* Prices may differ from that shown
------------ Sky TV ------------- I must say, Sky Television is one of the most successful company's in my eyes, and it's not hard to see why... I thought Television was a little boring when there were just five channels, but then out came the Digi boxes which i noticed before Sky. The Digi box came with more channels than the usual five on the normal Television, so then I thought that the digi box would be the king of Television, but then I was mistaken when I discovered Sky Plus Television.... I thought I would check out what Sky Plus was all about, so i logged on to the Sky Website and looked up the prices of one of these Sky Plus boxes with a little encouragment from my neighbours who managed to purchase Sky Plus before my family did, and hearing good things about the Sky Plus company and it's products we knew we just had to get Sky Plus... I was so exited when I found the prices and learned that my family and I would put together some money to buy oursleves a treat for us to enjoy.... So we decided to get a Sky Plus Box which my father picked up from the drop off, where the rest of my family in the house waited in anticipation to try out the new addition to the monthly house bills... When we finally got Sky Plus up and running we were absolutly amazed with the range of channels and extras that were features on the Sky Box, but I was really amazed at how on Sky Plus you can fast forward a program you have paused and you can even rewind a program that you have recorded or watched for a while... You can also record two programes at the same time but you are not able to veiw a program if two recordings are taking place exept from your pllaner which is easy to access by pressing the green button on the TV Guide and holds all of your recordings or program reminders. You can also visit the Anytime TV menu to select a programe you may like, and watch Anytime You feel by pressing the red button on the TV Guide... With me being a genious at working my way around computers and electronics, I discovered new features without reading the instructions manual. I noticed too many things to list in one paragraph so I will tell you all how many wonderful chanels, games, and other helpful facts about Sky Plus Television. ----------------------- The Features ----------------------- Blimey, this is going to take such a long time to name the features on the Sky Plus Box but it's worth knowing for you to make a better more confident buying decision... The first feature that I must tell you about are all of the channels you can receive on Sky Plus Television... === Channels === If you can pay for the whole package of Sky Plus TV, then you will get each channel that is featured on the Sky Box listings. If you decide not to receive the whole package of Sky Plus then you will receive the Entertainment Channel and the Lifestyle and Culture category and couple more categorys of your choosing... The first channel cateory is the All Channels list which features each and every channel that is featured on the Sky Plus box even if you don't pay the full package price as you may decide to order certain category's in the future of your Sky purchasing... Some Sky Plus users may find that it is quicker to search for channels by using the All Channels category, but I think that by using this section, it takes a longer amount of time to reach and access the further channels for instance the International channel which is near the bottom of the second TVGuide menu... The second channel in which each person who buys a Sky Plus Box gets the Entertainment channel no matter what mix you get. This channel features the original channels of BBC 1, BBC 2, ITV ( Or STV if you live in Scotland), Channel 4 and Cannel Five... As i'm sure most people know that BBC 1 and BBC 2 don't host any commercials between the start and finish of each program. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 do however hold commercial breaks as you must know by now... There are plenty more channels listed on the Enterainment category on the Sky Plus Box, but you can discover them all for yourself, although i must recomend that you tune into Sky one and Sky two and UKTV Gold and even the Bravo channels for some all time classic episodes of much loved TV shows including The A Team on the Bravo channel, and Only Fools and Horses on the UKTV Gold channel. There is a channel named Bravo 2 which brings us the latest action from the TNA Wrestling in the United Sates... -------------------- Lots os channels , Whooaaa my fingers hurt from naming all of those. Some channels hold different competitions for you to phone into, but be careful you never know if you'll be ripped off. The channels also show all differetn sorts of programs, but from the same producers. You also get the BBC Channels from different parts of the UK so if you live in Scotland for instance, you would also get BBC Wales or BBC west midlands, which are quite useless as they show the same as the scottish BBC more or less... ------------------- With your Sky Plus, you also get the Lifestlye and Culture channels even if you get a basic package. This category features programs such as How Clean Is Your House, DIY SOS, Cash In The Attic and quite a favourite in my household, Extreme Makover : Home Edition, where I often pick up tips on DIY or decorating so the Lifestyle and Culture channel does really come in useful... ------------------------ So many channels to help you with so many things. Truely impressive.... Although some might say that each channel is wonderful, I think that some channels can be very pointless and not needed... The programes like Open Access , I have noticed that there isn't anything showing on the channels at the time i've turned them on. I wasn't dissapointed when i first got Sky TV in my bedroom because i soon found the channels i loved!!!... There are many other categorys in which channels are hosted in, but only when you buy a certain package but not the whole package deal for £99.00. If you get the whole Sky Plus Package Deal, you