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Glurp
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Topic # 201763 2-Sep-2016 15:17
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Our situation is not typical and I would like to know what others think of it, but first the context:

 

I am not a fan of Sky but the one who pays for it insists on it. I have repeatedly demonstrated what the alternatives are and how much money is being wasted (we rarely watch films, for example), but all to no avail. Anything beyond pressing a single button on the remote is too much of a challenge. There is no point in trying to argue against this; it is just the way it is.

 

Because we have Sky, we watch different channels, but it mainly gets used for the Arts channel, the odd film, and the news. Of the news channels, the only one I don’t have an alternative source for is CNN, and I could probably even find that if I tried. We have UHF and satellites D1, D2 and Intelsat 19, so Freeview, Russia Today, Euronews and France TV are available to us. We can also stream just about anything we want, but a complication of that, apart from the awkwardness of browsing to sites that interest us (most not on apps), is that we are on RBI, so have both a data cap and unreliable broadband. I can download almost anything I want, though, so VOD is not a problem.

 

We still have a very old Sky Pace decoder. The scart/s-video output goes into a Panasonic DVR, which upscales to 1080p for our Sony Bravia TV. We can record anything at the press of a button and keep it forever. The ability to transfer to DVD is also an important part of this equation. Not for me, I hasten to add, but some people just can’t move with the times.

 

Naturally all this is SD, and not even very clear SD but that doesn’t seem to be a factor. What matters in this case is the content, not the quality. It is Good Enough.

 

The films we watch are more likely to be classic and art films rather than blockbusters, so quality isn’t such an issue. The same with most other Sky-sourced content and we do not pay extra for HD. I doubt we would even notice the difference. When I download I do choose 720p or 1080p where available, but HD is not a sales argument for us. The ability to record unrestricted SD and transfer to DVD is more important.

 

What all this means is that we currently have a seriously outdated set-up that meets our needs and works well for us. Today, though, we finally got the Sky letter. They want to arrange an appointment to upgrade us.

 

The thing is, we don’t want to be upgraded. We are perfectly happy with the current set-up and, as paying customers, should we not be able to choose what we want? Do we even have that possibility? That is what I would like opinions on.

 

If we are forced to accept the MySky box, I don’t want to let the installer put it in. He will just make a mess of the complex custom system I have created, incorporating Hauppauge, a computer, HDMI splitters, audio extractors and switches, and a Harmony remote and extra infrared receiver that controls everything, including switching digital audio inputs. If necessary, I can hook it up myself, route the HDMI output through a HDCP stripper, even down-convert it to s-video for the DVR, or if necessary send it to my HD PVR2 for recording, though that adds a layer of complexity I would rather avoid.

 

So what are the possibilities here? Can I just tell them no, thank you?

 

 

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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  Reply # 1621483 2-Sep-2016 15:51
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If you want to continue watching sky in the near future, you will have to have the new box

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  Reply # 1621484 2-Sep-2016 15:55
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You can't say no thank you as in doing so you may delay having all this compressed to buggery mpeg2 muck converted to H.264. With luck all the old boxes should be swapped out by April and the transponders feeding DVB-S2/H.264 soon after.





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  Reply # 1621494 2-Sep-2016 16:39
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As others have posted, you will have to be upgraded as SKY will soon transition to H.264 for transmission and all the old boxes will simply no longer work.

 

Also, they won't allow you to 'self-install' so the tech has to do it. If you have a complex setup, then perhaps strip it back to just the 'basics' (decoder -> TV) before the visit, and you can then reconnect all your devices when they leave.


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  Reply # 1621548 2-Sep-2016 17:32
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Just get them to install the box direct to TV via HDMI so they can set it up then leave.

 

Free to do what you like after that


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  Reply # 1621572 2-Sep-2016 18:16
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I think they have to install the new box to pair it to the card and activate it etc and, as others have posted, you essentially have no choice. I agree that the new boxes aren't as good as the old ones for people with setups like yours. Based on my experience, and what I have read, you will be grinding your teeth in frustration.

 

Of note:

 

  • The SD quality on the analog outputs is, in my experience, materially worse quality than the output on the old boxes.
  • The connection to your Panasonic recorder will still work. However, the new boxes apply CPRM to the recordings, which means that you can no longer burn them to DVD (except using old hard to find CPRM-compliant DVD-RAM disks, of which I only have one).
  • Your ability to record to DVD, which you state is important, is essentially gone - unless you put special hardware between the Sky Box and Panasonic Box (I recommend the Xdimax Grex for analog, but this makes the picture even worse) or the HDCP stripper plus a converter that you mention.
  • You can no longer book recordings on the Sky Box and your Panny and have the Sky box change channels at right time - this feature has been removed.
  • If you are using your Hauppauge to control the box remotely via an IR blaster, it is unlikely to work reliably.

