12 months with Sky+ the verdict

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Faust, Feb 20, 2005.

  1. Faust

    Faust
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    I have had Sky+ for just twelve months now, Pace V2, and I thought I would offer my comments and experiences of using this PVR. After reading all the negative press regarding the reliability of this product on this and other forums, I was dreading the install and subsequent usage. However, I found the first 9 months of using Sky+ to be pretty trouble free with only an odd failed recording. The same cannot be said for the last three months, where things have gone somewhat haywire. First off I started getting failed recordings with no explanation, or recordings which apparently used up 0% and could not be viewed. After doing a planner rebuild things seem to settle down again, that is until about a month ago. I suddenly started to get one failed recording after another, up to the point where I really could not trust it to record anything, or if it did record I was unable to play the recordings back as I had the 0% used bug, again. At this point I did a complete reformat, clearing everything out and starting again. This seemed to do the trick, as for the last month I have not had one single failed recording or glitch, that is until this morning. I had set Sky+ to copy two films I had recorded to my DVDR before retiring to my bed last night. I checked the DVDR this morning and both films had recorded without a hitch, however, when I tried to watch something else I had recorded on Sky+ I found I could not playback the recorded programme. In fact, after checking I found I could not play any recorded programmes in my Sky+ planner. I could continue to record programmes, but I could not play back anything I was recording. Undaunted, I turned the Sky+ box off at the mains and went about other household chores for an hour or so. When I came back and plugged Sky+ in again I found that the box was back to full working order. In fact, whenever I have had any problems in the past with the box not responding, I have found that if I turn it off for a period of time and come back to it later it almost always cures the problem. This got me thinking, I wonder how many boxes which have been replaced by Sky for one fault or another would have been OK if they too had simply been unplugged and left alone for awhile. As someone else remarked on this forum the other week, modern Hard Drives are simply not that unreliable so as to need replacing at the rate Sky replace the boxes with apparent HD failure. I think a strong finger of suspicion should also be pointed at buggy software. As I said at the beginning of this post, this is my experience and observation of living with Sky+ for twelve months, and is not intended to be a scientific judgement on this product. I would however, be interested to hear what others think on this subject.
     
  2. Roger G Cam

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    I have been posting in this and "another place" for a couple of years on Sky+. I have had one for 3 years now I think.

    In the past I often felt that people reporting problems were probably causing the issues themselves. There was a lot of talk about boxes getting too hot, which was true, but apart from that I ddidn't believe that there were widespread issues. There was rarely anything that you could really point your finger at. We lack information in hard form - the sort of stats that Sky have.

    Since last July the level of failures has risen dramatically. I am quite happy that the sort of posts that I am reading are nothing like anything we saw before that time. There are other problems like banding in Amstrads and Clock failures that are also pretty hard. The new 160 box also has a sound drop out problems which is also waiting for a download. Finally - I am not at all convinced that the planner rebuild does anything useful - if anything it makes things worse!

    Additionally people are reporting that Sky Callcentre staff are frequently admitting that the problem is known about and little comments are popping out - be they gossip - about large management meetings - imminent software downloads etc.

    I think that Sky probably have pretty sophisticated test laboratories. They also have quite advanced tech tools for getting feedback on what is happening in peoples living rooms - I believe they have arrangements with some Customers where, by agreement, they put spy software into peoples boxes - and additionally carry out formal interviews.

    The downloads last July were - so we were told - mainly to fix bugs. But they put in one download and then followed it with another exactly one week later. Since then nothing. I believe that they need to fight to get a slot in the schedule to do their downloads. I also imagine that significant thought and development must go into problem solving.

    So - why haven't they solved the problem yet? What, exactly is that we are waiting for? When they do do the awaited for downloads - will the forums magically fall silent as all the problems are fixed.

    I don't actually have a problem (touch head) although I did do a format recently because of increasing lost space. But from a poll "elsewhere" I suspect that about 40% of Customers are experiencing failures with no accountable reason. Most of those Customers will not know what to do.

    I don't really have a view - but I would love to know what is actually happening inside Sky.

    Roger
     
  3. Wishartd

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    I have just posted a comment in another thread on this very issue. I experienced an almost identical experience to Faust after getting Sky+ in Feb 2004. My problems were supposed to be finally overcome with a replacement box which was installed last week but lo and behold the same failed recordings, 0% saved have started again today. Sky response this time was that it is a software problem which they know about and have been seeking to resolve for some time. Told me I should not have even had an engineer call out as replacing the box does not solve the problem. Sky Rep told me many customers have these problems. I think it is about time Sky acknowledged the problem and stopped selling a service they are unable to deliver. Existing customers should also get compensation for failure to provide service we are paying for. Awaiting Sky's response to my formal complaint.
     
  4. Starburst

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    Biggest problem it seems is that every make an model of SKY+ needs specific software and therefore generates their own style of bugs and faults. Couple that with the highly complex nature of the system and there are so many things that can go wrong and too many times a simple box swap will not be enough.

    Have to be happy that my original SKY+ v1 probably had more testing than anyother model released which might explain it's excellent performance for well over three years.
    I know for sure that when it fails I won't have the confidence in a replacement as I have with this one.
     
  5. Blu Ray

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    Sky+ V1 here for over 2 years. There has not been a single problem that has not been overvcome by an unpulgging of the box and a 'replugging' several minutes later. This 'fix' is not advertized enough, whilst I was away one time my wife rang Sky because of the freezing of the box. Their response was a £65 call out. My response was a 5 minute unplug.
     
  6. wicket

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    I have had my V2 box since Novemeber 2004, it has had failed recordings on a few occasions, froze a couple of times and said it had recorded something but only taken up 0% of the hard drive. When it has froze I have just turned it off and it has been fine. Overall I am well chuffed with the machine and wouldn't be without it.
     
  7. Faust

    Faust
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    I have made comments similar to this on another forum, at the end of the day people do not seem to realise that Sky+ is in effect a computer. Now we all know from experience what can and sometimes does happen with our PC's - yes it freezes when we overload it. How many times do we have to press CTL ALT DEL to ascertain which programme is not responding and pressing end task? I don't think that Sky+ is that much different, which is why simply turning if off for a short while often remedies the situation.
     
  8. KoThreads

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    You guys obviously know Sky + well so as a 5 year Sky sub thinking of getting Sky + can someone tell me if when you unplug the Sky + box is it doing a complete cold start, i.e. no backup capacitors/nicads in the box, and as such are the stories that you lose every thing you have recorded true.

    Cheers
     
  9. Faust

    Faust
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    The only time you would lose what you have recorded is if you were to perform a complete re-format/house keeping, this involves a greater degree of intervention than simply unplugging the box.
     

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