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167 posts

Master Geek

# 32073 10-Apr-2009 20:31
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I have had a MySky HDi box installed since August last year (2008) and have experimented a lot with different configurations and learnt a lot in doing so.  Here are some of the more interesting observations.

Firstly, the box replaced a standard Sky decoder so one of the first problems was the lack of an RF output socket.  I used this to supply an RF feed to a second CRT TV in an upstairs bedroom.  For another $15 per month I was offered Sky Multiroom and could have kept my old decoder and placed it in the bedroom.  However it was not worth my while to spend the extra money because of the infrequency of using the second TV.  Sky offered me a free RF modulator which provides an RF feed from standard composite RCA outlets and I elected to take this although I had to wait five months for one to arrive.  It works pretty well.

The first problem I observed with the new MySky HDi box was that it tended to lock up from time to time.  This got to be quite troublesome, often once but maybe twice per day.  I managed to solve this problem when I observed the heat build up.  Even although the box was installed in a reasonably well ventilated position I noticed the box got rather too warm to the touch, probably because of adjacent equipment that restricted air flow.  When I removed the other adjacent equipment and improved the air flow around it the problem went away.  I have not had a single incident of locking up ever since (6 months now).

So my advice to anyone with the same problem is to try and improve the ventilation around the MySky HDi box by keeping it away from other equipment and making sure there is a good air space around it.  Try and keep the heat build up to a minimum.

The other problem I noticed with the MySky HDi box was that it made too much noise for my liking.  It was noisier than my PC, although admittedly I have gone to some trouble and expense to reduce the noise level of the PC to an acceptable level.  I consider the MySky box to be too noisy for a bedroom, for example, unless the power to it is switched off.

And this leads on to the third problem - power usage.  Too warm implies high power usage.  I got hold of a power meter to discover how much electricity the MySky HDi box uses.  This surprised me:

-  when on, it uses 28 watts
-  when on standby it uses 26 watts.

So placing the box on standby reduces its power usage by a mere 2 watts.  If left on standby 24 hours a day for a whole year it would use (at 20 cents per kilowatt hour) a total of a bit over $45 worth of electricity.  If Sky installs 100 thousand of these boxes they will collectively use, if all are switched on and on standby, almost 3 megawatts of electricity - the output of a smallish power station.

(As an aside, I note in another thread here that someone asked about recording programs when the MySky HDi box is on standby.  The answer is, yes it does still record programs automatically.  It does not have to be left fully on to do this).

I consider the power usage of the My Sky HDi box when on standby to be far too much.  So it gets switched off (at the wall socket) overnight and when not in use.  I asked Sky about this and the response was that "... it does not like being switched off".  There was no explanation offered.  However, after more than six months of switching off I have noticed no adverse impact on the MySky box whatsoever.  And I have another $20 or so play with that would have otherwise gone to my power company.  That makes me feel good.  Smile

So that's about it.  I hope this may be of use to someone.

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137 posts

Master Geek

  # 206801 14-Apr-2009 11:07
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Im Guessing when its in "standby" its still more or less on just not outputting to the tv. I think this is probably done so it can get key updates for the card, Thats probably why sky dosn't like people switching it off, not that it really matters as long as its not off for months, even if it is and the card misses all its updates and locks out you just ring sky for them to reactivate it. Probably still more efficient then my HTPC which uses about 100-160w  when on and about 10w in standby lol

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Uber Geek


# 206804 14-Apr-2009 11:19
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When you talk about it being noisey what do you mean. does it have a fan? Mine is getting installed next week. I too have spent a lot of time and money on making my HTPC quiet so I dont really want to add noise.

I'm thinking of puting it in a ventilated cubboard with a remote sender so I dont have to look at it. (may receiver is silver so this thing will look a little out of place).

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4025 posts

Uber Geek


  # 206805 14-Apr-2009 11:25
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Seems to be the hard drive? Ours when on 'standby' pretty much still appears to be on, hard drive still spins and generates heat.

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Master Geek
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  # 206817 14-Apr-2009 12:27
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I've mine in my bedroom and yes, found it very noisy. Some of it seemed to be vibration, so put little pads under the 'feet' and made sure that the cables weren't touching the back of the cabinet. It did help but its still noisy.

Ended up moving it across the room and now I don't even notice it. Knew a family whose house backed onto Wgtn airport and they never noticed planes landing and taking off ... so perhaps I have just gotten used to the noise when I sleep Tongue out

167 posts

Master Geek

  # 206845 14-Apr-2009 14:28
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The noise to me sounds more like that of a rotating hard drive.  There may be some cooling fan noise in there too.  But either way it's still there on standby and the only way to get rid of it is to turn the device off completely.

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Uber Geek

  # 206922 14-Apr-2009 18:24
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login: The noise to me sounds more like that of a rotating hard drive.  There may be some cooling fan noise in there too.  But either way it's still there on standby and the only way to get rid of it is to turn the device off completely.

If you turn it off completely then you lose the recording and series link function of it, ours have never been turned off. BTW, both of ours get hot, have MySky HDi sandwiched between a AV switcher and a PS3 , never had one lock up, freeze, missed recording or any hiccup.

261 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 207000 15-Apr-2009 09:23
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brentbart: I've mine in my bedroom and yes, found it very noisy. Some of it seemed to be vibration, so put little pads under the 'feet' and made sure that the cables weren't touching the back of the cabinet. It did help but its still noisy. Tongue out

Agree with this, noise from our unit seemed to be related to little pads under the feet not making correct contact with the shelving. Moving the box about a bit seemed to fix in.

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