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Reply # 28183 10-Feb-2006 17:08
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Jama: Once it is recorded to MySky you can not transfer it off MySky just explaining it for the uneducated.

After all the hard drive is limited in size and storage sooner or later you have to delete something.


I was lead to believe, when I chatted to the sales people, that you can play recorded material via an analogue output and record it onto anther device. Do they have a technique, like that of VHS, that stops this type of dubbing?

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Reply # 28189 10-Feb-2006 19:09
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lyon_rouge:
Jama: Once it is recorded to MySky you can not transfer it off MySky just explaining it for the uneducated.

After all the hard drive is limited in size and storage sooner or later you have to delete something.


I was lead to believe, when I chatted to the sales people, that you can play recorded material via an analogue output and record it onto anther device. Do they have a technique, like that of VHS, that stops this type of dubbing?


Jama is wrong. You *can* transfer from the MySky device (and Sky explicitly allows this, it isn't through some sort of loophole). There are several analogue video & audio outputs and also digital audio out. One plugs a VCR/DVDR into the MySky device, pushes play & record and waits. You can then remove it from the MySky device if you want to.

This *is transfering*. You cannot move the actual files that are stored on the MySky hard drive, but these are encoded, so are worthless off the device anyway. Whether doing this would be faster than the transfer that is possible (which occurs in real-time) is questionable (it depends how fast the MySky decoder can process data).

A PVR like MySky is not intended for long-term storage, it is intended for time-shifting. If you want a long-term storage device, then a DVDR is probably the best current choice. (Just as a DVDR is not well suited for time-shifting, and a PVR, like TiVo or MySky, is the best current choice).

 
 
 
 


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Reply # 28254 12-Feb-2006 12:48
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I found a little annoyance with mysky the other day, when recording a programme on a saturday night on tv2 that runs across 8pm my sky will only record part of it as it lists lotto as a programme therefore effectivly splitting one programme into two to fit around lotto! meaning you have to set mysky record both halfs as it does not do it automatically.

so now i only have half of my programme which is really no use now.

pain in the a**!! but not much i can do about it now..

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Reply # 28255 12-Feb-2006 13:02
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bakermannz: I found a little annoyance with mysky the other day, when recording a programme on a saturday night on tv2 that runs across 8pm my sky will only record part of it as it lists lotto as a programme therefore effectivly splitting one programme into two to fit around lotto! meaning you have to set mysky record both halfs as it does not do it automatically.


This is really TV2's fault, for having Lotto as a separate program inside two other programs. Perhaps it would be possible to use series link to get both parts? IAC, simply setting both to record would avoid this problem (you would end up with two entries in the planner, but on the positive side, you wouldn't have recorded the Lotto program).

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Reply # 28277 13-Feb-2006 07:59
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bakermannz: I found a little annoyance with mysky the other day, when recording a programme on a saturday night on tv2 that runs across 8pm my sky will only record part of it as it lists lotto as a programme therefore effectivly splitting one programme into two to fit around lotto! meaning you have to set mysky record both halfs as it does not do it automatically.

so now i only have half of my programme which is really no use now.

pain in the a**!! but not much i can do about it now..


Does MySky not allow you to record arbitrary start/stop times, i.e. can you only record specific programs from a list? p.s. I've never used one so sorry if this sounds ignorant, I'm still deciding if I should get one.

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Reply # 28295 13-Feb-2006 10:43
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lyon_rouge: Does MySky not allow you to record arbitrary start/stop times, i.e. can you only record specific programs from a list? p.s. I've never used one so sorry if this sounds ignorant, I'm still deciding if I should get one.


Yes, you can do a 'manual' recording, where you set it like you'd set a VCR (channel, date, time, etc). You have to go through a couple of menus to get there (the idea is that you shouldn't have to do this), but it is possible.

BTW, I've done a lot of defending of MySky here, and complaining about it on my blog (I'm not really sure why there's the disparity), but overall, if you're considering it, then my opinion is that if the bugs are worked out (and they do seem to be trying hard to do this) then it's definitely worth it if you watch a reasonable amount of TV. Note that it's not well suited for keeping things long-term, but many people (like me) don't do that anyway.

Whether it's worth getting now while it's expensive (I'm positive if you wait 6 months to a year there'll be significant drops in price at least as 'specials') is another question. Depends how much $600 is worth to you and how much you want to be an early adopter.

