Help. A couple questions on a very basic self install...

Chadford

Distinguished Member
I'm visiting a relative soon and for fun (and something to do) whilst I'm there I'd like to muck about putting him a basic Sky box in to see if its of any benefit. He won't be subscribing to Sky. He has clear line of sight of south and the dish (if the kit is of use to him) would be fixed at head height - so no ladders involved.

I've an old Panasonic Sky box kicking about and a new unused dish. He is currently using Freeview for his viewing.

So a few questions...
1) Without a viewing card present, what channels (if any) can you get on a Sky box?
2) I believe you can buy a card for a one off fee of ~£25 to add additional channels is this true? and if so does it add anything of use e.g. any film channels that you can't get on freeview.
3) To align the dish I believe you just need a compass (I've got a good one) and an in-line signal strength meter. Is that it?
4) I'll probably need about >15m cable and a couple of connectors, Can anyone recommend these (and a signal strength meter)? If possible for convenience I'd probably buy from Maplin unless you know better.
5) I've also a Amstrad HD box spare. He wont want FTA HD channels (at the moment), so I'm assuming this box would not offer any benefit over the basic Panasonic Sky box?

Thanks.
 

Stevenage Neil

Well-known Member
I'm visiting a relative soon and for fun (and something to do) whilst I'm there I'd like to muck about putting him a basic Sky box in to see if its of any benefit. He won't be subscribing to Sky. He has clear line of sight of south and the dish (if the kit is of use to him) would be fixed at head height - so no ladders involved.
I commend you for your thoughtfulness.

So a few questions...
1) Without a viewing card present, what channels (if any) can you get on a Sky box?
2) I believe you can buy a card for a one off fee of ~£25 to add additional channels is this true? and if so does it add anything of use e.g. any film channels that you can't get on freeview.
There are literally thousands of posts on this topic which a simple Search can find.


3) To align the dish I believe you just need a compass (I've got a good one) and an in-line signal strength meter. Is that it?
Yes


4) I'll probably need about >15m cable and a couple of connectors, Can anyone recommend these (and a signal strength meter)? If possible for convenience I'd probably buy from Maplin unless you know better.
e-Bay

5) I've also a Amstrad HD box spare. He wont want FTA HD channels (at the moment), so I'm assuming this box would not offer any benefit over the basic Panasonic Sky box?
More upto date software, probably more reliable.
 

logiciel

Moderator
All that S N just said, and to reinforce the point about questions 1 and 2 here is the fixed thread that is meant to avoid the need to ask about it: Free.
Why wouldn't he want free HD channels?:confused:
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
Why wouldn't he want free HD channels?:confused:
He's got two small LCD TVs and in his lounge he has a projector (not HD) fed from Freeview, so he probably wouldn't be bothered about HD until he replaces the projector and he's only going to do that when the bulb goes in it. I suspect he'll get a Humax HD Freesat PVR when that happens as well.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Fair enough, though he'd get the additional BBC HD channel, and there's the reliability issue.
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
Fair enough, though he'd get the additional BBC HD channel, and there's the reliability issue.
I think I'll take both boxes down and just see how it goes. :)

The 'FreeSatFromSky' card seems a very good bet if I sort him out with the rest of the kit for free.

I'm still a little confused over what a Sky/Sky HD box will be able to do without any viewing card at all?
For the purposes of just tinkering, would there be any benefit in taking my viewing card (from my HD box) and plugging that in (unpaired)?

Essentially if I can get something going i.e. temporary cables and an aligned dish and a picture on the screen, then I guess It'll give him the confidence to muck about and cable it in properly to whichever TV he wants after I've gone home and maybe purchase a 'FreeSatFromSky' card.
 

Stevenage Neil

Well-known Member
I'm still a little confused over what a Sky/Sky HD box will be able to do without any viewing card at all?
It will give you the FTA channels as opposed to a FSFS card which give you the additional FTV channels plus the correct regional channel variants, on the EPG.
 

logiciel

Moderator
There's not really much advantage to be had from a FSFS card but I gave you the link to find all about that - here it is again: Free.
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
There's not really much advantage to be had from a FSFS card but I gave you the link to find all about that - here it is again: Free.
Sorry for being thick, I think I'm nearly getting there with this stuff now. Bear with me a little longer... As far as I can see...

1) FTA gives you a bit more choice than Freeview - for stuff you would *actually really* want to watch?
2) FSFS gives you an EPG and a few more channels, but not much else?

So as far as my relative is concerned...
1) I should give him the Amstrad HD box and wire it up to his 28" LCD in his study (big enough to benefit from HD? Hmm maybe)?
2) Don't bother with FSFS unless he really wants an EPG?

