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Moving abroad need substitute for Sky+

germalene

Standard Member
Hi all

I am about to purchase a Panasonic TH42PX80B and in about 10 months we are moving to Portugal. I don't want to carry on paying for a Sky subscription to keep my Sky+ facility so am looking for an alternative.

From what I understand a PVR would give similar functions as the Sky+? However I like the idea having 3 kids that if there is a film on I could record it and then copy it to disk so they can watch it whenever, or record a whole series of their favourite progs instead of having them clogging up the memory as I do on my Sky+ at present, only got 21% left for me!! This means getting a HDD dvd recorder.

As I am buying a Panasonic tv I thought it might be best to get a Panny EX77 but have read that it works off the freeview signal in which case can I not use this abroad? Can it not be wired up to the sky box and record from that? My other model I'd lined up in my sights was the Sony RDRHXD870S - can that record from Sky? Portugal is supposed to be getting terrestrial digital tv this year but I'm not going to hold my breath and anyway I'd only want to record English stuff not Brazilian soap operas LOL. There's no guarantee the freeview receiver would work with their signal anyway.

OR....is there such a thing as a freesat box with built in pvr/hdd? Or will I always need a separate PVR and DVD HDD recorder to duplicate what my Sky+ currently does.

OR...I'm not a real tv techy so is there a home cinema system with decent sound and a built in hdd dvd that can record from Sky? (I already have a normal sky box left over from my upgrade to Sky+)

As an aside I don't get freeview where I live at the moment either so anything down that route is no good to me whatsoever, it has to use Sky as a source.

Thanks in advance as this site is great...saved me from a close call with Currys today already! :rotfl:
 

ramjet

Banned
a dvd recorder can record from an external source , such as a sky box or a satellite receiver , but that ties up both the recorder and the sat box , so its not like sky plus which has twin tuners and 2 feeds from your dish and an internal hard drive

and as you say the sony and the panasonic may not record the local channels in portugal which means you would only have the sky or freesat box or similar to watch from , or to record from.

your tv may also not pick up the local channels over there , so would be tied to satellite

one thing you are not grasping at all is that sky and freesat are services for the uk , not for portugal , so you will struggle to get them in portugal from a satellite dish , as they are not meant for there , and so you will probably need a dish close to 2 metres in size , as opposed to the 39cm dish you use at the moment , and you will need a twin or quad feed lnb if you want more than 1 feed ( your sky plus box has 2 feeds , and if you have multiroom they each have their own feeds too ). and the sky plus box needs a subscription to operate

freesat started 2 weeks ago and there is talk of a twin tuner pvr coming out later this year , so that should work as an alternative to sky plus , but those channels are aimed at the uk , so again I must stress you will need a very large dish for use in portugal , and even then you may not get some channels

anyone who thinks they can just move abroad and still get uk tv is being very naive , as they are assuming these sat signals will still reach them no matter where they go , and they also assume they only need a small dish because that is what they are used to in the uk , but go on holiday abroad and you see massive dishes everywhere , especially the bars that have sky on

so yes you may get a freesat pvr later this year , yes you can use other satellite boxes , but the proviso would be having a large dish pointed at 28.2 east and having a twin or quad lnb

yes you can use the dvd recorders and tv with scart leads and connect from a satellite box

but it is unlikely that uk equipment will work in portugal as they probably use a different terrestrial system
 

germalene

Standard Member
a dvd recorder can record from an external source , such as a sky box or a satellite receiver , but that ties up both the recorder and the sat box , so its not like sky plus which has twin tuners and 2 feeds from your dish and an internal hard drive

and as you say the sony and the panasonic may not record the local channels in portugal which means you would only have the sky or freesat box or similar to watch from , or to record from.

your tv may also not pick up the local channels over there , so would be tied to satellite

one thing you are not grasping at all is that sky and freesat are services for the uk , not for portugal , so you will struggle to get them in portugal from a satellite dish , as they are not meant for there , and so you will probably need a dish close to 2 metres in size , as opposed to the 39cm dish you use at the moment , and you will need a twin or quad feed lnb if you want more than 1 feed ( your sky plus box has 2 feeds , and if you have multiroom they each have their own feeds too ). and the sky plus box needs a subscription to operate

freesat started 2 weeks ago and there is talk of a twin tuner pvr coming out later this year , so that should work as an alternative to sky plus , but those channels are aimed at the uk , so again I must stress you will need a very large dish for use in portugal , and even then you may not get some channels

