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New box advice

cjgall

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My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#1
I currently own an old 2nd hand Grundig box with a 2nd generation card (FTV & FTA channels only) and am thinking about buying a new one and have a couple of questions before I take the plunge.

My current box is really slow, it takes ages to load BBCi and the EPG is practically useless. Will an new box make a big difference?

If I were to buy a Sky+ box will I be able to record FTA & FTV channels to HD without having a subscription and without connecting the box to the phone line?
 

rolfw

Believe it when I see it Admin.
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#2
A new box (or newer) should be much faster, the Sky+ system will only work if activated by Sky, so will not work with a FTV card (which I personally find ridiculous).
 

cjgall

Regular Member
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My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#3
Thanks rolfw, it is indeed ridiculous. On my Topfield PVR I can record any program I can receive without extra subscriptions, this includes Canal Digitaal FTV/pay channels and the BBC. What Sky are doing should be illegal. What we really need is for a second company to enter the UK market, Canal Digita(a)l for instance.
 

cjgall

Regular Member
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0
My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#4
I was wondering if any of the available digibox's built in NDS Videoguard CA modules are pcmcia modules? If so which digibox models?

I was thinking that if this is the case, I could maybe use a module in my 'normal' receiver.
 

rolfw

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#5
Althogh at least one company has designed an NDS module for the UK market, they are not for sale, as Sky have not approved them.

In fairness to the Sky+ box, it does have advantages over the single tuner PVRs, as you can watch one channel and record another.
 

cjgall

Regular Member
Messages
265
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My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#6
I read about the NDS module, Dragon are currently speaking to there sollicitors apparently. What I was wondering is if there are any Sky boxes around that use a standard pcmcia adaptor 'inside' the box into which you insert the Sky card. If this was the case, I could remove the pcmcia module from the digibox and use it in my Topfield alongside the Aston 1.05 module I use. I checked inside the Grundig and although there is an unused pcmcia slot, the slot that takes the Sky card is not pcmcia.

Sky+ isn't the only PVR with two tuners, the Topfield I have also has two tuners, besides recording one program while view another, you can also playback a recording at the same time as recording a program. The new version of the Topfield will let you record two programs while watching a third and has a USB2 socket for copying streams to the PC.

Sky are just cashing in on technology that is freely available to the rest of Europe. Having said that, I would be more than happy to purchase a Sky+ box if I could use it to record ITV1, Channel 4 and Five without a subscription.
 

rolfw

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#7
Sorry cjgall, got the wrong drift of your question, but the answer is the same, all of the NDS units on Sky digiboxes are embedded, so not transferrable.

Didn't realise the Topfield also has two tuners. :)
 

cjgall

Regular Member
Messages
265
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0
My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#8
Thanks rolfw, that will save me buying loads of Skyboxes, taking them apart and then slinging them. I guess I will just have to live with the limitations impossed by sky :(

The Topfield isn't available in the UK as far as I can tell, it should be though as it blows the socks off the competition. I tried 3 PVR boxes (my sat dealer is very understanding) before settling for the one I now have.
 

methos_de

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My Satellite Setup
Pace Ver.3 SKY+ box
1,20m Dish
Quad Invacom 0, 3db LNB

P4 3,4 ghz
1024mb RAM
Geforce 256mb 6800 Ultra
My Location
Sunny old Bristol
#9
cjgall said:
Sky+ isn't the only PVR with two tuners, the Topfield I have also has two tuners, besides recording one program while view another, you can also playback a recording at the same time as recording a program. The new version of the Topfield will let you record two programs while watching a third and has a USB2 socket for copying streams to the PC.
How does that work ? How can you record 2 and watch a third with only 2 tuners? To the end of year SKY are introducing the option of recording 2 different channels but you will have to watch one of them.

Methos.
 

cjgall

Regular Member
Messages
265
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My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#10
Consider this.

On a single tuner PVR its still possible to record one channel and watch a different channel. There are limitations though, both channels must be part of the same bouquet. For instance the Xtreme can do this.

My twin tuner receiver has just one connection to my LNB and I loop through to the second tuner. This allows me to record one program and watch another as long as the band and polarity is the same.

