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415 posts

Ultimate Geek


# 18236 3-Jan-2008 10:04
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Last year we were considering MySky due to the fact we are tired of our old VCR's and tape quality.

A friend then talked us out of it and told us we should build a computer and use Media Center.

Well, we just housesat for them and although I am pretty computer savvy, the whole setup looks complicated and as it is, I accidently (don't know how) made his system not tape the final of America's Next Top Model (something to do with Torrents?).

Also, not having a fully functioning EPG is a big turnoff and constantly having the PC or PVR going all the time.  I also found the changing of channels slow and then all the confusing bits of pieces to do with IR blasters. 

I have read Tonyhuges information on these forums to see the progression of Mysky since its release and just have a few questions.

Has Sky sorted out the buffering thingy majiggy in the firmware, I noticed many MySky users were having problems with this in 2006 seeing it is now 2007/08 - have they made the system better?  Also how does that buffering thingy work, if I say tape a 8:30pm movie on Movies, and then have also set up the following movie on the same channel - does it stop and start - or just keeps recording?  When using a VCR to record, I always allow about 10 mins before and after.  Can't trust the networks.

Currently we have Sky digital in our lounge, and it runs a feed to the master bedroom.  In getting the Mysky I know it has 2 sky channels so that you can record one and watch the other, or record with both and watch standard tv (ie 1,2 &3) via normal UHF.  Do I have the ability to send the other feed, separte to the longe/master bedroom to my kids bedroom ie so that if they want to watch Sky Disney, I can still watch Sky Movies upstairs?  Or would I need a 3rd Decoder?

I am also going to get a DVD recorder as well and am looking at the Pioneer DVR650H 250GB Hard Drive Recorder , so that I can record more channels - I am a big tv addict.  Only thing is, I have no idea how to hook it up to sky and my existing DVD player which has built in amplifier for Surrond Sound.  I am hoping when the Mysky man comes around, he can do it all for me.

I just feel the Media Center PVR idea is still in it's infacny here in NZ, I want something that is easy and  simple.  I don't mind paying for Sky's installation charges as I know it is a good investment with upgrades and supports.  I went through the same thought process when getting Sky Digital (well when it lowered down to about $299 for the install, and have no qualms about paying for Mysky).  I had hoped that Mysky would have come down by now, but oh well, I want ease of use for recording my programs and the ability to record other shows I wouldn't normally make time for.

That is all I can think of for now, any feedback would be muchly appreciated.




"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems" - The Book of Counted Sorrows





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  # 102659 3-Jan-2008 10:55
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kiwipearls: Last year we were considering MySky due to the fact we are tired of our old VCR's and tape quality.

A friend then talked us out of it and told us we should build a computer and use Media Center.

I would forget it unless you have the time+patience+willingness to learn. They can be great, but also a source of frustration, and even worse if you are not at least semi-permanently geeky.

Well, we just housesat for them and although I am pretty computer savvy, the whole setup looks complicated and as it is, I accidently (don't know how) made his system not tape the final of America's Next Top Model (something to do with Torrents?).

Maybe downloading some content from the interweb. This is not a requirement, but can give you lots more content to choose from.

Also, not having a fully functioning EPG is a big turnoff and constantly having the PC or PVR going all the time. I also found the changing of channels slow and then all the confusing bits of pieces to do with IR blasters.

Its cheap and easy to make a silent PC (a $200+ PVR case will have a pretty silent power supply and case fan(s), and other silent fans are cheap as chips these days).

I have read Tonyhuges information on these forums to see the progression of Mysky since its release and just have a few questions.

A freudian slip perhaps? Its Hughes Tongue out

Has Sky sorted out the buffering thingy majiggy in the firmware,

Since I had my MySky replaced, its behaved 100% perfectly almost. Sometimes on rewind, it just pauses, and you have to press play then rewind again. Thats about my only issue with it now, and its too minor to care - im happy if thats the only bug I notice!

I noticed many MySky users were having problems with this in 2006 seeing it is now 2007/08 - have they made the system better? Also how does that buffering thingy work, if I say tape a 8:30pm movie on Movies, and then have also set up the following movie on the same channel - does it stop and start - or just keeps recording? When using a VCR to record, I always allow about 10 mins before and after. Can't trust the networks.

It stops and starts instantaneously, creating two recordings. I have never missed any recordings due to bad timing by Sky.

Currently we have Sky digital in our lounge, and it runs a feed to the master bedroom. In getting the Mysky I know it has 2 sky channels so that you can record one and watch the other, or record with both and watch standard tv (ie 1,2 &3) via normal UHF. Do I have the ability to send the other feed, separte to the longe/master bedroom to my kids bedroom ie so that if they want to watch Sky Disney, I can still watch Sky Movies upstairs? Or would I need a 3rd Decoder?

