New UK Satellite box needed

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by Leif_Davidsen, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. Leif_Davidsen

    Leif_Davidsen Happy UK Tivoer

    Jun 5, 2002
    a small...


    Need some advice. We have an old Sony Sky box connected to our Tivo and it is starting to fail. We don't and won't have a sky subscription so it seems sensible to get a freesat box as a replacement, especially as we won't be able to get freeview here until 2012.
    We also still have a CRT TV and hope not to replace that until about 2012 either.
    On that basis would it be best to get one of the simple standard freesat SD boxes to simply replace our current Sony failing box?
    Or would it be worth getting one of the PVR freesat boxes to be able to record on that as well for clashes or even to replace Tivo, or maybe to watch something different on live TV sometimes?
  2. Phil_Hoggins

    Phil_Hoggins New Member

    Oct 3, 2002

    I've recently retired my Tivo for the Humax Foxsat box and I'm quite happy (but then I never used Tivo features like suggestions). The ability to record two programs and also take advantage of BBC HD were what swung it for me (forget ITV HD, too unreliable) There are a few quirks (irritations) with the Foxsat box but you just have to get used to them. Biggest issues I've found are
    1. not being able to delete a program from the media list while the box is recording.

    2. Search is a bit clunky


    beyond the obvious.

    1. If you try and record something and there is a clash it'll give you an alternative if one exists.

    2. Offers HD record option if one avalable.

    3. Auto put's series episodes in their own folder.

    There are probably more pro's and cons but they are the obvious ones that spring to mind, there are other threads on here that go into more depth.
  3. johala_reewi

    johala_reewi New Member

    Oct 30, 2002
    Southampton UK
  4. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Given you're not upgrading the telly, I'd just buy an old Sky box off ebay for a few quid to replace the failing one.
  5. britcub

    britcub Bear with a TiVo

    Jan 19, 2004
    Manchester, UK


    Exactly what I was going to suggest
  6. Leif_Davidsen

    Leif_Davidsen Happy UK Tivoer

    Jun 5, 2002
    a small...
    Regarding replacing the existing box with another old Sky box - that was how we acquired our current one - and we have another old one sitting in the garage. The issue isn't that they die completely, but just seem to become less reliable - we find it hangs more frequently - now about once a week. Now this would be fine if we didn't just watch through Tivo but of course we only find it has crashed when we go to watch a recorded program - and that might be some days previously.
    Thus we want a box that is more reliable - even if we are then going to pay 50 quid for a new Freesat basic box or possibly more if it would be worth it.
  7. steveroe

    steveroe Must do some work...

    Oct 29, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    You could try putting it on a time switch so it restarts the Sky box every day, might help it out a little.
  8. itm

    itm New Member

    Aug 12, 2001
    London, UK
    Leif did you ever find a solution to this? I've had the same problem with a series of unreliable Sky boxes (I cancelled my Sky contract, so just want a reliable freesat solution). Powering down doesn't help either.

    Please let me know if you found a good freesat box that worked with the Tivo.
  9. tartan_haggis

    tartan_haggis MacTiVo

    Jun 13, 2005
  10. cyril

    cyril Active Member

    Sep 5, 2001
    London UK
    I own/have owned dozens of different sky,skyhd and humax foxsat boxes. Sadly none of them are as reliable as a 10 year old tivo. I advise using a timer that reboots the box each day or each week at 4am.
  11. healeydave

    healeydave from

    Jun 4, 2003
    I have several Tivo's around the house using Freeview and Basic Sky FTA services via non PVR Sky digiboxes.

    I don't use timers, and whilst these might help a bit, in my experience, the sky receivers run for a few years quite reliably.

    Chances are the PSU will need repairing occasionally as the set-top-box market requires the hardware to be so cheap, they do use cheap components that are susceptible to heat and being "always-on" technology.

    Buying a cheap second hand box off ebay would also be my suggestion. Getting a Freesat receiver will only prove more reliable initially because they are new.

