. The Definitive SkyLink Magic Eye Guide PLEASE READ THE GUIDE. ANY QUESTIONS SHOULD BE POSTED IN A NEW DISCUSSION - NOT HERE. BE SURE TO STATE "I HAVE READ THE GUIDE" AND INCLUDE ALL RELEVANT DETAILS (Digibox make/model, magic eye make/model, how connected, tests results, etc.) Definitions SkyLink - Refers to "Sky magic eyes" such as tvLINK, SLxLink, DigiLink, Digital Link, VisionLink, Triax Link and all the rest. Secondary TV set - Any remote TV set, with an analogue tuner*, connected by RF coaxial lead (other than your main set, which is connected via a Scart or HDMI lead to your Sky Digibox). * A set with only a digital tuner is not suitable for use as a secondary TV set. The Sky RF output is analogue. Decoupled cable - a cable in which the outer screen has been disconnected to leave a tiny gap part way along its length. Double-screened cable - coaxial cable having a metal foil screen and a braided copper screen. (Aluminium foil screened cable is perfectly OK for short runs indoors.) What is the purpose of a SkyLink magic eye? The purpose of any SkyLink "magic eye" is to send remote control signals back down a coaxial cable to your Sky Digibox. It allows other TV signals to pass through to your secondary TV aerial socket, unaffected. (If you think it IS affecting those signals, simply remove it and connect the cable direct to the TV, as a test.) The SkyLink device passes all RF signals straight through without affecting them, including the selected Sky channel (and any terrestrial aerial signals if an aerial is connected to your Sky Digibox aerial input). How do I connect a SkyLink? Connect it to the RF2 output on your Sky Digibox using double-screened cable with soldered plugs or screw-connection plugs. It is essential to have a good connection because the Sky Digibox provides power to the SkyLink. A little silicone grease on the plug and pin connections will make it easier to remove without damaging the RF2 socket (common problem!) without affecting the electrical connection. Note that the RF2 socket is male so you will need to use a female-female adapter unless you have a female TV plug fitted. (Female TV plugs can not be soldered so ensure that it is the screw connection type.) The SkyLink module should never be connected directly to an aerial socket on the TV as the strain could damage the socket and/or SkyLink. You should preferably use a double-screened "decoupled" cable" to connect the SkyLink to the TV aerial socket. This cable does NOT need to have soldered plugs because it is not carrying any power. However, there is no problem if the plugs are soldered. If space is a premium, a right-angle TV plug can be used. If you need extra flexibility and a less obtrusive cable, ultra-thin double-screened cable is available. (Not to be confused with so called "low loss" aerial cable, which should be avoided.) (If you can change Sky channel when the SkyLink is NOT connected to the TV but you can't change Sky channel when it IS connected to the TV, then you MUST use a decoupled cable.) A little silicone grease on the plug and pin connections will make it easier to remove without damaging the aerial socket on the TV (common problem!) without affecting the electrical connection. Some "magic eyes" are a little more tricky to connect than others. Here's an example: As all TV sets radiate interference, which might interfere with the operation of the SkyLink, you may need to position the device away from the TV and any other equipment that might interfere. In the case of some large screen TV sets, a distance of up to three metres may be required. Please bear this in mind if your SkyLink does not work reliably or if you see or hear interference. Similarly, if your main TV prevents the Digibox from acting on remote signals, you must ensure that: The Digibox is as far from the TV as is practical All cable is properly screened and short as possible Wall sockets are screened Try shielding the Digibox completely from light by wrapping it, temporarily (no more than a few minutes), in a black bin liner. The SkyLink "magic eye" unit does NOT need to be connected to a secondary TV set in order to send your remote control signals back to your Sky Digibox. (For example, it can be used as a simple remote extender if your Digibox is in a cabinet.) However, it MUST be connected to your secondary TV set if you want Sky picture and sound on that TV or Freeview programmes. (Your Digibox passes Freeview signals from its aerial input to its RF outputs.) Do NOT run the RF coaxial cable alongside any mains power cable! The