Sky+ problem

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Greg Hook, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Hi

    I think my bloody Sky+ box is knackered :mad:

    It froze when trying to watch back a recording of the simpsons, turned it off at the wall and turned it back on again. When it started all my items in the planner had gone and when I try to record anything I get a system fault message. I have done the housekeeping option but I still have the fault. Any ideas before I have to incur the £65 fee?

    Cheers
    Greg
     
  2. MikeNolan

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    Sounds like a Hard Disk failure. Mine locked up last week and has just been replaced. Lost several films etc. Engineer said he could say exactly what the fault was, but if the box detects a malfunction, it will lock up to prevent anything from overheating and causinga fire!!
     
  3. JuzzyD

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    Ours did the same and had to be replaced as it was the harddisk
     
  4. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    They are coming out Tuesday, which isn't too far away. Fortunately the box still works so I haven't really missed anything yet. It was an old V1 recon box anyway so I suppose £65 isn't too bad if I get a newish V2 box.
     
  5. Boy Lex

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    If they give you a pace. I bet he turns up with an amstrad - if he does I'd probably ask him to give the old box a new drive.
     
  6. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Are amstrads really crappy?
     
  7. iranu

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    Yes.
     
  8. Optical1001

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    i got my pace v2 box replaced with a crappy Amstrad, i've put in a 160gig hard drive, so far so good, only gripe is the picture quality. I phoned sky about the amstrad box, they basically said that a customer does not get a choice of what make and model they get.
     
  9. Starburst

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    There is/was a bad batch of Amstrads and SKY instead of doing a product recall did their ususal "software fix on the way".
    While this will probably solve most problems (as it did with PACE SKY+ boxes) it doesn't help people who are paying monthly subs yet do not have 100% satisfactory hardware.

    A number of posters who have had the latest Amstrads are reporting no problems with picture quality (vertical banding) which seems to indicate the production faults have been cured and hopefully bug fixes/os upgrades due soon will improve matters for the existing user base.
     
  10. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    The Sky man didn't have any Paces, but I did get a brand new Amstrad so hopefully I have one of the newer ones with no problems that your mentioned Starburst. Looks better than my old V1 box anyway. Also replaced the LNB too so got my moneys worth!
     
  11. iranu

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    Had an amstrad box which had major problems;

    Failed recording programs 20% of the time.
    Very noisy.
    Mosquito interference in the picture
    Fuzzy horizontal lines moving up the screen.
    Black vertical bar problem.
    Low sound output.

    Called Sky and got the usual fob off - it needs a software upgrade rubbish.

    Emailed JamesMurdoch@sky and complained. Did not mention the make of box. A day later a woman phoned and said "we'll give you a pace box"

    A brand new Pace turned up inside 2 days. Engineer fitted it and the picture improvement is STAGGERING. Beautiful picture, the best I have ever seen with Sky. Before the swap our NEC VR5 42" plasma was really showing the poor quality of the signal. I put this down to cr*p Sky signal but it was the box all along.
     
  12. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Is there anyway to tell from the box, serial number etc if I have a newer Amstrad which doesn't appear to have problems or one of the older crappy amstrads?

    Also whats the current software version?
     
  13. alona10

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    Hi all :hiya:

    I am now on to my third sky+ 160 box as of tomorrow (9th) It just went to the dreaded blue screen. On calling sky they told me i had lost the 4 pages of programs that we had recorded (again) and to carry out a reformat of the H drive. This was done and this is the best bit i recovered all my programs all this from a reformatted drive. This was new to sky. But on playing the recorded programs back i could watch them but as soon as i stopped them the system froze. I then had to do a system backup now i have no Hard Drive

    Hope this is inline with the rest of the thread.

    Alona10
     
  14. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Success!

    Had Sky out again this morning as the Amstrad one they gave me on Tuesday had all the faults iranu described. Fortunately it also wouldn't receive Sky Mix, which is the only way I think an engineer would have come out, rather than me saying it was a bit noisy!