    Sky do still do non pvr satellite receivers, so look out for one of those. I have one that's not that old. It has a plastic case that can only be described as being styled on an xbox 360, horrible :)


    Fortunately as the Tivo controls every STB I have in the house, they are always hidden away either behind a TV or in my main room, the sky STB is in a blanket box where my bose subwoofer is also hidden from sight.

    So either stick to the later models or an older style Sky box is would be find if you got it from a trader that refurnishes boxes as they will have probably just repaired the PSU giving it a new lease of life.

    A cheap sky box off ebay will only cost around £15-£30. I imagine a freesat box will be significantly more.

    I certainly wouldn't bother with a PVR freesat if your going to use it with Tivo, that will cost a couple of hundred for duplication of technology your probably not likely to need!

    I have tried Freesat & Sky HD myself, its a waste of time at the moment. BBC HD is a joke, its fine when there is the odd program you want on, but don't expect a regular schedule in HD!
    ITV HD is great for Champ Leagues games as Sport is the best material in HD in my opinion but the majority of the time you will be graced with a banner saying is currently offline.
    Sky HD is not a lot better, its ok for "tv movie" watchers, but if you prefer to watch movies when they are a bit more recent (via the various other methods), then I'm not bothered about watching older movie material in HD when I've already seen it. You've got sky1hd (which at least does run a normal schedule) and the documentary channels are good if your a regular viewer of those.

    I would be happy with HD in the UK, when I turn on all of the regular channels, like all of the BBC's, ITV, CH4, CH5, all of the Five variations, Living channels and Virgin1 etc and their regular schedules are all in HD, until then, its a not particularly useful to me to be honest!
  12. Leif_Davidsen

    Leif_Davidsen Happy UK Tivoer

    Jun 5, 2002
    a small...
    Just to provide an update I have now replaced both of our old Sky boxes with new Bush SD Freesat boxes - Went for the Bush BFSAT02SD from argos as suggested on the TivoCentral site. Only needed the SD box as out CRT TV will hopefully live a few more years. And selected the Bush box as we knew it would work with Tivo.
    The IR sensor seems fairly picky but we have the Wand on Tivo now to ensure fewer problems. Obviously we will be missing Fiver and FiveUS - but had very few season passes for those channels.
    A major motivation for going Freesat was Sky replacing their cards and the need to spend 20 quid on new cards - as opposed to a few more pounds on new hardware.
    The only thing I would have liked is a wider choice of box selection - with only the Tivocentral site listing 2 freesat boxes as supported then that did somewhat restrict choice.
  13. taid

    taid New Member

    Oct 19, 2008

    Probably going the same way (for the same reason) .. When I complained to Sky about the new card scam they suggested I get "freesat from sky" .. didnt say it would cost me c£150 .. Extortion

    Being a bit naif .. will I use the the same aerial & associated LNB gubbins, and do I point it the same position using my existing Sky satellite finder kit?

  14. AMc

    AMc Active Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    East of England
    You shouldn't need to touch your dish, LNB etc. just plug a Freesat box into the same connections on the wall.
  15. taid

    taid New Member

    Oct 19, 2008
    Yup .. did it .. got it .. took a couple of tries to get it to tune itself but now fine except, as Lief says "The IR sensor seems fairly picky "

    funny because it is very sensitive to its own remote .. cover the front of the box and it still works 90% .. but even wiyh the wander IR kit from Tivo still misses sometimes ..

    Strange really 'cos you can see it respond 3 times to Tivo's blast, but sometimes only picks up just one digit .. wonder if the Tivo signal isn't quite right

    Another thing .. Tivo would start my old Sony Sky box after a power cut .. (had to tell Tivo the box was a Grundig for it to work) .. don't think Tivo will start this one up .. is there a similar tweek .. (I have an unmodified Tivo)
  16. Leif_Davidsen

    Leif_Davidsen Happy UK Tivoer

    Jun 5, 2002
    a small...
    I found I had to use the code 20074 on medium speed with the wand taped so that the end is over the area to the right of the green LED. So far still good with no misses

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