Cutting down Sky TV package: No HD?

We recently checked what we were using on our Sky TV package and saved £144 a year by removing the Kids bundle and getting a discount for going back into contract.

We also wanted to lose the £7 we are paying for HD: we don't notice the difference (except on sport and that is paid separately).

The call handler said (wrongly) that channels like Sky Atlantic are only HD and we would lose them.

The key thing stopping us doing it is whether we still get "Freeview" channels like BBC1 in HD on the Sky box. It's more convenience than anything else.

Has anyone else got rid of the £84 a year HD fee and are there any freeview HD channels left on you SKy box or do you have to access those channels in HD via a terrestrial freeview?
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  • Carrot007
    Carrot007 Posts: 4,534
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    You will be able to watch them. But ick. I wish they would just ive everyone a new box and get rid of the SD channels to save space for the horrible sub SD channlels and force them to pay for a decent bitrate (though moving everything to h265 would help even with the same space. Could still offer "sd" anyway as the box is pefectly capable of downscaling.

    Only BBC SD is SD on sky everything else looks like the old SD (was it in the 60s where the HD upgrade occured?).

  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,806
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    ikr2 said:
    We recently checked what we were using on our Sky TV package and saved £144 a year by removing the Kids bundle and getting a discount for going back into contract.

    We also wanted to lose the £7 we are paying for HD: we don't notice the difference (except on sport and that is paid separately).

    The call handler said (wrongly) that channels like Sky Atlantic are only HD and we would lose them.

    The key thing stopping us doing it is whether we still get "Freeview" channels like BBC1 in HD on the Sky box. It's more convenience than anything else.

    Has anyone else got rid of the £84 a year HD fee and are there any freeview HD channels left on you SKy box or do you have to access those channels in HD via a terrestrial freeview?

    BBC One HD is Free to Air, like all the BBC channels are.
    Most other Freeview channels if you want them in HD are behind the paywall on Sky.

    Carrot007 said:
    You will be able to watch them. But ick. I wish they would just ive everyone a new box and get rid of the SD channels to save space for the horrible sub SD channlels and force them to pay for a decent bitrate (though moving everything to h265 would help even with the same space. Could still offer "sd" anyway as the box is pefectly capable of downscaling.

    Only BBC SD is SD on sky everything else looks like the old SD (was it in the 60s where the HD upgrade occured?).


    Bear in mind broadcasters pay for the equipment to broadcast and to Sky to appear on the EPG, getting rid of SD channels is not an option for a lot of smaller channels.  Also the bandwidth is variable (and dependent at source) so if it goes out from the broadcaster looking like mush and at a low resolution, once it gets screwed around and multiplexed and whatever else it'll still look like mush.  Most "big" channels downsample a HD feed for SD output.

    Of course that being said, watching SD broadcasts on big screens is never going to be pretty.

    Presume you mean by 60s HD upgrade the switch to 625 lines from 405?  Not "HD" as such but technically better quality picture.  This might be of interest: https://www.transdiffusion.org/2017/04/24/the-plain-mans-guide-to-the-changeover-to-625-line-tv

  • I think it's insane that in 2021 "HD" is still considered an upgrade. I could almost accept 4k being that way but HD?
  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,806
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    y3sitsm3 said:
    I think it's insane that in 2021 "HD" is still considered an upgrade. I could almost accept 4k being that way but HD?

    Some Sky packages (Cinema primarily) include HD as standard.  More HD channels are in the basic package than there used to be.  Sports has always been a cash cow.
    But of course as part of retention/when your contract is out you may be able to get it reduced.  Anybody who pays full price for Sky TV of all things isn't trying hard enough.
  • PZ19
    PZ19 Posts: 468
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    If you are out of contract I would call them and negotiate a new price for your package often they give hd free in negotiations 
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,003
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    Still having to pay for HD channels in 2021 is an absolute joke.
  • wild666
    wild666 Posts: 2,100
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    HD channels are a con to make people pay more for a few more lines in the picture, anyone with HD paying for them should cancel that part of the subscription. I am perfectly happy watching Netflix in SD the extra brightness in the picture strains my eyes.
    Someone please tell me what money is
  • cajef
    cajef Posts: 6,258
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    edited 1 October 2021 at 1:57PM
    wild666 said:
    HD channels are a con to make people pay more for a few more lines in the picture, anyone with HD paying for them should cancel that part of the subscription. I am perfectly happy watching Netflix in SD the extra brightness in the picture strains my eyes.
    If you cannot see the difference between SD and HD there must be something wrong with your eyes, we watch a lot of sport and and it is far clearer and sharper in HD, I am certainly not going to cancel my subscription to watch an inferior picture. 
  • cajef said:
    wild666 said:
    HD channels are a con to make people pay more for a few more lines in the picture, anyone with HD paying for them should cancel that part of the subscription. I am perfectly happy watching Netflix in SD the extra brightness in the picture strains my eyes.
    If you cannot see the difference between SD and HD there must be something wrong with your eyes, we watch a lot of sport and and it is far clearer and sharper in HD, I certainly not going to cancel my subscription to watch an inferior picture. 

    It's a lot more visible on a 4k TV. That said, Sky have reduced the bitrate and increased compression on SD so much that it's almost impossible not to spot the difference between SD and HD even on a 720p display these days. Deliberate choices to upsell.
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  • Neil_Jones
    Neil_Jones Posts: 8,806
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    Sky do not control the bitrate of channels with the exception of the ones they own/run (they have their own playout facilities as opposed to pumping it through the likes of RedBee).  All the other channels on the platform are at the decision of their respective playout operations as to their bitrate of choice.

    So if it looks like mushyvision, it's not always Sky's fault.
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