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Using MCE with Sky

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by Jonnyboy, Jul 31, 2005.

  1. Jonnyboy

    Jonnyboy
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    I currently have an Artisan with dual digitial (freeview) tuners. I have just moved to an area that doesn't seem too hot for Freeview, so it seems I need to go to Sky (house already has a dish).

    I plan to go for the Sky equivelant of freeview which I believe costs a one off £20 for the card.

    Anyway, to my point, I don't want to lose the dual tuner functionality so I understand I need to get two sky boxes + 2 of the above cards.

    How does MCE control the boxes? Do the boxes need to be the same type? Any other advice and suggestions please?

    And is there any such thing as a PCI Sky PC card?

    All help and suggestions much appreciated.
     
  2. scumball

    scumball
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    Not got anything you mention but as far as I know you will also need a dual LNB on your dish (or two dishes) for recording different channels.

    I guess the Sky boxes would go into a pair of general capture cards via a Scart - Composite adaptor (unless you have the Grundig STB with S-Video output or SDI upgraded boxes and Sweetspot SDI capture!!). Presumably MCE can control the STBs via the IR for channel changing.

    You can get PCI DVB-S cards but they have no CAM slots and so you'll only recieve the Free-to-Air channels (exc. Free-to-View channels such as ITV, ITV2, ITV3, C4 and five) as they cannot take the Sky viewing card.

    The cards cost £20 but I think the dual LNB fitting (or second dish) will cost a bit more and all those cables and boxes could be messy ... :(

    it sounds like a rocky road to me.
     
  3. nigelbb

    nigelbb
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    That's right you need two Sky Boxes being fed from a dual (or quad) LNB. You will also need two Sky subscriptions of course or at least the 10pounds/month 'mirror' sub. Not just any old capture card will work with MCE it needs to be one that does MPEG2 encoding in hardware. They cost a bit more than 20 pounds. The list of supported cards can be found here http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/mediacenter/partners/dfw/partnerlisting.mspx
    Control of the digiboxes is by a little stick-on IR bug that connects to the MCE IR remote receiver.

    There are DVB-S cards available with a CI slot e.g. Hauppauge Nexus-CI but there is no official BSkyB CAM. Apparently the Dragon CAM at present allows you to use a genuine paid for Sky card in a DVB-S card with CI. The only problem is that MCE doesn't support any DVB-S cards.

    Your best bet if possible is to upgrade your aerial to something that will pull in Freeview in your area.
     

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