Problems with Sky+ boxes when you're abroad

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#1
I'm based in Munich, and thinking of upgrading my existing Sky digital subscription to Sky+, but one thing that is worrying me is the comments from people on various forums about all the problems they have with the boxes (people saying they are on their 6th box in 6 months, etc). The last thing I want i to get a Sky+ box, have it die 2 weeks later, and then being in the position of having to send it back to the UK for repair and then have to have it sent back here, which will obviously cost me plenty, and also leave me without Sky completely for a while.

I was wondering if any of the people here who have Sky+ outside the UK (particularly in germany) have had problems with their boxes, and whether they have been able to get them repaired locally, or whether they have had to send them back to the UK.

Cheers.
 

methos_de

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#2
Hi, i've had SKY+ since it came out and have had only one problem since then. what is that? 4 years or so?
I did unfortunately have to send it back to england which did take a while. I was without SKY for a total time of about 2 weeks and the shipping charges there and back were really high.

Mike.
 

rolfw

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#3
I did stop installing them for a while, as I was getting too many callbacks, they do seem to be better now though.
 
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#4
Thanks for the feedback, guys.

rolfw said:
I did stop installing them for a while, as I was getting too many callbacks, they do seem to be better now though.
Rolf, was the improvement now when the Pace V2 boxes were released? Should I make sure I get one of these and not a V1?
 

Leee

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#5
I think you'd struggle to get a [new] V1 box now.
My V2 has been running a little south-west of your location since the beginning of the year with almost no problems (the one problem being that certain f-connectors don't connect to the box as others, that was worrying as I thought my tuners were shagged!)
 
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#6
Hi Leee,

Did you align your own dish down here, and if so did you have any problems with aligning for BBC, or did you just get a professional to do it? Being right on the edge for BBC with my 88cm dish, I'm wondering whether to get a sat meter and just try to do it myself when i fet the quad LNB, or whether to just save myself the hassle and pay someone (as I did when I had sky installed, and then when I get a bigger dish).

Cheers.
 

Leee

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#7
I have a 1m Gilbertini on my balcony. At most, it's taken two beers to set up. Except the first time I set up Sky Digital many moons ago - 2 hours in freezing fog with 5 people telling me about the signal......took 5 minutes at 7am next day when they were all asleep!

In a thunderstorm yesterday, I have 80/90% and 90/60% signal strength/quality.

For my next home where it'll be mounted on the roof, I'll pay somebody :)
 
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#8
Leee said:
I have a 1m Gilbertini on my balcony. At most, it's taken two beers to set up. Except the first time I set up Sky Digital many moons ago - 2 hours in freezing fog with 5 people telling me about the signal......took 5 minutes at 7am next day when they were all asleep!

In a thunderstorm yesterday, I have 80/90% and 90/60% signal strength/quality.

For my next home where it'll be mounted on the roof, I'll pay somebody :)
We had that storm last night as well. Didn't think to check the signal strength/quality. Will have to have a look next time we have one. We can usually use the dish as a weather forecaster - we know there's a big storm brewing as we lose BBC.

Decided to go for it. Phoned and ordered the box today, and picking it up when I go back to the uk in 2 weeks time.I think I'll give it a go myself, and if I can't get it aligned, pay a local sat engineer to do it.
 
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#10
SKY+ boxs's work without phone connection ! how does this keep going around like this ? The rumor machine is working overtime on this one.
 

xerxes

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#11
Not only does Sky+ work without a telephone connection, what appears to be little known by anybody - including Sky Customer Services - is that if you live outside of the UK there is NO contractual requirement whatsoever to connect to a telephone line.

That means you're NEVER going to get a letter from Sky threatening to downgrade your subscription and remove the ability to record with your Sky+, which could happen if you live in the UK. Just don't let them know you're abroad though.

The confusion arises, as far as I can see, because if you live in the UK the whole world and his dog orders Sky+ through Sky, as it's cheaper and far more convenient to do it this way. But this does mean you're entirely in the hands of Sky. You'd have to sign a Sky+ contract, and be satisfied with the Sky+ box they give you. If the box goes wrong Sky will replace it - but with a "reburbished" box, which I think is verging on the criminal. That's the reason I believe that so many customers get through so many boxes.

