Sky+ box.....Pace or Amstrad ?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by chrisjoanne, Oct 11, 2004.

  1. chrisjoanne

    chrisjoanne
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    Hi

    Getting my Sky+ box on Tuesday. Just wanted to know which one is the better to ask for.....the Pace or Amstrad?
    My mate's just had his Amstrad connected up today and had nothing but problems with it. It's getting changed for the Pace on Tuesday. Picture quality crap and sound really poor.
    Anyone happy with their Amstrad box or do I demand a Pace.

    Cheers
    Chris
     
  2. Kazuya Mishima

    Kazuya Mishima
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    I'm amazed the Amstrad boxes are still being sold! Maybe I have got this all wrong but I was under the impression that the Amstrads were version1 boxes, the Pace version2 - more up-to-date as it were!

    There were threads like this months and months ago. I thought the Amstrad would have been superceded long ago by the Pace. I would ask for the Pace - tell them that you MUST have the one in the advertising campaigns, the slick white one with the groovy lights and silver buttons on the front!
     
  3. bobcar

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    The simple fact is no one on this site seems to know which box is the most reliable. There's lots of predjudice out there "I've had an Amstrad and it was crap therefore all Amstrads are crap".

    Each person has their own experiences. I've had a Amstrad Sky+ for 3 months and it's been excellent, far better than the Panasonic digiboxes I've had before. This doesn't mean the Amstrads are better, just that mine has so far been very reliable, especially judging from the average post here where you're lucky if your box lasts a fortnight.

    Has anyone any knowledge of an independant analysis of the reliability of the different boxes?
     
  4. DarT

    DarT
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    In the 9 months since i had Sky+ fitted, i have had 3 pace boxes and 2 amstrad boxes, 1 of which is my current box.

    In general the pace boxes have been nothing but trouble, everyone had faults, and all different i virtually every respect. Such as poor signal quality on one, failure to record on another with poor recording quality such as sticking, and also i had one which would not output on the second cable.

    My first Amstrad box, was much more stable than the previous pace boxes, but after a period of use this box developed niggly faults like turning itself off and failure to record.

    In the end i had my whole setup changed, ie new dish (during original install they had left my old sky digital dish) new duel run cable (during original install they only added a second input) and new Amstrad receiver. Although i hjave had the odd failure and turnign itself off, this setup seems to be the most stable that i have had.

    For information, the main difference between is that on the amstrad the viewing card is on the opposite side, they seem to have an increased number of air vents (a benefit on sky+ as it always seem to run hot), and that there is a slightly longer delay when changing channels ad opening tv guide etc. Just to correct one of the above posts, the original sky+ boxes (v1) were made by pace and only pace, when the v2 boxes were introduced, they were also only made by pace, until maybe 6 months ago when amstrad started making the v2 boxes.

    In the end, both brands seem to be poorly built and/or use parts that do not live, and the policy of sky is to simply do no investigation, but to simply provide a replacement box. It is worth noting that based on this policy sky would simply issue you a refurb box when they replace your existing, unless of course you are like me and threaten to report them for failure to abide by the sale of goods act and then they will provide you with a NEW unit, well worth doing in my opinion.

    To answer the original question, i am not sure that it matters between the brands, and most of the time they do not give you the choice as they have limited stock in their van, but in my own opinion the amstrad boxes that i have owned have laster longer and worked better than the pace boxes i have had ( but do bear in mind that 2 of the 3 pace boxes i have had were refurb units and as such had been previously found to have faults).

    Hope this helps!!! In the end no matter how many problems that i have had, i would not go back to normal sky digital and am lost without it.
     
  5. Family Guy

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    I to have had had both versions. I had a Pace ver1 box for 2 years...a software update by Sky put paid to that well and truly.
    They then installed a ver2 pace box...which lasted 2 weeks. The next one lasted 2 months and I've now got an Amstrad.
    The signal strength on the Amstrad (couple with a Thompson LNB) is superb...all 4 bars are 99% full...and I don't lose the picture when a cloud passes in fron of the satellit like I did with the Pace boxes.

    However, a fault has developed...I get audio dropout and lip sync problems on recorded programmes and it's starting to really pee me off...I'm amazed at the lip sync because I don't have a plasma...my amp does have sync delay...but is it worth setting up every time I want to watch a recording...?

