Sky+ bad quality recording - input 2 - Hard disk - lots of troubles!

BigMacUK

Standard Member
Hi guys,

I'm using an Amstrad PVR2 and had it going for about 2 1/2 - 3 years now. Over the last several months i've played a kind of roulette on whether or not a recording i've scheduled on planner would actually be of quality enough to watch it.

Sometimes, programs would be fine others the occaisonal sound glitch and video issue but then there were those which were bad it was just not watchable, so straight to delete.

After some thought and discussions, it was suggested i replace the 40gb drive. I was pointed in the direction of this webpage:-
SKY+ AMSTRAD DRX180 : HARD DRIVE UPGRADE

It mentions they used Maxtor DiamondMax 10 6L200P0, drive so that is what i bought and fitted this today, following the instructions. System came back up and all looked ok, so re-entered the scheduled recordings and went about my business.

Tonight, I now notice I'm no longer able to decode a second channel.

If a recording is active, and I select another channel it will either not show at all or if it does its a few frames or so and thats it. Whilst on an alternative channel to the one being recorded, I'm unable to access the planner and such.

Therefore I checks, Services -> System Setup -> Signal Test.

A few strange things observed here.
With regards input 1, earlier in the evening it had Network ID 0000 and Transport Stream 0000. Currently it shows 0002 and 07d4 respective.

For input 2, the signal strength and signal quality bars have nothing present and the lock indicator says, not locked. Other feature seen has been where it has had bars and a lock indicator of ok. But that tends to be there for a short time and then return to not locked and no bars.

I've since tried powering off the machine switching the input cables over and powering back up. No change, problem still persists.

Another web page suggested popping by the installer setup menu, services -> 4001 -> select. Once in there, they suggested going into LNB setup and turning off LBN power and 22khz command, save and standby and off the machine. Wait for 20 seconds.. power up and then return to that menu and press red for rest all settings, save. Nice try - but still no joy.


I'm in serious need of help and guidance on way forward please.

Thanks.
 

FRANTIC FRANC

Novice Member
at worst your second tuner on your digibox is failing so a swap is the only remedy (try and get a Pace PVR2 which is best suited to your new hard drive)
Firstly though, bring up your signal test and swap the sat feeds over to see if it is a dish/lnb or cable fault. Make sure the 'f's are screwed on correctly and that the stinger has no braiding touching it.

If one cable shows nothing on either input then that is good news and look for the fault back to the dish.

Cheers, Franc
 

BigMacUK

Standard Member
thanks for the response Franc.

I've tried the cables on either input and the effect remained constant, input 2 always failed.

The original drive is back in the machine and to start with i was having the same troubles! However, it's now back to where I started with both inputs showing ok.

However, I'm now able to confirm the following:

When I watch / record only 1 program - the result is fine.
If I watch a program then another starts to record on timer, the recording is bad.
If i'm recording a program and tune to a different channel to watch, the new channel while viewed is having trouble but later watching the recording is fine.

Therefore, I conclude when I engage a second activity on the machine it has troubles.

I've spoken to Sky about it. They offered to have engineer call out for £65 for a service call and if necessary replace with refurbished kit or a new install carried out for £159! I haven't taken up either option.

Not sure on the way forward at the moment.
 

smarty

Active Member
I am having similar issues, also with an Amstrad box about 2 years old.
My issues are slightly different. More often than not recently, when I turn the box on it has reset and tuned itself to the SKY+ information channel. This also results in failed recordings. Sometimes it will record something but then it won't let you in to watch it. The only way to then get into the recording is to reset the box (switch off and then on again).
Sky suggested a full system reboot which I'm yet to try (have some things to watch first and they said it would delete all recordings on the planner).

Sounds a bit like either a hard drive issue or that the box is actually turning off rather than going into standby (a failed recording said that the reason for failure was no signal). When I switched the box on yesterday, about half an hour after it should have started recording something, it actually only started to record from the point I turned the box on.

Anyone any suggestions? All other functions and viewing is fine. Good signals etc.
I'm thinking of changing the hard drive (we have ours set to 30 mins instant rewind which I'm guessing would wear out the hard drive a lot faster) but don't want to do it if there are other problems with the box.

Thanks
 

BigMacUK

Standard Member
well, i've a small twist on my story.

There were no recorded program in the planner and i had several shows lined up to record. The sky+ box was left in standby mode the whole time.

The first show to record during sunday evening came from itv 4 - and, the sound drop outs occured when i've tried watching just now.

The second show to record, came from sky 1 in mondays early hours and i'm about 20 minutes into it - and all i can say is, works perfectly as i'd expect all recordings to be. ( touch wood ).

To make that clear - there is no program overlap during this record as they were some hours apart - the machine was in standby the whole time.

this really has thrown a curve ball into previous observations and I'm really really confused as to how best get this resolved to the degree i can have confidence in recording with sky+.
 

davemurgatroyd2

Distinguished Member
The sound drop outs are a known issue on Amstrads and the latest software according to numerous posts in the forums over on www.digitalspy.co.uk.
 
P

poloAVF

Guest
I have similar problems. Again a 2 year old Amstrad V2 box (160GB Samsung HD). Fine when watching one channel. Problems if recording one channel and watching a different channel, or recording two channels. Then either the viewed picture or one of the recordings have 'break-up'. Swapped LNB connections, still the same. The signal strength looked quite low. So I got a 60 cm dish fitted, the signal strength on the Sky box remained the same (low). However a signal strength meter shows a high reading (best the installer had witnessed in my area).
Still got the same problems even with a perfect signal.

Any suggestions?
 

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