The Sky+ contract states that you must keep the box connected to a telephone line for 1 year, but (in small letters) ONLY if it's been installed by a Sky engineer. This clause does NOT apply if you've had the box installed independently.

If you're living abroad, one thing is certain - you most certainly will not have installed your Sky+ through Sky. You most certainly will have done it independently.

You will NOT be presented with a Sky+ contract anyway, as Sky does NOT require you to take out a new contract. Your existing (non Sky+) contract will apply - and there is NOTHING in this at all to say that you have to have Sky+ connected to a telephone line.

Another advantage of not buying from Sky directly is that if anything goes wrong you will get a new box from your supplier, and not some "refurbished" crap.

A word of warning: be careful who you buy your Sky+ from. In particular, don't get it from Comet. I phoned them up and asked what would happen If I installed Sky+ myself, and would it nullify the 1 year warrenty. Their reply was that if the box is installed by anybody other than a qualified Sky engineer, the warrenty is null and void. Thankyou Comet.

I'd recommend getting Sky+ from Simply Digital. At 179 pounds they are 20 pounds cheaper than everybody else, and deliver free of charge within the UK - 25 pounds abroard. I phoned them up and they confirmed that if you install it yourself it does not nullify the 1 year warrenty.

Xerxes
 

PaulR

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#12
Xerxes

You will NOT be presented with a Sky+ contract anyway, as Sky does NOT require you to take out a new contract. Your existing (non Sky+) contract will apply - and there is NOTHING in this at all to say that you have to have Sky+ connected to a telephone line.
Does this mean that you have an ordinary $ly subscription only?

I was under the impression that the recording facilitiesweren't available unless you paid an (extra) subscription for them (£10 p.m. I believe).

If you are recording on an ordinary $ly subscription then does that mean that there's hope for the likes of me with an FTV card?

PaulR
 

xerxes

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#13
PaulR said:
Xerxes


Does this mean that you have an ordinary $ly subscription only?

I was under the impression that the recording facilitiesweren't available unless you paid an (extra) subscription for them (£10 p.m. I believe).

If you are recording on an ordinary $ly subscription then does that mean that there's hope for the likes of me with an FTV card?

PaulR
You have to pay Sky the extra 10 pounds if your current subscription is under 30 pounds a month. That means you can only avoid paying the 10 pounds if you subscribe to the film and/or sports packages.

You won't be able to record anything with your FTV card - you would have to subscribe to Sky, which would cost you altogether at least 20 pounds a month (I forget what the cheapest package costs, but I thinks its about 12 pounds).

Have you thought of getting a DVD recorder instead? Not as comfortable and well integrated as Sky+, but you'd have the advantage of remaining independent of Sky. And with recorders from Panasonic and I believe Pioneer you get some functions which Sky+ offers, like being able to "pause" live TV, using the time-slip function. Biggest disadvantage is you can't watch 1 thing whilst recording another, as you can with Sky+.

Seems a load of stuff you get on Sky these days is available anyway on DVD. And DVDs keep on coming down in price, whilst Sky subscriptions keep on going up.

Xerxes
 

PaulR

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#14
Not a DVD recorder, no, but I have thought of building a living room friendly (quiet!) PC with a large hard disk and a Freeview terrestrial card and ten recording there.

It would also be advantageous if I could recors of the satellite equipment but that would involve A/D convertors and subsequent loss of quality.

Seems there's no all-in-one solution available...

PaulR
 

mesaka

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#15
I'm in Germany and rather than Sky+ went for Tivo - its fantastic and a crying shame that at the moment the only way to get it is via E-bay (no UK manufacturer at present but the servce is still available within the UK!).
 

xerxes

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#18
As a matter of interest did you phone Sky up from Madrid to activate your card for Sky+, or did you arrange to have it done from the UK?

Xerxes
 
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#19
I've had to send my box and card back to the place I bought the box from to try to get them paired up. It just wouldn't do it over the air here in Munich.
 
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#20
xerxes said:
As a matter of interest did you phone Sky up from Madrid to activate your card for Sky+, or did you arrange to have it done from the UK?

Xerxes
Got someone at home to do it. Parents house is 8, my contract at 8A!!!! but the contact number is obviously the same. They rang and said that they weren't at home but could the card be activated anyway. Call centre person went to supervisor after initially saying no and everything set up in 10 minutes.
 
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