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Old 09-01-2001, 07:04 AM   #1
Reeves29
 
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Big Grin Sky+ discussion

Had Sky+ installed this morning, great peace of kit from what i can see so far (no recording functions for 24hrs though, teething problem with the system).

Biggest problem is that that I.R codes have changed. My tivo can't change the Sky+ channel so tivo is close to useless at the moment. My old sky remote won't work with the sky+ box either.

Can the i.r database in tivo be hacked?



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Old 09-01-2001, 07:08 AM   #2
sammoj
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Big Grin

This was a known issue before release.

I would like to buy another digibox to replace my itvDigital system and although I don't think I would want to use Sky+ the most sensible choice (as it is only £85 more expensive than a vanilla box) is to buy the Sky+ box, itvDigital is costing me £12 per month anyway so the subs would actually be cheaper. But I would want to use the Tivo with the box - I am not sure it is in Tivo's interests to provide the codes but I would like them to do so like you.


This way I have a choice should Tivo pull the UK plug.


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Old 09-01-2001, 07:46 AM   #3
Automan
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As suspected! different IR codes! The digitalspy was correct!

However, the wonderful Sky magazine say the open keyboard should perform all the functions it did! I assume all but enter any numbers!

Not being able to record for 24hrs sounds worrying. Are Sky hours like Microsoft minutes?

Reeves29, What is the problem? why can't it record? Can it even pause livetv?

I would expect TiVo to take a couple of months to come up with new codes that will work Sky+

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Old 09-01-2001, 09:01 AM   #4
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Big Grin

So can you use the EPG to change the Sky channel (as you can with the ordinary DigiBox) without setting it to record? If you can, presumably you can use this as a kludge to record on the TiVo?

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Old 09-01-2001, 09:46 AM   #5
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Big Grin

I can't use any of the new features, record, pause tv can't shedule any recordings in the future. Comes up with a number to ring when i try to record, engineers said this was happening with everyone today. The Optical output works fine though.

The box is about 50% bigger (won't fit on my shelf). Its faster than old pace box but slightly slower than my old panasonic.

They only way i can use tivo is to set sky+ to the right channel before tivo wants to record or use the personnal planner. No chance of any suggestions.

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Old 09-01-2001, 11:00 AM   #6
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Big Grin

It does not sound like Sky+ is off to a good start...

I assume if all the extra features don't work it must use a different epg data stream than the old Sky boxes? And I assume this data is not being transmitted turning Sky+ into no more than Sky (maybe slightly less if it no longer works with TiVo).

By the way, Reeves29, did you get a new viewing card in the post? If yes, do you need for the new box?

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Old 09-01-2001, 11:14 AM   #7
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Recording is activated for mine - engineer had to persist for a while with the Sky person but then it became available within 2 minutes.

You can set a dialing prefix so hopefully it will work when I get to Cyprus - i.e. just set the prefix to 0044 - unless of course it dials an 0845 number which won't work from outside of UK - ho hum, will have to wait and see.

BTW - can't rewind live TV - no 30mins cache like TiVo - bummer And when I tested a movie recording it estimated it would need 11% of the disk - pathetic compared to TiVo - pah!
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Old 09-01-2001, 11:24 AM   #8
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Big Grin

Quote:
Originally posted by Automan:
By the way, Reeves29, did you get a new viewing card in the post? If yes, do you need for the new box?
Positing in uk.media.tv.sky suggests you have to use the old one - not the new one.


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Old 09-01-2001, 11:43 AM   #9
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Big Grin

Couple of questions:

1. Does Sky+ handle recordings expiring like TiVo - that is have a "Save Until" feature, or do you need to manually delete recordings if you run out of disc space.

2. In the next software upgrade to TiVo we can do funky thinks like tell it to have a season pass for The Weather, but only ever keep one copy of it - that way you always have the latest weather report but don't fill up your hard disc with old ones. Anything advanced like this in Sky+ or is it all quite basic?


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Old 09-01-2001, 11:50 AM   #10
Reeves29
 
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Big Grin

You only get a new card if you are having your old box in another room (took the engineers 15 mins to find this out). So they activied my old card.

