August 03, 2010

Sky Movies HD - initial verdict

It took a five minute phone call to Virgin to ensure I had them, but I'm delighted to say I have the Sky Premium HD channels in all their glory. Watched bits of Coraline, The Boat That Rocked and Night At The Museum 2 and the contrast with the standard definition channels is remarkable.
I've long thought the PQ on the SD Sky channels took a nose dive when they launched the HD versions, and some quick comparisons yesterday proved that there's a massive difference even on a 32in TV at 720p. With Film4 HD I've found that there's a less notable drop in picture quality when you watch the regular channel, but on the Sky movie channels it's incredible.
Haven't tried Sky Sports yet - saving that for the Charity Shield match on Sunday - but the movies look great and well worth £7 a month in my book.


Andrew Nixon said...

Having done a quick comparison last night, I can safely say that the PQ on Sky Sports HD is a hell of a lot better than the normal channels.

Erich said...

The quality of Sky's SD movie channels is pretty terrible. They're only 544x576, and will often run at a sub-2mbit bitrate.

As I've mentioned before, there was no grand conspiracy by Sky to lower the quality, when they introduced HD. The channels have always been this way on their own platform, but VM used to take a direct feed of the channels and encoded it to 720(704?)x576 themselves, which they for some reason stopped doing. Perhaps to better promote the difference with the HD channels they would introduce some 5 or 6 years later, hmmmmmmmm? :P