If I were to connect the second input to a LNB then both tuners would be 100% independant, i.e. no band/polarity limitations. Theoretically I could watch 2 channels while recording two different ones subject to the above metioned limitations.

Now consider what I wrote above, in particular the first paragraph, and then combine it with hardware with a double tuner.

When recording and watching a second channel then the recorded stream doesn't need to be decoded. It is simply copied to the hard disk. The only situation that it may be decoded is when you watch the stream during copying, depending on the receiver.

I have the Topfield 4000PVR which only records one stream while watching a different channel. Its the new Topfield 5000PVR that can record two streams at the same time. Not only can the 5000 PVR do that, you can also record two streams and what a third, previously recorded stream.
 

methos_de

Regular Member
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My Satellite Setup
Pace Ver.3 SKY+ box
1,20m Dish
Quad Invacom 0, 3db LNB

P4 3,4 ghz
1024mb RAM
Geforce 256mb 6800 Ultra
My Location
Sunny old Bristol
#11
Cheers, I understand it now. Do you think the SKY+ box will also allow this after all?

Methos.
 

cjgall

Regular Member
Messages
265
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0
My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#12
Yes, if they say you can record 2 streams at the same time then you should be able to watch a third unless they limit the box in some way. This is of course subject to the above mentioned limitations regarding polarity & band. For instance you should be able to record programs on BBC1 (London!!!), BBC2 and still watch BBC4. You will not be able to record regional BBC1 (for instance Yorkshire) unless you have a twin LNB connected.

I must say, twin tuners with a hard disk are the best thing since sliced bread, and the time shift function is incredible. Just press the pause button when watching a live stream if the phone rings and you don't mess a thing. being able to 'rewind' on a live stream is also very handy. When i get around to it I will be connecting my second cable from my twin LNB to the Topfield, its currently going upstairs to my workroom.

It still think that it is absurd that sky insist on making people pay extra for the sky+ functionality. At least they should let people who buy the sky+ digibox outright record without any limitations.
 

PaulR

Dazed and Confused Admin
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#13
I'm fairly sure that I've read that when $ly release new software to allow the $ly PLUS box to record 2 programmes at the same time you will not be able to even view one of the ones being recorded, let alone a separate third channel.

PaulR
 

cjgall

Regular Member
Messages
265
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0
My Satellite Setup
Topfield 4000PVR with Aston 1.07 CAM, (canaldigitaal), dragoncam,
Sky digibox,
Bush HD Freesat,
Visiosat trisat looking at Astra1, Astra2 and Hotbird.
My Location
Netherlands & Central Brittany
#14
So they are imposing artificial limitations then.

As long as the incoming stream is not being decrypted, no significant burden is placed on the mpeg decoder or cpu, stream is simply copied to the hard disk. This means that it should be possible to record (copy) and watch at the same time, like it is on the Topfield receiver.

Or the software on the sky+ box is badly written...
 

methos_de

Regular Member
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My Satellite Setup
Pace Ver.3 SKY+ box
1,20m Dish
Quad Invacom 0, 3db LNB

P4 3,4 ghz
1024mb RAM
Geforce 256mb 6800 Ultra
My Location
Sunny old Bristol
#15
cjgall said:
I still think that it is absurd that sky insist on making people pay extra for the sky+ functionality. At least they should let people who buy the sky+ digibox outright record without any limitations.
Thanks for that. As from Oct 1st you dont have to pay the 10GBP fee for SKY+ so thats a move in a better direction.
We'll just have to wait and see what limitations SKY impose software wise. I also heard that SKY didnt want to allow two recording and a third being watched but as far as I know you should still be able to watch one of the ones being recorded.

Methos.
 

BarMoo

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2xPace 430N, 1xNokia MM9800, 1xNokia 80cm Sat Dish, 1xGibertini 120cm, Big Fat Furry Puss
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Berlin, Germany.
#16
TBC - I learnt today that SKY+ does not allow the user to record NON-EPG'd channels: i.e., a programme/station from another satellite - set-up in the 'Add Channels' menu.

Is this true?

Have Fun,

Mark.