Can't get inherited Sky HD box to forget old card

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by JulianL, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. JulianL

    JulianL
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    My mum died in January last year and I inherited her old box. I finally got round to trying to use it as a replacement for my very old 160GB Sky+ box but I just can't get it to forget my late-mother's old viewing card. I've been on the phone to Sky and tried various:

    1) Power-on with backup held down to update system software
    2) Services / Settings / 0 / 0 / 1 / Select / System Reset
    3) Services / Settings / 0 / 0 / 1 / Select / Sky+ Rebuild
    4) Services / Settings / 0 / 0 / 1 / Select / New Install

    After Sky told me that it was a box fault and there was nothing more that they could do I did a few more of the above on my own with no luck. The situation I'm left with right now is that I have the Freesat channels on the box, it still shows my late-mum's viewing card number even though my card is plugged in, and BBC1 and ITV are set to Northwest region (where my mum and dad lived) rather than London where my card is set up for.

    I have a few thoughts on how to proceed and would appreciate any advice from experts:

    1) When I do a "Services / Settings / 0 / 0 / 1 / Select / New Install" it tells me that the callback fails because a modem isn't connected. I've read elsewhere that this is the important part in pairing the new card to the box. I've checked the phone line and cable by plugging in a phone and making a call so everything is definitely live as far as the plug that goes into the Sky box is concerned. I suspect the modem in the box might be faulty but my only other hope is that the Telephone setup in the hidden setup menus shows the phone set as "TONE" and the dialing prefix as "1280". Tone is obviously right but is it possible that the dialing prefix is set wrong and making the box think that there is a modem fault? If so then what should I set it to? I'm on a domestic line with Sky Talk as my provider.

    2) After my mum died I spent some time in the house and wanted the TV available so I called Sky to inform them of her death, cancelled her Sky subscription, and asked them to recode her viewing card for Freesat. I've read from other people trying to get second hand Sky boxes paired that if the previous subscription isn't cancelled properly then the box won't release the old card. Sky tell me that my mums card is definitely cancelled but is it possible that my request to use it for Freesat after my mum died is somehow still keeping her old card alive in some way? If so then what do I do to get the old card really cancelled?

    Any other ideas? I don't want to go back to my old box because it has no HDMI output and the Scart connector on my new TV comes out of the back so I need to use HDMI to wall-mount it.

    - Julian
     
  2. Stevenage Neil

    Stevenage Neil
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    Dialling prefix should be 1470.

    You haven't said if you actually asked Sky to pair your card with the box.
     
  3. JulianL

    JulianL
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    Thanks Neil. I wonder why it was set to that other number.

    Yes, I did ask Sky to pair my card with the box. After they did that while still on the phone to them I then tried to view Sky One as a test to see if the pairing had worked and it hadn't (no access to Sky One). That's when the Sky service rep started talking me through numerous software updates, system resets, sky+ rebuilds, new installs, etc to try and get the pairing to take and finally, after about 2 hours (not hanging on the phone all that time, they left me to do things and called me back to check status) they declared it a box fault.

    I'll give it one more go with 1470 set as the prefix and then, since the box is out of warranty and I have nothing to lose, I'll open it up and see if a connector is loose or if there is anything obvious to indicate a problem with the modem hardware. Failing that vigorous shaking is about all that I can think of to try :)

    - Julian
     
  4. Broadz

    Broadz
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    Card and box don't need pairing for viewing Sky One - as it is not a premium channel. Pairing is only required to view Sky Movies and Sky Sports.
     
  5. Stevenage Neil

    Stevenage Neil
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    I have never come across a box "tied" to a particular card, (not saying it isn't possible though).

    The next obvious question is "What box is it?"
     
  6. anfukf

    anfukf
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    I don't suppose you have left your mum's old card plugged in behind the card flap and you are putting your card in the interactive slot.
     