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Reply # 28642 16-Feb-2006 16:10
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i think a lot of the problems most people are facing as far as recording goes is the difference between the time the shows air and the time the programme guide says they air.

tv2 is particularly bad at starting shows 2-3 mins later than the should. i have noticed a few times when recording tv2 that the show is not finished when the recording stops, even with the automatic 2minute extra recording at the end.

there is a simple fix though, just go into setup -> recording settings and from there you can change the setting for the start and end buffer for recording. by default it is set on automatic (which is 2mins). i kept it as 2 mins for the start cos your very rarely get a programme that begins early but i did change the end buffer to 5mins so hopefully that will be enough to compensate for tv2's bad schedule!!

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Reply # 28643 16-Feb-2006 16:37
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bakermannz: i think a lot of the problems most people are facing as far as recording goes is the difference between the time the shows air and the time the programme guide says they air.

tv2 is particularly bad at starting shows 2-3 mins later than the should. i have noticed a few times when recording tv2 that the show is not finished when the recording stops, even with the automatic 2minute extra recording at the end.

there is a simple fix though, just go into setup -> recording settings and from there you can change the setting for the start and end buffer for recording. by default it is set on automatic (which is 2mins). i kept it as 2 mins for the start cos your very rarely get a programme that begins early but i did change the end buffer to 5mins so hopefully that will be enough to compensate for tv2's bad schedule!!


Unfortunately, there are many more significant problems than this. Programs that fails to record completely, or that record a few minutes rather than the complete program, for example.

Note that the automatic setting also seems to be faulty, although this could be that the documentation is wrong. The documentation says that it adds an extra two minutes; however, in practice this is not always the case (when I had it set on automatic it was rare that a program had an extra 4 minutes in length). Either the feature is faulty, or automatic actually means something else. Changing the length (mine is now 10 minutes) is certainly worthwhile.

It's hard to justify releasing such a buggy product. Sky should be ashamed.

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Master Geek


Reply # 29525 28-Feb-2006 17:58
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I ordered MySky in November. It was installed Feb 14. I am in Christchurch. My theory on the delay is that they didn't want too many unhappy customers during the teething-in period.

That would also help explain the cost. I had Sky Digital installed when it was $400. As I recall, it was $1500 when it first came out.

Overall, I think MySky is an excellent device and an excellent service, but it is buggy at the moment. The bugginess is not helped by the obvious reluctance on Sky's part to let us know what is really going on. For example, they could tell us about workarounds for known problems, or the boundaries of known problems (ie, under what circumstances they occur).

It is indeed exceptionally easy to record programs, and to record all episodes of a series (sometimes - see below).

The speed of the functions is a welcome relief from Sky digital. Even the Weather Channel downloads (eg isobar map) are faster.

A lot of things are very simple, which I find to be good. I have had a Panasonic hard drive recorder for over two years. MySky offers improvments on many fronts, including the speed of the menu system and the reliability of keystrokes on the remote.

One of the current issues is the series link function. It is a bit unclear as to how this works. For example, 3rd Rock at 6pm weekdays can be series linked, but the repeat showing at 7am tue-sat can not. This is a Sky-only channel, so it is not an issue of receiving the EPG from another outfit.

The series link on some channels (TV1, TV2 and the Sky Sport channels) has some difficulty finding the next episode in the series. On TVNZ, for example, it shows "..searching" instead of the program name. After 3rd Rock is recorded for today, it shows "3rd Rock tomorrow 6pm on Sky 1", and you can request the info bar showing the specific episode contents, time, etc. But when it shows ..searching, it does not say what program it is looking for, what channel, or anything. So you just have to know that 8:30 pm Monday is Desperate Housewives, and hope that it records it. It usually does.

Tip for MySky users: do a soft reboot (hold Go Back and Select on the front panel) if you ever delete a ..searching entry.

So far, all programs I recorded on TV1 have been truncated. I have the overlap set to 2 minutes before and 10 minutes after. One News always started recording at 6:01. Two documentaries on One have had the ends chopped off. The scheduled times were 8:30-9:30. With the overlaps I set, it should record 72 minutes (and usually does on other channels including TV2), but the two docos were both 62 minutes. Neither made it to the credits, so the ends were chopped off.

