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1 post

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 30293 9-Mar-2006 11:42
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Fascinating read guys, particularly for a tech numpty like myself.

I have a quesation which you might be able to help me with (and which will also highlight my lack of knowledge).

What chance my UK PVR will give me at least some semblance of functionality here - it's one that worked with Sky in the UK, but I'm guessing I'm going to have some free-to-air and encrypted, receiver etc issues, amongst others....

Throw it away?

187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30310 9-Mar-2006 12:55
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Plug it in and see! Maybe it will work better than ours! When the installer first plugged mine in it spent 10 minutes downloading the software.

Not likely though, really. The smart card has to have the right numbers on it, they know the serial number of the box (internally), the encryption key has to match etc. And they can target specific decoders, as evidenced by pay-per-view.

 
 
 
 


187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30322 9-Mar-2006 13:39
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Wow - this thread has a lot of Views! Must be a lot of interest out there. Or is there a viewbot somewhere?

Enother episode of the TV1 saga: Recorded Darren Brown again last night, and again the end was lost. That's 0 for 2 with that series. I was not using series link - just did one-offs for both programs. Did series link on this one though, and it picked up this Friday's episode. Isn't that a repeat showing of Wednesday's program?

Anyway, the program was scheduled for 25 minutes. The program started 4 minutes into the recording. The recording ended just as he was starting another trick. The total time recorded was 27 minutes. I have overlaps set to 2 and 10 minutes as usual.

Anticipating this problem, I recorded the following program as well. That recording lost the beginning of the program!

And the series link for Joey and Lost has disappeared. Rebooting did not bring them back. Has the series ended? :)

A freind of mine had a program recorded whose title was stored as "..searching"! Adding insult to injury!

Sometimes, when setting a future recording of a TV1 program and series link it, you get one entry with the porogram name and a ..seaarching line as well. Sometimes you don't. I have only seen this on TV1 I think.

Conclusions:

1. You can't rely on MySky to record the full program on TV1. I don't watch it much, so I don't really care. Hope Darren brown doesn't save the best for last! I do record One News off series link. It always starts one minute into the program. Presumably manual recording could be used to catch the entire programs.

2. Trying to catch the end of a TV1 program by recording the next may actually hurt your chances. This applies only to the channels with the ..searching problem. Does not seem to be a problem on TV2, and I do a lot of recording there. Did happen once on Sky Sport.

3. Series link info is entered by humans, and therefore prone to error. Then again, everything that comes out of any computer was entered by humans! As a computer programmer, I know these things. :)

187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30346 9-Mar-2006 14:22
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When you reboot, it can take a while for the EPG to regather itself. This is due to the way the signal is sent from the satellite.

All the channel data (sound, pictures and other info) is multiplexed into a single signal. Each channel gets a speficic proportion of the bandwidth. The proportion assigned to a particular channel determines its quality, with the pay per view channels and the premier movie and sport channels getting more bandwidth than the others.

The Weather Channel and EPG are also multiplexed in as separate channels. (The terminology I use may not be strictly accurate, but it's close enough. If anyone can chime in with the correct terminology, I'd appreciate it.) So for example the Christchurch rain radar map is sent once every 6 seconds, and takes about 2 seconds to transmit. Perhaps there is a continuous loop of the 3 rain radar maps. At any rate, the "downloading" bit takes between 2 and 6 seconds because of this, the variation depending on where within that coninuous loop you happen to tune in.

The same happens with the EPG - it is being continuously streamed in its own (small) channel. It can be a small channel because there is no picture info. I haven't paid attention to the timing of these, but maybe today's listings are repeated every 20 seconds, and tomorrow's listings every minute. Normally you don't notice, as the decoder's EPG is continually updated, even when it is on standy. This is held in transient memory, not on disk, so rebooting or powering off wipes it out. You then have to wait a while for it to regather the info.

If you page through the EPG, you see something interesting. Don't do this soon after a reboot, or you will confuse this with the effect mentioned above. Use the yellow button to page through a day at a time. Notice that the next 2 days come up immediately (as they are kept in memory), but after that there is a delay. Note that 5 days into the future, TV1 and TV2 come up with "no listings available", although the other channels are ok. The same channels that have the ..searching problem.

