Thompson kaput. Amstrad next? Advice please?!

eiw1219

Standard Member
Hi chaps, I have had issues with my Thompson box and after 2 visits and resets etc. from Sky the Thompson still keeps freezing and loosing the picture and also sat signal.
I am going to get a replacement. I asked for a Pace box as my Sky + Pace was really good.
The engineer only has Amstrad. Now I have read various comments on all the boxes on here and wondered if it was worth going for the Amstrad HD box over another Thompson?

(ps I use digital optical sound output to my Reciever if it makes any difference?)
 
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Gormless

Standard Member
The Amstrad is a solid enough box, you might think the world was going to end given some of the comments about the stuck contrast issue but to the masses it isnt a problem. It's quiet and reliable, in 4 months mine has needed just a single reboot when the remote stopped responding but even then i suspect it was due to the kids pratting about.

To be fair i dont think there is much between any of the boxes, you regularly see comments such as "my XXXX is much better on SD than what my Amstrad was" but then someone will post that their Amstrad is better than what there XXXX was.
 

tele1962

Distinguished Member
The Amstrad is a solid enough box, you might think the world was going to end given some of the comments about the stuck contrast issue but to the masses it isnt a problem. It's quiet and reliable, in 4 months mine has needed just a single reboot when the remote stopped responding but even then i suspect it was due to the kids pratting about.

To be fair i dont think there is much between any of the boxes, you regularly see comments such as "my XXXX is much better on SD than what my Amstrad was" but then someone will post that their Amstrad is better than what there XXXX was.

Stay away from the Amstrad if it has the stuck contrast and if you at all botherd about picture quality.:thumbsdow
 

eiw1219

Standard Member
Stay away from the Amstrad if it has the stuck contrast and if you at all botherd about picture quality.:thumbsdow

I had 3 levels of contrast on my Thompson and found it fine left at factory setting. Would this be the same on the Amstrad?
 

tele1962

Distinguished Member
I had 3 levels of contrast on my Thompson and found it fine left at factory setting. Would this be the same on the Amstrad?

It seems to be stuck on high but others claim the one they have is stuck on medium high is no good it should be on medium.:)
 

chrismuk

Active Member
As said some appear to be stuck on high and some on medium, the problem is supposedly fixed in the new EPG software (and the new Amstrad box that's starting to appear in the wild running the new EPG) however there's no fixed date for when the new EPG will be released for the Amstrad.

Personally, I've had the Amstrad since February and have not had any problems with it, I find it quick to use, reliable (touch wood) and a good picture.
 

961

Well-known Member
Hi chaps, I have had issues with my Thompson box and after 2 visits and resets etc. from Sky the Thompson still keeps freezing and loosing the picture and also sat signal.
I am going to get a replacement. I asked for a Pace box as my Sky + Pace was really good.
The engineer only has Amstrad. Now I have read various comments on all the boxes on here and wondered if it was worth going for the Amstrad HD box over another Thompson?

(ps I use digital optical sound output to my Reciever if it makes any difference?)

Not quite sure where you are with Sky on this. If you have paid the going rate for a callout (£65?) they'll come and get the thing working whatever the problem. Most cases this will be a refurbished box swapped out for your existing one. But if it turns out to be the lnb on the dish or a cable fault, they'll sort that too

However I have to say there is another way. The Thomson box is basically a good design, with flaws introduced by trying to save pennies. There are those who say it's better by far than the Amstrad

If you have a Thomson box consider upgrading the power supply unit which was produced to a price. See Sky HD Power Supply Repairs and www.satcure.com/tech/thom_psu.htm

Alternatives are to cancel your sky sub unless they give you a new box, or e-mail the big boss and tell him you are not a happy bunny
[email protected]
 
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tele1962

Distinguished Member
Mine is ok as are many other peoples, its time people like you stopped it with the FUD and got over it :rolleyes:

Hummm,good input again into these forums well done as you have proven your argument on many ocasions, as i say thanks for the technical input and i am pleased that you have listend to the experts and forum members alike whats your member name again .:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::hiya:
 
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Gormless

Standard Member
Hummm,good input again into these forums well done as you have proven your argument on many ocasions, as i say thanks for the technical input and i am pleased that you have listend to the experts and forum members alike whats your member name again .:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::hiya:

Yes mate and your recent involvement with the new Amstrad box thread just shows how quick you are to gun for people when it doesn't fit what you see as right, ill be honest i joined this forum for help and advise not to be laughed at by a set of cliquey tosspots who think they know better.

