Moving from Sky To Freeview

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by qIroS, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. qIroS

    qIroS TiVo vIparHa'qu'

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    Feb 3, 2002

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    I've been given (Yes! Woo!) a Sky+ box, so as I have the full package, I'm planning on dropping the multiroom that my TiVo is hanging off and moving to Sky+ for all my Sky recordings.

    This just will not do, of course, and so the TiVo stays, hopefully connected to my Freeview box. This is a bottom budget thing from woolies, I think it's a Tech-something. Nothing on the web about it that I can see.

    Given that this change is being sold to the missus as a cost reduction (minus one multiroom sub) can I use this freeview box (I guess, will any old FV box work) or do I need to purchase a TiVo compatible freeview box, if so, which one is recommended?

    Ta!

    Gary.

    Tivo owner since subscription date.
     
  2. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    A lot of Freeview boxes have major issues due to getting stuck at software update screens overnight.

    You want the Wharfedale 832BN from Argos for around 30 quid if you can still find one. All the Update stuff that cuts in at random can be turned off on that box.

    Put Wharefdale in to Search on this forum under Tivo UK and you will find a load of other threads about it.
     
  3. mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Brute force method: use a mains timer switch to reboot them once daily.

    That actually fixes alot of unreliability, as some boxes get slower/ freeze up when left on for a week, with a reboot curing it. There's also the matter of missed channel changes causing error boxes to stay on screen, blocking all other recordings until you reset them - the daily reboot solves that too.

    A list of tivo freeview boxes:
    http://www.garysargent.co.uk/tivo/stb.htm
    (though most do work, I haven't seen one that doesn't once you find the code...)
     
  4. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Yes I certainly use that method for my Freeview box and a Sky box which go off for 5 minutes at 7.15am every morning when I am usually never recording anything.

    Used to be 5am but surprisingly there was often stuff picked up my SPs or Wishlists at that time.

    I haven't so far put the Tivo on a once a day power off as its a lot more stable than the other two devices and a once a day power off will probably considerably shorten the hard drive life. Having said that this laptop is two years and 5 months old and goes off most nights for 6 or 7 hours as motherboard burnout due to overheating (already happened after a year) seems to be a bigger enemy than hard drive failure. However I now run it on an Akasa cooling base that whilst noisier seems to have greatly reduced maximum operating tempearture.

    Also as this summer has been super cool its hardly a fair comparison, allthough last summer was blistering hot and it survived that running with the Akasa.
     
  5. qIroS

    qIroS TiVo vIparHa'qu'

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    Feb 3, 2002

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    A quick look around Currys.Digital and Comet this afternoon reveals almost no freeview boxes for sale that are on the list. The Humax F2 FOX T was there at a rather stunning 60 quid, but it looked well built. The only other one was the Logic LDR1 which looked nasty.

    Any opinions on that Humax then? It had better be good for that price. Only double that will get you a twin tuner freeview HDR.
     
  6. mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    TBH the £20 freeview boxes will probably be OK, It's actually quite rare for tivo to be unable to control them. It just might take some time to find the correct code.
     
  7. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Why not just keep your old Sky box attached to the TiVo? It's free and without a sub it still gets pretty much the same set of channel as a Freeview box, with a couple of exceptions which Pete77 will tell you about in a minute. ;)
     
  8. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    The list of exceptions is rather large actually but basically if you like news channels and free movie channels then an unsubscribed Sky box is the best bet but if you like free music video channels and the channels named E4 and More 4 then Freeview is the better bet. In the longer run E4 and More4 will probably also be free on Sky Freesat and probably all Sky channels will disappear from Freeview next year but still be available on Sky Freesat (but probably not on BBC Freesat due to sour grapes on Sky's part) so I would maintain a Sky Freesat box is the better longer term bet as long as you have easy access to a satellite signal.

    Clearly if you had one dish before with one LNB then you will require a different LNB and a splitter of some kind to be able to support two Sky boxes watching two different Sky channels at the same time. So it might work out cheaper to have Sky cable for multiroom on the second box and pay the one year's multiroom sub for the second multiroom box and then desubscribe at the end of that year. I know a Sky+ install has a Quad LNB but I don't know how you feed a conventional second Sky box from that as well. I suspect a professional Sky installer would charge as much as the £120 for Multiroom to sort this out so taking Sky Multiroom for a year and then desubscribing from Multiroom would probably be as cheap.

    A Freeview box at £30 or so is clearly cheaper but in many areas the signal is not as reliable and when the war between the BBC and Sky really gets going next year I suspect there will no longer be free Sky channels on Freeview.

