I think it very much depends on what you're watching. If something has been shot in HD, the PQ on the SD channels is notably stronger. I have watched the BBC's excellent Wild China on both BBC2 and BBC HD; the latter is stunning, but, unless you literally watch them back to back, the BBC2 version is pretty spectacular too. Ditto with Heroes and Mad Men. But if I compare PQ on Channel 4 programmes shot with SD cameras (pretty much everything home grown) and there's more of a difference. In terms of PQ, I think you can use this as a rule of thumb, from lowest to highest:
Filmed in SD, broadcast in SD via SCART - average
Filmed in SD, broadcast in SD via HDMI - good
Filmed in HD, broadcast in SD via HDMI - very good
Filmed in HD, broadcast in HD via HDMI - excellent
So what I'm saying is that the comparisons you're making with the V+ box are between "very good" and "excellent". I don't disagree with what you're saying btw - my wife cannot tell the difference (32" Tosh Regza viewed from 8ft, 720p) and if I'm recording something for her, I save on disc space by recording the SD version...
June 04, 2008
High Definition - why the fuss?
There's a thread over on Cable Forum about this old chestnut which I've just posted on. Would be interested to hear others views on this if you'd care to comment guys: