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Adding a Sky digibox

J

JB

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#1
I have had an Echostar 8700 with a motorised antenna for some time now and I am very happy with it. However, now that it seems that Sky are going to stop analogue transmissions, it looks as though I will have to add a digibox to my system. However,I have been told that it is not possible to connect this to my analogue antenna but I am not sure of the reason. I would appreciate any suggestions on what has to be done. I have also had some problems locally when enquiring about purchasing a digibox ( I would rather pay than have a permanent connection to Sky)as they said would only do it if it was connected. I would be grateful if someone could suggest a suitable supplier.

Many thanks
JB
 

2old4this

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#2
There is no such thing as a digital or analogue dish. IE, they are the same. Only the LNB might be a problem . The LNB (Low-Noise Block down-converter) is usually mounted on an arm in front of the dish to pick up the signal reflecting from the dish).

Most modern LNBs are "universal" types, that are suitable for picking up the extended range of "Ku-band" frequencies used by both analogue or digital signals, and suitable for responding correctly to the various control signals that modern receivers pass up the cable (eg to tell the LNB to switch to a different part of the frequency band), or to switch to a different polarisation).
Older LNBs may not be. So you may have to replace your LNB with a universal LNB (but they are cheap enough).

You are not obliged to purchase your digibox as part of the subsidised package. You can pay full price (about GBP 380 if I recall). Or you can buy one second-hand (typically they go for about GBP 50-75, often including dish+LNB, and half a dozen are in Loot every week).

If you get a second-hand box and want to do the installation yourself, you will still need to arrange a card. BBC card is no problem. But most shops (Comet, Dixons, etc.) will claim ignorance of even the possibility, and even Sky themselves will not be very forthcoming on arranging a subscription on a box you have not bought from them. It *is*, however, possible, and it is quite legal.
You just have to know where to go.
And just where do you go?
You contact the Sky Subscriber Services Ltd. centre in Livingstone, Scotland, ask for the "second hand contracts department". It's their best kept secret, but it *does* exist.

See also this thread:
http://www.satellites.co.uk/scripts/dcforum/DCForumID23/18.html

2old
 
J

JB

Guest
#3
2old, many thanks for your informative reply and for the reassurance about the dish - very much appreciated. In one of your replies to a topic below, you stated

"Do you mean that you want to use two receivers in tandem but the digibox always keeps control of the LNB? If so that can be solved by using a smart priority switch. You can then use a full-functioned digital/analogue receiver as the main receiver on your motorised system, and the digibox as a secondary receiver which you only switch to if needing the Videoguard stuff at Astra2."

I assume this should then be applicable if I have a digibox and the Echostar and also that the switch would be located near the receivers rather than on or near the dish.

John
 

2old4this

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#4
Until recently, I had exactly that set up - a digibox and an Echostar (first D2500ip, later ad3000ip) fed from one steerable dish/LNB.

In the case of a d2500ip, there is not even any need for a smart priority switch. The digital out coax connector is fed to the "dish-in" of the digibox. Then when the dish points to 28.2e, switching off the Echostar box automatically passed control of the LNB through to the digibox (or switching the digibox on automatically grabbed control).

In the case of the ad3000ip, the digital-out connector is used to loop directly to the analogue-in of the same receiver, so the above arrangement is no longer feasible. So then you have to fall back on the priority switch. That's basically a little electronic device which has connections to the co-ax and to pin-8 of the TV scart from the receiver which acts as master. Bit difficult to explain but they come with instructions. Once set up, the switching takes place automatically. It should ideally be locagted near the two receivers unless you have very long scart cables!

2old