Routing the output through an HDCP stripper is probably your best bet. That's what I planned to do, and might still (I have the equipment), but I'm now so pissed off with Sky I am more likely to cancel instead. If you go this route, consider moving to a HTPC for capture, and a matrix splitter so that you can route the Sky output to either the TV and/or whatever capture solution you go with without having to plug and unplug cables.

 

 


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  Reply # 1621690 2-Sep-2016 22:16
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We were recently upgraded to the new Sky decoder but I insisted the Tech connected it to suit my setup (similar to yours) and not as he wanted to connect it. He finally saw it my way (though I don't think he understood my setup) and everything works the same now as the previous setup so I can still record to the Panasonic Recorder. All about to change now as this week I ditched Sky in favour of Lightbox and others. She who must be obeyed approves.


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  Reply # 1624795 6-Sep-2016 20:36
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I agree with the postings above.

 

Let Sky make the upgrade to a new generation box.

 

Just a Simple Box to Panel installation is all they'll do anyway.

 

 

 

If you want to still record and keep any future Programming from Sky I'd ditch the method you are currently using - Sounds way to complex and cumbersome anyway.

 

 

 

Following this -

 

Best way would be to get yourself a Vu+ Duo or Dreambox receiver. (There are other Breeds out there as well)

 

There's plenty of models or configurations to choose from - Dual Tuners, Quad Tuners Sat/DTT which ever combination you want.

 

Configure the box to communicate with your new Sky card and from then on you can record direct to Hard disk without any losses.

 

Done and Dusted.

 

 

 

There's bound to be plenty of members in this forum that could help you out. Google's your friend !!

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers:

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1624837 6-Sep-2016 22:18
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You can also use any PC to do the same thing as a Vu+ Duo or Dreambox, with the right software.  You need to have a smartcard reader and some DVB-S2 tuners to add to the PC.  I have this working on my MythTV box, and I know it also works with TVHeadend, and probably others like MediaPortal if you want Windows software.  I do not know if the new Sky cards work in older Vu+ or Dreambox boxes, but I would hope that any necessary software updates would be available by now.  I had to make some small changes to my MythTV setup to make my new card work.  The big plus of recording like this is that you get a full digital copy of what Sky has transmitted, not a version reduced in quality by the conversion to analogue.


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  Reply # 1625122 7-Sep-2016 15:31
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JimmyH:

 

I think they have to install the new box to pair it to the card and activate it etc and, as others have posted, you essentially have no choice. I agree that the new boxes aren't as good as the old ones for people with setups like yours. Based on my experience, and what I have read, you will be grinding your teeth in frustration.

 

Of note:

 

  • The SD quality on the analog outputs is, in my experience, materially worse quality than the output on the old boxes.
  • The connection to your Panasonic recorder will still work. However, the new boxes apply CPRM to the recordings, which means that you can no longer burn them to DVD (except using old hard to find CPRM-compliant DVD-RAM disks, of which I only have one).
  • Your ability to record to DVD, which you state is important, is essentially gone - unless you put special hardware between the Sky Box and Panasonic Box (I recommend the Xdimax Grex for analog, but this makes the picture even worse) or the HDCP stripper plus a converter that you mention.
  • You can no longer book recordings on the Sky Box and your Panny and have the Sky box change channels at right time - this feature has been removed.
  • If you are using your Hauppauge to control the box remotely via an IR blaster, it is unlikely to work reliably.

 

The last two statements here from @JimmyH have meant basically the end of my setup at home. Extremely annoying and frustrating. I too previously had the old Pace box, and recorded Sky via PC (analog, with IR blaster to Skybox) successfully for years without issue. The "upgrade" was forced upon me a couple of months ago, and I simply can't get my setup to work any more. I went out and bought an HD PCI-e capture card for the PC, so I could take advantage of the HD output of the new box, and I've tried all sorts of things to get the IR blasting work to change the channel, but it won't work reliably. And without the backup of the sky box changing channels, it's basically dead in the water.

 

I think I'm going to cancel Sky now.

 

 

 

 


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