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SKY Multiroom / Magic Eye Query

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by hotrod, 27 Oct 2012.

  1. hotrod

    hotrod

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    Hi,

    I had SKY installed about 12months ago in my back lounge and have now finished the front lounge so want to put a telly in there. I don't want to pay SKY £10.95 pm for multi room as I will only ever be in one room at a time and will never want to watch different channels at the same time.

    I have seen this product:-

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/labgear-sky-extra-room-kit/69595#product_additional_details_container

    Does anyone have any experience of it? Is it any good? Or is there anything better out there? Any advice appreciated.

    Thanks
     
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  3. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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  4. hotrod

    hotrod

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    Thanks Sam. There's a lot to read through there, but the wireless option does look good. It will save me lifting 2 floors!

    I'll have a proper read through tonight and try and get my head round it all.

    I don't have a HD tv but will be buying one for the front. I don't even know if the tv I've got at the moment is stereo sound. It's an ancient thing that had to use a Digi box when they switched the analog TV signal off before I got SKY installed. :mrgreen:

    Thanks
     
  5. ChrisFrost

    ChrisFrost

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    The wireless video senders are an easy solution. They do provide stereo sound, but picture quality will be no better than than aerial cable and they are prone to interference and drop out. In some cases they can look worse than Sky via aerial cable.

    All recent Sky+ installs have used the HD boxes which have a HDMI output. It's seems like a PITA to do, but lifting the floorboards isn't too bad with the right tools and technique. Once that's done then running some network cable (CAT5 or CAT6) along with some decent aerial coax (WF100) is a great first step in getting a HD signal from that Sky box to a second room. Alternatively, you can run up to 20m long HDMI cables without too many issues. That will give you HD picture and stereo sound to a second location. If you want HD on both TVs then an inexpensive HDMI splitter can be used for two simultaneous outputs. Hook up the aerial cable and add a Sky Eye for a cheap and robust method of controlling the box from the other room.

    I like Labgear stuff in general, but that kit at screwfix...... nah. It's too cheap to be decent quality. A pattern remote instead of the genuine article, and basic coax instead of the good stuff. The right quality gear isn't that much more money - Probably less than a £10 extra - so if it was me I'd leave that kit for the sparkies who don't know better.
     
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  6. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    The "Labgear" name was bought by Philex so, unfortunately, a lot of the stuff under that name is actually "Philex" and probably a really cheap import. "Philex" has never been synonymous with "good quality" in the industry.

    The kit also mentions "Y splitter", which is not shown in the picture and I can't imagine what use it would be.

    And it's not even a cheap kit. For the price you could buy a good quality "magic eye" from a specialist, together with the best cable and other accessories. Note, too, the the TV plugs really need to be soldered to the cable to pass current for the "eye" but that isn't mentioned.
     
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  7. hotrod

    hotrod

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    Sam / Chris, thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

    The only thing that concerns me about the wireless solution is there is no guarantee of quality. Sam, the owner of that website you link to has a disclaimer to say there is no guarantee they will work.

    Therefore, I have decided to go for a wired solution (I will lift the floors). Can you guys recommend a 'kit' that contains everything I need to connect 2 TVs (approx 10m apart) - please note I can't solder.

    Many thanks guys.
     
  8. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    The problem with any kit is that it's impossible to anticipate all the requirements, including cable length, colour, thickness etc.

    As such, the kit may provide cable that's too short (oops) or too long (extra expense). It may provide cable clips that you don't want (extra expense) or omit something that you do want (oops).

    Consequently, it's better to decide exactly what you want and order the bits separately. That way you won't be paying for something you don't need.

    Inability to solder doesn't have to be a killer - order cable with plugs fitted - however, it is an unnecessary disability and there are plenty of tutorials that show you how to do it.

    Anyway, try this: http://www.satcure.co.uk/accs/magic_eye_kit.htm
     
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  9. ChrisFrost

    ChrisFrost

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    Hotrod, I've installed loads of Sky eye systems and not once have I needed to solder an aerial plug on to a cable end. Nor have I been called back to any house for faulty Sky eyes or the systems not working because the plugs weren't soldered.

    In fact, the only time I have had a problem with plug connections breaking was when I tried some RF sockets with a screw terminal cable clamp. What I found was that as the cable was twisted on plugging in then the centre conductor would sometimes snap off. That might be as much to do with the plug design though.

    I have been doing this now professionally for 7+ years and privately before that for a good 5+ years. I can't comment on how other people install and wire up their plugs of course. However, in my view is the connection isn't good enough for 9v then it's probably no good for TV reception either. Make of that what you will.