Note that because the EPG is transmitted as a channel, a tuner is required to receive it. Therefore, the EPG cannot be updated when you are recording two channels at once.

Maybe that helps explain why TV1 recordings get screwed up, especially when you record two programs back to back and use series link. On other channels, eg History Channel, if you record two sequential programs, each one has the full 2 and 10 minute overlap - ie there is 12 minutes of duplicated program material between them.

So on TV1, the first program finishes, and it goes to locate the next episode of the series. Lo and behold, it is not in memory, so it searches for it, waiting for the EPG stream to cycle through. As the other tuner is in use (waiting for the second program to start), it does this in real time, losing program material in the process. As TV1 info takes a long time to stream through, and next week's episode is never available, it gets confused and takes longer. If they try to speed up the EPG gathering by using both tuners, it gets even more complicated. Easy to see how a bug could creep in here!

Another possible explanation is this: Sky has said there are two versions of TV1. Perhaps it is recording both at the same time, and thus using both tuners. When the program finishes, it notices that the file is already on disk, and one overwrites the other in the directory. This could also explain why sometimes there is a ..searching line plus another line for the same TV1 program. Difficult to speculate without knowing more about how they operate.

BTW, I offered my services to Sky as a troubleshooter. They weren't interested.

1 post

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 30352 9-Mar-2006 14:29
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I am very disappointed with MySky. It doesn't record teletext captions as I am deaf and depend on Teletext captions. When I contacted Sky, they said MySky should be able to show captions. I have tried ways to get captions on from recorded programmes but to no vail.

Latyer one Sky technician admiited that MySky hhas a fault that prevents transmission of Teletext and they are trying to get a patch to fix it (technicina warned that it may take a long, long time fore the patch).

I'd be very grateful if anyone can suggest how I can get teletext captions recorded with programmes for my viewing.


1 post

Wannabe Geek


Reply # 30396 9-Mar-2006 22:32
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We've been loving MySky.

Until today.

Around 10am this morning, turned it on to see a blue screen saying "Updating System Software - Do not disconnect from mains supply or signal feed. This may take up to 10 minutes."

Fine.

Came home 4pm, same screen still showing.

Rang Sky, who got me to try a soft reboot (push select and go back buttons simultaneously), no luck, unplug power cable wait 30 seconds, reconnect x3, no luck.

Now have to wait for a technician to come on Saturday to try and fix the problem.

As we have no TV reception other than through the Sky decoder we are now tv-less for at least 2 days.

Has anyone else had this problem since the software update?

187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30401 9-Mar-2006 23:29
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Update? What update? I notice the EPG version has gone up - did that happen today? Mine is ok, and successfully recorded 4 programs between noon and 9pm.

187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30406 10-Mar-2006 00:47
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Overall, I would still recommend MySky for anyone who wants to timeshift tv shows.

I have a VCR and a hard drive recorder - still hooked up and still as functional as ever. I don't use either for timeshifting any more.

I use the hard drive recorder to backup-record some shows that are on 1, 2, 3 and Prime, in case MySky screws up. I salvaged one program from that so far. I also use it for archiving (very little) onto dvd, and for watching dvds. I use the VCR for viewing ancient history.

I use MySky all the time. It is much more responsive than the other two also, in terms of quick and reliable response to remote control actions - play, rewind etc. It is the clear winner.

187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30407 10-Mar-2006 02:12
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I reported yesterday that the ..searchings for Joey and Lost had disappeared... Well, they're back! Proof of reincarnation, perhaps.

245 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


Reply # 30409 10-Mar-2006 07:24
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Hi,

SKY are planning two major updates to MY SKY this week:

1) They're downloading a software update from v104 to v105 which will fix some minor errors, such as the inability to support SKYbet.

