Using Tivo with Sky and Freeview

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by djb2002, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. Jan 1, 2008 #1 of 23
    djb2002

    djb2002 Member

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    May 1, 2006

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    I have had a TiVo for some time, and have it connected to my Sky box.

    I also have freeview.

    Is it possible for TiVo to record from TiVo and Sky at the same time ?

    Thanks
    Daniel
     
  2. Jan 1, 2008 #2 of 23
    Automan

    Automan Ex TiVo User

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    South...
    Alas no,
    only one at a time plus the freeview box must have a UHF modulator so it can be recorded from the UHF aerial input of Tivo.

    Automan.
     
  3. Jan 1, 2008 #3 of 23
    Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Not Far...
    Of course the OP might merely have been asking if Tivo could support recordings off both a Freeview and a Sky box connected to it at the same time rather than recording a program off each box at the same time.

    If the former the answer is yes but subject to the need for the Freeview box to have an RF modulator or at least for an RF modulator converter to be connected to the Scart output socket of a Freeview box without an RF modulator on board. If the latter then the answer is No.
     
  4. Steve_K

    Steve_K Member

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    Anyone know if I'm right in thinking in this dual set top box mode the TiVo assumes the SCART has to be for the Satellite input and the RF for the Freeview?

    IE you can't have Freeview=SCART, Satellite=RF.
     
  5. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Correct. Which is a bit of a pain given that all Sky boxes have an RF modulator but most Freeview boxes haven't had one since OnDigital box days.

    I have a feeling that someone had found a way to hack this to reverse the setting although as a Sky Freesat box has a lot more useful FTA channels in total (even though you have to put up without Dave, Yesterday and a couple of other channels I can't remember) than a Freeview box I'm not really sure why anyone would want to.

    Also cheap standalone Scart to RF modulators are a bit poor in terms of their signal quality and tend to burn out after a year or so in my experience.
     
  6. TCM2007

    TCM2007 New Member

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    Are their any Freeview channels not available on satellite now?
     
  7. drgeoff

    drgeoff Member

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    Nov 10, 2005
    Yes, there are a few such as Pete77 mentioned that are FTA on Freeview but not available without a sub on the satellite platform.
     
  8. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    They are all available on satellite in some fashion but on satellite they are either encrypted but FTV (requires a valid Sky viewing card but they charge no monthly sub) or are in one of the base pay Sky Mixes.

    The reason is simple. Namely that the narrow Astra 2D beams focused only on the UK are full up and are either very expensive to acquire or subject to a long waiting list so for channels with lower subscription numbers so it makes more sense for channels with few viewers to be broadcast on presumably cheaper encrypted FTV slots on Astra 2A, 2B or 2C on an FTV basis or pay and encrypted so that Sky does not charge the channel for EPG insertion or may even pay them a small amount of monthly income. As the number of BBC/ITV Freesat viewers is still very small compared to Freeview or Sky Freesat viewers the total number of potential viewers lost in relation to advertising revenue is not that large.

    5*, 5USA and Pick Tv (formerly Sky Three) are FTA on Freeview but FTV on satellite and so not available to BBC/ITV Freesat box customers. However Dave, DaveJaVu, Quest, Challenge Tv, Yesterday and Viva are all only available on satellite in a pay base Sky Mix package. C4HD was also FTA on Freeview but still FTV on satellite but I know that BBC/ITV Freesat either does or will have an FTA satellite version available some time around now. Channels that fell under this heading also used to include Sky Sports News which was FTA on Freeview but a pay channel on Freesat but Sky Sports News is no longer broadcast on Freesat.

    The other side of the coin is that there are numerous reasonably decent FTA satellite channels not available on Freeview including CBS Action, CBS Drama, TrueMovies, TrueMovies2, Horror Channel, Movies 4 Men, Movies4Men2 (most with +1 variants), Bloomberg, Euronews, France24, CNBC, Wedding Tv, Horse & Country and numerous music channels that are not available on Freeview. However quite a number of these are not available to BBC/ITV Freesat customers without a lot of faffing around because they are not in the Freesat EPG even though they are FTA - this is because smaller channels are dubious as to whether the BBC/ITV Freesat EPG free is worth paying - this suggests to me BBC/ITV Freesat charges too much for its EPG for channels with very few viewers. Sky News is also in that category on a BBC/ITV Freesat box but not due to viewer numbers but simply because for political reasons Sky is not willing to pay to be in the BBC/ITV Freesat EPG. Sky did state in the past that Sky News broadcast at 28 degrees East would also become encrypted and FTV (to stop non Sky box customers box watching it in the UK) but they have never followed through on this threat. CNBC and Bloomberg both used to be in pay Sky Mixes but are now available to Sky and BBC/ITV Freesat customers as they decided to go fully unencrypted on Astra 28 degrees East during the last couple of years to pick up the extra BBC/ITV Freesat viewers.