Looks like what the engineers told me was bull (2 engineers 2 hours to install it, not good). Phoned sky up, after 25mins found out i wasn't getting recording functions because i am billed by invoice, you can only have sky+ if you pay by credit card or direct debit. Setup a d/d told to wait for the recording funtion to activate, nothing after 1 hr.

Didn't have this much trouble with tivo.

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Old 09-01-2001, 12:16 PM   #11
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Note

Does the Sky+ box have two separate LNB F-connectors on the back or one "special" connector for the new multi-core LNB down lead.

I'm asking 'cos I presently have two separate LNB down leads and would prefer to use them than have the Sky engineers run a new multi-core cable.

What type of connectors (and how many) are on the back on the new Quad LNB?

Martin
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Old 09-01-2001, 12:20 PM   #12
wattieuk
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Lightbulb

Cant say Im surprised about problems with the new Sky box! I have had about 9 digiboxes after buying one for £200 when they first came out. I finally got a Panasonic but that gave up the ghost when the new software went in and then it took them 3 more boxes to give me one that worked! I think the extra Sky charge is disgraceful. They already provide a schedule for Sky digital so I dont see why it sould be more for the same schedule on Sky+. Anyway I ordered my Tivo yesterday from Spectrum (It didnt come today like they said but I did order it late yesterday afternoon so it will hopefully come on Monday). I also have an ITV Digital box which I use for the ITV sports channel and find the box is more reliable than the digibox. I am going to hook the Tivo up to the ITV box because I only really record films off Sky and usually lend them to my dad! SO I will continue to do that with my VHS and use the Tivo to record soaps, sitcoms etc! No need at all for a Sky+ box - and if its bigger it wouldnt fit under my tv in the cabinet anyway!
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Old 09-01-2001, 12:36 PM   #13
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Big Grin

Quote:
Originally posted by martinwh:
Does the Sky+ box have two separate LNB F-connectors on the back or one "special" connector for the new multi-core LNB down lead.
The box has two regular f-connector sockets. The LNB has four regular f-connector sockets.


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Old 09-01-2001, 01:21 PM   #14
Reeves29
 
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Big Grin

finally got recording functions to work after another 15mins on the phone.

No 30 min buffer as mark_shelley said which is a shame if you miss what was said.

If you do use the pause button, it starts a buffer from there. You can pause 1 channel while recording another so it must have 2 encoders therefore hopefully not to difficult for sky to update sky+ to record 2 different programs.

Also if you pause a channel you can't go off to any tv guide or planner as you have to 'leave paused live tv'. Which means if you pause a program for 10mins and then want to check if you have set a program to record..... you can't

1 Good thing about using tivo and sky+ together is that if your recording a sky channel on tivo and Sky+ starts a recording half way through, it doesn't change the channel so you don't messup your tivo recording.

1 Bad thing is that there is no Autoview on the planner anymore so you can't use tivo with sky untill the I.R codes are updated. The only way is to set tivo to record a program and leave sky on the channel you want to record.

In my opinion at this stage there is no winner between Sky+ and Tivo, they both have their good and bad points.

Once tivo update the i.r codes for sky+ then that would create tv heaven

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Old 09-01-2001, 02:14 PM   #15
nemity
 
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Big Grin

Quote:
Originally posted by GarySargent:
Couple of questions:

1. Does Sky+ handle recordings expiring like TiVo - that is have a "Save Until" feature, or do you need to manually delete recordings if you run out of disc space.

2. In the next software upgrade to TiVo we can do funky thinks like tell it to have a season pass for The Weather, but only ever keep one copy of it - that way you always have the latest weather report but don't fill up your hard disc with old ones. Anything advanced like this in Sky+ or is it all quite basic?


1. Recordings do expire, but this is a settable option with 3 choices:

a. You can have it entirely manual (ie you take care of all the deletions and if there is no room the programme wont get recorded

b. You can get warned when you are running low on space. You still have to delete your recordings to make more space.

c. You can have it entirely automatic where it will physically remove your programmes to make more room in the order of viewed programmes then un-viewed programmes.

2. At the moment you just has what tivo has (i.e the Series link option).


Interesting points of note I've seen :

The box has an optical out cable. The box it came in has a Dolby digital logo on it, so high hopes for DD films and sport in the future.