will every channel, these channels are.... The Entertainment Channel - Showing us all of our favourite soaps and comedys.... Lifestyle and Culture - This category shows us the programes such as the DIY programs and fashion programs, quite a favourite with young girls.... Movies - You can catch lder or new films from comedy to thriller and from action or kids to horror and Drama, you have such a selection on free movies, or you catch new popular movies on Sky Box Office, where you order films for free. You can also order boxming or wrestling or other sporting events on Sky Box Office... Sports - The sports channel gives you shows such as WWE Wrestling, Cycling, Boxing and so many other sports being shown. You can also watch the latest football matches by paying a little extra to watch them on Setanta Sports... News - You can find out the latest news updates and the weather by going to the free news channel which features the likes of Fox news or our British News to keep updated.... Documentaries - This is the category where you can catch histoical or geographical documentaries which I find very interesting. My favourite show is Mythbusters, and the Crash Scene Investigations on how planes had such terrible endings to them and the passengers.... Kids - The kids channel features the likes of Yugioh, Pokemon, Super Mario and even on the Disney Channel, there are the programs of The Suite Life Of Zack and Cody and that's So Raven, and sometimes theres even a disney movie on show... Music - The music channel brings us all of the latest chart toppers or hits of years ago. I also like to watch Hogan Knows Best on VH1 which shows us parts of the life of the wrestling star Hulk Hogan. I also like watching the Top 40 Charts to keep up with the latest music, theres even classical and rock to listen to... Radio - The radio category means that you can listen to your favourite stations from the comfort of you own living room. I personlly love listening to BBC radio 1 which always makes me happy with it's competitions and music.... Shopping - The shopping channel gives us programs which ables it's Sky Pkus customers to phone in and catch the latest gear quite cheaply by phoning in to the jewellery channel, Price Drop TV and many many more!!!... You do catch quite some bargains.... Religion - Whether you are a catholic or a christian or any other religion, then there is also a channel for any to catch up with your religions songs and speeches from the churches, my friend and i watched this channel as he is very religeos and so am I, we watched the soul singers from Africa which was amazing... International - The International channel brings us channels for foreighn veiwers and what they would have in their country. The listings on the channels include music, films and documentries in the language of that country. You have to pay for the International channel however even if you receive the whole package for free like we do.... Gaming and Dating - Gaming And Dating is a channel where you you can bet with Sky Vegas, or play roulette on iPlay TV or you can even play black jack or poker on Casino TV. There are also Gay hotlines for you to contact... Specialist - The specialist channel features only 6 channels, where open access is completely useless to me. You do get Teachers TV which gives you tips on teaching in your profession. Ocean Finance also hold their own channel in this category... Adult - The adult channel is the final channel featured on the long list of channels and is obviously for the older human. The adult channel is the category for hotlines for Gay mean or women, or where even you can phone in or a little " Talk " with one of the ladies...... ------------------------------- Other Menus/Features ------------------------------- The main feature that comes with Sky Plus is the record and pause feature. The record and pause feature means that you can record upto two programs at one time or at any other times but with two being the maximum or else they will clash and you will not be able to tape any more than two at a time or watch otherprograms unless they are on your planner... The planner is where you store all of your favourite recorded programs. There is a percentage which is obviously 100%, but you may use a lot of the percentage and if the percentage reaches zero, then the last few programs recorded on your planner will be deleted for more space of to be recorded programs. You can also set reminders on your planner which means when the program is on, you can then click the select button and Sky takes you to that program when it first starts... There are other features such as the record button. These are the Fast forward button, the Rewind button, and the pause button. The pause button allows you to pause a program whether it's in your planner or on any channel of your categorys. You can press the play button whenever you want to continue watching your favourite programs. The fast forward and rewind buttons mean that if you have paused or recorded a program, you can fast forward or rewind a program with a clikc of one button. You can choose to fast forward or rewind your speed by choosing either x2 which means your fast forwarding speed is slow, but you may wish to fast forward to a very close part in your program. x6 which is a little faster than x2. x 12 which is quite a lot faster than the previous speeds, and x30 which is a great speed for you to fast forward in a long program which is useful to me. These features of a button are extremely unique to Sky Plus which i find them very useful and so easy to use at a little pressing of a button on the Sky remote control.... You also have another menu which is the Box Office menu where you can select a film or event that you want tp purchase or to record and then you go and buy that event. You can also find the ovies A - Z and you can watch preveiws of the event if they are available.... There is a services menu where you can find out phone numbers to contact customer service or to enquire about purchasing movies or events. In this menu you