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Virgin Hd+ Tech Help Please!


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Well having taken the plunge a couple of weeks back I got a new 37" Samsung Full HD 1080, 100MHZ TV.

Had a right farce trying to get Sky HD installed turns out trees in the park are blocking the signal, so had to go for Virgin Cable.

After yet more faffing it was finally installed today,but really disapointed with the picture quality. Freeview TV is better than through the cable!! :tsktsk: WTF!

The TV says the source, the Virgin HD+ box is only at 50MHz. The PS3 is at 60MHz, which is why I think why the picture is poor. Spoke to Virgin poor girl in call centre doesn't even understand when I ask if it is right that the box is only 50MHz.

I have HDMI cables in (even though Virgin didn't provide them only gave scarts).

Is it right that Virgin Box is only 50MHz? If so I wonder why I bothered as at that rate, from what I am told I can't get true HD??? Is that right?

Rant Over.

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It is 50Hz, but so is Sky HD. I had a problem with this when I upgraded to V+ because our Pioneer plasma is pre-HD ready so has no HDMI, and despite accepting HD via component, it only accepts 60Hz.

However I've hooked mine up directly into the screen converting the HDMI to DVI and the picture is brilliant, so can only imagine it would be even better on a TV that is doing the image processing too.

Could it be a problem with some TVs? I know there was someone else on here complaining about the same graininess issue with Sky HD - are some TVs not dealing with HD correctly?

In any case, the frequency is not the issue, as even with my slightly macgyver style setup the picture is very good. Have you tried all different settings to see what works best with your TV? 720p, 1080i or 1080p? Also if there are any settings on the TV fiddle with them too - I had a similar problem with my setup initially until I figured out I had set something up wrong.

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Thanks. If the box is supposed to be 50MHz I will cancel the engineer who is supposed to be calling out tomorrow. It sounds like I need to fiddle with the settings on my TV. At the moment I have it set for 1080i as you suggest it might look better if I set it at say 720.

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Rightiho. Firstly, 50Hz is all we get in the UK at the moment. Some TVs will increase that, eg Sony have a 200Hz model and Panasonic I think have a 600Hz!! The refresh/frame rate won't make any difference to the picture quality, just to the motion (i.e. makes it smoother).

There should be an auto option, anyway, if you use HDMI (which to get HD you HAVE to), then the STB and your TV will auto negotiate the resolution etc that the TV can support, so your Virgin box will then output at that resolution.

You will not get HD from SCART as there is no copy protection mechanism so broadcasters and content providers won't allow it. Early Sky boxes did, but that was just until the take up got better and HDMI enabled TVs were the norm. Then they did a software update to their boxes to turn it off.

I would leave it set to 1080i if you did have a choice. Its slightly better than 720p for most things. And your panel will be 1080p also (almost definately), especially if it says full-HD panel (1920x1080). Whats the model no?

Regarding the graininess. HD does look slightly grainy compared to say SD (normal Freeview), but its usually only noticable from up close, when you sit at the correct viewing distance from the TV it should be fine (i.e. on your sofa unless you are about 1m away from it!). You should however notice a huge improvement on detail in the image though - though this will depend on the channel and the TV program being shown.

For HD - not all content is actually in HD, so if you watch some crappy US show the it will be SD - even if you virgin box says 1080i as they cuold upscale. And in the US their number of vertical lines is less than ours so will look even worse.

Try watching some primetime program on BBC or something and you should see the difference.

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Thanks for all the advice.

Can't remember the exact model of my TV but its a 37" Samsung Full HD, 1080, 100Mhz.

The difference in quality was really noticable comparing say BBC1 between the VBox and built in Freeview. The freeview was clearer and sharper. The VBox had "blockiness" around things like the BBC Logo. "Life" was better on Freeview than Vbox last night.

We watch around The World in 80 Days after on BBCHD, that ws better, but not totally jaw dropping.

I think I need to play around with it all tonight.

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normal BBC1 will be no real difference to freeview as its not in HD. But, the bandwidth will be higher on virgin than through freeview so it might look a bit better (same with sky).

Logos etc can sometimes look blocky or poor, depending on the image processing of the TV mainly. Some do it better than others.

When you watch something like Round the World, then on the BBC HD channel it should look better than on BBC1 (though try freeview rather than BBC1 Virgin). Mainly due to things filmed in HD and primetime will have good bitrates anyway, and as its filmed in HD, even when downconverted to SD it will still look good. Therefore the difference in HD to good SD is not so jaw dropping but should still be good. Skin and hair details should be more obvious and better.

Just be sure to only use the HDMI cable to ensure you at watching in HD when available.

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Just out of curiosity, do you have the newer Samsung box or the older one? I have the older one, so not sure if this might be an issue with the newer boxes?

Its the new Samsung one. The thing is just mind boggling. My 7 yr old is the only one who seemd to be able to use it, she has series linked "Horrible Histories". There are so many channels it makes my head hurt :unsure: .

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Its the new Samsung one. The thing is just mind boggling. My 7 yr old is the only one who seemd to be able to use it, she has series linked "Horrible Histories". There are so many channels it makes my head hurt :unsure: .

Lol :lol:

Thing is though it's so simple to use, especially when you think back to what was involved with programming a video recorder not that long ago - date, start time, end time, making sure there was enough space on the just pull up the guide, hit the record button and it's all done!

I have to say getting a V+ has transformed my life, I no longer even think about what's on when, everything is series linked, just sit down when I have time and watch whatever it's recorded for me :)

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I need to get my head around it, just soo many channels now.

Fiddled with the TV settings picture much better now.

Agree with that, and they seem to be adding new ones all the time as well.

Great, glad it's getting better - I did read one person on the net saying that the picture started off poor and then got better all on its own after a week or two so perhaps the box needs a bit of bedding in (I know it sounds ludicrous, but I guess it might be true!)

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