    The other thing to add is that much of the industry is moving over to satellite screw type F connectors for things like Sky eyes and splitters. That does away with any RF plug connection problems immediately for the DIYer. The only aerial type RF plug connections then being the RF2 from the Sky box and the moulded RF fly lead from the eye to the TV's aerial input.

    I know I'm going to regret this next bit purely because I have done it a few times before and it's always always turned out to be a waste of time, but.... Folk are perfectly willing to take advice from amateurs and professionals on these forums. They'll pick our brains, get great tips, but always shrink away like scared cats when an offer is put on the table. Now that makes no sense to me. After all the effort of finding out what's best to use and what to avoid then what is the problem buying some gear from the guys who have just told you how to do it right? None really, correct?

    So here's my offer

    1 x brand new genuine Sky HD+ remote control
    20m x WF100 copper jacket coax cable (this is the best stuff)
    micro Sky Eye (lowest profile, most unobtrusive, easiest to conceal) suitable for use on LED/LCD and Plasma TV as well as CRT.
    all the cable clips + connectors required
    wiring instructions
    Royal Mail delivery
    Total £35

    Cards on the table, I'm making £4.50 on the above which will barely cover time, fuel and packaging... but you get quality gear direct from someone in the trade who does this for a living. What do you say...Deal?

    Add a high quality 3D capable HDMI cable for:
    10m long £12.50
    15m long £18.00
    20m long £23.00
     
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  11. Aragorn84

    Aragorn84

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    You really want to run it over HDMI!
     
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  12. hotrod

    hotrod

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    That's a very kind offer Chris, I really appreciate it and I may well take you up on it in a week or two. I think for the negligible cost difference I would use HDMI cable (if it is really better). I have no problem with you making a few £ mark up on materials to cover the hassle of admin as I know I will still be getting a better deal than in the sheds. I firstly need to choose a new TV for the front lounge as without one I have no need for a 'Magic Eye'!

    A few questions if I may:-

    1. I assume the Magic Eye needs its own SKY remote?

    2. Would it be possible to run the WF100/HDMI externally (up the external wall (5m) over the pitched roof and ridge and down the otherside to the back of the house). I estimate you are looking at 20-25m in total? This would save me lifting the floors, which looking at it again is possible but a lot of work.

    Cheers Chris / Sam / others, your input is invaluable. This is like a foreign language to me so it's taking me a while to get my head round some of the technologies.
     
  13. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    No but it would be more convenient than carrying one between rooms.

    Absolutely but the usual rules about weatherproofing, drip loop etc. apply and the cable needs to be clipped every 0.5m (approx) and every 2nd tile. In particular it needs abrasion protection where it touches a sharp edge or goes over the ridge.

    Running an HDMI cable outside will be difficult (plugs can't be removed to pass through a drilled hole) and inadvisable because the cable is not UV resistant AND the required length will have high losses. CAT5 would be easier (I've done it) but the same comment applies. A good thick coat of paint will give UV protection or run it in conduit.
     
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  14. ChrisFrost

    ChrisFrost

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  15. chilscout

    chilscout

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    Sorry to hijack this thread, but my question is sort of related and it seemed better than opening a new topic.

    Looking at getting Sky. Not worried about multiroom, but would be nice to have Sky in other rooms in house. All TVs in house (4/5) are connected to aerials in loft via standard (some 20 years old) co-ax cables.

    Is this co-ax good enough to carry the Sky signal?

    So, for example, could we have the Sky box in one room and then distribute the programmes to other TVs via their co-ax cables in the loft to avoid loads of extra cables going around/through the house?

    I know we would only be able to watch the same Sky programme in every room.

    If I tallk nicely to the installer, will he do this for me (and a backhander).

    What other 'bits' would I need?
     
  16. Sam Gangee

    Sam Gangee

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    OK if your question is about Magic Eyes.

    Which Sky signal? If you mean the LNB signal - no.
    If you mean the RF output signal - maybe - try it and see. Then replace the cable if it's no use.

    I think you need to do lots of homework. Read about Loft Boxes and Multiroom systems.
    http://www.satcure.co.uk/tech/lofthelp.htm
    http://www.satcure.co.uk/tech/multiswitches.htm#multikit

    I know we would only be able to watch the same Sky programme in every room.

    Unlikely, unless he's prepared to come back and do some "moonlighting".

    See links, above.
    Also this page for the simplest "TV in other rooms" explanation:
    http://www.satcure.co.uk/tech/split.htm

    Once you understand what's possible, you can decide exactly what you want.
     
  17. chilscout

    chilscout

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    Thanks Sam
     
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