can also find out about using Sky Plus and subscribing to the Sky magazine if you are interested. .. On this menu you can also use the Parental Controls section to block certain programes from younger veiwers. You can also vewi your favourite channels and your Anytime TV setup and you can even setup a manual recording which is a little tricky to get your head around so your better off sticking eith the record button on your Sky remote control... The last menu is the Interactive menu. This menu allows you to play games such as Deal or No Deal and other fun quiz games or other action games where some pay but soe are free. This is the menu where you set up a Sky Vegas and Sky Poker bet from the Gaming and Dating channel. There is also a section on the NHS health service where you can find out about it with just a click of a button. How amazing!!!... ---------------------------------------- The Sky Mixes and Packages ---------------------------------------- When i first knew about all of the package deals and all of the mixes that Sky TV offered, I was amazed. You can choose between mixes such as the Kids mix for example, this means that you will receive the Entertainment and Lifestlye channels and you will also receive another channel which would be the Kids channel in this case... You can also choose another package deal such as the Documentarie package or the Sports package, at the end of the day it's your choice.... You don't just have to have Sky TV mixes, you can choose to have Sky Broadband mixes and Sky talk mixes. There is so much to choose from from just £17.00, not a bad price indeed!!!... ---------------- My Opinion ---------------- In my honest familys opinion, I have to say when my family and I first bought Sky we were absolutly shocked. We all agreed it was one of the best things we have enjoyed is by watching all the impressive channles on Sky. But in my own opinion, It is one of the best things i have besides my Laptop and my iPods, I really enjoy watching Sky Tv and never missing it on a program i can just quickly record so really Sky TV is a really amazing craze which anyone would be happy with. The features that Sky Plus come with are fantastic. I would never of believed that such features as the fast forward and pause buttons would ever exist but the Sky company have made it possible and for us to enjoy their products more!!!... My most favourites channels are.... Sky One - This channel shows the TV Programes such as The Simspsons brand new episodes, Futurame's new episodes, and Malcolm In The Middle for the younger generations. There are plenty of others such as Bones, CSI: Maimia, CSI: New York and Don't Forget The Lyrics which is a very popular reality program... I find the CSI: series really interesting and I learn some new things about DNA and stuff. My friend and I both like to watch CSI and the Simpsons so it gives us more things to talk about... Sky Two - Sky Two is similar to Sky One where it shows the programes of Malcolm In The Middle, Road Wars, and the very popular Stargate Atlantis. I'm not too kean on Stargate Atlnatis however, but I do like watching Malcolm In The Middle and that is one of my favourite programs.... UKTV Gold - UKTV Gold hosts the older shows such as my favourite Only Fools and Horses. I like TV Gold as it shows many of my favourite all time classic which also include Keeping Up Appearances, The Catherine Tate Show, and The Last Of The Summer Wine. Only Fools and Horses is my all time favourite and so is The Catherine Tate Show, so they would be part of my favourite channels... Disney Channel - I always end up switching over to the Disney channel for something to laugh about. I find that some of the comedys such as That's So Raven and The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody are quite entertaining so I do often tune in to the disney for a good cheer up!!!... Sky Sports 3 - Sky Sports Three hosts my favourite sport which is wrestling. It is always shown on this channel exept when their is a big event which is shwon on Sky Box Office, but this is where you and I can catch the latest WWE Wrestling action. I also like watching the golf on this channel as i find it quite interesting to watch.... The Box - The Box is my most favourite music channel, where it hols all of the latest chart hits and countdowns to our favourite tracks. There's always something new to The Box which I find exiting and I am always watching new things, and catching up with the charts... Sky Box Office - I always find a movie I like to watch on the whole Movie section, so I often tune in to Sky Box Office aswell to catach some of the latest preveiws and movies for a small price. They are definitly worth it in the high waulity picture Sky Plus is brought to us by which forfills your entertainment even more. Although i don't have to pay for all of the films as i do like to have a laugh with Sky Comedy now and again... So yeah these are all of my favourite channels . I did find it hard to choose but i would definitly recomend all of these channels to be tryed out, there something for everyone... --------------------------- Why Buy Sky Plus? -------------------------- Some people say they aren't big fans of telly, but really you should definitly try out Sky because of it's wide range on interactions and amazing and interesting channels. You discover new things and you can catch up on anything and record two things at once so really it truely is amazing!!!... The Sky Homepage is www.sky.com.... Thanks For Your R/R/C Time (c) 2008 J24
I have had sky+ for several months. For the first couple of months I subscribed to the movie channels but, mindful of the expense, I eventually cancelled them, having saved some twenty films in my planner. However, BE WARNED! When Sky Movies was removed from my Sky package I tried to view the movies I had saved and they were blocked. I was none too pleased as I consider I paid for them and, having saved them I was entitled to view them at a chosen time. I wrote to Sky about the unfairness of this but have had no comment from them.