interference from the mains can stop the "eye" from working, or make it unreliable. The red LED on the "eye" is lit. Does this mean everything should work? The red LED indicates that power is reaching the "eye". It doesn't guarantee that sufficient power is reaching it. (The voltage may be low, for various reasons.) It does not guarantee that the "eye" is sending a remote signal back to the Digibox. It does not guarantee that the Digibox RF signal is reaching (or passing through) the "eye". It does not mean that there is no interference. In short, all it means is that some DC current is reaching the "eye". Will the SkyLink work with any Sky Digibox? Later models have NO RF output at all, and will not work with a SkyLink "magic eye" unless you also buy a "Sky IO-Link Module" or a Triax version (which has two RF outputs and a PSU). An alternative is to buy a tvLink-Plus and a power supply. All earlier Sky Digiboxes (Standard, Sky-plus and Sky-HD) and later ones fitted with a "Sky IO-Link Module" are theoretically compatible with all SkyLink "magic eye" devices. In practice, however, variations in tolerances can cause unreliable operation with some combinations and with some cable lengths. In addition, some Digiboxes may be less tolerant of poor installation (i.e. those incorporating the wrong type of coaxial cable, poorly fitted plugs and/or unshielded sockets.) At the time of writing there are some good examples of useless wall plates here: Another TV-Link problem | AVForums The Pace BSKYB1000 minibox "Javelin" has only one RF output. This is "RF2" and works fine with "magic eyes". Some Sky Digiboxes have problems with specific conditions of cable length and "discontinuities" caused by additional connections (in-line connectors, wall plates, Y-splitters, amplifiers). In many cases the solution is as simple as adding an extra metre of cable somewhere in the run or removing the problem connector. In other cases, the specific configuration will work only with a different Digibox or SkyLink. However, the most common cause of problems is that the "magic eye" needs to be decoupled from the TV so I recommend in all cases you try this solution first. You can make or buy a decoupled cable (see SatCure site for details). Some Sky Digiboxes can not power more than two "magic eyes". In this case you must use an amplified splitter with a separate power supply. (If anyone has experienced this problem, please post your Digibox make and model number here!) What settings must I change on the Digibox? The Sky Digibox RF2 Outlet power must be set to ON in the on-screen menu. To access this secret Installer Menu, connect your main TV set to the Sky Digibox with a Scart lead (if not already so.) Make sure you can see a Sky programme. Press the following sequence quickly on your Sky remote control: [services] 401 [select] or [services] 001 [select] in later HD EPG. Then press 4 to access the RF Outlet menu. Set the RF Outlet power to ON and set the UHF channel to an unused channel* between 21 and 69. Save the settings then press [backup] repeatedly until you see the picture on your main TV. *A UHF channel that is not already occupied by a Freeview transmission or other signal (including interference). If you don't understand this, it's time to do some research because it's a really important concept, which is critical to success. Setting your Sky RF output channel to a UHF channel number that is occupied by a Freeview transmission will usually result in "snowy" or "grainy" Sky pictures and missing terrestrial Freeview channels. Tune your secondary TV set to the same UHF number (or find it by autoscanning in the TV analogue menu). Note that some TV sets can not tune to 69. If you see intererference or a grainy Sky picture on your secondary TV, you have chosen a UHF channel number that is already in use. Return to the secret Installer menu and try a different number. Can I use more than one "magic eye"? Yes but Magic Eyes can not be "daisy-chained". Connect RF2 to a SkyLink compatible splitter or amplifier (see below). Connect the outputs directly to the "magic eyes" via double-screened cable. What if I don't want to watch Freeview terrestrial? Don't connect a TV aerial. Can I use an amplifier? If your Sky RF2 Outlet signal passes through any amplifier or splitter, these units must be SkyLink compatible, otherwise reliable operation may be impossible to achieve. If you use wall plates, make sure they are "DC pass" versions (not "isolated") and fully screened, otherwise you could get interference and unreliable operation. Note