My experience with Tata Sky + HD

tomythomas01

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Last week when Tata Sky+ HD was launched I thought it is a steal at Rs 3999/-I was too fast in making this remark by taking account of my past experience with Tata Sky+ and Tata Sky and Sun HD etc… By last weekend the box was arrived containing Tata Sky+ HD PVR, remote and one HDMI cable. The moment I opened the box I realized that the build quality is nowhere near the solid SKY+ box and Tata saved money in not providing any key buttons in the box (which is fine) and without remote you cannot do anything with the box. But the real shocker was eventhough Tata advertised a lot about Dolby 7.1 sound by some strange reasons they decided not to give Dolby through HDMI and to get Dolby digital sound you need another optical / digital coaxial cable which is not provided. Even Sun HD gives dolby through HDMI. And Tata has limited stereo audio through HDMI :ishock: The other issue is related to stretching of 4:3 SD pictures. Tata offers two options stretch and pillar box. Stretch option just stretches 4:3 to 16:9 which is almost useless unless your eyes distort it in the opposite way. Pillar box is converting it to 14:9 and filling either side with black which is not uniform on all the channels and again not acceptable. Your TV will have many more ways to do it and I personally like wide zoom where the center portion is untouched and the edges are stretched to fill 16:9 screen which is more acceptable since the most of the action happens in the center of the screen  They should have provided a third option for 4:3, either normal (where your TV can be set to Wide Zoom) or wide zoom in the box itself. So at the end of the day you are left with a not so happy solution. Many people may not be aware of these kind of issues, sometime ignorance is bliss  I did the connection as follows:Equipment list1. STB: Tata SKY + HD box2. AVR: Denon 23103. TV: Sony KDL-52NX8004. Remote: Logitech Harmony 900 (Activity based touch control remote)Connected the STB to Denon 2310 HDMI and programed two options in my Logitech Harmony 900 one with AVR on and one with AVR in standby mode.Option 1: AVR ON (primarily for HD viewing)Configured AVR for SKY+ video through HDMI and route the digital audio through Optical port which decodes the dolby audio for HD channels and put on HDMI control ON so that the volume control is always in sync with AVR irrespective of using Logitech Harmony / TV remote / AVR remote. Option 2: AVR on standby (primarily for SD viewing with AMP off to save power)Configured AVR to switch the standby port to HDMI 2 where Tata sky+ HD is connected so that video and audio will be directly reaches TV through HDMI from AVR. Programmed Harmony to Put on TV and STB (AVR off) and set aspect ratio to Zoom / Wide zoom while ON, so SD channels looks ok in the screen. Set aspect ratio back to FULL while switching OFF the AVR so that it does to change for other sources (other HDMI inputs). STB 4:3 video is set to Pillar Box. Everything is working fine as I wanted even though it is work around solution and needed a little bit of programming with Harmony The good thing is that there is no HDMI/ HDCP handshaking issues like SUN HD had at the time of its launch with professional AVRs. SUN sorted it out within a couple of months. Even I had to upgrade my Denon 2310 firmware (old fashioned way through RS232 port)!I expect when you set PCM in SKY+ HD box, AVR codec is used to decode Dolby and when you set Dolby in STB you STB uses its own codec. In reality STB PCM setting is just stereo and Dolby setting expects AVR to decode!! So you need to set HD+ STB to Dolby to get your AVR to decode Dolby, this is strange. You may find these issues on video quality while using large screens only. I have Sun HD and Tata Sky + too from its launch so the comparisons are from my own experience.Regards,Tomy
 

kumararvind

TS + HD
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You may find these issues on video quality if while using large screens only.


Which issues?? please elaborate

Thanks
 

mumboy

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tomy, i have almost similar hardware and so let me know if i m doing correctly:Video: HDMI cable from TS HD+ ---> Sat/Cbl IN on Denon 1610; HDMI cable from HDMI out port on Denon 1610 to HDMI in on Samsung 46" LEDAudio: Optical cable from TS HD+ ---> Optical port on Denon 1610Sound on LED TV turned to zero. All sound comes from Denon 1610 (which outputs to KEF speakers).I use the same configuration whether I watch HD content or regular... Your thoughts
 

tomythomas01

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Your connections are fine. Perhaps you can rethink about the need to set the TV volume to zero. You can put on HDMI control on your 1610 (I expect HDMI control feature is available in 1610 like Denon 2310) so that your Amp will take over the sound and do not output sound to your TV and more over both remotes (TV and AVR) control the same AMP sound output (basically they are in sync). When you put off TV your AVR also will be off and vice versa. For a simple setup like this there is no need for sophisticated activity based remotes like Logiech Harmony.

I have used two options since my children watch lots of English serials comes in SD video where there is no dolby sound so I can save on power by keeping the AVR on standby mode for SD and put On for HD channels automatically.

