Sky HDTV Set Top Box Rear Connectors
Having looked at the information on the Sky website, we thought it only right that we highlight what connectors are available on the new SKy HDTV set top boxes to help those with older displays make sure they are compatible.
One of the main re-assurances Sky made to those potential new Sky HDTV customers with older display technologies was the inclusion of analogue outputs for HDTV broacasts. Unlike the existing generation of Sky Plus set top boxes, the new Sky HDTV set top boxes will feature component video output which gives superior video output quality compared to the standard scart RGB composite sync which can cause problems such as visibile scan lines when connecting to large lcd and plasma displays even when used with special TTL composite sync cables such as the Keene Electronics 'Syncblaster' range.
Although not confirmed yet hopefully Sky HDTV broadcasts in 720p will be output in pure progressive through the component outputs. 1080i broadcasts will of course be interlaced.
So what outputs do you get on the Sky HDTV boxes?
1. 2 LNB satellite signal inputs
As on existing the Sky Plus boxes, the Sky HDTV will accept two LNB signals meaning you can watch/record two separate channels.
2. RF UHF Modulated Inputs/Outputs
The Sky HDTV boxes also have the standard TV ariel inputs/outputs, although anyone contemplating using these as the output/input signals for HDTV broadcasts really does want taking outside and hitting with a big stick.
3. Optical Digital Output
Optical Digital Output via a toslink digital cable so that 2 channel and more importantly 5.1 surround sound can be sent to a Dolby Digital decoder.
4. Component Video Output
Component Video Output or Y, Pb, Pr, or Y, Cb, Cr gives the best possible analogue video ouput.
5. Analogue Audio Output
2 Channel analogue audio output via left and right RCA phono sockets
6. SVHS Video Output
SVHS or sometimes known as Y/C gives separate luminance (Y) and chrominance (C). The chrominance signal outputs the color information and the luminance signal outputs black and white or brightness information.
7. SCART Sockets
As with all existing Sky set top boxes, the new Sky HDTV set top boxes output RGBs & composite video signals on the TV ouput SCART socket, and allow RGB input & composite input/output on the video scart socket.
This will be the preferred output connector for those people with HDMI compliant displays. It provides a digital and video output allowing for potentially the clearest interference connection between the Sky HD set top box and HDTV readt television. It also has certain security features that copy protect the digital outputted signal.
There are also a number of other connectors which allow for further enhancement and integration with PCs and media devices although at the moment details are sketchy. Anyway as well as the 2 way mains connector and the service testing RS232, the new Sky HDTV boxes will come complete with a USB port, ethernet port and a SATA input which could be interesting but as no documentation exists for their use it is hard to make comment.
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