Around two years ago when I started seeing the adverts for Sky + - an updated Sky Digital box that could pause and rewind live TV, record up to 20 hours of programmes onto hard drive at broadcast quality (no more videos) and record one Sky channel whilst watching another - I thought, ?this is for me?. Countless times there was conflict in the house when my father was watching a Premiership match or the end of a golf tournament on Sky Sports, whilst I wanted to watch classic comedy on UK Gold or my mother wanted to see a documentary about spiders, both her phobia and fascination. There were other times when I?d miss a crucial scene in EastEnders because I had to answer the phone (although I have since, thankfully, cured myself of the awful Eastenders-watching habit!), miss a news caption or miss the some of vast quantity of information thrown at me on-screen during a cricket match and wish I could have seen it again. Scrambling around trying to find a tape when a good programme is starting; having to watch poor quality VHS pictures; stacks and stacks of tapes building up beside the TV, behind the couch, unlabelled?. ?Sky +?, I thought, ?would solve these problems and possibly make the house more peaceful?. I gave my father all this information but although I was a peacemaker I was also a realist. My father would not be prepared to fork out £450 (I believe this was the price at the beginning?) plus the £10 a month Sky+ ?tax? on top of the Sky Sports World package, which already cost £35 a month; and - of course - the TV licence itself. I did not expect him to. However, last September, I spotted an advert about Sky + which would change the situation dramatically. The equipment and installation now cost £250, and the dreaded monthly ?tax?, which was the s ticking point? was no longer*. My saviour ? thank you Rupert Murdoch! *As long as you receive at least two premium Sky channels (that?s movies and sport) as part of your Sky package there i s no extra monthly fee for Sky+. None! Zero, zilch! We already received Sky Sports 1, 2 and 3 so we were exempt from the £10 a month. HURRAH! Within a matter of days I had managed to twist Dad round my little finger ;-), genuinely assuring him that he would get as much use out of the new box as me and Mum. We booked the installation online (as it was a special £200 offer online, another bonus!) and it was due the following week. I awaited D-Day (D for digibox) with eager anticipation as though it were an early Christmas; and was not disappointed when the day arrived?. First, a few words about its appearance ? the new Sky+ remote and box were a sleek, metallic grey in colour. The digibox itself had cool green and red lights that indicated play, record etc and was just slightly larger than our old box. The hard drive and fan (look ma, it?s even got a fan!) emitted a quiet whirring sound. The new remote had six new buttons that were really easy to understand as they used the universal symbols for recording (red circle for record, square for stop etc.). Well, I understood ?em anyway! The instructions were in plain English. Not that I bothered to read them at first. I wanted to test drive my new machine.... Well, it did everything it said on the tin! The live pause and instant rewind worked even better than I had imagined, and it could be set to rewind up to 45 minutes back. I was soon recording programmes into the planner and watching them when I pleased. The planner is easy to work as it works on the same principle as regular Sky, using select, the colour buttons which correspond to the functions shown at the bottom of the screen, and the arrows. The ?record one channel whilst watching another? feature was a treat when I recorded a classic Eastenders marathon (hey, at least it?s better than current Eastenders) whilst Dad watched Gillette Soccer Saturday. One particularly amazing aspect of the recording process is as follows: r>Say a programme starts at 10.00 and ends at 12.00. You set the whole programme to record (just use the Electronic Sky Guide, no need to enter times), as you will be out when it starts, but you arrive home at 11.00. You can actually watch that programme immediately, from the start, whilst the rest of it is recording, effectively watching the show on a 1-hour delay. In other words you do not have to wait until the programme ends before you start watching your recording of it. Amazing or what? The rewind feature is great for going back if you have missed what someone has said or to see a funny moment in a comedy show again (watching the same bit again and again on a video is one of my annoying habits, I?m afraid). I do not find I use the pause much as the rewind function effectively carries out the same task. Recording on Sky+ is great for going on holiday as you can record around 20 hours of programming, so you aren?t limited to a 4-hour tape; or 8-hours on grainy long-play. You can now even record 2 channels at the same time whilst watching one of them, or a recorded programme. It now also stores the last 45 mins of the channel you are watching so if you have seen or heard something you think is worth keeping, you just press the ?R? button and it actually records what has already passed. How cool is that? Upgrades are sent automatically to the Sky+ box with no charge, so you don?t have to lift a finger. A few more mi nor features are: The ability to