Seperate decoder needed. The two only work inside that box, outputting to one display.

I am also going to get a DVD recorder as well and am looking at the Pioneer DVR650H 250GB Hard Drive Recorder , so that I can record more channels - I am a big tv addict. Only thing is, I have no idea how to hook it up to sky and my existing DVD player which has built in amplifier for Surrond Sound. I am hoping when the Mysky man comes around, he can do it all for me.

He is unlikely to do that for you. Get a geek friend to help - where do you live? I used to have a regular DVD player hooked up for playing DVDs, with surround sound etc. DVD Recorder was only used with stereo sound. Eventually you start running out of ins+outs on your amp!

I just feel the Media Center PVR idea is still in it's infacny here in NZ, I want something that is easy and simple. I don't mind paying for Sky's installation charges as I know it is a good investment with upgrades and supports. I went through the same thought process when getting Sky Digital (well when it lowered down to about $299 for the install, and have no qualms about paying for Mysky). I had hoped that Mysky would have come down by now, but oh well, I want ease of use for recording my programs and the ability to record other shows I wouldn't normally make time for.

No supported EPG is a huge turn off, but I must say that reven.co.nz's xmltvnz is awesome, and works well 98% of the time. I hear his latest version (donation required to obtain) is twice as good again. I was about to donate and get it, when I decided to abandon my new twin-sat card MCE project and go for MySky.

That is all I can think of for now, any feedback would be muchly appreciated.

Sounds like you have come to the same conclusions I did - its just easier to get MySky IF the features it lacks don't matter to you (ie. need to use external recorder to keep content off the box). The EPG and twin tuner is where this kit really shines.

[CTRL+A & CTRL+INS = no tearsLaughing]







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  # 102661 3-Jan-2008 11:01
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We have had MySky for almost 3 years now, so I can answer all of your questions Smile

I also looked at the MediaPC idea, but the various "homebrew" approaches to getting an EPG working did not appeal.  I just knew that if I put in such a setup, my wife would end up throwing it through the nearest window in frustration.

If you set MySky to record 2 programmes which immediately follow one another, the normal selectable 2 or 5 minutes recording margin does not apply.  MySky starts recording 5 minutes before the first programme, finishes it exactly at the scheduled time, then starts recording the second programme at the scheduled time, and finishes recording it 5 minutes after the scheduled time.

If you are recording both programmes on the same free-to-air channel, everything is sweet, but if you record 2 different free-to-air channels, occasionally you will miss a minute or two, before or after.  This situation almost never occurs with Sky channels as they stick pretty much exactly to their schedules.

Regarding a separate output from a second simultaneously tuned-in channel -- no, that is not possible because MySky has only one decoder.  It records the incoming digital stream from the satellite directly to the Hard Disk and only decodes it when the recorded program is viewed, either live or recorded.

 
 
 
 




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  # 102669 3-Jan-2008 11:33
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Sorry about leaving the 'h' of - I was recalling your name from memory and was too laazy this morning to find your thread.

I built this PC, so I kinda know what is involved in making the PVR.  Just want something easy.  And seeing I booboo'ed my friends system without knowing what I did, I don't want to spend time and hassle learning something.  I think I will leave it for a couple of years.

I am glad that Mysky is working alot better than from what I read on 2006 forum entries.  That relieves my mind a bit and is making the decesion a lot easier.

So my understanding so far is:

The MySky box, has the two tuners/decoder thingys in it?


If I keep the Decoder box I have, I would be able to get the Sky feed off downstairs to the bedroom tv's.  So I can watch something different downstairs as to the main lounge?  That would be like having sky multiroom that they advertise?  Or, does the sky decoder I have, feed into the MySky unit and I would still need another decoder?  Sorry if I don't make sense.  I would just like to be able to have the kids watch something differnt than from the lounge.

Hmmm getting confused reading my own words.

Ok, I guess, if I get Mysky, would I be able to keep the current feed I have going to my bedroom?  Without getting another decoder.  Does it not work the same as the digital decoder I have?  Ie I watch whats playing upstairs? 

If that is not the case, if keeping the digital decoder I have, I can still have it exactly the same and run a feed to my kids bedrooms.  Meaning they can watch disney, and I still upstairs via the Mysky, can still watch any other channel.

Sorry to be a pain in explaining this, but I guess if I commit to Mysky, I want it to be right.

I've been really lucky in the past with Sky guys, where they have hooked up Sky to all my equipment.  So I might play the "oh woe is me, I am just a mere woman" card.  Even if he explains the cables I have to get would be good.  But ya think for $599 install, that sort of thing should be covered.  Just make sense to me.

