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Just had my Amstrad changed to a Pace and Wow what a difference.

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by gilesy, Jan 27, 2005.

  1. gilesy

    gilesy
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    Just had my Amstrad replaced for a new pace and could instantly see a vast improvement in picture sharpness and quality.Gone has the vertical banding even though the engineer tried to tell me all Sky+ boxes are like that and the volume is now louder even though I had the Amstrad on Max. I am now convinced without doubt the Pace is the superior box picture wise at least.I am now one happy bunny. :clap:
     
  2. Cynthia 7

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    I'm really glad for you gilesy. I have a Pace V2 also and noticed an improvement in picture from the Pace V1 Sky+box.

    It seems unfair that Sky customers can't demand the box of their choice. It would have been sensible of Sky to test sample boxes and choose the manufacturer of the best as their standard box for installation.
     
  3. dothillbenny

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    WELL DONE!!

    I have been suffering with the vertical banding. I've had my Amstrad
    for about 3 months now. I instantly noticed the lack of sharpness
    compared with my old Pace - and noticed the vertical banding
    shortly afterwards ( once you've noticed it it becomes very
    annoying)
    Its working well apart from that but I'm grieved that I've spent £200
    to get inferior picture quality. I've complained a few times and SKY
    eventually admitted that it was a known issue and that a software
    update in Feb. would fix it! Come 1 st Feb. I'll be back on the
    phone again . I do feel a bit daft complaining though because
    sometimes its not that bad - especially during the day when an
    engineer is likely to visit.

    How difficult was it to get SKY to agree to change your box?

    Regards
    Dothillbenny
     
  4. srobbo999

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    You cannot get Sky to agree to swap the Amstrad for a Pace, what they do is send out an engineer and if you are lucky he may have a Pace on the van.

    I complained to Sky in December about the banding, at first they refused to send out an engineer because they said it was a known problem that would be solved in the future by a software update. After much complaining and getting nowhere I sent an email to customer services telling them in no uncertain terms how poor their service was, they replied and sent out an engineer. He was a good bloke, didn't try to fob me off and saw the problem straight away. He had a Pace on the van and when he put it on even he was surprised at the dramatic change in picture quality.

    I would advise you to keep plugging way at Sky, you may get lucky :thumbsup:
     
  5. gilesy

    gilesy
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    dothillbenny Please dont believe a software upgrade will cure your problem I think it wont, pester them now ! it seems if your within 90 days when first fitted they have to replace new with new but after that you can only expect a refurb, I Know what you mean about being picky during the day you have outside light coming in and will eliminate the problem to a high degree but as soon as night comes bang you just feel so annoyed.It totally spoilt my viewing as once I know something is there I'm constantly looking out for it. I was very lucky the day the engineer came out has he had 2 Pace boxes on his van but he told me he ordered 6 boxes for the next day and all of them were Amstrads it really is a lottery. If you cant get a new box and tell them when you first complained only to be fobbed off with this software download fix consider a Pace refurb now I've seen the difference I certainly would.
     
  6. dothillbenny

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    Thanks for responding and taking the trouble to send me a message!
    Are you implying that this is a deliberate ploy by SKY to take me over the 90 day period?
    I wouldn't put it past them - the reponse i got when I rang was most strange -they had me checking my scart lead , reversing the lead , changing settings in setup, and finally after being made to feel like I was the problem a bloke in the technical dept. told me it was a known problem!!! WHY DIDN'T THE 1ST PERSON I SPOKE TO TELL ME THAT!

    Anyway I don't like complaining and its annoyng to feel that I've got to pester
    them and fight my corner on this issue - I've paid them good money for about 8 years. But I won't let it lie - when I'm in the right frame of mind I'll give them a ring.

    cheers
    dothillbenny
     
  7. Starburst

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    There is no reason to assume that the front line CS staff are aware of the problem, infact the term "plausable denial" is quite fitting. If they do not know of a fault they can go around blabbing that's it's SKY's/Amstrads fault which would open them up to compensation etc.

    As for any time limit on getting a new replacement I would assume that since the original fault was reported quickly the ongoing promises of a software fix would negate any SKY imposed limits.
    In fact your patience in waiting for them to supply a fix and putting up with sub-standard hardware should be grounds for compensation.
     
  8. kamza

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    My SKY+ finally got installed yesterday and when the engineer arrived, my first question was Pace or Amstrad?. To be honest I wans't in the least bit surprised when he replied Amstrad...I just hoped that it would be OK.