    I believe that in due course Astra will improve its ability to focus unencrypted beams only on certain countries or regions in Europe and this will mean more channels will be broadcast on satellite FTV rather than FTA but this means Brits living abroad will not be able to get the channels any more by satellite. I suspect that in the long term Brits abroad anywhere in the world will be able to get British channel live via internet feeds but the broadcasters will try to charge them for the privilege. Whilst VPNs and proxy servers currently find ways around this as internet security tightens and copyright theft legal actions increase I expect it will become almost impossible to watch channels you are not meant to be able to watch in the counry you live in either at all or without making the appropriate subscription payment.
     
  9. Steve_K

    Steve_K Member

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    Thanks Pete for the answers

    Background to my question is I'm trying to use the TiVo to record an ad hoc RF source (usually a CCTV) As my Sky box is a SkyHD I can happily not have TiVo record that but leave it recording suggestions from Freeview. I used to make it think it was seeing Channel 5 via terrestial but actually it was seeing the Ad Hoc source. That option died the microsecond I dialled up AltEPG

    So I was hoping I could fool it that the CCTV was actually the Sky.
    But sadly no

    So I could SCART the CCTV and RF the Freeview but then I'd lose resolution on recorded programmes

    Ah well, sun will still rise tomorrow



    won't it?
     
  10. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Even as one tolerant of BASIC quality recordings from a Sky box via SCART I found myself intolerant of the quality of the output of a Freeview box turned in to RF through a standalone SCART to RF converter. To say that the recording quality is poor is to put it mildly.
     
  11. mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Well it would require getting your hands dirty with hacking, but you could:

    a) swap the sources rf/scart for sky/freeview in mfs
    b) add back in rf analogue channel(s), or change the nonag channel frequency (0) to the one used by the cctv
     
  12. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    While we are on the subject would there also therefore be a way to hack a Tivo to use the VCR SCART socket as the secondary Freeview box source while the Sky box remained connected to the primary AUX SCART socket? My memory though is that there was some sort of hardware based impediment to achieving this.
     
  13. mikerr

    mikerr TiVoCentral.co.uk

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    Tivo can only record from AUX or RF.
    The VCR socket isn't wired as a recoding input.
     
  14. Pete77

    Pete77 New Member

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    Even though it can play back video input from that socket on your TV?

    I suppose this is because it uses some kind of direct bypass arrangement from the VCR SCART to the TV SCART socket and the incoming video does not go through the Tivo MPEG encoder or decoder?
     
  15. drgeoff

    drgeoff Member

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    Nov 10, 2005
    In theory it ought to be possible to have 2 (or even more) RGB video + stereo audio sources daisy chained via their SCART sockets and into the TiVo's AUX SCART *. No hardware mods required only software :). The TiVo would need to have the extra intelligence to 'switch off' (in reality put into standby) the unselected source STBs and take out of standby the selected source. The TiVo STB control stuff already goes some way towards this in that eg it can send the Sky Digibox 'on' signal before the channel digits. However I'm not aware that any part of the TiVo software has any concept of sending an 'off' signal to a STB.

    * eg Freeview STB TV out->Sky Digibox VCR-> and Sky Digibox TV out -> Tivo AUX.
     
  16. drgeoff

    drgeoff Member

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    Nov 10, 2005
    If my memory serves me right (I'm not currently in the mood for extracting the TiVo from the stack and whipping its lid off to check) a TDK AVpro 5003 IC does all the SCART routing business. You can download the datasheet from the link at the bottom of the page at http://www.datasheetcatalog.com/datasheets_pdf/A/V/P/R/AVPRO-5003.shtml.
     
  17. DX30

    DX30 New Member

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    May 22, 2005
    Presumably what would be needed would be to prefix any switch of channel to the Freeview source with a Sky Digibox "off" signal.

    I don't think there is a separate Sky "off" but maybe it could be faked with two button presses by sending "sky" + "power" to the Sky Digibox.
     
  18. Steve_K

    Steve_K Member

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    May 5, 2001
    Sussex, UK
    Cheers may try that.
     
  19. tonywalk

    tonywalk New Member

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    Sep 10, 2002
    Broadbottom,...
    is getting a second TiVo out of the question?
     
  20. Steve_K

    Steve_K Member

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    May 5, 2001
    Sussex, UK
    Not a bad thought thanks and getting one not out of the question but finding space for it might be

    underneath the TV right now are:

    2 Sky boxes
    1 TiVo
    1 BT Vision
    2 Freeviews
    1 media player
    1 unmanaged router
    1 HDMI switch
    1 DVD/HDD recorder
    1 region free DVD player
    hifi unit (do we still call them that?)
    several IR relays so some units can be hidden and all controlled from afar
    miles of spaghetti interconnects
    probably a partridge in a pear tree as well


    All sounds a bit sad and much of it is less than 100% used

    Oh and if I connect another phone the broadband will fall to near dial up speeds.
     

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