---------- Post added at 10:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:57 PM ----------

Programing is Harmony is easy using Logitech Harmony configuration tool. It is available for download in Logitech site. It is easy to learn and do it, but you should have good idea about the layout of your system, input and output ports you need to setup etc. I have an elaborate setup where all the 6 HDMI ports of Denon 2310 are used. I have a similar setup in my bed room where I use RedEye mini (along with iPhone 4/ iPad) more activity control for all audio / video / media gears. visit RedEye mini: take control on the road for more detail on RedEye mini which is very cheap compared to Harmony 900.

If you want to know more about my setup you can visit TomyMaggie.com. It has a few of my blogs I post regularly in our company internal blog..

---------- Post added at 10:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:09 PM ----------

Which issues?? please elaborate

Thanks

As you know even if all the DTH providers talk about DVD quality for their SD video it is far from that which is more visible on screens larger than 40". Again stretching 4:3 to 16:9 by strech/ pillar box / wide zoom/ zoom etc introduces distortion which is unbearable in large screens. Upto 32" it may be acceptable. I have a Sony 40" signature (X) series TV in my bedroom where SD video is tolerable where in my living room TV 52" Sony LED TV (LCD TV with edge lit LEDs ) DTH SD video looks really sad where DVDs are ok. I use it mainly for my large HD movie collection both Blurays and .MKV movies stored in HDD using WD TV Live Hub or my Synology Diskstation (DLNA Server) an excellent product visit Synology Network Attached Storage - NEW NAS Experience for details.
 

beekeys

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Very useful information @tomythomas01, thanx for your hard job, its fruitful if you please post some screen shot, so we can see (those yet without tata hd+)..................
 


soodgautam

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tomy, i have almost similar hardware and so let me know if i m doing correctly:

Video: HDMI cable from TS HD+ ---> Sat/Cbl IN on Denon 1610; HDMI cable from HDMI out port on Denon 1610 to HDMI in on Samsung 46" LED
Audio: Optical cable from TS HD+ ---> Optical port on Denon 1610

Sound on LED TV turned to zero. All sound comes from Denon 1610 (which outputs to KEF speakers).

I use the same configuration whether I watch HD content or regular... Your thoughts

One doubt - why are you connecting your HMDI out from TS+ HD to Denon IN ??

My connections are as followed- tell me if i can be improved
Video: HDMI Wire between - TS+ HD and My 46" LCD
Audio: HDMI Wire between - 46" LCD and Home Theater
Audio: Coaxial Cable between TS+ HD and Home Theater for 5.1 output

For video - I choose the source on TV (HDMI1 - TS+ HD, HDMI2 - Home Theater, PC - Laptop connected to TV)
For Audio - I choose the source on Home Theater (Auxiliary, Direct In, Mp3 Line IN)
Now i make volume on TV zero and get output from my Home theater all the time.
 

mumboy

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hmm... i also have the DVD player and the Wii gaming console sending OUT to the Denon... mayb thats y.... the thought process was that evry hardware outputs to the Denon and then the Denon outputs the audio directly (thru' the KEF speakers) while sending the video over a single HDMI to the LED TV....

correct thinking?

Tommy: when u talk abt switching btwn SD and HD for power saving on the amp, how much of a savings are we talking abt... my TV (and thereby my entire setup) is prob ON for 15 hrs / day.....
btw i have the harmony 1000 lying in a box for past yr for lack of time to set it up... i may look to you to provide some direction to me how to maximise its efficiency...


One doubt - why are you connecting your HMDI out from TS+ HD to Denon IN ??

My connections are as followed- tell me if i can be improved
Video: HDMI Wire between - TS+ HD and My 46" LCD
Audio: HDMI Wire between - 46" LCD and Home Theater
Audio: Coaxial Cable between TS+ HD and Home Theater for 5.1 output

For video - I choose the source on TV (HDMI1 - TS+ HD, HDMI2 - Home Theater, PC - Laptop connected to TV)
For Audio - I choose the source on Home Theater (Auxiliary, Direct In, Mp3 Line IN)
Now i make volume on TV zero and get output from my Home theater all the time.
 

raddy

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Thank you for your very informative post.Even we are also thought that Tata is offering HD + box in very subsidized price and we should rush to buy it.I think, it would make sense to watch Tata Sky HD + in a demo unit, before purchasing.The Sky+ box was made by reputable company and i think, it is the same box used by Sky UK.But the Tata sky + HD is made by no-name company.
 

tomythomas01

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BSNL
hmm... i also have the DVD player and the Wii gaming console sending OUT to the Denon... mayb thats y.... the thought process was that evry hardware outputs to the Denon and then the Denon outputs the audio directly (thru' the KEF speakers) while sending the video over a single HDMI to the LED TV....

correct thinking?

Tommy: when u talk abt switching btwn SD and HD for power saving on the amp, how much of a savings are we talking abt... my TV (and thereby my entire setup) is prob ON for 15 hrs / day.....
btw i have the harmony 1000 lying in a box for past yr for lack of time to set it up... i may look to you to provide some direction to me how to maximise its efficiency...

I can help you in programming the Harmony 1000. I need to get a detailed equipment list you own including the model number. You can contact me directly at [email protected]