Sky multiroom

24 Apr 2008
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UK, Wittering, West Sussex
United Kingdom
My very elderly friend (who does not like change or disruption) has Sky - its an old SKY HD or SKY+ box , and has I think 4 coax cables from the box to connect up to other TV's around the house
Main TV in the lounge and then TV's in the kitchen, Bedroom, Conservatory - at the moment they use an analogue signal - I had to change all the new Panasonic TV's from Digital TV to analogue and tune in about 3 years ago - which then displays the TV from SKY - but only the channel SKY in the lounge is on
Also i am sure the same coax connects to the Aerial , as i can get Freeview on the TV's, from the same aerial connection

Not 100% sure how these coaxial cables are connected , they may all go to an AMP/Distributer in the loft.
As I say she is very elderly, does not want any disruption

The SKY remote control has stopped working just the volume & Mute , but when switched does activate the LED on the remote - not an issue can use that on the TV remote - but maybe a sign the SKY box is on its way out
She had an engineer out from RicherSounds, where she purchased all the TV's they sent out a subcontractor and from what i can gather (one side) he did not really do much , just change one TV to pickup the Freeview (when it did not work on the sky signal) and to fix the SKY remote, which he did not have a spare , changed the Panasonic TV remote - as i say one side of conversation - but......clearly did not know how to change the TV to analogue - which is quite a set of sub menus to do .... or understand the SKY remote issue !!! - or be bothered to do something, wrong engineer really - should have spoken with sky , but she thought it was a problem with the TV

Now the question
Spoke to Sky this morning and they say the old SKYHD or SKY+ Box is very old and they would need to replace the unit
Then spoke of another mini-box which would run all the other TV's via broadband ( they would provide 1 new sky box and 1 new mini - which will do it all)- she has broadband but a veery very poor wireless signal because of the cottage construction and has a powerline connection from router to the Sky box

Sky only wanted to upsale today and did not seem to understand or want to know the issue , and as I say , just a sales assistant was trying to upsale , she then said as she would not be wathing all the tv;s she could move the box to a different TV at 90 years old - not an option!!!!!

What are my options ?
I guess
1) do away with sky and use the aerial for freeview and get a humax type BOX - or even as she has BT a BT box. Save £65 a month
2) Replace the SKY box, and not use the other TV's
3) keep sky - but to play on the other tv's i need
a) a coax out to a amp/distributer - if the new sky box has a coaxial output on channel 68 - like the old box?
b) get this minibox thing for each TV and also a powerline connection for each TV, so it uses her internet connection for TV from SKY
c) open to other suggestions

I'm going to see her again next wednesday (15th June), so hopefully i can discuss some alternatives for her, or at least understand what SKY is trying to do and have a better idea when sorting out with them...

thanks for any help
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Maybe ask her what she watches, if it's mainly available on Freeview anyway Sky is a waste of money.

If all the TV's are digital Free view capable maybe get her to try that for a few weeks before making a decision.

I dread to think what Sky Multiroom costs after the introductory period.
Thanks Keithmac, Well thats sort of the way i'm thinking - But she does record programs - and so that would be a major change
And she has had the conservatory TV on freeview and is struggling with the things like the guide as its all different - BUT thats the first reaction and i have to take her through it very slowly and try and get her mind into a receiving mode, rather than its all wrong .....

But from a short conversation this morning, I dont think she watches any of the SLY channels - I will need to review all her recordings and see , I know who husband used to watch discovery and nature / news business programs , he passed away 3 years ago.

I think you are right with the confusing conversation this morning with SKY
- costs after the introductory period.
is the issue
Shes not got a financial problem and so saving the £65 is not a big issue ,
I'm also not sure what the freeview reception is like in her area - should be OK, i think she is getting either Crystal Palace or Redhill - BBC London. Not sure which without a lot more investigation - which i'm sure will be what i have to do , when i go there next

thanks again for the response
How many people in the house? Is it just her, or are others wishing to watch at the same time?

If it's just her then the aerial distribution system is a perfectly good solution for non-critical viewing. She wants the convenience of watching her Sky signal in whatever room she happens to be in, and this does that with the minimum of cost and/or fuss.

If we continue this train of thought, then the answer is to fix the reasons why certain bits have stopped working.

Sky remote no longer controlling the TV volume: This could simply be that the batteries have been replaced, but it took a little longer than the remote can hold its charge memory, so the remote has "forgotten" it's programming.

The solution: reprogram the remote.

Take the Sky remote to the main box. Press Services and then select Help > Set Up Remote and then follow the onscreen guide.