Programme clash warnings are also available.

It is possible to bookmark points in a single programme to return to later.

Box Office films are recordable, however you don't pay for them until you start watching them. When you start watching a film, you have a 24hr viewing window. If you don't watch it gets deleted in 7 days.


Like Tivo it remembers where you are in partially viewed programmes.

As confirmed, Sky+ and Sky use different remote codes, but Pronto and RC5000 users can rest easy as remote codes from Sky+ are 'learnable' with no problems. But beware, Tivo will not be in a rush to add Sky+ to their databases.


The new viweing card IS for the secondary box, you still use your primary one for Sky+



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Old 09-01-2001, 03:04 PM   #16
nemity
 
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Big Grin

Another note...

Regarding padding... I had set up my Sky+ to record the Father Ted Series starting at 9.00p.m on E4. Interestingly, it kicked off recording at 8.58pm.. Auto padding at the start. Question is, what about the end? We shall see.


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Old 09-01-2001, 03:28 PM   #17
pauljs
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Big Grin

Hang on a minute! Sky Plus is available and they haven't even sent me the info pack I asked for. Am I the only one not to have it?

BTW I'm not keen on the £10 charge for ??? and wish I was allowed to install myself. Yes I can do dishes too and I am not keen on a Sky "engineer" messing with my AV kit.


[This message has been edited by pauljs (edited 09-01-2001).]
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Old 09-01-2001, 03:34 PM   #18
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Big Grin

I know what you mean - though when NTL came round they took one look at my equipment and told me to sort it out

(Thats an old picture by the way - I have even more stuff now!)


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Old 09-01-2001, 04:05 PM   #19
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Big Grin

Quote:
Originally posted by GarySargent:
I know what you mean - though when NTL came round they took one look at my equipment and told me to sort it out
Gary, is that an Arcam AV50 I can see? You also appear to have an Arcam power amp. Do you bi-amp your speakers? I have an AV50 amp and 8P power amp, bi-amped to a pair of floor-standing Allison CD7 speakers and the sound is superb - I have never heard better.
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Old 09-01-2001, 06:28 PM   #20
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Big Grin

Its an Arcam Alpha 10 Integrated Amp powering left and right front speakers. There's an Arcam Alpha 10 power amp with 3rd channel upgrade powering center and two rear speakers.

The dolby digital processing is done by the Pioneer SP-D07 processor.

Speakers are Kef Q65's front, Kef Q35's rear, Kef Model 200 Reference Series centre, and Rel Q400e subwoofer. All bi-wired but not bi-amped (yet!). And yes it all sounds absolutely superb


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Old 09-02-2001, 05:12 AM   #21
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Exclamation

The have just finished installing Sky+

Took 2hrs on site for one chap (on a Sunday Morning).

Anyway snags.

1. Can't use that dish, it's on the chimney. Retaining safety harness fixing points would need fitting which could damage your chimney! Only option, new dish at a different location.

Did not think the neighbours would like the noise at 09:00 Sunday morning but luckily I installed a system in the Kitchen and thus he fitted a new quad lnb to that dish.

The system...
It took 30 mins to get record features turned on via sat. If you don't pay the £10.00 a month Sky+ won't record or pause anything.

Next my old card was set to the box, easy 3 minutes.

Using The system...
1. The SVHS output does not switch aspect mode! (RGB okay)
2. Engineer says units are made by Amstrad for Pace!
3. Can't find a single series that's linked thus no auto episode record facility.
4. Picture not so good as my Sony box (slight fringing of images but still good).
5. Does not work with TiVo but if you have an Open keyboard it can be reprogrammed to work with Sky+ by pressing all the correct buttons!
6. Optical output does no more than it did on my old Sony Digibox, just 48Khz two channel.
7. Dual LNB cable has a max run of 30 metres.
8. Box is same width as TiVo but slighly deeper.
9. Packaged box of Sky+ is even bigger than TiVo box packaging.

I took some photos and will post these soon.

Automan.

I took some images and will post very soon.

