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Can anyone explain the logic at Sky HQ?!

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by PoochJD, Feb 10, 2002.

  1. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    HI,

    I am interested in getting a Sky+ set-top-box, but I seem to have run into a major teething problem with Sky.

    Can someone please explain the logic that Sky Customer Services seems to apply to the purchase of a Sky+ box, because:

    - I can buy the Sky+ box direct from Sky, or if I don't own a Credit/Debit Card (which I don't), then I can get the box from any decent major electronics retailer, and pay cash. (£300)
    - I can also pay for the monthly £10 subscription by Direct Debit, if I don't have a Credit Card.
    - However, for "security reasons", I must pay the £50 installation fee, over the phone, using a Credit/Debit card direct to Sky, and this is the only way of paying for it!!!

    Talk about totally illogical. When I spoke to a rather unhelpful lady called Laura at Sky HQ this morning, (in their Sky+ Enquiries department), she said that I had to pay for the installation by Credit/Debit card for security reasons. The "security reasons" are that Sky want to make certain that the payment is received completely, and upfront before the installation goes ahead. I then asked if I could send a cheque, postal order or cash to cover it, and she said this wasn't possible!

    I asked why, and I was told that the payment needs to be "upfront" (which a Postal Order, cash or cleared cheque would be).

    So, if the payment needs to be "cleared and upfront" for Sky's "security reasons", then why is a Credit or Debit card the only method of payment for the installation?

    It makes no sense that I can pay £300 in cash for the box, and the monthly subscription by DD, but to get the bloody thing installed, I have to have a Credit card! How illogical is that?! :eek:

    Anyone know of any ways around this, or a helpful Sky staff member, who might be able to help me get this sorted out!

    I really want a Sky+ box, but this is just farcical! :mad:

    A rather angry and disappointed,

    Pooch
     
  2. Xeonic

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    I think the simple answer is, you don't! Just find a local, prefably approved, satellite installer in your area. They can do the installation for you, and since they are a shop, you should be able to pay by other methods, including cash.

    Sky aren't the only people who install their systems - in fact before xmas an independent dealer was the only way to get one done within 10 weeks ;)
     
  3. Cable Monkey

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    Possesion of a debit/credit card is a very simple form of credit checking. It shows the owner has succesfully undergone the checks necessary to own one, and provides a simple method of confirming address details by cross referencing the address of the card holder and the installation adress. Other methods of payment may allow a valuable set top to end up abroad where Sky would be unable to maximise revenue from the box.
     
  4. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    Save your money - get a TiVo! :devil: There's no installation fee and you can pay the monthly sub by direct debit (not sure about the lifetime one-off payment though).
     
  5. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    HI,

    Xeonic - thanks for your help! I still don't think it's particularly fair to only allow installation by holders of a credit/debit card, whilst anyone can buy the unit itself. But then again, Sky are a law unto themselves, at the best of times. Wil take-up your advice, and try to locate a decent satellite installer.

    Millhouse - from all the reports I've read, people generally recommend the Sky+ box, rather than a TiVo one. Admittedly, the Sky+ unit would be more appropriate, especially as I already have Sky Digital, and I don't really have room for yet another Set Top Box, as I already have:-

    - VCR
    - DVD Player
    - Sky Digital STB

    Having to make room for a fourth box, simply wouldn't be possible at the moment, whereas a Sky+ box would replace my Sky Digital STB, so I wouldn't have to worry about making more space.

    Finally, if I buy the Sky+ box from an electronics retailer for £300, will a local satellite-systems place be okay to install it for me, or would that really be pi**ing on Sky's little bonfire, so to speak?!

    Pooch
     
  6. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    PoochJD - I guess more people are pushing Sky+ because it's better marketed on the high street than TiVo, which is a shame as TiVo is a more sophisticated device than Sky+ (the only advantage of which IMHO is dual tuners, but with so many repeats being shown these days and the new TiVo software with enhanced conflict management I miss very few programmes). I think though in several magazine articles TiVo (with old software!) has tended to come out on top. Personally with Sky+ I don't like the control the broadcaster has over what you record - for instance if you record PPV programme it is automatically deleted 24 hours after you've watched it! Also, the Sky+ box has the ability to prevent you from fast forwarding through adverts though thankfully Sky have disabled this "feature" (for now!).

    For those who receive Sky through a satellite dish and are contemplating their first PVR then getting Sky+ is a bit of a no brainer, although having lived with a TiVo for several months now I'd have to think long and hard before downgrading to a Sky+. ;)

    Not sure why you think you still need a VCR once you have a PVR (Sky+/TiVo), these days I can live without tapes (I never was a fan of recording using old VCR tech!) although if you have an extensive collection then retaining the VCR is reasonable, and I fully understand your argument about "another box" :)
     
  7. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Morning Millhouse,

    Thanks for your reply! Useful to know!

    1) You said: "The only advantage of which IMHO is dual tuners, but with so many repeats being shown these days and the new TiVo software with enhanced conflict management I miss very few programmes)."
    Alas, a lot of the material I want to record, often clashes, or is on in the middle of the night, which is a real pain in the rectal passage, hence my desire to get a Sky+ box.

    2) "Also, the Sky+ box has the ability to prevent you from fast forwarding through adverts though thankfully Sky have disabled this "feature" (for now!)."
    Since when was this"feature" included, as all the reports I've read, have never ever mentioned this?