Ah well at least you and your mates are rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the other SkyHD forums around the internet thanks to the most welcoming comments you all made in the aforementioned thread, well done fella and congratulations.
 

tele1962

Distinguished Member
Yes mate and your recent involvement with the new Amstrad box thread just shows how quick you are to gun for people when it doesn't fit what you see as right, ill be honest i joined this forum for help and advise not to be laughed at by a set of cliquey tosspots who think they know better.

Ah well at least you and your mates are rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the other SkyHD forums around the internet thanks to the most welcoming comments you all made in the aforementioned thread, well done fella and congratulations.

Perhaps so but i was more than willing to admit i was wrong and appologised for my ignorence regarding the matter.

People must realise due to the very nature of internet forums hoaxes and deliberate misleading claims are made and at times because of this hard evidence is some times required before making a claim unfair i know but that is the world we live in.
As for being a laughing stock perhaps we are but have the ones who are laughing never made a mistake? i doubt it and will they admit it i doubt it also?

I believe the original question was Thompson kaput. Amstrad next? Advice please?!

Not "you are wrong i don't know how you are wrong but you are"sort of attitude.

As i have said another productive statement from your self
i am sure it is helping the original poster no end.:thumbsup:

As for the statement you made about me and other forum members being T....P.....S mods take note, because we try to help with informed information and unfortunatly getting it wrong from time to time, i do not think that was called for after all this is AV equipment we are talking about ,we all enjoy a heated debate and i am sure that is part of what keeps forums going and for people to take offence on such matters i believe forums are not the best place for them to be heard .
Do not get me wrong i respect some of your views but you have to see that others may just have a valid point.
All i have ever done was provide the best advice and evidence i could using expert and other forum members opinions and advice on this issue.

I am drawing a line under this argument as it seems to upset you that others may, just may be right.
 
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wildy01

Active Member
For what's its worth ........

I had my original Thompson box swapped out tonight due to overheating and failed recordings.

And was given a new amstrad box - oh dear. :thumbsdow

The picture on HD is OK

The picture on SD channels is very poor and I mean pooooooor - artifacts around images, plurred picture on BBC1 and not to mention they have opended an old wound and given me the old planner. ( the wife had only just figured out how to use the new one)

Well I'm not standing for this :censored: I called sky and told them of my issues and after a 5 mins on the phone the guy agreed the amstrad was not performing and a new box will be with me soon.

He was so quick to agree he must know that some boxes are having issues.

Fingers cross my next box performs better - which ever module they bring :smashin:
 

Ivor_Biggern

Active Member
The picture on HD is OK

The picture on SD channels is very poor and I mean pooooooor - artifacts around images, plurred picture on BBC1 :

This was my main gripe about the Amstrad, the SD picture was dreadful when you compare it to another box. My Amstrad was replaced because of a compatability issue between some Panasonc tv`s and the Amstrad HD box, it was replaced with a Samsung which has been great so far.

I could have lived with the stuck contrast on the Amstrad for a while until the new EPG fixed it but not the poor SD picture, in some ways i`m glad it wasn`t compatable with my TV :D
 

961

Well-known Member
For what's its worth ........

I had my original Thompson box swapped out tonight due to overheating and failed recordings.

And was given a new amstrad box - oh dear. :thumbsdow

The picture on HD is OK

The picture on SD channels is very poor and I mean pooooooor - artifacts around images, plurred picture on BBC1 and not to mention they have opended an old wound and given me the old planner. ( the wife had only just figured out how to use the new one)

Well I'm not standing for this :censored: I called sky and told them of my issues and after a 5 mins on the phone the guy agreed the amstrad was not performing and a new box will be with me soon.

He was so quick to agree he must know that some boxes are having issues.

Fingers cross my next box performs better - which ever module they bring :smashin:

This sort of experience is why I have retained my original Thomson box and upgraded the psu and hard drive

Most or all of the different makes of box have issues, but apart from the psu the Thomson box works well and produces a good picture both on sd and hd

When the issues with the new epg are resolved it will work even better
 

eiw1219

Standard Member
Thanks for the Advice guys (bar the arguments!)
Looks like I am concerned then with the possibility of an Amstrad!
I have had 2 free call outs and apparently the first engineer changed my original Thompson box (not convinced he did?) I had it for 2 years. And now it has the faults I listed below (OP).
Think I will see if I can get a different box, although he said he only had Amstrad or Thompson. Maybe then I will get another Thompson?
Do the new Thompsons have the upgraded PSU's?
I am also not aware I am going to be charged for a new box.
 