There is a bug in the playback. If you are playing a recorded program and hit rewind, sometimes it shows the picture paused, but displays the "-x2" or "-x6" to show it is rewinding. To add to the confusion, in the background, it is actually still playing forward!

The only way to get slow motion replay is to go into pause mode, then press and hold the Play button for two seconds. Which means you have to pause two seconds before the part you want to slomo! And you can't slomo backward, or do frame at a time. A glaring deficiency for sports fans, IMO. Presumably they will be adding this sort of feature after the other bugs are cleared up.

You have to press 3 digits to change channel (eg "002" for TV2), but that doesn't bother me as I never change channel! I timeshift everything, as it saves me time and gives me freedom.

In spite of the problems (there are more than I have mentioned), I find it excellent. It will be good when they get the bugs worked out though!

I believe this technology will largely pre-empt the much-touted video on demand.

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Reply # 29531 28-Feb-2006 19:50
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Video on demand is still a long way off, because the bandwidth available (particularly in NZ) is really insufficient. Once sufficient bandwidth is available, it's likely that vod will combine with systems like this. Having many different Box Office channels, as Sky currently does, is a poor system, and vod will replace that, without replacing everything else.

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Master Geek


Reply # 29535 28-Feb-2006 20:27
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It wouldn't be much of a change to MySky to have a Requests List on the BoxOffice page which would list all available programs (by genre, etc). You could then select a movie and it would dial in (as it does now for BoxOffice) and submit the request. It would then add it into one of the Requests channels and add the recording into your personal planner. Of course it could tell you ahead of time when the next available air time would be.

Such a system uses just the existing technology - no extra bandwidth required. As long as you get a day-or-two turnaround, that should be good enough. In other words, sort of video on demand but ordered ahead of time. Might replace some trips to the video store too.

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Master Geek


Reply # 29539 28-Feb-2006 22:53
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Here is something I would be interested to see if others can reproduce.

If I rewind (-x2 or -x6), then hit Play, it does not always play from the point where I hit Play.

For example, in the closing credits of Home and Away (on just seconds before 3 News at 6pm) two people walk across in the background, taking 15 seconds to cross the screen from left to right.

On my other hard drive recorder I can hit rewind when they get just past the sun (in the center of the frame), then hit play when they get back to the left of the sun, then hit rewind when they get to the right of the sun... - you should be able to do this any number of times. I can do this with complete reliability on my Panasonic hard drive recorder. (I have been recording 3 News on it also, in case MySky fails.)

But on MySky, it frequently resumes play several seconds past where I hit play, or several seconds before the spot. So in the example above, during rewind they made it back to the left of the sun but when I hit play they leap back to the right side of the sun, perhaps even to the right of where I hit rewind. Sometimes they leap way back to the left. So the start point for the play is randomly chosen anywhere from -4 seconds to +7 seconds of program time relative to the point where I hit Play.

This is quite annoying as I frequently need to rewind a few seconds and listen to some dialog again, as I keep missing the spot. Similarly frustrating when watching sport, as it makes it difficult to know how far to rewind to see that play again.

Has anyone else noticed this?

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Master Geek


Reply # 29619 2-Mar-2006 02:59
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Recorded another TV1 program today - Darren Brown Trick of the Mind, and again the end was chopped off. Specified 2 minutes overlap at the beginning and 10 at the end, program was scheduled for 25 minutes and 29 minutes were recorded.

That makes it a perfect (perfectly awful) score of 0 for 10.

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Master Geek


Reply # 29722 3-Mar-2006 03:12
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Another tip for MySKy users - If series link does not work on TV1 or TV2, you need to reboot (GoBack+Select on front panel). Do not touch the ..searching lines. If you do delete one for any reason (like to stop recording a series), reboot again. Sounds like early versions of Windows, doesn’t it? :)

When you first choose series link, it may come up with a ..searching line and a proper line. Don’t delete either - just let them be.

I powered mine off once, and it really got confused - really lost its mind. Rebooting as above fixed it. It doesn’t hurt to reboot often. Any time I am unsure about anything, I reboot. Shouldn’t have to, I know, but I just want it to WORK!

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Master Geek


Reply # 29748 3-Mar-2006 11:30
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Here's another interesting tidbit - live pause and rewind don't work at all on the preview channels 0 and 25.

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