  7. Stevenage Neil

    Stevenage Neil
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    Excellent suggestion!! :smashin:
     
  8. logiciel

    logiciel
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  9. MartinPickering

    MartinPickering
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    Off-topic but I just wanted to say - on behalf of everyone, that we are sorry about your mum. I hope she had a "good innings".

    Here on Crete the locals say "zoise sas" on the anniversary of someone's death. I'm not sure of its exact meaning but it's something like "may you have a long life" - maybe a celebration of your mum's life and of the fact that you live on. :)

    I have nothing to add to the suggestions above. They look good to me. Is it a Thomson Digibox? I don't recall what HDD capacity they have.
     
  10. Tight Git

    Tight Git
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    Pity JulianL didn't come back to confirm this interesting hypothesis. :(
     
  11. JulianL

    JulianL
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    I didn't mean to abandon the thread, for some reason I stopped getting update notifications until just now but that's not really a good excuse because I should have updated the status. Sorry.

    Anfukf - Would I really be stupid enough to plug my card into the first slot that I saw and not realise that my late mother's card was still in the slot hidden behind the flap? Well, sadly I was that stupid. Unfortunately for some reason I never got notified when you originally posted your suggestion but please accept my belated thanks and congratulations for the correct diagnosis.

    Martin - Thanks for the condolences.

    I'm glad to have got the HD box working but I suspect that it'll end up being a stopgap solution. The EPG is really slow and since I'm not an HD subscriber yet I'm seriously considering the £49 offer for a new 1TB box. It was worth getting this box working though because, even though the EPG is slow, at least it's the new style one with the mini-TV and grouping in the planner for multiple episodes in the same series which are features that I wonder how I did without for so long.

    Thanks to everyone for the help and suggestions.

    - Julian
     
  12. winston2010

    winston2010
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    1280 forces the call to go through BT, in theory, if you are using another telecoms provider on a BT line. I say in theory as often these days it does not do this. You don't need it anyway as it will still call Sky whatever provider you use.
    1470 forces caller display if your line permanently withholds it. Sky need to see that the box is on the line allocated.

    However as you are not subscribing you don't need to connect the phone line at all.
     
  13. logiciel

    logiciel
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    You didn't tell us what machine it is, but it's unlikely that any replacement would work faster in any way.
    There may be some note of a new one for £49 but that's not a fixed figure so if it's a 500gB machine and you want the current 1.5tB or 2tB version the thing to do is simply to ask for it, and if necessary ask again until you get offered it for nothing.
     
  14. JulianL

    JulianL
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    Logiciel - The HD box that I'm using at the moment is a Samsung. The sticker on the back says that it is "Model: HDSKY" which is rather unhelpful, I was expecting to find a numeric model number but I can't. There is a date just below the model number however and it is an April 2009 box so I hope that identifies it sufficiently.

    I'm surprised to hear you say that the new 1TB (actually 1.5TB I believe when the Anytime space is included) is unlikely to work any faster. I spent quite a lot of time last night going through a 22 page thread here from early 2010 when the new 1/1.5TB box was announced and the feedback from that thread was that the EPG was very significantly faster than the boxes that people were upgrading from. Admittedly most seemed to be upgrading from a Thomson box but, given how sluggish the EPG is on the Samsung box that I have, I suspect (hope) that the performance of the Samsung box is similar to the Thomson box that all those posters were talking about in February to May 2010 (the date of the thread that I was looking at).

    Winston2010 - Thanks for the info on phone prefixes, that all makes sense. It does raise one last question that I have about the phone line though.

    I understand that contractually there is no need for me to plug my box into the phone (even if it were possible, it looks like the internal modem is dead), but in the very old days (before Sky boxes could connect to the internet) I seem to remember that there was an issue with Sky Box Office (SBO) in that there was a certain amount of credit stored on the viewing card (about £5) but after that point then the Sky box needed to be able to phone home in order to report its SBO viewing to the billing systems and clear down the charges recorded on the viewing card before it would allow any more movies to be watched. Is this still an issue or can a broadband-connected Sky box now use the internet to report SBO viewing data. If not then do I even need to care now days. With Sky Anytime+ is SBO really relevant anymore? (This is more curiosity on my part and understanding my setup since I've only purchased an SBO movie once in all the time that it's been available.

