Upgrading from SD to HD on the cheap

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by Zeel, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. Zeel

    Zeel
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    The current setup in our household is:

    Two separate SD Sky boxes with Freesat from Sky, both from the same dish and with their own viewing cards. These aren't on, and have never been on, a Sky subscription. Currently connected to their TVs - one with SCART and the other by component cable. Both TVs have HDMI ports and are HD/HD Ready respecitvely.

    We'd like to be able to:

    Watch all our current SD Freesat from Sky channels, plus the free HD ones (mainly BBC1 and C4).


    Could I do the following:

    Buy a couple of second hand Sky+ HD boxes off eBay (they seem to be available for around £20 each), and just replace the SD boxes with these, changing the cables over to HDMI?

    I assume people sell them without any viewing card included. Would the HD boxes even need a card (we live in Scotland if this matters, and would prefer the regional versions of channels), and if so can the existing ones in the SD boxes be used? I've heard you can just phone Sky and ask them to pair them up somehow - no subscription required?

    I know we wouldn't be able to record anything using the Sky box without a subscription, and that's fine. But would like to set up basic HD for a couple of channels as easily and cheaply as possible.

    Thanks for any help or clarification you can offer.
     
  2. davemurgatroyd2

    davemurgatroyd2
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    If you have connected one of the Sky boxes from component outputs then that box is a Thomson HD one as no other sky box has component outputs. The amke and model of the boxes are printed on either the back panel or on a white sticky label underneath. What are they?

    Yes but £20 is rather a low price (around £40 is more realistic for a good box) unless they are old Thomson boxes which are not really recommended unless the power supply unit has been upgraded (as they are very prone to failure)

    The existing cards will swap into the new boxes and will give the correct regions and the few FTV FreesatFromSky channels including Channel 5HD. They do not need pairing and Sky will not usually do this in any case unless you are the registered owner of the cards.

     
  3. betelgeus

    betelgeus
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    AFAIK you can just swap boxes and get the free hd channels,you only need to pair to get subscription channels like films and sports.

    and yes £20 IS cheap might buy a few.
     
  4. logiciel

    logiciel
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    As dm2 says, if one is connected by component then it can't be a SD one - do you mean composite?
    You certainly could, or from AVF's selling forum!
    They have to sell them without a card as all cards are Sky's property.
    HD machines are no different from SD ones in respect of cards.
    You do use the current cards, they don't need pairing, and there's no subscription if you don't want it.
     
  5. Zeel

    Zeel
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    Ah, no, sorry my mistake - they're both connected by SCART leads. One setup is just a fun bundle of different connections for different inputs to the TV (games console, HDD, etc); and on of those is connected by component leads. SCART output from both boxes though, yes. You guys know your stuff. :)

    Anyway thanks very much for the replies - those are exactly what I was looking for. I'll start shopping around for some decent boxes then, more like the £40 mark. Still worthwhile to me, even if there are only a few free HD channels. Plus it's a good chance to change everything to HDMI. It'll look nice in full HD, and can't be any worse for SD than the SCART leads.

    Oh and the viewing cards are ours and it's all perfectly legal and everything, just no subscription. But that's great, sounds like everything should work just fine.

    Thanks again for the advice, you've all been very helpful.
     
  6. logiciel

    logiciel
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    :hiya:
     

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