    The engineer changed it for a V1 Pace, which is perfect. Very quiet, great picture, sound level back to normal. Very pleased.

    Quite impressed with the Sky Engineers, they seem actually interested in their job and customers whereas the installers just want to do the job as quick as possible and bugger off.
     
  15. Cynthia 7

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    Hi alona,

    I should almost thank you for posting your views about the 160 box as I was going to get one of these myself. I had read other adverse posts about this box but seeing you are on your third box has definitely made my mind up not to get one. I don't think I'm technically competent enough to upgrade my hard drive to one of greater capacity so I shall carry on with my normal Pace V2.

    It must be so disappointing and frustrating for you having paid out for the "best" box and then having such problems. I wish they had given the contract to Pace to produce this extra HD capacity box. With their experience it would probably have been more reliable. The boxes are very complex and there will always be some that fail, comparable with other AV products. It's not much consolation to you though.

    Good luck with your third box!
     
  16. Cynthia 7

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    Hi Greg,

    I'm glad you at least got a Pace box and you're pleased with its performance, in my opinion, they are the best Sky boxes. I presume you have a sort of guarantee with this, maybe three or six months. If this one gives you grief after the warranty expires, it may be worth buying a new Pace box rather than pay for another refurbished box. Those £65 Sky trips mount up!

    Happy weekend viewing.
     
  17. Nick_UK

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    I'm sure you must have an enthusiastic youngster living nearby who tinkers with computers ? Replacing the hard drive in the Sky+ box is no more difficult than replacing the drive in a PC, as long as you have the security Torx tool, and the instructions from the Hummer web site.
     
  18. Cynthia 7

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    Thank you Nick for your help.

    Actually, my son runs a computer consultancy business and has usually custom made his own computers. It hadn't occurred to me to ask him to do that. Is it a very lengthy procedure? I have a thirteen month old Pace V2 box, which has such a good picture. Would replacing the drive with another make alter this or the sound? It is annoying when I have to delete something I wanted to see to accommodate another of greater priority. Is there one hard drive that's more reliable or suitable? I've always skipped over posts that mentioned upgrading as I though it would never apply to me.

    Sorry for all the questions. I know you are one of the whizz kids on this forum you ought to charge for your advice!
     
  19. Nick_UK

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    All the answers to your questions are in the Hummer web site - just follow the link and select the Sky+ pages. A Pace V2 box has a wide range of drives which can work - there's even some photo's which show you how to do it. You can use any IDE drive up to and including 250GB - a favourite with many people (including myself) is the Maxtor 200GB 6B200P0, which Ebuyer do for about £70. This would give you about 90 hours of recording time. I have one of these in my Sky+ box, and it has never gone above 60% full, despite me having about 20 movies stored on the drive. I'm sure that if you show your son the web site he will feel confident to do it. You can get the special Torx driver to open the case from Maplin Electronics. I did my drive in a (very leisurely) 40 minutes.

    P.S. You could also use the Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 160Gb 7200rpm which Ebuyer do for about £52.
     
  20. Cynthia 7

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    Hi Nick,

    I'm very grateful for your speedy, detailed reply. I will look into this. The Maxtor 90 hour drive sounds excellent ; I love the idea of twenty movies sitting in my planner and I can still press the record button! Many thanks.

    Now, the next problem will be to persuade Jonathan to do this!
     
  21. Nick_UK

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    The 90 hours for the 200GB drive is a very conservative estimate. You could quite easily get 150 or maybe even 200 hours on it. Hope you manage to persuade your son :)
     
  22. Cynthia 7

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    Brilliant news Nick - 150 hours sounds incredible.

    Now, how to persuade "I never have a minute to spare" Jonathan to drive 30 minutes and do the deed. His birthday is coming up next month so that may help! Prior warning would be necessary though.

    Many thanks again.
     

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