Has Sky+ got a real problem?

bazjo

Standard Member
I had Sky+ installed a couple of weeks ago and am delighted with it's features BUT the picture is out of focus (some seem to call it "soft" focus, but the text on mine definately appears to be out of focus). It matters not how splendid the system may be if the picture is rotten. I have emailed Sky that I am not satisfied with the installation, but - surprise, surprise - have received no reply after a week.

I now gather from other threads in this and other forums that this is a common (indeed universal with Pace V2) problem, which is being batted around between Sky and Pace.

I have now noticed that the previous frenetic advertising (on both Sky and terrestial TV) for the Sky+ system has gone totally silent. Not only that, but all ads and even references to Sky+ has suddenly disappeared from the latest Sky Magazine!

Does this, and the deep price cuts, indicate that there is some incurable problem with the picture of these SKY+ boxes? How can we get some definitive announcements form Sky/Pace? Is there some investigative journalist out there who can get us an answer?

Barry Joyce
 

Starburst

Novice Member
No journalist, just a very happy SKY+ user for over two years:)

The recent promo campaign had a budget of around £20 million, perhaps the money has been spent so it's back to just website promos.
The recent "price cuts" to £99 were for reconditioned units which had built up over the first two years of the SKY+ service and were sold off under promotional offers to employees of companies who work with SKY. The offer has ended because the stock of recons has been exhausted (for know).
The price cuts last year were the result of the savings made by the new SKY+ design which were passed onto the customers, I expect further drops in price as production increases and SKY+ is supplied by Amstrad.

There is a problem with the version 2 SKY+ which relates to picture focus, this problem also appeared on the PACE TWIN, it is reasonable to assume that both units share common components.
The TWIN was fixed via software and so will the SKY+ but of course PACE can not just send the fix without the full cooperation with SKY who for obvious reasons don't like to admit to faults and fixing "bugs" always seems to create others:)
 

bazjo

Standard Member
Many thanks for the info Starburst. The point is that I would not wish to live with this V2 box unless it can be rectified by a Sky download. But you cannot get this confirmed by Sky, who seem to have erected a series of Chinese walls to prevent their customers communicating with them. They don't answer emails, and the only way you can speak to a human is via an - often long - 0870 number (free to Sky, national rate to customer). And you can't get a straight answer from them even then.

I accept what you say about the ad campaign, but this doesn't explain why they have expunged all Sky+ ads in their own magazine. Where there have been 10 or more ads for several months now, it looks to me as if they have been replaced at short notice.

No doubt all will become clear in due course....
 

Starburst

Novice Member
They will never officially admit there is a serious problem, otherwise EVERY user would demand compensation and would win any court case since that was brought. The cost in subscription (SKY+ and Package) refunds would run into millions plus the bad publicity would hurt SKY a great deal, no company admits to a problem if they can keep their heads down and fix it.
It will happen but exactly when is anyones guess.
If the problem is serious enough for it to ruin the viewing experience then you have no option but to return it as unfit for it's purpose and demand a full refund.

SKY+ in it's early life had very little promotion anywhere and I agree that you would expect a centre spread with the SKY+ details in the SKY mag and all you get this month is a single page and that without any prices.
Perhaps they are backing off for a few months to give them time to process the orders from the recent promotion as installs dates as reported are running into next month or perhaps they are waiting for a fix to the picture problems with some version2 boxes.
 

potshot

Well-known Member
I have a fantastic picture with my sky+ box.
 
X

xyznicko

Guest
The Skyplus advertising campaign was to coincide with the run up to christmas when everyone is spending money, obviously this has now stopped.

The out of focus picture is due to the way icons(FF,REWIND,PAUSE) are overlaid on first layer video (Pace explanation), it will be corrected by download.

Those who think the picture looks alright should probably get their eyes checked:D
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Originally posted by bazjo
the only way you can speak to a human is via an - often long - 0870 number (free to Sky, national rate to customer). And you can't get a straight answer from them even then.
Sky will be earning at least 2p per minute from 0870 calls, and as big player probably more than double that if not more.

StooMonster
 

potshot

Well-known Member
Maybe its because I have a good TV that converts signals into pal progressive scan instead of pal interlaced. But I have not got any blurring. I am fussy when it comes to tv pictures and I would of noticed any blurring, but if a download will improve the picture I don't mind. When is the download going to happen. When friends come round they say thats the best picture they have ever seen on tv.
 
X

xyznicko

Guest
You don't say whether yours is a V1 or V2 Skyplus, if its a V1 these are unaffected by blurring and have a superb picture.
The blurring can best be noticed on screens of text such as Sky sports news(the focus varies from line to line).

Pace have already sent the fix to Sky to include in a download, I have heard a rumour that one is due in mid february, but its only a rumour.
 
D

derekduvalle

Guest
I am on my 4th Pace Sky+ box, v2, installed on the 20th December 03.
The 1st would not record properly, the 2nd & 3rd lasted a couple of weeks and then died completely. The current one was replaced with a recon. box and then re-replaced with another "brand new" (still sealed), 2 days later ( so i suppose that i have had 5 boxes then) after i complained to Sky that i didn't pay £250 for equipement only to have it replaced by 2nd hand goods. They kept sayimg that the "terms & conditions" state that they can replace it with a recon. unit, but i told them that i contacted trading standards who stated that that is not correct, they must give me a new one.
Anyway this one has also died, it is stuck in the OFF mode, little red light on the power button on.
I have done all the reboot things Sky tell me to do but its a no go.
I am now waiting for another engineer to replace it again.
This time Sky are sending a VIP engineer ??, probably a normal engineer in fancy clothes to try to rectify the problem.
At the moment i have plugged my old Panasonic non sky+ box in and i am getting no problems at all.
 

StooMonster

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Northerner
Mine installed early December last year - how do I tell what version it is:confused:
Small white box = v2, black and silver bigger box = v1.

StooMonster
 

bazjo

Standard Member
I Thought I'd post to this thread the gist of a telephone call I had a hour or so ago from David ? at Sky in response to letters and emails I sent regarding the blur problem. Thanks to David's call, my confidence in Sky has been considerably improved.

He apologised for the problem which he confirms is known and accepted. The software fix is proving more difficult than expected, and both Sky and Pace are still working on it. They are confident, however, that a software solution will eventually be found.

He confirmed that an Engineer visit would not cure the problem, implying that there is no hardware based solution, and that a replacement V2 box would display the same problem anyway.

I asked what the position would be if, at the end of the day, they were unable to find a software fix - since I wasn't prepared to accept the PQ on a permanent basis. He confirmed that in these circumstances Sky would have to replace the affected boxes, and added "whether or not they were still within the warranty period".

This seems to be a clear and definitive answer. It only remains to hope that they will produce the software solution pdq.
 

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