    Disappointed in the picture quality...very grainy blocky particularly in darker scenes and thats iwth using a £30 IXOS scart! My old 5 year old Pace box (now in the kids room as a multiroom box) gives a far better picture with the cheap free scart cable that came with the Amstrad. Also glad you mentioned the volume issue Gilesy as I too have it turned up to max and my normal terestrial channels are still louder.

    Well pi**ed off with SKY...here's me spent £149 on a box to which I do not have the right to choose. I've been reading these forums for soime time and was well prepared for these problems...SKY customer services here I come!

    Gilesy, how long did you have your box before it got swapped over for a Pace?
     
  9. Starburst

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    Don't forget you can get a full refund within a month or is it 7 days(?) if not fully satisfied. Considering you have the abilty to directly compare two STB's using the same dish/lnb you can automatically counter any of the usual routine CS will go through in trying to put the blame on anything but the Amstrad.
     
  10. kamza

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    Yeah I know Starburst...so glad I went for multiroom.
     
  11. jelly

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    complained to sky about dodgy recordings vertical lines. didnt want to send an engineer out cos of the software upgrade, managed to convince them it wouldnt work so i needed a engineer 9.15 engineer turned up
    first question pace or cramstrad
    answer PACE :clap: :clap: :smashin: :laugh: :laugh: he told me tha i was the 3rd person to ask for a pace today !!!! luckily he had 247 refurb paces in his van so anyone whos expecting a engineer visit to day or tomorrow are in for a pleasent surprise!!!!!! cant comment on pic quality cos my card hasnt been activated yet :suicide: :suicide:
     
  12. gilesy

    gilesy
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    Seems like the word is starting to spread round, Nice that the engineer offers you a choice now. I think anyone who has a problem please try to read up as much as you can on all different threads on this forum and also digital spy so when you do contact Sky CS they know that you are very knowledgable and probably know just as much as them if not more about the surrounding problems, always remain firm but polite and i'm sure everyone will get alot further to solving their issue's. These forums are a superb tool for us I reckon Sky must hate um :laugh:
     
  13. jelly

    jelly
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    well if they didnt send out shoddy stuff wed have nothing to complain about!!!
     
  14. JonStatt

    JonStatt
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    Should we not be concerned by the large number of refurbished Pace boxes that seem to be around? What does that say about Pace reliability?
     
  15. Unlight

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    Well I guess a lot of them could be ones that have come from cancelled subscriptions within the 30 day period, which are working perfectly and always have done.

    I got an Amstrad box fitted 2 weeks ago, and it had awful picture quality. After 2 weeks of moaning and complaining on the phone, they specially sent out a brand new PACE box and its wonderful so far :)
     
  16. jelly

    jelly
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    mine was brand new too he said he needed to get rid of the new ones 1st then start on the refurbs my box is brill pic A+ soundA+ it even changes channel quicker!!!!***** count em five stars
     
  17. Wackojacko32

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    Had Amstrad box for about a week and have noticed the bars, particularly on footie. Rang Sky and they have 'had no reports of similar faults'. Yeah right! Also tried to get me to turn off 100hz mode on my TV as 'this can cause picture problems', but the lines are evident on my old 50 hz set aswell.

    Anyway engineer coming out on Saturday and I 'requested' a pace box, but they couldn't guarantee it. Have said in no uncertain terms that I will cancel if this problem is not sorted on Saturday. Come back NTL all is forgiven.

    Wackojacko32
     
  18. mikehibbert

    mikehibbert
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    Thats the same thing that they told me. Interestingly, they wouldn't get away with this in a different market, can you imagine buying a car and not being told until you pick it up what sort it is?
    They seem to stick with a made up story of "they are built to the same spec". The woman I spoke to came out with that very quickly though, almost as though she has to say it a lot! She then proceeded to tell me that I was the first person to complain!
     
  19. Starburst

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    SKY+ units are built to the same basic spec but the individual components that make the whole are choosen under the direction of the manufacturer, that combined with manufacturing techniques and testing and ongoing development is why there are many different models of SKY+.

    There are problems with a batch (a very big batch) of Amstrad SKY+ units, this may or may not be cured by a software work around but I certainly would not be prepared to accept such a fault without ongoing compensation until the fault is fixed.
    If I was a new customer who was aware of this problem I wouldn't sign off on the installation until the unit had been demonstrated and I was satisified.
     
  20. pajw

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    I'm on my 5th Amstrad box 1 every month since install in October 2004 the picture is :censored: banding, no smooth edges on anything. first they told me my telly was the prob run it on 50hz they said what a load of b :censored: telly is a brand new sony kd32dx200 and 100hz drc is fine on the freeview. I finally got told last nite by customer services I could cancel my agreement and get my £149 back. :) I will be doing this at the weekend and going through an independent as i only want a Pace box and Sky can't guarantee me one.
     
