The Sky+ HD Experience II

I thought I’d just provide a little update to my previous post about the less than pleasurable experience of upgrading to Sky+ HD.

First off, Sky themselves have refunded our £60 installation fee. I e-mailed in a complaint saying much the same as my previous post here (but without the Simpsons reference) and to their credit they replied saying that it was not the level of service they should have given and therefore refunded the installation fee.

The other outstanding issue was the really annoying audio/video synchronisation problem on our Amstrad HD box. After a bit of experimentation and online reading it seems the problem only occurs when the box is auto-switching the ouput resolution between standard definition and high definition channels. The solution is to lock the box to only output a high definition picture, by switching it from Automatic to 1080i.
However the downside with this is it sometimes does a lousy job of scaling standard definition pictures, especially if they we’re originally 4:3 – widescreen standard definition doesn’t seem to be a problem for us – also the upscaled picture is pretty poor quality in comparison to what you’d get from a standard definition Sky+ box or from the Sky+ HD box automatically switching.

The answer comes in the form of the SCART socket on the back of the box. This by design can only output a standard definition picture, but can be tweaked to use an improved RGB connection if the TV supports it, so it does produce a much better picture than the upscaled output over the HDMI cable.

Certainly it’s annoying having to swap, and it will be a lot better when the audio/video synchronisation problem is solved, but it’s a lot less annoying than the audio being three seconds behind the video!

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