    Alternatively thinking again if you can get a secondhand Sky dish off Ebay for a few quid you could feed the old Sky box that way from a second Sky dish but the wife may object and its a bit of a fiddle unless you are a dab hand with compasses, alignment and wall mounting brackets. Also planning permission rules generally only give you automatic permission for one satellite dish. In a Conservation Area you need planning permission even for the one satellite dish (although it is normally granted as long as the dish is low key and in colours that blend in).

    Question is do you have a decent Freeview signal in your area? Do all your neighbours manage to get all the Freeview channels?
     
  9. AMc

    AMc Active Member

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    Wharfedale is £25+ delivery from Argos in stock in my local Argos - Nice retro red channel indicators doesn't ru that hot.
    http://www.argos.co.uk/static/Product/partNumber/5320503.htm

    Mine works fine, no stupid messages, retuning in the middle of the night etc. never needed to bother restarting it automatically YMMV
     
  10. kris2fer

    kris2fer New Member

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    Aug 6, 2007
    I have just returned two of these Wharfedale DV832BN boxes. The sound kept on dropping out for a couple of seconds and sometimes when it came back the picture was out of sinc with the sound, which got to be very annoying.
     
  11. AMc

    AMc Active Member

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    Fair enough - YMMV :D - let us know what you find that's better I'm always happy to find a better mousetrap.
     
  12. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    To use his new Sky+ box he will need a Quad LNB and the Sky engineer will run two new cables from the dish to the Sky+ (they are told not to re-use old cables as in the long run it creates more support calls than it saves cash); all that is needed is that the original Sky box cable run be plugged in to one of the two unused connectors on the LNB; the Sky engineer will do this for him I'm sure.
     
  13. qIroS

    qIroS TiVo vIparHa'qu'

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    Feb 3, 2002
    I'm fitting the Sky+ myself as I got it free from a member of the family and will be using the two LNB outputs that currently go to the 2 sky boxes to feed the one Sky+.

    I don't want to run another cable from the quad LNB as the missus really really won't like another hole in the wall.
     
  14. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    But do you have decent Freeview reception in your area? There are loads of areas that still don't and if yours if one of them then the Sky/Astra Freesat option is the best bet for a reliable picture.
     
  15. qIroS

    qIroS TiVo vIparHa'qu'

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    Feb 3, 2002
    I have a freeview box upstairs and whilst the signal is low-ish, about 10% of a signal bar, it's never batted an eyelid. No breakup or anything so I think it's okay. My aerial is a wet twig on a wonky angle pointing in only vaguely the correct direction so I think there's room for improvement there if nothing else.
     
  16. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Yes but an upgrade costs around £200 unless you are prepared to risk your own neck on the roof or a decent aerial in the loft does the job instead.

    So its best either make to do with your current aerial or otherwise cheaper to get a Sky Freesat systems if that's a non starter.
     
  17. qIroS

    qIroS TiVo vIparHa'qu'

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    Feb 3, 2002
    Freesat & Sky+ means 2 sky boxes as at present and 3 sat feeds and one more hole in the wall. Not happening!

    At this point if it means going to 100% Sky+, that's what will happen and I'll save an extra tenner on the TiVo sub. Which I've been paying since 2002 (yes, I know).
     
  18. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Dec 25, 2006

    Are you moving the TiVo away from where the Sky+ will be then? You are going to need another hole in the wall to install the Sky+ anyway, you do realise, as it needs two feeds from the dish.

    Not clear what the distinction is between haveing a small siver Sky box attached to the TiVo and a small silver Freeview box???

    Edit: just read your reply. the hole on the wall thing makes no sense to me, but then I'm not anyone's wife. ;)

    You could run one of those double cables in one through the existing hole.
     
  19. qIroS

    qIroS TiVo vIparHa'qu'

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    Feb 3, 2002
    I have 2 sky boxen next to each other ATM, one for live, the other for TiVo. The 2 existing sat feeds will go to the Sky+ and a Freeview will take it's place on TiVo. No more holes , no more cables and ten quid less subs. It's the ideal as far as I can see.

    What I really wanted was a good idea for a freeview box which worked well with TiVo, I can't buy most of the ones on GS's list and no Argos around here will sell me that mystical Wharfedale one.

    I don't/didn't know about double cables. Still. I've sold the change to Sky+ as getting rid of 2 sky boxes and replacing with one. The second Sky box remaining would not go down at all well.
     
  20. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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