:zonked:
 

Broadz

Well-known Member
1) FTA gives you a bit more choice than Freeview - for stuff you would *actually really* want to watch?
Approx 120 channels more than available on Freeview.

2) FSFS gives you an EPG and a few more channels, but not much else?
You get an EPG whether there is a card in the box or not - the Sky EPG. A FreesatfromSky card allows you to watch a handful of FTV channels which aren't FTA so need decrypting - and will also give you local versions of BBC and ITV. But it doesn't do anything to the EPG. It certainly doesn't trim channels you aren't allowed to view from the EPG - just like if you have a Sky subscription but don't subscribe to (say) the Variety Mix - you still see all the channels in the Variety Mix listed in the EPG, you just can't watch them when you select one of those channels.

Why don't you just take your card out of your box to decide whether the channels still available to you will do for this relative of yours?
 
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Chadford

Distinguished Member
Why don't you just take your card out of your box to decide whether the channels still available to you will do for this relative of yours?
:smashin:


Thought I'd have a muck about in the back garden to get to grips with aligning a dish and to see what the different boxes do (or don't) before visiting. In that way I can check everything works and get a bit of practice aligning a dish (probably on a stepladder sat in a cardboard box - should work, got a good view of south :D).
 

davemurgatroyd2

Distinguished Member
:smashin:


Thought I'd have a muck about in the back garden to get to grips with aligning a dish and to see what the different boxes do (or don't) before visiting. In that way I can check everything works and get a bit of practice aligning a dish (probably on a stepladder sat in a cardboard box - should work, got a good view of south :D).
Try this site for getting alignment details from local landmarks (edges of buildings etc)
Satellite Finder / Dish Pointing Calculator with Google Maps | DishPointer.com
Input postcode, change satellite to 28East and zoom in, move icon to where dish will be located.

Note also finding the satellite relies on gradual adjustment, seeing result if any and adjust again. See this site for further advice on aligning (although intended for caravannerrs it applies equally to fixed installs
Satellite for caravans. (Satellite TV at home and abroad)
 

logiciel

Moderator
1) FTA gives you a bit more choice than Freeview
2) FSFS gives you an EPG and a few more channels, but not much else?
1) I should give him the Amstrad HD box and wire it up to his 28" LCD in his study (big enough to benefit from HD? Hmm maybe)?
2) Don't bother with FSFS unless he really wants an EPG?
Free to air satellite give you far more choice than Freeview which is terrestrial digital TV with many fewer channels - as Broadz estimates.
Sky receivers and Freesat receivers always give you an EPG, while FSFS cards are for the few extra channels.
Give him the HD for reliability as we've said, and for the BBC HD channel, whether or not the HD quality shows.
Don't bother with FSFS unless he reallly wants the extra channels - see the link to the fixed thread for details.
Use Dishpointer to get you started in the garden - though I don't get that about the cardboard box. :)
 
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Chadford

Distinguished Member
though I don't get that about the cardboard box. :)
... I've previously aligned a dish using Mrs Cs wicker washing basket as a base to cradle the dish and point out of our bedroom window. This was to test an overnight firmware upgrade (about 15 years ago) when I was employed designing hardware and firmware for a company producing bookmakers screen display systems.
I guess for Sky and testing, a cardboard box should work fine to hold the dish in place for a minute or two. :)
 
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logiciel

Moderator
Post #11 reads that it's YOU in the cardboard box. :laugh:
 
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logiciel

Moderator
I can....get a bit of practice aligning a dish (probably on a stepladder sat in a cardboard box....
People are on stepladders, especially when aligning dishes, and people sit.
So, that's "I" who's on the ladder, and "I" who's in the box.:D
 

Stevenage Neil

Well-known Member
My earlier point was where does Post 7 come into it?
 

logiciel

Moderator
No, it was me getting my numbers wrong - now corrected.
And "aw!" to the photo. :smashin:
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
I've assembled my dish but I'm struggling to find any info on the LNB can you help?

Its a Sharp Sky Quad LNB. It has a rotational adjustment...

It has five positions marked on it (1,2,3,4,5)...


This is set to position 1...


This is set to position 5...


I'm assuming I should set it to position 1. Is that correct?

Thanks.
 

Stevenage Neil

Well-known Member
I'd go for 2, but we are talking fine adjustment here - 1 to 5 should work.
 

davemurgatroyd2

Distinguished Member
It depends on where in the country the dish is to be installed - that is the "skew" adjustment and you adjust it for maximum signal quality. In the UK it will be anything between 2 and 4 - around my location I usually start with 3.
 

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