    3) "For those who receive Sky through a satellite dish and are contemplating their first PVR then getting Sky+ is a bit of a no brainer."
    Why? Could you please tell me why, in your opinion, you think a TiVo would be better than a Sky+ box? Has anyone seen any websites/magazine articles that compare the two items side-by-side? I don't need TiVo's ability to record material in various speeds, because I will be archiving the stuff I want, within 7 days anyway. (See next paragraph for more info on why.) And I certainly don't have space for another set-top-box device. Plus, I like the idea of being able to watch one digital channel whilst recording another, at the same time with the Sky+ box.

    I have a very large videotape collection, something in the region of 500 actual tapes, of which most are almost 99% full 4-hour tapes. Hence, I have a lot of material, I simply don't want to get rid of, and being a lowly student, can't afford to archive in any other format - at least, for the time being. Also, the size of the hard disk in either the TiVo or Sky+ units are irrelevant to me, as all I want to do is record the stuff I don't want to stay up and video/watch, and then transfer it to video within 7 days.

    Thanks again, and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Pooch
     
  8. Starburst

    Starburst
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    The basic design of SKY+ is based on the american NDS PVR design as such it has capabilities that US advertises would find attractive.
    The HUGE difference is that the ITC and all other UK regulations would not allow any of these features to be used. Mind you it seems this goverment can be bought very cheap nowadays(My named Ben Elton, goodnight) sorry about the slip into politics:)
    The ability to block advert skipping is a non issue for UK residents.
    More info can be found here.....
    www.nds.com/solutions/xtv.html

    3) "For those who receive Sky through a satellite dish and are contemplating their first PVR then getting Sky+ is a bit of a no brainer."

    Heh, My game console is better than yours !!!!
    The TIVO v SKY+ debate is slowly moving in that direction:)
     
  9. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    PoochJD

    1) Fair enough, but bear in mind that these devices are far more intelligent than a traditional VCR and will attempt to overcome conflicts by catching a repeat automatically, and they will change the way you watch TV anyway - a single tuner is not really an issue when you spend most of your time watching recordings from hard disk thereby allowing the PVR to make further recordings on it's single input.

    2) Damn, can't find the original article but as luck would have it today's Register is carrying something similar. Also try here for the future of Sky+ . The no-skip advert has always been present in Sky+ it's just that Sky have had the sense to keep it disabled. I very much doubt there is anything the ITC can do to stop Sky from enabling it if they so wish, from the Register article it would appear as though they have neatly passed the buck to the individual broadcastersl, implying Sky have no control over certain features of Sky+ (hmmm :p )

    3) Sky+ is restricted to sattelite dish owners. TiVo can be used for any broadcast platform (analogue/digital terrestrial, analogue/digital cable, or combinations of both). If you have a sat dish then for convenience I wouold imagine Sky+ was the obvious choice. If you don't have a sat dish and don't want one/can't have one then Sky+ is simply not an option.

    Several technology/gadget mags have in the past covered Sky+ vs. TiVo - from memory T3 and a couple of Hi-Fi mags. I heard that another head-to-head review was due any time now, although based on the old TiVo software unfortunately.

    Although PVR's are not archiving devices it's surprising how quickly you begin to fall behind what is being recorded and I would be surprised if you can keep on top of what these things record... when I come in from work I know I'm going to have about 3 to 4 hours of new recordings waiting for me, a couple of nights out on the larger and there goes a Sunday trying to catch up... :)

    The need to watch one channel while recording another is very, very, rarely an issue with me. However your viewing habits will undoubtedly be different to mine so who knows how vital this really is.

    500 tapes? Blimey! :)
     
  10. Milhouse

    Milhouse
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    Starburst

    Why would the ITC get involved if a broadcaster disabled a feature which permitts a user to skip avertisements? Naturally I, as a viewer, believe they should get involved but I honestly can't see where they would have a legal leg to stand on. :confused:

    Not sure why my comment about Sky+ being a "no brainer" was taken as being a dig (perhaps other comments of mine could have been construed that way!) but I view Sky+ as being limited to the sat market and being the obvious choice for viewers with sattelite dishes, and TiVo having the rest of the market (ie. non sat although it works just fine with sat STB's) to itself (until someone else, Replay perhaps/hopefully, shows up!).

    I do see the TiVo as better than Sky+ from a software perspective, the software in TiVo will take some time to appear on Sky+ (if at all). From a hardware point of view, however, Sky+ is more technically advanced than a TiVo with dual tuners and DD5.1. The latter I can live without, the former I can't as it is what distinguishes the TiVo from everything else.

    They're both very good PVR's - it really is about horses for courses and being well informed. For a Sky+ vs. TiVo comparison, this is reasonably fair and unbiased.

    :D
     
  11. Starburst

    Starburst
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    I don't know or understand the specifics when it comes to commercial broadcasting and the regualtions that limit the field.
    Most of what I know came from a very interesting discussion on "Up All Night" Radio5's late night news and chat show last year where PVR's were discussed in realation to US and UK advertising regulations.
    Advert skipping, targetted downloaded ads via satellite were all discussed, the bottom line being Uk regulations at this moment in time does not allow these abilities to be used.
    Best explanation I can give at the mo, weak though it is:(


    I've got no problem with the TIVO v SKY+ debate on these forums and belive me that phrase I used was no way intended to be insulting to you or anybody else but I also use various other forums and newsgroups and believe me the debate is getting at times silly, stupid almost childish at times:)
     

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