I would love to get a proper amplifer which I know has more ins and out thingys, but I just got my Toshiba DVD Home Theretre repaired by Toshiba and it should last me another 4 years.  I know there are ways and little device thingys you can get to hook everything up.  But I really do want a HD DVD recorder for burning DVd's and recording more to the hard-drive.  And I still want surrond sound as my Philips TV speaker system vibrates when it is too loud.

I sound technically picky now..lol





"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems" - The Book of Counted Sorrows





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Ultimate Geek


# 102672 3-Jan-2008 11:56
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Well I have to throw the idea of getting Mysky out the window for another year.

I just rang to see if the $599 install can be paid off, like they had for Sky Digital when it came out, and you can't pay it off over 12 months, and we simply don't have $705 dollars up front (we have other committments at the moment).  So we will have to save for that, or we most likely by time that happens will build a PVR.

So now I know why there is hardly any MySky users.




"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems" - The Book of Counted Sorrows





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  # 102730 3-Jan-2008 15:17
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Hey Kiwipearls,

I toyed with the idea of an HTPC but eventually went with Mysky. From our point of view it was a great decision. The user interface is extremely simple and my 4 year old can work it. It hasn't missed a beat and has recorded everything without any problems.

The way the output works: As there is only 1 decoder all outputs output the identical signal on all outputs. So you can only watch a progam you have recorded or a sky channel. The recording is also output on the UHF output. I hope this makes sense.

There might be some price relief later in the year as Sky will introduce Mysky 2. I assume there will be a price difference as the new Mysky 2 is rumoured to have 3 tuners, 180 hours recording, internet connectivity and HDMI. This could mean mysky 1 will be cheaper.

Cheers,

Matt.




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  # 102984 5-Jan-2008 00:14
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From my perspective I can only say that I am very happy with my Dreambox. So far it has worked a treat and performs "mostly" all the same features as a MySky unit. The major differences are that it doesn't have an internal harddisk on the DM500 (which is what I have) so you record everything over the wire to either a desktop, or a NAS Harddisk enclosure (which is what I do). I have it working pefectly on TelstraClear's Cable TV network.  Getting it going on Sky takes the right type of Smartcard.

Doing this is against not only TelstraClear's T&C's, it's also most definatly against Sky's T&C's (however they are allowed to enter your house, or any other house you own or rent whenever they want to check things out, check Clause 11.2 of their T&C's and that is why I am not a Sky subscriber <shudder!>).

That being said once the inital teething problems are overcome (which can take some time depending on how geeky you are) they boxes work well, and my wife / mother in law can drive it.

The up-sides:
1) Raw digital MPEG2 recordings that can be burnt to DVD or played back at your leasure on any media deivce
2) Groovy little box with extremely powerful features so you can also watch Freeview Channel 6 etc + other FTA channels like Impara from Aus.
3) Many of the same features as a mysky but you own the equipment, and can still be used for Freeview etc if you decide to drop sky.

The down-sides:
1) Against the T&C's of both Pay TV providers in NZ.
2) Can be hours of frustration getting the boxes working. But very satisfying when it does work.
3) Streaming over the network isn't everyones cup of tea and there are known issues with streaming to some computers, thats why I recommend people go for a cheapie nas enclosure.
4) Single Tuner so you can't record on one channel, and watch on another.

But for me all out it has cost me $450, $200 for the box, and $100 for a NAS IDE drive enclosure, and $150 for a 320GB disk to go in the enclosure. And a few weeks of my life.... :)

Also, don't listen to me since I am selling the boxes ;)







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  # 103410 7-Jan-2008 18:54
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Thanks for everyone's replies.

I hope that if Sky wants to have more customers using mysky, that they would at least bring in the option to pay off the installation over 12 months.  Not everyone has money up-front for things these days.  they did this when Sky digital was released and I can't understand why they haven't for Mysky.

And seeing we don't have much of a social life, watching movies and recording things, for when we want to watch them would have been the ultimate thing to purchase for 2008.  But we do now have to save up and get our other financial obligations out the way.

MySky 2 seems cool.  Logically, I cannot see the price of it been that much more expenisve (extra tuner and a bit more recording time, hooking to internet easy, HDMI becoming the standard in how we view media)...I always wanted them to have more than 60 hours recording anyways.

So we will be patience, get our dvd recorder first (which we would still need anyways) and slowly, get rid of the vcr players...lol...the dinosaur things that they are..lol

I doubt I will get a Media Center puter made or another PVR as in the Dreambox(which I wouldn't get anyways) unless we win lotto, so until then, Mysky is still the easiest option for us.




"In the real world as in dreams, nothing is quite what it seems" - The Book of Counted Sorrows





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