961

Well-known Member
Thanks for the Advice guys (bar the arguments!)
Looks like I am concerned then with the possibility of an Amstrad!
I have had 2 free call outs and apparently the first engineer changed my original Thompson box (not convinced he did?) I had it for 2 years. And now it has the faults I listed below (OP).
Think I will see if I can get a different box, although he said he only had Amstrad or Thompson. Maybe then I will get another Thompson?
Do the new Thompsons have the upgraded PSU's?
I am also not aware I am going to be charged for a new box.

The problem is that Thomson have not made boxes for sky for some time, so you won't get a new one now

My understanding from these forums is that Pace make the best boxes now but even they have issues

If you can get a NEW box (whatever make) free of charge (as opposed to a refurbished box) then I would take that. You'll tell by a new box coming in the manufacturer's coloured box as opposed to a refurbished box coming in a brown box with no manufacturer's logos etc

There is a new generation box due out in the new year, currently on trial with some customers (see threads on this forum) and the next step if you are still having trouble is to demand one of these next spring
 

eiw1219

Standard Member
Cheers, I'm now going to hold out for a new / (refub'd) Samsung rather than the Amstrad as it seems to be a bit of a risk! And yes the Thompson have stopped now and they are only fitting Amstrad (well round my way anyhow!)
 

Meridius

Well-known Member
What problems do the pace sky HD box have ? Are they serious.
 

tele1962

Distinguished Member
Cheers, I'm now going to hold out for a new / (refub'd) Samsung rather than the Amstrad as it seems to be a bit of a risk! And yes the Thompson have stopped now and they are only fitting Amstrad (well round my way anyhow!)

Have you thought about doing an upgrade of the PSU and hard drive on your Thomson which makes the box probably the best there is.:)
 

961

Well-known Member
Have you thought about doing an upgrade of the PSU and hard drive on your Thomson which makes the box probably the best there is.:)

If the Thomson box is still there and the £65 has not been charged then that's the way to go

I rather thought things had progressed beyond that point

It also depends on the current postal dispute since most of this work is carried out via royal mail unless a courier is used or a local engineer is available
 

tele1962

Distinguished Member
If the Thomson box is still there and the £65 has not been charged then that's the way to go

I rather thought things had progressed beyond that point

It also depends on the current postal dispute since most of this work is carried out via royal mail unless a courier is used or a local engineer is available

Could go the DIY root,if i can do it anyone can (hopeless at DIY).:thumbsup:
 

961

Well-known Member
Could go the DIY root,if i can do it anyone can (hopeless at DIY).:thumbsup:

Sorry, my other name is podgy fingers, and while I can install a revamped psu and hard drive into a Thomson box I wouldn't even try to start to solder new capacitors onto the psu board

Just call me a saddo:smashin:
 

JF1980

Active Member
Sorry to butt in on this thread but I'm having similar problems. Have an old Thompson box (4E300C owned for 2-3 years) which has had a 1TB HDD for over a year and I upgraded the PSU about 4-5 months ago due to recurrent signal quality / pixelation / sound dropout.

The box still pixelates occasionally on HD channels and more noticeably drops the sound (AV amp resets on loss of signal so it drops the sound out for a few seconds), I have checked the dish alignment and swapped out the LNB which seemed to make no difference to the apparent signal strength/quality issues.

Now it's started failing to display a picture when turning on from standby. I get audio but no video. This has happened a couple of times now in the past week and is very annoying as it requires a power off/on reset to get video output back; the box takes about 15 mins to start up after being switched off from the mains. The extremely slow EPG / remote delay is also getting very annoying now.

It looks to me like it's time to change the box. I've read a bit on these forums about Samsung vs Pace vs Amstrad and it seems to be swings and roundabouts with each having their own issues.

First question:

Will I be able to get another brand box (say Amstrad for example) and install my current 1TB drive in it without losing all of my recordings? It was easy to upgrade my drive to 1TB but that was for use in the same box but I guess any software, drivers etc stored on the HDD would have been the same.

Second question:

What's going to happen when Sky bring out the new boxes in the NY which will apparently offer new features? It seems silly to upgrade now if in a few months time the box is going to be out of date and need replacing again.


Any advice appreciated. I was thinking of buying the replacement box on eBay where they seem to be going for about £70 rather than calling out Sky for £65 and ending up with another old Thompson box (EPG runs so slow!).
 

spile

Active Member
I would advise you not to be swung by a few posts on here saying that they've never had a problem with X box but Y box is unreliable.
Read a few posts on here and you'll see that the reliablity issue of various boxes is no where near as clearly defined as some would make out.
I was going to say that my current Amstrad box is more reliable than my previous Thompson and Samsung which only last a couple of months but in doing so I'd be falling into the same trap wouldn't I :)
 

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