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1858 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 30555 12-Feb-2009 16:41
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I am looking for suggestions if there is anything productive I can do with a UK Sky Plus box (not HD). The model is an Amstrad model DRX280. Which I think is at least an approximate equivalent of the non-HD MY Sky box here.

We just moved back from the UK, and when we disconnected Sky in the UK they told us that the Sky Plus box was ours to keep (no idea why they are just giving them away but there you go) so we shipped it back. We've got a Sky dish on the roof of our place in Wellington, so I've tried plugging it in as an experiment but just get a long delay then a message that the sattelite cannot be found.

I know that I am not going to get Sky for free or anything like that, and to be honest with you I am probably just going to end up getting Sky switched on anyway - but $599 for a PVR box that B Sky B gives away for free seems like an awful lot. 

So basically I just wanted to know if there is anything productive I can do with the Sky Plus box (a Freeview decoder/PVR maybe)? Or do I just crack it open for parts now?

Any suggestions gratefully received (though the more complicated/outlandish ones will probably require instructions too). I'm not really too concerned if I brick it, so happy to experiment a bit.

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657 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 195576 12-Feb-2009 17:17
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Do you need a doorstop?Cool

I'm afraid there's nothing to connect it too here.

21287 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 195861 14-Feb-2009 23:56
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Sky UK lets you add other channels on their boxes, but I think it still needs to see their home transponder before it will work so unless you can add in the freeview ones, its useless here - give it a try tho, its in services or something, there is some pages if you google for sky uk other channels that show the menu options needed.

Other then that, it wouldnt help to hold a door open much because of the light weight and non wedge shape.


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  Reply # 196349 17-Feb-2009 18:12
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I tried setting one up a while ago (though I can't remember the model), though most of the settings could be changed, there was one important one (possibly symbol rate) that couldn't be changed, but was required to be set to something different for the NZ transponders.

Like people above have said, it's pretty much doorstop material, otherwise find someone moving to the UK and send it back with them.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 196690 19-Feb-2009 13:01
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yes symbol rate is different for the UK over there the sky boxes are set to 2 differnt symbol rates for differnt transponders satellites etc but they can not from memory be changed even in the hidden installation menu the symbol rate is different on one of them by about 500 I think from memory they use 22000 and 27500 whereas sky NZ use 22500

I also looked into bringing a sky+ box back with me from the UK when I looked at this issue I decided against it a shame that the symbol rate cant be changed as it would be an ideal receiver for all the FTA Freeview channels as manual tuning was allowed as long as you had signals with the 22000 / 27500

Its not quite a door stop yet take the cover off and locate the hard drive it is an ATA type and only about 40 GB if it is the original like I had later ones may of had more capacity and use it for storage of MP3 or movies in your PC


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 197207 22-Feb-2009 08:54
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Thanks all for the helpful responses. I've had more of a play around since, and the symbol rate is indeed limited as described by numberonekiwi. So no joy to be had there (and I wasn't even able to find the secret engineers screen).

And while as others have noted its not exactly the right shape for a doorstop (LOL!), my wife is currently using it as a footrest, so it is at least getting some use.

I will likely pull it apart at some stage. It is advertised as an 80gb box, but according to some stuff I have read on the internet, it is actually a 160gb hard drive and Sky only let's you use half of it, they force download other stuff to the other half ("on demand" viewing).

Shame, it would have made an awesome freeview box. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained.


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