If that doesn't work then there are plenty of online guides to programming the remote. Here's a link to Sky's guide. Make sure to select Sky+ from the menu.

Sky remote no longer controlling the Sky box via the eye system.
The Sky eyes require a small voltage from the Sky box. This power is sent up the coax cable. The trouble shooting sequence is as follows

1. check the Sky box installer menu to see if RF2 power is still enabled (Services > 0, 0, 1, Select, then choose RF Outlets from the tabs)
2. Check the coax connection at the rear of the Sky box. If there's a break in the continuity then the RF signal might still work but the DC voltage won't be able to jump the small gap
3. Check the other coax connections on the suspect line
4. Retry the Sky Eye.

Note: Sky Eyes can be sensitive to intermittent power connections. I have known eyes to die if plugged in live. Always power off the box completely or disable the 9v output from the service menu.

It's also not beyond the possibility that an eye has just died. Also, I couldn't rule out a dying Sky box, but it's often something much simpler such as a broken coax fly lead or dead Sky Eye. Look for the simple solutions first: menu power is off, broken/intermittent connection, then dead Sky Eye.

If the worst comes to the worst and the box itself is dying then it's not the end of the world. I keep a couple as service spares. I picked them up from the local classified ads. You'll be able to do something similar. The only catch is that any content from the old box will be lost unless you either swap the hard drives or buy the gear and software to transfer between to HDDs. The software is necessary because the recorded files don't show up under Windows. Even if you have the hardware to connect two external HDDs to a computer you still won't be able to move the content between them without the software.

If you get stuck or just want a simple solution then I can transfer your content and supply you with a refurbished box. Drop me a private message to discuss further, but I think you should be able to sort out most of this locally.

Regarding Sky Q
AFAIK, Sky's sales agents don't have an option to supply a replacement Sky-HD box any more. Their only option then is to swap a customer on to SkyQ. That's going to be a huge change for your friend. The menu layouts, the remote, how things work, it's all very different. If she doesn't like disruption then this will be a bit of a nightmare for her.

The mini box is akin to a thin client. It has no recording facility itself. Instead, think of it a bit like a remote desktop connection. It's dialing in to the main Q box for a signal. Any recordings are made on the main box. The mini simply taps in to them. For this reason the mini requires no satellite cable connection.

In order for Q to work a Sky installer will need to come put a new LNB on the dish arm. The same two coax cables from the dish to the recorder will be used, so there's no extra cabling to be run. However, there are no RF connections or options to get an RF signal from a Q box. This means that losing the Sky HD box also means losing its RF1 Out (to main TV) and RF2 Out to the aerial distribution. You'll need a two way splitter to replicate the current connections.

The mini boxes allow the Sky signal to be seen on another TV, and also provide a way of watching a different channel to what's being shown on the main box. But it's at an additional cost to the main subscription, and the output is only via HDMI. They do connect wirelessly, but AFAIK there is an option to use powerline connection built into the boxes.

If it was me, and there's was only one person in the house to view, then I'd give serious thought to getting the Sky Eye system up and running again.

Swapping over to SkyQ is an easy solution because the installer will do the physical work, but you're probably going to end up being the one she calls when the system doesn't make sense. Your friend doesn't need that hassle, and unless you too have a SkyQ system then will you really be able to talk her through the steps each time?

Spend a little time and effort to get her system back up and running. That's the better solution in the long run.
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Thanks for the full reply

How many people in the house? Is it just her, or are others wishing to watch at the same time?
just her so noone at same time

I'll print off and work through all your suggestions next wednesday
Thanks so much

Sky remote no longer controlling the Sky box via the eye system.
Not sure if she has an eye system , will need to look

Also she has a generator , that kicks in if a power outage - so maybe that caused some issue

f it was me, and there's was only one person in the house to view, then I'd give serious thought to getting the Sky Eye system up and running again.
the TV in the kitchen works from SKY - so not sure why it failed on the conservatory TV, maybe the TV - although its a newish TV 3years old, and should be on a 5year warranty

But with all the above info - i will investigate fully

Thanks again
Regarding disruption, my m.i.l is the same.
The wife took her out while I supervised sky fitting.

All done & dusted upon return.
Then the fun starts, the menu is like
Then the fun starts,
yea, she is 50 miles away , all cross country , so something like 1.5-2hrs each way
I can sort out the computer issues because i connect to that remotely , but i have tried with the TV's and she gets into a muddle

if after going through Lucid suggestions she does decide on replacement sky, then she wont go out, but i would be there

What did you get sky to fit

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