anyone who thinks they can just move abroad and still get uk tv is being very naive , as they are assuming these sat signals will still reach them no matter where they go , and they also assume they only need a small dish because that is what they are used to in the uk , but go on holiday abroad and you see massive dishes everywhere , especially the bars that have sky on

so yes you may get a freesat pvr later this year , yes you can use other satellite boxes , but the proviso would be having a large dish pointed at 28.2 east and having a twin or quad lnb

yes you can use the dvd recorders and tv with scart leads and connect from a satellite box

but it is unlikely that uk equipment will work in portugal as they probably use a different terrestrial system

Thanks for the advice but I'm being far from naive, I already have a quad lnb, all the cabling, connectors, and have contacts there for the installation of a large dish and no you don't need a sky subscription in order to receive it abroad. I know you are being friendly and trying to help me but have no idea why you presumed I thought I could get sky just by taking my kit from here to over there? Is it because I'm female? :rotfl::rotfl: Believe me I have a full grasp of how to get Sky in Portugal and I do think you were being a little presumptious...

My question was which kit can I get that will give me the equivalent functions of my Sky+ as I know to keep it I'd have to pay a minimum of £10 and I don't want to do that so as I said I will be taking my old Sky box....

Oh and also sometimes you can use English freeview boxes to pick up digital terrestrial tv in other countries, it often depends on the make & model however and of course how it is being transmitted. I know many people in Spain that use their UK freeview boxes to pick up Spanish digital tv.
 

ramjet

Banned
if you had said you knew about all this in your opening post then I wouldnt have presumed any lack of satellite knowledge , but as a frequent user of sat sites I know most ppl havent a clue about sat , male or female , and you did say you werent a techy person so that also led me to believe you knew nothing about it and its better to be told beforehand

and yes you DO need a sky subscription to keep a sky plus box working , it wont record or playback without a subscription , and you need the card to get ch4 and ch5 , 5us and fiver and the sky3 channels as they are scrambled on the sky box and will remain so for some time , but may be on freesat by the end of this year

as I said , there will be a suitable twin tuner freesat pvr later this year ( probably by humax ) so hopefully you will have an alternative to a subscription sky plus box in a few months time

I dont think your uk tv or a uk recorder will work in portugal with their systems so you will be tied to whatever sat system you setup

yes the uk digital system is used in spain , but not portugal
 

germalene

Standard Member
Yes I know Sky+ needs a subscription which is why I'm looking for an alternative

When I said I'm not a tv techy forgive me for not being clear but I meant I'm not anal about how good the sound is so would settle for a home cinema system rather than buying an amp/receiver, speakers, hdd recorder separately if I can get a home cinema system with a hdd recorder.

My tv will work in portugal, you just alter the Pal settings. On any tv you will get picture but not sound, older sets you can't change the settings but nearly all new ones you can go into the menu and change the settings.

If I can hook the recorder up to the sky box i will have no issue as I want to record sky, not portuguese channels.

The uk digital system is not used in portugal as they dont have digital terrestrial tv yet so how to state they cant be used is misleading as there is no way you could know yet.

Does this mean to post anything on here you have to state your complete knowledge of everything to get a straight answer?

Thanks anyway...
 

ramjet

Banned
the more info you give the easier it is to answer your questions , which I believe I have done already in my previous posts , but I thought it would help if I told you what was needed for sky reception in portugal ( as you hadnt mentioned knowing about it )

and there are many types of digital freeview , so it may be that they use the uk system , or some other system , as you say we dont know , so cannot foresee what you should buy as it may or may not work , as you intimated in post 1 regarding panasonic only having uk digital freeview


so to recap , at the moment you need your slave single tuner sky box , and its card , to get free channels anywhere in europe ( the switched off card is needed for ftv scrambled channels , like sky3 , channel 4 and channel 5 and a few more ). hopefully these channels will be totally free by the end of the year and so the switched off ( or subscribed card ) may not be needed , but should you want scrambled channels like sky one it will have to be a subscribed card as you probably know already


so yes you can use the panasonic or sony recorders with your existing sky box , or a freesat box , and record using a scart lead from a line input ( line 1 on the sony ). this will tie up the sky box and the recorder , so you cannot watch another channel with this system and will rely on the tuner in your tv and whatever channels it can get


when humax or topfield or some other manufacturers start selling freesat twin tuner pvr,s you will then have an alternative to sky plus , based on the freesat system , and this is probably what you need , but its too early to say as freesat only launched 2 weeks ago and very few receivers are for sale at the moment but expect more as time goes by


hopefully that has answered your questions , and any questions raised by anyone else reading this and looking to a similar move as they may know less than you or I do.

so yes , any recorder will work with your existing single tuner sky box , including the sony and the panasonic. just connect the tv out on the sky box to the input on the recorder using a fully wired scart lead
 

Gavtech

Administrator
Does this mean to post anything on here you have to state your complete knowledge of everything to get a straight answer?

