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Sky+ Decision?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by dalvin, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. dalvin

    dalvin
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    Hi,

    I *think* I have finally made up my mind about the "sky+" vs "PVR/DVD combo" for me. Please feel free to comment.

    Having a newborn child see many things go out of the window.. like regular TV patterns :) And it has recently become a real pain when using the VCR to record things and ensure the right tape is in at the right place so as not to scrub any precious recordings which haven't been watched yet. So, the idea of a HDD device is great!

    Having read many negative posts about SKY+, I thought that there's got to be something good about this system, and it does sound very good, in THEORY.

    I currently have SKY, and the EPG is invaluable. So switching to SKY+ would seem a natural step. I also think that the EPG would be a very easy to use for the misses.. series link etc..

    The "pause live tv" also seems a great idea.. does this work on ANY channel?

    I also currently have the "magic eye" thing in the bedroom, which allows me to watch SKY upstairs. Can I still use this with SKY+? And control SKY+ via the magic eye? ie, record this, watch that, pause etc.. That would be an added bonus if it were possible, as watching SKY upstairs is just a must now.

    The only thing I have concerns about is because of the small HDD space - how much REALISTICALLY are we talking that can be stored? 20 hours of good quality? (not dvd quality of course!!)

    I would like to archive stuff off the SKY+ HDD onto DVD if possible. How easy is it to do this? Can you just connect a DVD recorder into the SKY+ unit and somehow transfer films/soaps/documentaries across? Can you edit any of the recordings on the HDD before transfering? For example: cut out ad breaks etc..?

    Can anyone recommend a DVD recorder which does a good job? All my research so far has been with the toshiba 32 or panny e85 pvr/dvd combo units..

    Does my thinking make any sense? Or have I totally lost the plot?

    The only other aspect is the price.. currently as an existing sky subscriber on the family package, i would get charged
    £199 + £60 installation + £10/month subs + DVD-Recorder price. So i'm looking at, at least £370-£400 straight off, which is about a similar price to the PVR/DVD combo units.. but they don't have EPG etc.. etc..

    I don't mind the £10/month if the EPG works and records the progs I want!

    Your comments/feedback/advice is most welcome and I look forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Yes, yes, yes, yes, and YES ! :)

    Sky+ is very easy to use, and very versatile too. Live pause works on ANY TV channel. You can use it with a second box with the "magic eye", but be aware that the "magic eye" doesn't work too well with plasma screens. The amount of recording time will vary with the material you record - the more fast action on the screen, the less you can record. What most people do is change the internal drive for a much bigger one - it is quite easy to do.

    You can transfer recordings to VHS or DVD via a scart cable. If you want to edit out ads when archiving, I'd advise you to get a DVD recorder with hard drive, because it's much easier. Once you've had Sky+ for a month, you won't want to lose it.
     
  3. dalvin

    dalvin
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    Thanks for the response Nick..

    i just wanted to clear something up about the magic eye issue. you say that you can use it with a "second box".. but I won't have a second box.

    Currently I have 1 sky box downstairs with a magic eye link in the bedroom, so can watch sky through this in the bedroom. Is the same thing possible using sky+?

    Will changing the HDD for a larger one void the warranty? Or if there any any faults will SKY take no responsibility because the unit has been modified?

    Thanks again..
     
  4. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    The magic eye link should work with Sky+, but Sky should be able to confirm this for you. They certainly offer "second room" boxes for Sky and Sky+ with the magic eye option.

    Changing the HDD drive will invalidate the warranty, but if you use the right tools, you should be able to put the original drive back in without Sky noticing if you ever have a problem. Full details of how to do it is on the Hummer website, and there is a "sticky thread" on these forums discussing it. The actual method to change the HDD varies from one box type to another, and there's currently 4 different models of Sky+ box in circulation.
     
  5. neilball

    neilball
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    Re. the magic eye, then yes it works just as well with Sky+ in my case as it did with a standard Sky box. I have an Amstrad Sky+ box and use a magic eye for my bedroom TV without problems, although I did end up buying a second Sky+ remote from Letsautomate.com to avoid having to remember where I'd left the original!
     
  6. dalvin

    dalvin
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    OK, thanks for that information guys.. i'll be on the phone to SKY later on..

    Just out of curiosity, which SKY+ box is receommended? The PACE V2 or the New Amstrad DRX180?

