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Sky HD Box - Which one???

Discussion in 'Home Cinema, Hi-Fi and Gadgets' started by Nilz, May 6, 2010.

  1. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Hey all

    Im finally upgrading to Sky HD next week, but I want to know which box is the best, as hopefully sweet talking the engineer will get me the best box fitted.

    I had the same on my Sky+ and luckily the engineer was sounds and let me choose my own box, so I went for the Pace one which was apparently the best one on the market and to be honest, not had a single problem with it at all.

    Any one got any experience of the HD boxes??

    Any advise much appreciated :)

    Nilz
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  2. graemep
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    graemep Member

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    Have had an Amstrad model for about a year now, and the only problen was of my own making. Can't really comment on any of the others.

    It runs quite warm when watching HD especially, and I had my blu-ray player perched on top - the build of heat was enough to cause picture break-up. The upgraded hard disk may also not help heat-wise.

    Swapped the two boxes around, with the Sky box on top, and all sorted.
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  3. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Cool, cheers, I want a box that is quick as well....so will look into a few sites to get some good feedback on this.
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  4. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    I have a Samsung one and it's very slow to react to commands and can take about 5 minutes to update the planner everytime it's switched on from standby. I've tried all the usual tricks of re-building the planner, software updates and resets, but it is so rubbish compared to previous boxes I've had. I wish you could buy decent aftermarket kit to replac the sky boxes, but I'm not sure you can.

    Sky HD is very good though, MTV HD is great if you like watching live music gigs etc.
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  5. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Ive not actually gone for the HD mix at the mo, as to be honest, I dont get time to watch it, so have just opted for the freeview channels.

    Only really watch BBC, ITV and E4 anyway, as at all other times, its BABY TV!!!!

    Am holding out for them to get rid of the £10 charge, thats when I will look to get it, as dont see the need to pay for something im not going to use.
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  6. graemep
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    graemep Member

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    The Amstrad box is not to bad speed-wise, and the new EPG sorted out an issue I had with the old planner due to having a bigger disk in the box. The only issue really is the initial power-on can take an age, and if i'm being picky it does seem to take a few seconds to react when you manually enter a channel number rather than selecting from any of the menus.

    If you read the AVForums then it appears the new update sorted a contrast issue - maybe worth having a look there to compare models.

    The HD pack is worth the difference if you have the sports channels - the difference is definately noticable.
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
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  7. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Thanks mate i am a regular on AVForums, so will keep an eye there as well.

    Not really a sports fan, so not too fussed at the mo, however will be looking forward to watching the world cup on BBC and ITV HD (for free) :)

    Going to see if I can go for the Amstrad box then if possible, apparently they dont do the PACE and Thompson one anymore do they??
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  8. Gops
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    Gops 6th gear @7000rpm

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    I have the samsung one and its slow when it wants to be, however its fast aswel if that makes sense. They are good, and they're doing a 250gb or a 500gb version i think. Either way, you'll love the HD aslong as you have the right TV for it! Watching Bear grylls on that is fantastic!
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  9. Good 2 B A Gooner
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    Good 2 B A Gooner Member

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    I've had HD since it came out - We had a Thompson box up unitl a few days ago, when it finally died... That was ok but got very hot in it's old age!
    We now have a Samsung box and it's cool, no slow issues, never gets hot etc. Samsungs did have a problem with lip-sync according to AV Forums, but i think thats now sorted. My box is cool though.

    If you don't want to upgrade the hdd yourself, they now offer 1,2 and i think 3 TB HDD's now! I'd say it's worth getting a bigger HDD though; Come Dine With Me in HD takes up about 65% on my planner....
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  10. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Cheers guys, cant wait for this now!!!

    Still have to wait a while week though!!
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  11. graemep
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    graemep Member

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    I think the Pace and the Thompson boxes were the ones that also had component outputs as well as HDMI but they were unavailable this time last year.

    I was hoping to have a box with component out, to save me some cash replacing cables.
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  12. beanoir
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    beanoir Sharpest Tongue in the West

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    Why?? HDMI is so much better than component?
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  13. Lee_R
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    Lee_R Active Member

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    I'm having mine next week too, free box, free delivery (self set up) and £10 a month for HD. If your not taking the HD mix then did you have to pay for the box?

    I cant wait, got a Panasonic Viera 46in G10 Plasma today and its so awesome, wipes the floor with my older samsung LCD
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  14. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Hey Lee,

    No I didnt have to pay for the box, gave them the ol' im going to Virgin line and they didnt want to let me go that easily, they did put up a fight starting with £60, down to £30, then free in the end.
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  15. graemep
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    graemep Member

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    Sky HD is only 1080i max (as was the TV), which a good quality component cable can accommodate, plus any of the comparisons I saw in print were pretty subjective. Also Sky were not enforcing HDCP at the time, which is IMO one big reason to force digital standards on their customer base.

    Also, with the hardware I was using at the time component was an easy option (HDMI-to-HDMI wasn't due to the TV only having DVI), and I could upgrade at my leisure than being forced to through necessity - I ended getting a bargain on a pretty good HDMI-to-DVI cable which will be surplus to requirements when I replace my TV in the next couple of months.
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  16. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    With the new box coming on the weekend, I have alot of recordings on my current sky+ box, can I still have that connected, up to the TV, not necessarily to the dish, but to the TV to get at the recordings.

    Mainly baby programs that stop the little one crying instantly..lol!!!
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  17. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Alas no my friend, a Sky+/HD box needs LNB connections and a valid plus service viewing card to let you do anything useful with it.

    Just on the subject of HD boxes and which are any good; I don't know if its been mentioned since I read the bulk of this thread, but be aware that the second (major) generation of HD boxes are now shipping. You'll get one of these now if you order Sky+ or Sky+HD; the easiest way to tell them apart from first generation boxes is that they've only got one SCART (which is going to cause me nightmares on an almost daily basis), and they're a bit skinnier than their older counterparts (and there's a handy little gap between the chassis lid and top fascia panel at the back which helps me get a cable dangling out of them). I've only played with Amstrad and I think one Thomson so far, and there didn't seem to be much to separate them to be honest. When I get some more to fiddle with I'll report back....

    Regards,

    Rob.
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  18. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Cheers Rob

    Will keep an eye out for that.
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  19. graemep
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    graemep Member

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    If you're not averse to opening up the boxes, take a look at copy+ (http://www.skycopyplus.co.uk/), as you could copy the contents of one to the other.
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  20. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Graeme thats wicked mate, wont get a chance to do it just yet, but that is spot on and will be a lifesaver!!!
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  21. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    OK i got the box today, its a pace one, and im very impressed with it, nice and quick, got the new planner straightaway as well, didnt take long to swap the boxes over either.

    The pic quality is amazing on this, im well impressed with it.

    I have to say that LUXE TV Channel doenst have anything good on it, but the quality on it is bang on, was watching a program earlier on it about Dubai...was amazing!!!
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  22. Gops
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    Gops 6th gear @7000rpm

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    Good stuff Nilz! I've always loved discovery HD, Nat Geo HD and Wild HD! Best channels!! Some HD channels will show films remastered in HD and wont look the very best, however the cartoon films look WICKED! I watched the incredibles 2 the other week on HD and it was impressive! What TV have you got?
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  23. Gops
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    Gops 6th gear @7000rpm

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    Oh, and now when Megafactories comes on now, you can watch it.. In HD :cool:
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  24. Nilz
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    Nilz Defo worth the wait :)

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    Its a Sony Bravia, it is well impressive, and yea the cartoons are immense on it, watched UP on blu ray a while ago and I was blown away the quality of it was just something else!!!
    #24

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