That is an unwise and unnecessary comment.
You may not be techy, but certainly give the appearance of being tetchy.
How could ramjet possibly know you were a woman for example?... and have a presumption that it might make a difference? [ Smilies apart ]
The uk digital system is not used in portugal as they dont have digital terrestrial tv yet so how to state they cant be used is misleading as there is no way you could know yet.

... is to wilfully misunderstand his accurate statement.

ramjet has contributed very significantly on your behalf, and is trying to help you.
Your job - is to try to aid communication so that he can find the best way of doing that.

Miscommunication is bound to occur in such exchanges sometimes.
It is inevitable and allowance should be made for it.
But goodwill also helps... and some care in responses will get you closer to your goal.

To address your question... [ which I see ramjet has already done since I started writing this ] ...yes either the EX77 or the Sony 870 would do the job - but the Sony is probably better suited because of it's more flexible satellite control.
 

germalene

Standard Member
Right, the reason I was being tetchy and rightfully so is that it was stated I was being naive and didn't have a grasp whatsoever of using sky in portugal. At no time did I mention I needed help with sky abroad or anything to do with installation. How would you feel if someone implied you didn't have a clue about something and call you naive when they had absolutely no basis to do so? I did say I understood he was kindly trying to help me.

With regard to gender I would imagine there are very few men who would call themselves germalene. Hey maybe that's me being presumptious ;)

Thanks ramjet for giving me advice on my original question...does anyone know whether the humax will just be a pvr or will there be a dvd recording function? I guess it won't in which case I would still need to go down the route of having a pvr and an hdd dvd recorder.

btw you can't get uk freeview abroad as far as im aware it is only transmitted across the uk but there is a chance the box can pick up other countries digital terrestrial tv just to clarify if I was being at all unclear.
 

ramjet

Banned
I have no idea if you are male , female or martian and I dont care either, neither does your name influence my replies as I have no idea why it was chosen , but many ppl disguise themselves behind various names , including gender names

my replies regarding satellite are borne out over 7 years of dealing with sat questions on sat forums , and managing a few too , so my info was of telling anyone what is involved , not just you , as 99% of the population tend to have no idea about satellite , even in the uk , never mind abroad , so I thought it may help your decision in what to buy , as well as other members here who may read this thread, not just you

pvr,s dont have a dvd recording function and in general never will , so the dvd issue is always separate to a pvr issue , no matter what the platform. some were made in germany but havent taken off due to cost etc so usually you need pvr and also a dvd recorder , as you would with sky

freesat channels can already be received across europe , with the proviso of having a large enough dish , which was what I said in the replies you didnt want me to write. they are general focussed onto the uk but can be received in spain , portugal and continental europe with the right equipment and know how. so many ex-pats living in spain and portugal already receive these freesat channels , as many solutions exist , the simplest being a great big dish and a digital satellite receiver

you can already buy single tuner satellite pvr,s like the dreambox , ipbox , technomate 9100 , or ones that you plug in a usb hard drive like the technomate 3000 , 5000 or 6000 series , but this isnt a sat forum so we wont elaborate. suffice to say my tm9100 digital sat receiver can record to an internal pata hdd drive , and can get freesat as well as many other functions like using a sky card


but for your needs you should consider a dvd recorder and a pvr , preferably a dvd/hdd recorder like the panasonic or sony , and a twin tuner freesat pvr like humax will be bringing out later this year

if you really want the satellite debate to continue , then we can do so on a satellite forum as this isnt the place for it


in the meantime , the sony 870 or 970 will normally control your existing sky box using guideplus and can be used in the uk , and in portugal , assuming you do get that large dish with quad lnb fitted when you are over there
 

germalene

Standard Member
Thank you.