    I've heard talk that Pace is far more reliable than amstrad?

    I think I was quite lucky with my regular sky box in that it was a Panasonic one, which was quite a lot faster than my dads Pace one. It also looked a lot better too :)
     
  7. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I would much prefer the Pace, but alas, you don't get much of a choice these days. If you really want a Pace box, get one off Ebay, and pay an installer to fit it, or do it yourself. You can still get the same prices from Sky for the Sky+ features.
     
  8. Cynthia 7

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    Hi Dalvin,

    Glad that Nick and Neil could answer your queries. Several friends of mine who've changed to Sky+ say they wonder how they managed without it. My husband, although he had a Physics degree, is a complete technophobe and could never operate the video recorder, even to find the button to start and stop! He uses Sky+ perfectly, except for deleting a few of my programmes on the Planner! You can make sure this doesn't happen by pressing the blue button once when you have recorded a programme. This puts a K (for keep) alongside the programme which stops it being accidentally deleted, if highlighted, when you press the yellow button.

    I had the Panasonic Sky box, completely trouble free, and now in the bedroom. I had the Pace V1 and several replacement refurbished boxes. I have had the Pace V2 for a year and it has been excellent, apart from the very occasional blip when the usual turning off the power, wiping the card, solved the problem The picture was slightly better than the earlier version too. I did have one programme on the planner yesterday, which I could not access though I had watched half of it the night before. It's very reliable otherwise. Don't know about the new Amstrad.

    You will not regret the decision to get Sky+. Pausing the picture to make a cup of coffee or answer the phone is so easy. I have gone out for more than two hours and returned to watch the rest of the programme without recording it. I wish I had had it when my sons were babies, so many missed programmes then! Much happiness with your little one and Sky+!

    I
     
  9. Cynthia 7

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    I meant mentioning that I have 23 hours of recorded material on my planner at the moment (just recorded Rugby Club) and I have 9% left. I never notice any discernible difference between quality of any of the recordings unless it is a poor quality channel when watched live.
     
  10. Spencem

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    One other thing to note is that you can get some movie channels and sport channels for only 50p a month more than the family pack & sky+ price. If when you phone sky you ask to upgrade your channel package to the lowest cost that you don't pay extra for sky+ for they will offer you Movies 2,4,6&8 with either Sports 2&3 or Sports 1&extra. I hardly ever watch either, but at least I feel I'm getting something for the £10.50. :)
     
  11. dalvin

    dalvin
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    Thanks for the great response Cynthia! Just the reassurance one needs :)

    So when you paul live tv, it's NOT recorded? Is it just saved into some kind of buffer and when you do watch the paused tv, it just gets wiped?

    What I was going to ask was, what happens to my original sky box once sky+ is installed? do sky take it away? I mean, I don't want the Sky Multiroom option, cos I don't really need to have 2 subscriptions .. do I get to keep the box?
     
  12. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    You can set the "Instant Rewind" to 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or 60 minutes. If you pause during a programme (assuming that you've been watching it from the start), if you press the "record" button it will dump the entire buffer into the planner as a recorded programme (or part recorded if the buffer size is not enough), and it will carry on recording to the end of the programme.

    If you pause the programme, the Sky+ box carries on recording, and you can wind backwards and forwards through the entire buffer. The buffer is only emptied when you change channel or go to the planner.

    Your old Sky box (assuming that you've had it more than 12 months) is your property, and you can do what you want with it.
     
  13. dalvin

    dalvin
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    Hey SpenceM,

    That's EXACTLY what I am going to do. Thanks for the advice.. I won't have to pay the extra £10/month for nothing. I might find the odd sport program watchable :) hehe
    I'll see what package they come up with when I ring them.

    Now where's that phone :)
     
  14. dalvin

    dalvin
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    When you record from SKY+ do you still get the "red dot" thing on recordings?
     
  15. Cynthia 7

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    Hi Dalvin,

    The red dot is not recorded on Sky+, even when it's on the picture you are recording. When watching live I always remove the red dot by pressing "back up" button as I find it irritating.
     
  16. dalvin

    dalvin
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    Phew.. thats good.. cos it really is annoying on some channels.. especially when it gets in the way of what is happening!!

    Thanks :)

    Called SKY.. they said it will be 7-10 days beore installation!! damn.. i thought it would be monday!!
     

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