and I'm looking at alternatives which will improve the picture. The Sky+ only has SCART or S-Video output, my plasma has Scart, Component or HDMI input (no S-Video).

1. Am I restricted to using SCART to SCART ?

2. Would I see a noticeable difference by buying a more expensive cable (recommendations please) ?

3. Are there other cable combinations I could use which would give a better quality than Scart to Scart (again if some one could recommend for me) ?

Thanks for any advise.

Roksan Caspian M2 CD --> Atlas Hyper Integra  --> Roksan Caspian M2 Integrated Amp  --> Atlas Hyper 2.0  --> Monitor Audio Silver RX6

Anonymous
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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

Using the RGB scart socket on your tv will give the best out with s-video in second. I'm unsure if you use a switching box scart to component/HDMI that the signal from the sky box will improve. It is said that if your cables are shielded from EM interference the cable should ensure an almost exact signal transfer through the scart.

Personally I'm going to research into the RF and EM cable issues at some point.

Anonymous
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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

Look at how much you are willing to pay for a good quality Scart lead, then look how much you could sell your sky+ for and combine the two costs. See how much extra you are out of pocket for sky HD (which as sky+). That Panasonic plasma is superb with HD content.

Also the audio output is better on the HD box

Just a thought

Brent

Anonymous
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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

 I was wondering whether or not the optical out on the back of the Sky+ box, routed to the amp, then HDMI from amp to TV would produce better sound and vision, or is the optical just for sound? 

user="rowemeister" wrote:
Look at how much you are willing to pay for a good quality Scart lead, then look how much you could sell your sky+ for and combine the two costs. See how much extra you are out of pocket for sky HD (which as sky+). That Panasonic plasma is superb with HD content.

Also the audio output is better on the HD box

Just a thought

Brent

 

Also, with reference to upgrading to a Sky HD box, would you also have to upgrade to SkyHD? The reason I ask is that sky HD is a rip-off, most of the stuff on the HD channels is not HD - just the same as on the normal channel, which is poor for an extra £10PM???

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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

Yes, the optical is just for sound.

Have to beg to differ on the 'rip-off' nature of Sky HD - we don't watch much sport, but with the choice of channels available, and the BBC about to expand to a full HD service and Channel 4 HD about to kick in, there'll be plenty to watch.

AFAIK you can buy the Sky HD box without paying for the HD service, but I'm not sure if it will function as the Sky+ does if you do this. Maybe someone else has some experience of doing this...?

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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

Andrew, 

It's not the number of HD channels, it's the paucity of actual HD programming on them, this will take years to change. Hell- they were forcing widecreen down our throats for donkeys and now it's impossible to buy anything else, yet today some SD Sky digital channels still show brand-new, first-run programmes in 4:3?!

I wish I'd known Heroes was going to be repeated on BBC in widescreen - I wouldn't have bothered watching it when it first came out on Sci-Fi.

And don't get me started on Sky Movies - why are so many films (even premieres) shown in 16:9 instead of "proper" film ratio widescreen with bars at the top & bottom? Why am I paying extra to watch MOVIES when many of the films now look like poor-quality TV SERIES? As a result of the expansion to fit the screen they are now soft-focus and missing chunks at the sides. And when a director uses all of the screen, actors' faces can be cut in half.

If people really want this degradation of quality, they can press the "zoom" button on their TV remote!

Is it a conspiracy to force us into HD? (So we can watch er...  only two Sky Movie channels, showing slightly older films than the Premier Channel Wink

P.S. I have a 36" Toshiba CRT, which compared to SD Plasma/LCD, is already High Definition!

Anonymous
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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

user="Andrew Everard" wrote:
Yes, the optical is just for sound.
 

 

In that case, is an optical connection the best way to get sound to the amp (in terms of quality) or should I stick to the QED anlogue cables that I am currently usin g with an old amp (No digital in)?

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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

user="marshal478" wrote:

In that case, is an optical connection the best way to get sound to the amp (in terms of quality) or should I stick to the QED anlogue cables that I am currently usin g with an old amp (No digital in)?

Yes. 

Anonymous
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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

user="Andrew Everard" wrote:
In that case, is an optical connection the best way
......
user="Andrew Everard" wrote:
or should I stick to the QED anlogue cables
......
user="Andrew Everard" wrote:
Yes.
!!!

Thanks for your advice up to now.  I assume the yes was to the digital bit of my question?  If so What optical lead would you recommend?  Looking at the back of the machines it would appear that they are not digital coax, although they appear to be the only ones that I have noticed in the magazine.  Cheers.

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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

 

Unless you need it for digital surround, I would think twice before splashing out on an optical lead before auditioning one from a local hi-fi shop. I tried several optical leads from my Sky+ box into a Meridian digital stereo and they all sounded soft and congested with flabby bass compared to Chord Cobra analogue interconnects.

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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

Which seems to suggest that the digital to analogue conversion in a Sky+ box is better than that in a Meridian system - find that a bit hard to believe...

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Re: Sky+ box to plasma - best connection ?

Nope- just that cheap optical outputs sound soft and congested anyway, and the ones on my Sky boxes are particularly awful. This is compounded by the compression used, making a few channels unbearable even now, as if my speakers' drivers have been kicked in... 

It just so happens that the low-quality analogue output sounds better after being processed through Meridian's excellent Analogue to Digital coverter. 

This could be coincidentally a fault with both my boxes, or the purer optical route highlighting the poor source material.

Either way, my advice, as with any AV purchase (or indeed ANY purchase of ANY product where possible) still stands: compare and contrast, or lose money fast. 

N.B. Sky ain't hi-fi!

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