2) They're planning a separate change to their EPG that will fix the "..searching" problem when programmes are booked on TV1 and TV2. This problem occurs because SKY transmits 3 copies of the TVNZ channels for regionalisation. The EPG data was configured to use the same series id for each programme across all three services. This meant that if you booked a programme then MY SKY would put one correct entry in the planner and then get stuck searching for the next, because it was on a channel not in the viewer's bouquet. Splitting series IDs should eliminate this problem, but will break existing series links for viewers in the Wellington and South Island regions. (There is a parallel problem series linking on SKY Sports 1,2 and 3 caused by the need to make duplicate services to get around the SKYbet problem. This should go away when the services are reconfigured after the 105 download).

M.

245 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


Reply # 30410 10-Mar-2006 07:53
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dmckee: I am very disappointed with MySky. It doesn't record teletext captions as I am deaf and depend on Teletext captions. When I contacted Sky, they said MySky should be able to show captions. I have tried ways to get captions on from recorded programmes but to no vail.

Latyer one Sky technician admiited that MySky hhas a fault that prevents transmission of Teletext and they are trying to get a patch to fix it (technicina warned that it may take a long, long time fore the patch).

I'd be very grateful if anyone can suggest how I can get teletext captions recorded with programmes for my viewing.



Hi,

You have two problems, display of subtitles and recording of subtitles.

Current versions of MY SKY (104 and 105) have a bug at the operating system level that breaks teletext pass-through. You get teletext the first time you go to TV1, for example, but once you go to another channel and return you won't see it any more. SKY are working towards a fix for this in a proposed April software release.

Recording is more complex. To the best of my knowledge there are two kinds of subtitling - teletext and dvb subtitles. In current software versions teletext cannot be recorded. DVB subtitles can, but the catch is that SKY does not transmit any material with this kind of subtitling.

Sorry,
M.

39 posts

Geek


Reply # 30429 10-Mar-2006 12:06
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Hi manaia ,

You seem quite knowledgable - do you work for Sky? Thanks for the info - it is really good to have ; it seems "official" Sky info like this is very difficult to get.

A question : the update form 104 to 105 will fix the ...searching problem but break your current series links if you are outside Auckland... will this mean we will have to put these links back or is that done automatically.... if it requires user input then really Sky should tell everyone otherwise they will have very disgruntled (well, more disgruntled) customers.


187 posts

Master Geek


Reply # 30445 10-Mar-2006 14:02
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manaia: 2) They're planning a separate change to their EPG that will fix the "..searching" problem when programmes are booked on TV1 and TV2.

Thanks for the info! Good to have something solid to work with!

I assume the breaking of existing series links means the ..searching lines will disappear by themselves, so we need to keep an eye on that and rebook? Or do we need to delete them ourselves and rebook?

I am in Christchurch, and I think both downloads have been received (9.105.14 and 1.0.5XS), and the ..searching lines are still there. So the change you are talking about is a subsequent change to the EPG data itself that is continually streamed? In other words the software to handle it is in place, but the data processed by it has not changed yet?

42 posts

Geek


Reply # 30457 10-Mar-2006 18:11
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manaia: Hi,

SKY are planning two major updates to MY SKY this week:

1) They're downloading a software update from v104 to v105 which will fix some minor errors, such as the inability to support SKYbet.


M.


Pleased to see Sky have there priorities right...... :P

Anyone found a good remote extender. My IR -300 (trans Electric Co) don't work it anymore like it did for my original Sky dig decoder..

245 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 9


Reply # 30481 11-Mar-2006 07:40
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Limerick: Hi manaia ,

You seem quite knowledgable - do you work for Sky? Thanks for the info - it is really good to have ; it seems "official" Sky info like this is very difficult to get.

A question : the update form 104 to 105 will fix the ...searching problem but break your current series links if you are outside Auckland... will this mean we will have to put these links back or is that done automatically.... if it requires user input then really Sky should tell everyone otherwise they will have very disgruntled (well, more disgruntled) customers.



Hi,

I know some people who work there :-). I just think geeks need to be fed.

I think, if you have an existing booking for coro st, for example, you're going to have to manually book the first episode after the change and then hit the green button again to register the new series ID for recording. MY SKY customers in the affected regions should be getting a letter to explain. I haven't seen it so I don't know exactly what's in it. SKY CS have been driving the push to notify affected customers so their PVR team should be able to answer questions on it.

M.

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