  21. Starburst

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    There is an issue with 100hz scanning but the problem isn't platform dependent, it's all down to the over compression of some channels more than others.

    Glad to hear you are getting a refund, SKY should realise they are doing themselves no favours by continuing to supply hardware that has known faults.
     
  22. Doctor_AB

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    Amstrad SKY+ box for nearly a year. Great picture no problems at all. Remember huge numbers of people out there very satisfied. Sorrry for those with problems but issue is not boxes but failure of CS to fix the problem.
     
  23. mentsugi

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    Guys,
    Be aware that this problem of vertical banding is not confined to Sky+ box's. I have the standard Sky Digibox and had to go through 3 Amstrads which all had vertical banding before cancelling my repair contract and buying a Pace digibox. No bending, better picture, faster response and totally satisfied now :clap:

    P.S. Maybe because the problem is mainly noticeable only on football coverage that this is only the tip of the iceberg???
     
  24. stanleyntl

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    What about complaining directly to Amstrad?
    If SKY aren't forwarding complaints to Amstrad, they may be unaware of hardware problems!
     
  25. Starburst

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    Wouldn't do any harm however SKY are paying Amstrad millions to supply them with SKY+ units so they are not going to ignore problems especially as it costs SKY money to send a guy out to do a box swap and preventing him from doing work that generates revenue.
     
  26. NC11

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    can someone describe the banding problems with the amstrad boxes please?

    i've got one of these for 5 months now and about to change the hdd for a 250gb one.

    would like to try and replace the box before the upgrade... ;)
     
  27. kamza

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    OK guys...need your advice here...

    The Sky engineer was out this morning to replace my Amstrad Sky+ box. As Sky CS had told me, they couldn't guarantee he would bring a Pace box and surprise surprise, when he arrived he was carrying another Amstrad box.

    To be fair he and his boss both admitted I had a point but still was not guaranteed a Pace box as a replacement...can you believe it!

    I know I can cancel within 30 days and if I do I'll get my £149 back but the question is if I do will Sky remove my quad lnb? Hopefully the answer is no leaving me to source a Pace box elsewhere......
     
  28. Wackojacko32

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    Sky engineer came at 8.00 am this morning! Anyway he only had a refurbished box and actually refused to fit it, not that I wanted it, as I had only had Sky a few days. Booked another call for tomorrow for a NEW box replacement.

    Little reluctant to admit that the Amstrad boxes were faulty, tried to tell me my 100 hz telly was 'too good for Sky' but eventually said that there is a resisitor fault and poor software in the boxes but these 'do settle down'.

    He also told me NOT to do planner rebuilds and system resets as these will damage the hard drive, despite what Sky CS may advise. He said the only way to get the space back safely was to have an engineer come out and do a full defrag which will also lose all programs. Of course he didn't tell me how to do it as they might lose the call out fee. They get paid by Sky even if the box is under warranty.

    Report back tomorrow after call.

    Wackojacko32
     
  29. Starburst

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    The 100hz statement has merit but should be more specific, some digital channels do not broadcast at bitrates that are sufficent to allow the extra processing not to highlight/create more errors.
    Nice to know an installer is aware of the actual problem with the hardware and knows enough about the software to point a finger as well, the guy is wasted climbimg a ladder (but only to 30 feet).
    Somehow I doubt the picture problems will "settle down".



    Well that's just wrong:)
    There may be issues with upgraded hard drives (having read posts from people who have done those procedures repeatedly) but has it actually been proved one way or another.
    For those with the original drives intact there is no reason you should not do a Full System Reset to wipe and reset the drive if required and the Planner rebuild is the only practical way to reclaim lost disk space that the OS has not released after a failed recording attempt.



    Interesting....
    Well that is one to keep people paying £65 for nothing or even losing SKY customers, he didn't give you his own number so he could do you this big favour for say £30 cash in hand?
     
  30. Wackojacko32

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    Agreed but he tried to make out the banding was caused by this, but eventually relented.

    I'm not sure he was saying these faults would cause PQ problem as he also mentioned a problem with the HDD spinning continuously, which I had not noticed/reported anyway, and maybe that's what he meant would 'settle down'.

    No, but he will get paid for the callout anyway by Sky.

    Also forgot to mention that my box just went into standby mode of its own accord last night and wouldn't respond. Mains switch off sorted the problem, but the engineer said this was due to the 1 planner rebuild I have done on my HDD.

    If tomorrows box is no better I am back to NTL :rolleyes:

    Wacvkojacko32
     

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