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20184 posts

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# 18715 21-Jan-2008 12:01
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Hi There!

I have a sony hdd recorder which is pretty good. I can record a channel of sky so long as the decoder is manually set beforehand to the right channel.

We are looking for a solution which would allow us the following:

1) Record 2 or more channels at once, or at least be able to record sky and watch another channel on sky. (Preferably from the
electronic program guide). We would ideally like to be able to record and have it change the tuner channel when it wants to, rather than having to change the channel manually like we do now.
2) We would like 250GB + Storage
3) We would like it to be compatible with the HD Sky will release apparently mid 08

So my questions are:

1) Should I build a HTPC and if so, what components should I purchase that would allow the above to be possible? Esp. the EPG.
2) Does anyone know what connector DVB-S or DVB-T or similar is likely from Sky? What output will they support? HDMI or DVI?
3) Is there a dual channel recorder that will work out of the box?
4) Are HDD recorders that support HDMI in, and HDMI Control?

Any advice Appreciated.

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39 posts


  # 105932 21-Jan-2008 12:24
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From my understanding, to record one sky channel and watch another sky channel or record 2 sky channels etc you need a sky decoder input for each channel.

Currently the only easy way to do this is with MySky as it has 2 tuner cards in the box or something.
So it is pointless at the moment to build a HTPC if that is the main functionality you want you would be better off with mysky, rather than forking out the $20 month to get a second decoder and clutter up your room heaps.

If you just want to be able to set it to change channels and stuff with one sky channel then you can easily do this with a home theatre pc or similar

As for your other questions.. Im sure someone will be along to help you soon :D     

201 posts

Master Geek
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  # 105938 21-Jan-2008 12:51
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AFAIK sky have only announced that they are going HD and not what their decoders will be or their specs. Since their original "announcement" they do seem to have backtracked from a you need to have a HDCP compatible display to just that you need a display with a minimum resolution of 720p. So even the interfaces available on the decoder are up in the air.


what we do know.

There are only two ways to grab two sky channels at once.

1) Use mySky to manage the recording and playback.
2) Use 2 sky decoders which are hooked up to two capture devices.

Since we don't know whether the mySky HD will support HD over analogue cable you may need to find an HDMI/DVI capture device which I'm not aware of at the moment.

So based on the above you could build a HTPC but it may or may not support Sky HD depending whether you can get a capture card to support it.

It is very likely that Sky will use H.264 over DVB-S2 for their HD broadcasts which is supported by some HTPC setups but it will also be encrypted with NDS. I am not currently aware of any working HTPC that is able to decrypt the SkyNZ NDS transmission but this MAY be possible now or in the future.

Any HTPC package that supports H.264 should also support EPG updates from the DVB-S2 signal although MS Media Center does not at this stage even once the H.264 patch for liveTV is released if I understand correctly so you may still be reliant on other EPG  update methods there.

If you want to set up a HTPC which works with sky then by all means do so. At this stage just make sure you have a analogue capture card. Once SkyHD is released then you may or may not be able change your setup to support HD.

If you need the setup to support SkyHD then wait for it to be released and information to come out on whether/how to hook up HTPCs to it before you do anything.

Just as an aside if it is possible to decode SkyNZ HD NDS you would still need two DVB-S2 cards and CAMS with two separate sky cards to do the decoding as all HTPCs need a decrypted signal before they will store the data. Therefore you would need to pay for multiroom for the privilege.

Hope this helps a little.


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  # 105940 21-Jan-2008 13:01
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Thanks for the information, that helped quite a lot. I'll just wait even though its killing me. I guess I could upgrade to mysky in the meantime for the dual recording and epg recording, but it seems it could be a waste since you know sky with thier amazing ability to screw people, won't give you anything for your old box.

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Master Geek
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  # 105941 21-Jan-2008 13:09
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After playing with mySKY I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole. Standard sky works really well with most HTPCs now so I guess it's just how keen you are on guaranteeing your setup will support the new HD box.

As far as dual recording goes if you chuck a DVB-S card into a HTPC you can then watch or record on sky while watching or recording any freeview channel. Personally I find there are very few times I want to watch or record two sky only channels at once so this isn't an issue for me.

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