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Old 09-02-2001, 05:34 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Automan:

1. Can't use that dish, it's on the chimney. Retaining safety harness fixing points would need fitting which could damage your chimney! Only option, new dish at a different location.

Installers don't like heights

The system...
It took 30 mins to get record features turned on via sat. If you don't pay the £10.00 a month Sky+ won't record or pause anything.



1. The SVHS output does not switch aspect mode! (RGB okay)



2. Engineer says units are made by Amstrad for Pace!

And are installed for ITV Digital free-of-charge for Sky ?

3. Can't find a single series that's linked thus no auto episode record facility.

Try EastEnders

4. Picture not so good as my Sony box (slight fringing of images but still good).

This is also being reported elsewhere

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Old 09-02-2001, 05:36 AM   #23
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Big Grin

Can you set it to record a radio programme directly? If so, this would be a big plus for me over TiVo.

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Old 09-02-2001, 06:41 AM   #24
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Big Grin

Quote:
Originally posted by GarySargent:
I know what you mean - though when NTL came round they took one look at my equipment and told me to sort it out

(Thats an old picture by the way - I have even more stuff now!)



I assume the kitchen sink is in the cupboard


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Old 09-02-2001, 07:12 AM   #25
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Big Grin

At 11:15 this morning my Sky+ had it's 1st brainstorm!

It turned itself off and just left the remote control led illuminated (it was playing back a recording it was making).

Pressed the Sky key and it came back on and started making the recording again from that point (start of movie now lost).

I suppose it may have been installing a software update and like TiVo restarts without even asking?

Also I checked - NO, it won't record a radio channel!

Perhaps they should call it Sky HalfPlus!

See some of my images at http://www.stormpages.com/morlocks/skyplus.htm should you wish...

Automan.

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Old 09-02-2001, 09:41 AM   #26
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Big Grin

You are doing better than me.

My Sky+ turned up at 10:00 and after 30 minutes of phone calls it went away again

I wanted old digibox moved to another room, and Sky+ installing.

The guys job sheet had just installing the Sky+, his work for the day was mapped out at knowing what he had to do, ends up that he could / would not do the extra work and left.

Now trying again for a week on Monday, the 10th. Am home that day as BT coming to install ADSL. Wonder if I will have a good day then...........

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Old 09-02-2001, 09:43 AM   #27
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Big Grin

Quote:
Originally posted by Automan:

It turned itself off and just left the remote control led illuminated (it was playing back a recording it was making).

Pressed the Sky key and it came back on and started making the recording again from that point (start of movie now lost).
Same thing happened to me last night, came back from the pub to find sky+ switched off and my Con Air recording 'failed'

Not being able to record Radio channels is a pain.

Starting to miss using Tivo, not used the last couple of days, pointless until it can change channels.

How hard would it be for Tivo to update the I.R codes if they are already in the Open keyboard? I have tried various codes in tivos selections, nothing worked yet.


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Old 09-02-2001, 09:54 AM   #28
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Big Grin

Thats a rediculous packaging box!

So does anyone fancy doing a Sky+ vs TiVo chart? I can stick it on http://www.tivoportal.co.uk somewhere if you want.


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Old 09-02-2001, 09:54 AM   #29
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Big Grin

I also hope that Sky / Pace & TiVo can get the Sky+ IR codes added ASAP (looked for an update in IR database version, current rel is 87).

Compared with TiVo it's program guide is s**t

And with virtually no program series links (I refuse to check Eastenders) it's back to the manual days! However, the epg data does seem to follow actual start / finish times so perhaps when it does manage to make a recording it won't chop the end off!

If only we could have a Sky / TiVo intergrated unit - All us Sky viewers would have it made...

Of course, I could hook my Sony Digibox backup (got a new card) and link it to TiVo and my third dish feed (from my other dish on the chimney), pay another £12.99 a month and then TiVo could record again!

Automan.

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Old 09-02-2001, 10:01 AM   #30
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There's no reason why TiVo wouldn't add the codes as it doesn't matter to them really if you have both Sky+ and TiVo - adding the codes doesn't help those that have Sky+ but not TiVo!

Automan have you tried some of the other IR codes TiVo has to see if any work? (Any Amstrad codes in there?! )


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