I think there has been a little confusion over freesat/freeview, I was talking about the latter in my last post.

My apologies I must have mis-interpreted your original reply and they way it was written it seemed to me to be directed at me so I'm wrong ok and apologise. :suicide:

Your info about your sat receiver is very helpful. Thank you.

Also learning the fact that pvr's will never have a hdd recording function to dvd is very useful, I now know not to hold out for one to come onto the market. There must be a technical or copyright reason why the two things cannot be merged as it would make sense. Edited to say sorry again just seen you said they didn't take off because of cost...

In case anyone else thinking of moving there is reading this it costs around 500 euros for a dish and installation.
 

ramjet

Banned
thats ok , I am used to giving out too much info on the sat forums where many ppl know less than you or me , so its just habit and not personal. most ppl who ask about it on here have no idea how its done ( the sky engineer did it !! lol ) and many in my own family are clueless when it comes to sky or to satellite in general , so I tend to assume the op knows nothing about it and this has bearing on my answers. I just thought as I know about the subject I should clarify it more for you and others reading this too

I suspect there are issues regarding the combined use of a sat box and a dvd recorder as one unit , so it may be that unless linux comes into greater use the 2 will remain separate boxes whereas we would all like a one box solution , with twin tuners etc too ie:- a pvr/hdd/dvd solution , but its unlikely to happen or will cost too much compared to separate boxes

also read this _http://www.nigelwhitfield.com/v2/article.php?id=47 regarding the no dvd burner issues

in your case and knowing you have the knowledge , you should fit a quad lnb on a big dish over there , possibly motorised , and have your existing single sky box on it , together with a sony or panasonic hdd/dvd recorder , that is good over here right now and should be useful over there later

and then when freesat kicks in get a twin tuner pvr as well , connect it to the quad lnb and you will then have 3 tuners , various recording options , watching options , and a dvd player as well from your recorder

this will allow you to record 2 programs and watch a third program , or record 3 programs , or playback dvd or divx , or jpeg pictures or mp3 music , and you can archive onto the dvd recorder anything you want to keep using its line 1 or line 2 input sockets

so if I were you I would buy the sony 870 or 970 and have this working with the sky box , and get a freesat twin tuner pvr at a later date , possibly the HD version

hope that helps
 

germalene

Standard Member
Thanks - excellent, sounds the perfect solution.

The article you posted the link to explains it all great as well, thanks.

I thought the panasonic may be better for me because of the Viera link option but both of you have recommended the Sony, the 870 was my original choice (along with possibly the STR-DG910 amp and some canton movie speakers but that's going off on another tangent!) but I just had been tempted by the one controller.

I have seen the 870 for £185 somewhere online, any advances anyone on a better deal?

G
 

ramjet

Banned
if you havent seen it , check this link for an explanation on lack of dvd burners _http://www.nigelwhitfield.com/v2/article.php?id=47

check the links at the top of the forum for cheap prices on the dvd recorders like the 870 , but £185 is a good price as the lowest I have seen weeks ago was about £178

the reason we mentioned the sony was for 3 reasons

1) it has series link

2) it can control your sky box , turning it over for you using an infra red transmitter

3) it can receive analogue as well as digital freeview


if you dont want the above , the panasonic will work fine with the sky box , but you will have to set the sky planner to turn the channel over at the right time ( autoview and series link , red and green buttons from what I remember ) , or you will have to leave it on the correct channel , and set the timer on the panny or the sony accordingly

I use the sky planner for mine , not guideplus , but you must decide based on your own needs
 

germalene

Standard Member
The sony sounds far simpler, and I did want to keep the series link function which is probably why I had it at the top of my list. Unfortunately all I have written down is a list of model no.s and not why they were my choices! Duh.

For anyone wanting to know about using a tv in portugal, here is a quote from somewhere else I hope the op doesn't mind me nicking it for on here:

UK TV is transmitted as Pal I standard. Portugal uses Pal G. The difference is in the way the TV decodes the sound signal. Ideally you want a TV that will decode both and many of the modern TVs do. This only affects signals that come in via the TV aerial socket.

If you are only going to watch satellite TV from UK via a Sky box then you are probably better off with a British TV. If, however you wish to watch both UK TV and Portuguese TV and you cannot get a dual TV (Pal I/G) then you will be better off with a Portuguese/Spanish TV as you can get the Sky signals by using the scart socket, which bypasses the I/G decoder.
 

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