    Appologies if the above seems a slightly dumb question but my previous box was a 160GB Sky+ box that I got as soon as it came out. I just looked up the release date of my old box in Wikipedia and was amazed to see that it launched in autumn 2004 so, give or take a few months, I've been using the box that I just replaced for 8 years! I really am coming from the dark ages here. Still, I suppose it's a testament to the reliability of my old box.

    - Julian
     
  15. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Yes, that's a pretty good record for the old machine.
    I still have one of those Samsungs with the MySky label and it was always fine when it was in use - no slower or faster than the Thomson that it followed.
    The current 1.5tB - Amstrad aka simply Sky - works exactly the same way as the Samsung - no faster, no slower.
    In fact I don't really know how one machine can actually be faster or slower than another.
    What is there that can work at different speeds?:confused:
    All that I can suggest about those reports of slowness is that the owners all happened to have got one from a bad batch that were simply faulty in some respect.

    The point about the telephone connection is that it is a condition of receiving from Sky a subsidised machine that you have the connection for the first twelve months.
    After that it is entirely up to you whether you have it or not.
    Without it of course you can't access the "interactive services" which are pretty useless anyway.
    Nor can you use the automatic method of ordering extra programmes that have to be paid for separately.
    You can order them by voice call instead but that costs even more.
    As you very sensibly don't want to order them at all there is clearly no need for you to have the connection.
    The new method of connection, through the user's router, is additional, for the Anytime+ service, and doesn't replace the standard direct phone connection.
    HTH - Logi
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  16. JulianL

    JulianL
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    That definitely helps re the phone line. Thanks Logi.

    Re your question, it's a matter of the computing power inside the box, both in terms of the processing speed of the CPU itself and also the memory (amount of RAM and the speed of the RAM) and possibly the bandwidth of the hard drive interface if that was ever a bottleneck for the EPG & menu processing (which I doubt). The other factor would be the efficiency of the software but I suspect that the bigger effect would be the CPU power since the performance of the CPU and memory subsytems in these devices is being driven at breaknet speed by the requirements of the smartphone market, they're basically using the same family of CPUs (the ARM architecture).

    With the new mini-TV EPG I believe that far more (all?) of the EPG listings are now cached on the hard drive in order to allow the user to browse the EPG and see program info while both tuners are doing viewing activities (e.g. one tuner showing the mini TV and the other recording something) so the responsiveness of the EPG should now be entirely down to the power of the computer inside the Sky box and the efficiency of the software and not dependent on any latency on getting data from the satellite downlink.

    - Julian
     
  17. logiciel

    logiciel
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    That's OK and thanks to you for the technical information.
    I've always understood that the full EPG details are stored on the hard drive for immediate access.
    Have the recent small changes in the appearance of the EPG also made some change to that?
    There's been no difference in use of the EPG between my original Thomson, the Samsung, and the current Sky 1.5tB.
    Any commands sent from the remote for any function were and are acted upon immediately.
    It's not clear in what way the differences in speed have an effect in use of the machines.
     
  18. JulianL

    JulianL
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    I've no idea on that one. I'm still waiting (eagerly) for the new EPG to be pushed to my Samsung box.

    I downloaded the latest update to the Sky+ app on my iPad and saw that it has a new feature that allows what seems to be pretty much full control of the Sky box (selecting channels, viewing stuff in the planner, etc) via the network connection but it needs the latest EPG to be running on the box. The in-app help tells be that my box is due to get the update in the next few months but by that time I expect it might be back in a cupboard as a spare and I'll be using a 1TB box for my viewing.

    - Julian
     
  19. logiciel

    logiciel
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    Yes, that's right about this weird "application" thing needing the new EPG.
    Why anyone would want to run their Sky machine that way beats me:confused: but apparently some do;).
     

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