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Full Sky Functionality with TV Card?

lrevillhendley

Standard Member
Hi All,

I have been looking around these forums and cannot find a definitive answer to my questions.

There seems to be a lot of people using Sky with a TV card such as the Compro Videomate S350. But most people seem to be focusing on just the free SAT.

What I am looking at doing is using a media centre with Windows Media Center and the Compro Videomate S350 WITH a Sky HD subscription with FULL functionality.

By using this system instead of the Sky box, would I be loosing any channels or functionality?

If anybody could provide any insight to this that would be fantastic, even better if you have done something similar and can provide a short review on what you think.

Thank you all so much,

Leon.
 

Stevenage Neil

Distinguished Member
Maybe, probably is, a dumb question but how are you decoding the encrypted channels?
 

lrevillhendley

Standard Member
Not a dumb questions, as I have no idea. I have never done anything like this before which is why I am here. Maybe that is why I could not find this specific answer and you can only get the Sky Free SAT via a TV Card?

I really like the benefits of using a media centre PC, it is an all-in-one solution inluding DVD/Blue Ray/Downloaded Material/Music Player/Gaming Machine/etc and it ensures unlimited space for recording TV.

Maybe it cannot be done? Any more insight would be great.

Thank you,

Leon.
 

Stevenage Neil

Distinguished Member
A TV PC PCI card, (I got confused with a Sky subscription card), will give you all the Free to Air channels from wherever your satellite dish is pointing.
 

lrevillhendley

Standard Member
I think we are getting a little confused. I do not want to view the Free to Air channels. I will be paying for a sky subscription, but instead of viewing them through my Sky Box I would like to view them using my Media PC. Is this possible?

Thank you,

Leon.
 

AndyCob

Well-known Member
I looked into doing this with a PC solution a long time ago and it is sort of possible but there is a major issue that will cause you a problem and make it impractical. For example there are or at least were (this may no longer be possible after the last change of Sky cards) PC sat tuner cards that have conditional access slots that can take an appropriate CAM (conditional access module) that with the right hacked firmware can read a Sky card and decrypt as if they were a Sky box.

The problem that means you can't do this longterm instead of a sky box and will always need a Sky box as well as there is some sort of keep alive signal sent over the Sky broadcast that needs to be applied to the card by the Sky box periodically or the card shuts down. So even if you could actually do what you want after a certain period if you don't return the card to an actual Sky box so the keep alive signal is rejistered the card stops working.
 
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logiciel

Moderator
I was confused too about what type of card you were referring to.
As far as I know there is no way of using a Sky subscription card in conjunction with a satellite tuner in a computer.
 

Smurkenstein

Active Member
I think it can be done, something like this

> Thomson Sky HD > Component > HD PVR > PC > Windows Media Player (Vista/Win7) > DVB Link Plug In and some sort of IR sender

This can

1] PC controls sky box / PC remote controls sky box
2] PC downoads sky program guide and sets up recordings
3] PC timeshifts & records locally & playback
4] HD
5] Windows Media PLayer Interface (which is loads better than the sky interface)

ok..not exactly what you were asking for

I got this working, but good god it was a load of hassle - some of it is quite buggy - randomly hangs - huge problems setting up the IR sender - I wouldn't recommend
 

AndyCob

Well-known Member
I was confused too about what type of card you were referring to.
As far as I know there is no way of using a Sky subscription card in conjunction with a satellite tuner in a computer.

I meant the actual Sky subcription card you insert in the box, when these changed from the old blue to the newer white cards I seem to remember the old CAM of CAM firmware no longer worked with the new cards making the whole PC based Sky setup no longer possible.

But it certainly WAS possible once, I know I found a how to guide back when I was looking into it, I even still have the link for one and the page is still there, here: Article : Sky / MCE Integration

though this old one shows a lot of limitations, no HD, just one tuner etc, I never bothered with it but the idea was right.

However this is now way out of date so don't get your hopes up. If I remember correctly the old Dragon T-Rex cams are no longer available and the change to the newer white sky sub cards from the old blue ones stopped the whole setup from working, though it may be someone has since found a way to deal with that. However as I understood it there was no way round the keep alive signal so you would always at the very least have to retunr your Sky card to an actual Sky box periodically to keep the card live.
 
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mattclarkie

Distinguished Member
Why the HD PVR?

There is an option in MC to configure a Set Top Box to do the decryption (Sky Box) and MC uses the HD-PVR to get an HD output from the STB via component (so Thomson box only). You can do it via the RF output but that would be SD only.

The IR blaster can be used by MC to change channel on the STB. But it just isn't worth the work.
 

logiciel

Moderator
I meant the actual Sky subcription card you insert in the box, when these changed from the old blue to the newer white cards I seem to remember the old CAM of CAM firmware no longer worked with the new cards
I know - what I was confused about at first was what card OP was referring to, not what you were!
The old cards were a little more amenable to use than the new, but even the new white ones CAN be made to work outside of a Sky receiver - with too much hassle for the average user to want to take on, as the previous posts demonstrate.
 

davemurgatroyd2

Distinguished Member
There are at least two ways of using Sky viewing cards with satellite tuner cards in PCs.

1 There are satellite tuner cards which have CI connectors to take a CAM. The Diablo 2 CAMs will work with Sky viewing cards on all non-premium channels (i.e. everything except Sky Sports and Sky Movies) but the viewing card would have to be housed in a Sky box overnight every couple of weeks to receive the "keep alive" signal.

2 It is also possible to use a card-reader attached to the PC and using Linux software and a software CAM emulator such as cccam it is possible to view all subscribed channels including premium channels SD and HD (if tuner card is capable of DVB-S2) but whether this is possible using Windows Media Centre and whether cards get the "keep alive" signal I do not know.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Sounds to me too much like "too much hassle for the average user to want to take on". :)
 

logiciel

Moderator
Definitely.
 

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