that the amplifier amplifies the RF signal from RF2. It also amplifies the signal coming back from the "magic eye". What's the maximum cable length? With good quality double-screened cable a length of 20m should be fine and 50m is often possible. However, if you plan to run a long length, be sure to test it (loose on the ground) before plastering it into walls. What's the best SkyLink? It's really a personal choice. From feedback we've had, I would currently recommend the "VisionLink" because it has proved to be reliable, less prone to interference problems and the "eye" part is tiny. What's the best cable? To minimise problems with interference - especially close to the TV and other equipment - you should use only double-screened cable. An ultra-thin white double-screened cable is available for use where you need extra flexibility and lower visual impact. What if I have problems after installation? Buy from a reputable supplier. Ask your supplier for troubleshooting information. Troubleshooting isn't too difficult when you understand that the "eye" requires a 9 volt DC supply from the Digibox (or from an amplifier) and also sends a signal back to the Digibox. Anything that blocks DC on the way out or blocks (or interferes with) RF on the way back, will prevent reliable operation. Hence the need for good connections and screening of everything, especially near to any TV set or electronic equipment (including "energy-saver" bulbs and fluorescent lights). Since the "eye" itself can't be screened, move it well away from the TV set and other sources of interference if you have a problem. How do I power the SkyLink amplified splitter? Normally it gets its power from RF2 on the Digibox. However, some Digiboxes can't supply enough power for more than 2 "magic eyes" so the SkyLink amplifier will require a separate "plug-top" power supply. If you can't access mains power for a power supply unit near the SkyLink amplifier, you could try fitting a DC1 in-line DC inserter near to RF2 and feed a 9 volt DC power supply into that. There's no sound from the Secondary TV set! Assuming the picture is OK, make sure the TV is set to "PAL-I" audio. Will a magic eye work without being connected to a TV Yes, it can, for example, control a Digibox in a cupboard. What if my Sky Digibox has no RF Output? If you need an RF Output (and "magic-eye" facility) on a later Sky Digibox that has no RF output socket, the Sky IO-link does the job but it can be problematic. You might have assumed that when Sky removed the Digibox RF1 + RF2 + Aerial sockets, they'd have designed a module that duplicated those 3 sockets. Unfortunately that's NOT the case so the IO-Link module by itself is not the perfect solution. You might have to add more parts. Read on... The IO-LINK module is designed to feed a single tvLINK magic eye and remote TV only. (Other makes of magic eye should work but have not yet been tested. Please let us know if you use a different type and find it works reliably - or otherwise.) This system can also be used to control the latest Sky Digibox in a cupboard. (Digiboxes with RF2 need only the "magic eye".) Many People will already have a magic eye system installed from the previous Digibox, which had an RF1 and RF2 output. The IO-LINK module has no RF1 output and this causes a problem if you want to pass the Freeview aerial signal to the main TV. In addition, it provides only enough power for ONE tvLINK "magic eye" and this causes a problem if you need to feed, for example, a SkyLink amplified splitter. If you have a SkyLink amplified splitter (such as an F140) the Sky IO-Link module will not be able to supply enough power. If this affects your installation, you can power your F140 directly with a plug-top PSU such as the Global GLO76A power supply, which is suitable for "magic eyes", SkyLink amplified splitters, etc. If this solution is inconvenient because the amplified splitter is tucked away in a loft or cupboard without a power socket, you can fit a DC1 Inserter and PSU next to the IO-Link, instead. The module has no RF1 output so, if you need to feed signal to an adjacent TV, you will need a SkyLink splitter. The aerial cable connects to the MALE input of the splitter. The FEMALE outputs of the splitter go to the FEMALE Aerial IN socket of the module and to the FEMALE aerial input of the TV. You'll need suitable adapters and/or cables. © 2011-2014 SatCure "The Definitive SkyLink Magic Eye Guide". Posted on AVforums for the benefit of AVforums members. May not be copied or posted elsewhere without permission.