    Fine when watching straight off air...except when I'm watching something like Big Brother...then the ausio just spouts crap all the time and there's nothing I can do about it... :D
     
  6. chrisjoanne

    chrisjoanne
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    Excellent posts here, cheers.
    I think I'll just take what they give me (as long as its new).
    Then, play it by ear and see how things pan out.
    The second anything goes wrong with it I'll be on the phone for a new replacement - but hopefully that won't happen. :)

    Chris
    studentmania
     
  7. adrian3221

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    In summary I dont think it really matters what box you get, reports vary so much between the two. Personally, i've had my Amstrad box for 8 months now and have had one minor problem which was cured with a full reset. Have had no failed recordings and it works like a dream. Id imagine that the general quality of the install overall might have more of an impact on the boxes performance than the make of box itself.
     
  8. GGTVBD

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    My experience of Amstrad Sky+ boxes is nil. However, the standard Amstrad digiboxes have always been utter sh*te! Spares are not available to repair them! Why does anyone think the Amstrad Sky+ box will be any different? :devil:

    My experience of the Pace 'v2' (BSkyB3100) as it is referred to, is pretty good. See them on a daily basis. Number of faulty ones? ONE! Don't think that's bad, do you?

    Remember, people come here to moan. :devil:

    As with most things, the quality of the install is very important.

    Could go on on (like some) :devil: but that's it in a nutshell!

    A. Dork
     
  9. DarT

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    I only comment that the amstrad boxes have given better performance, because they have in experience.

    The facts are that none of them are particularly good equipment, and one man could easily have good experiences with either brand, but i gave my direct experience of the 5 boxes that i have had.

    How that reflects in the quality of pace v amstrad is somewhat open to interpretation.

    ps if you mean my previous post was long winded, i tried to give the guy some advice and indicate my experiences, to allow him to make an assessment. If it was too long for you, then read something else, i don't really care.
     
  10. chrisjoanne

    chrisjoanne
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    DarT:

    Again, I'd just like to say thanks for your post. Your views on this subject have been taken on board - You have given me food for thought. Cheers.

    I certainly appreciated your post.

    Chris
     
  11. pemberto

    pemberto
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    I am running a v2 Amstrad Sky+ box and have noticed a few times of the box lock when watching a recorded program.

    It always happens at 53minutes into a program and the only solution that I have found is that you need to go back to sky+ planner and select to watch the program from 54minutes.

    This other issue I have is that I find the Amstrad box 10db softer than my pace v1. I am running via optical into Denon AVC-A1SR and a cailbrated system using an SPL.

    Has anyone else seen these problems.
     
  12. GGTVBD

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    DarT - sorry if I offended you. My little dig was certainly not directed at you. :thumbsup: I thought your post was informative and useful.

    But in response to your original point that it doesn't matter which box you get - I disagree strongly. The Amstrad's will prove themselves to be as poor as all their other products. Guaranteed! :)

    Proving which is the most reliable will, for now, be impossible. The Amstrad's aren't available to independents and while they're still within the warranty period that won't change.

    My guess is that many problems are caused by Sky sending out 'reconditioned' boxes 'as new'.

    Remember - the reliability of any Sky system will be affected by the quality of the installation. I strongly suspect that's the root cause of many people's problems reported on here.

    As always, you'll get a far superior job done by a good independent installer. So what if it costs a few quid more? If the system works properly, isn't it worth it?


    A. Dork
     
  13. Family Guy

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    Mr Dork - are you a Sky install engineer? If so, you certainly don't fill us punters with much confidence in the kit...
     
  14. GGTVBD

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    Me, work for Sky? :rotfl:

    A. Dork
     
  15. DarT

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    Apology accepted.

    I believe it is too early to say whether the amstrad boxes will end up being crap. Although like all electrical equipment the quality is down to the components used and the build quality. I would imagine the build quality would be the same as previous equipment, and expect the components to be the same as pace boxes.

    One thing i do agree on with you, is that the issues around pac boxes may be clouded by the enormous number of boxes that are re-used as re-conditioned units, most of them are absolute crap.

    To touch on one of your previous points, installation quality. After my complaints to Sky, i have had a proper Sky engineer fit my recent installation. I will never let a Sky contractor near my premises again they are absolute tosh, incapable of doing the job, arrogant and unsupportive.
     
  16. nealb

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    I had an Amstrad box installed on saturday (forgot they make them too now) and have to say my doubts regards Amstrad gear are reaffirmed.

    So far Ive had the box lock up a number of times and audio drop outs. Interactive has completely crashed the box once.

    Might be calling them up asking for a Pace yet... Gonna check the connections first though just in case.

    Maybe I should have kept to my NTL Tivo set up... Hmmm to late now.
     

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