Sky DigiBox problems..or weird interference?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by SportiveUK, May 8, 2002.

  1. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    Hello all,

    I subscribed to Sky in December and received a rather nice brand new Grundig GDS310/3 digibox which to my delight had an S-video output. Everything I have is connected via S-video and I assumed that all Sky digiboxes must have them.

    In January, the box started changing channel on its own...the strange thing was that the actual channel numbers appeared on the screen before our very eyes as if the remote was being pressed, only it wasn't. This did not happen very often so I did not really bother about it.

    Over the last month the box has been doing lots of odd things. Changing channel, picture freezing, losing signal etc. BBC1, BBC2 & Sky1 are the worst offenders. The box does not totally freeze though as you can change back to another channel and it will work again. Strangely Kerrang! channel works all the time regardless of what else is working. It all seems totally random.

    Sky bloke came and checked the signal with which there was no problem and offered to change the box (to an obviously far older, reconditioned, nasty looking Pace one). Problem, no S-Video. Sent him away and kept the Grundig until I decide the best course of action.

    The very strange thing is that the big problems seemed to coincide with new neighbours moving in next door. Does this sound like a normal dodgy box problem or could there be some sort of interference messing with certain channels. The sky bloke offered the following technical explanation:

    "dunno, bloody weird these things eh"

    I do not understand why it works sometimes, not others, why some channels seem fine all the time etc etc...

    Anyone else has these sort of problems?

    Thanks
     
  2. Starburst

    Starburst
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    I have never heard of a software fault that caused channel numbers to appear on screen.
    The obvious cause is some sort of IR emitter/amplifier close by is being picked up by your digibox, perhaps a word with your new neighbours might clear this problem up.
    The rest of the problems are common examples of software faults found within SKY's hardware, a reset or reloading the software could cure these.
     
  3. MelS

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    One good source of IR interference can be some of those low energy fluorescent replacement bulbs.
     
  4. juboy

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    The only time I've ever seen my Digibox change channel of it's own accord whilst also visually displaying the channel number change is when my VCR sends the command to switch to a particular channel for the purpose of taping a programme off satellite.

    Might be a bit unlikely but maybe your new neighbours have a VCR with a very strong satellite box remote control signal throw? I do know these infra-red beams can sometimes bounce off walls and through windows if they're strong enough.
     
  5. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    I kind of suggested something similar to the second Sky bloke that turned up and he thought I was completely mad!
     
  6. juboy

    juboy
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    a.wright: is your signature based on the Twisted Sister song? God I loved that tune.
     
  7. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    juboy: Oh yes, sure is!

    I wanna rock! (and for my Ski Digibox to work).

    :D
     
  8. juboy

    juboy
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    Phone your local Sky installer and simply shout:

    "We're Not Gonna Take It!' :)
     
  9. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    Ok, we need to be careful here as we are probably starting to show our age ;)

    Having a laugh makes the whole thing seem not quite as bad but it is a right nuisance none-the-less and I never know whether the box is going to work or not. I currently have a friend taping all the stuff I normally do just in case I end up with a completely different program or nothing at all. I need this...like a knife in the back!
     
  10. juboy

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    If you've only had the digibox since December, I'd suggest calling Sky again and telling them that they are in breach of contract as the equipment supplied is not fit for the purpose and that you intend to cancel your 12 month subscription unless you receieve a *brand new* digibox ASAP.

    I don't honestly know which digibox manufacturers include/exclude S-Video outs but I'd guess most new boxes would have them?

    Also tell them 'Don't Let Me Down' or you'll see to it that they 'Burn In Hell'.
     
  11. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    As far as I can tell only Sky + boxes & the Grundig model I have include an S-video output. The second guy that visited was not from Sky but a company sub-contracted. It seems they get their replacement boxes from yet a different source and as you never know where the engineer is going to be from, you don't know what stock he will have on his van.

    Grundig UK were no help either and were not interested in sorting out the problem direct (even though I had filled in and sent them my warranty card).

    I am hoping this weekend that we're gonna make it the 3rd time lucky and get it sorted. Funnily enough Kerrang! channel is always the last one to go off which just shows...you can't stop rock 'n' roll!

    :D

    P.S. Actually I mostly find Kerrang channel to be pretty awful!
     
  12. juboy

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    Does the Kerrang! channel ever play more than 3 videos in a row without an advert break?

    And I have to say, 'Trash Idol' is possibly the most inane drivel I've seen on any station in a long while...

    Best of luck with the Sky think anyway.
     
  13. Rochdale

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    To rule out the IR interference option you could stick some masking tape over the receiver and see if the problem goes away, although that might be a royal pain in the a*** when you want to change chanels.
     
  14. encaser

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    Why not play out the neighbour conspiracy bit out and wait till the channel changes then go next door and do the old, "My satellite's playing up how about yours?". Or just calling to say hi/spare sugar whatever. If you don't get in their place at least listen out for the channel. If you do get in try and ask them to check their signal strength or channel hop and get someone in yours to see if anything happens to yours.


    I remember seeing Twisted Sister on Blue Peter!!!
    Still makes me laugh thinking of the video with the arse out of Animal House doing the "Who do you think you are mister?" bit and the toon accidents.
    A big hello, to all you truckers out there!:clown:
     
  15. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    Ah! A cunning plan. However the first thing they did when they moved in was to take their dish down so I can't compare channels etc..

    The box switched itself off again last night .....AND a friend who lives about 800m away had their box turn itself off too around the same time. That obviously is not my neighbours but it does make me wonder if there is something in the area causing problems.

    Might have to get Telewest back to re-install cable if I can't get it sorted. That was definitely an advantage with cable that picture quality was always 100% with no break up or interference.
     
  16. squid

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    the box turning itself off could be a micro black out . i have noticed if the power gos off for even a miniscule time the box will turn off .

    i have seen the lights blink just i very very short time and even though the tv and all the clocks (basicaly everything) stays on it's still enough to knock sky off :(

    the only thing i have heard of that can do the chan changing thing on and ir device is flurecent lighting . do you have any nearby ?? has as been said the only real way of rulling out ir intefearence is to cover the receiver on the box and see what happens . when not watching tv say on a night when you go to bed , note what chan it is on then cover the receiver . if it's changed when you come back to it then it's not that
     
  17. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    I have no flurescent lighting in the house at all, just normal bulbs and some spotlights. I have also had lights flicker but this has not caused any problems in the past.

    I suppose the real test will be when I get given a replacement box (one that has S-Video). If it works fine then we know it was not interference.

    The person on the end of the phone who we spoke to when first reporting the fault seemed to think an illegal CB radio could cause this problem, but the engineer was intent on ruling out any interference.

    I'll report back after Saturday. Fingers crossed.
     
  18. SportiveUK

    SportiveUK
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    Well, all could be sorted!

    Sky bloke turned up again with the wrong box and did not have any others. He had his own cunning plan however and called one of his sky bloke friends who happened to have a van full of Grundig S310/2 boxes....which have S-Video. This is the model up from the S210 that I had.

    Anyway, he thought there could be a dish problem but drove over to pick up the other box and came back. I plugged it all in and he decided to go check the dish and replaced the LMB just in case.

    So far so good. The problems seem to have gone away and our feeling is that picture quality is actually better than it was before, a little sharper and better colour definition.

    It has taken 3 weeks and 4 visits to get it right but as the engineer effectively altered 3 variables (box, dish & LMB) we will never know what caused the problem.

    Happy viewing!
     
  19. juboy

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    Glad you got it sorted, can't really knock that service. Now you can finally 'Come Out And Play' :)
     

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