record specific times rather than specific programmes (this is necessary for radio programmes) To ?bookmark? points in a recording for quick and easy reference, or to enter a certain point in a recording by entering its time (in minutes) To mark programmes for keeps, i.e. to take priority when some programmes have to be deleted automatically for space on the disk To set time before and after a programme to record in case it is early or (mo re likely) late Series link option (e.g. record every episode of the Simpsons automatically) Choosing programmes to play one after the other to copy on to VCR, and Fast forwarding and rewinding recordings up to 30x normal speed (great for bypassing commercials) However, there are a few disadvantages, but not enough to detract from its 5 stars. When we went to New York for 4 days I had set 3 or 4 programmes to record but one of them failed. No explanation, the box just froze (as sometimes happens with Sky digiboxes, both Sky and Sky+) when I tried to playback the show and I had to delete it. It is the only time it has failed on me and it was not *that* important a programme but it could well have been, so there are issues with the reliability that need to be addressed; besides, I have read of people who have had far worse experiences with the reliability of Sky+. With the exception of BBC and Sky, TV companies are not very good at changing their electronic listings if programming changes due to sport or breaking news, so if you set a show to record and then the schedule changes there is no guarantee that Sky+ will accommodate this change. However, this is genuinely the fault of the broadcasters and not the equipment; and as I say, it doesn?t usually happen with BBC a nd Sky?s own channels. It is sensible to set about 10 minutes ?padding? before and after the programme just in case, and once you have set this, it will always happen automatically. Crazy as it may sound, 20 hours capacity (40Gb hard drive) ain?t enough, especially when there are armchair sports fans in the house! The higher the picture quality, the more room a programme takes up, so on Sky?s sport or movie channels the figure may be closer to 15 hours. This is where tapes are still necessary - if your hard drive is full or if you want to keep a programme you must copy it onto a tape and then delete from the Sky+ Planner (just press the yellow button!) . It is possible to upgrade to 80 or 120 Gb but, personally, I?d rather use tapes. Since I got Sky+ I have only used tapes about 3 times so it wouldn?t be worth it. Strangely, rewind and pause do not apply to live radio, and you cannot record by programme. In other words, you must go through the rigmarole of setting the exact time of the programme rather than just pressing a button. Another disadvantage is the price if you don't receive premium channels. You will still have to pay the £120 a year subscription which is a big turn-off. A useful feature would be the ability to store a programme on a portable disk so that you could, for example, take it to a friend?s house to watch, rather than having to copy to video. The fact that if you want to archive programmes you still need to copy them to video shows that Sky+ does not entirely replace the humble VCR. We have been very lucky with our Sky+. On dooyoo and digitalspy I have read stories of crashing boxes and failed recordings. These have, touchwood, been very limited almost to the point of non-existence in our house. There is almost always a backlog of recorded programmes to watch (a savi our from daytime TV schedules during the holidays) and all fantastic picture and sound quality. I find myself watching more interesting programmes, particularly documentaries because before I just wouldn?t have had the time, now I can watch them when *I* want, not when the TV channels decide. The ability to record and watch different Sky channels is a godsend during the long football season, I can tell you. My parents and I use instant rewind all the time to catch bits of programmes we?ve missed (but I do have to keep telling them how to use it). As the advert says, now I can fit TV around my life not fit my life around TV, and partly due to being physically disabled, I do watch rather a lot of TV! Sure it has its faults but, for me, the benefits outweigh the faults by about 99 to 1. So, thanks to Sky, for giving us such a great invention at a great price. And thanks to you for reading this long review ;) - I just felt that if I missed something out I wouldn't be doing it justice. Now... after all that, I think I'll relax and watch a bit of television :)
SKY TV is considered to be an Evil corporation, destroying the proud broadcasting morals and traditions established by the good old BBC over fifty years ago. To a certain extent this is true, but British television was falling behind many other countries by the 1980s, and someone had to drag it into the 21st century. Along came Rupert Murdoch with ?SKY TV?. Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that he knows what appeals to the masses, and he had the financial clout to bring affordable satellite television to almost everyone that wanted it. In many respects, SKY TV is similar to a drug dealer ? get the punters hooked with cheap equipment, then have them come back regularly for their fix, or monthly subscription as SKY like to call it. They have even survived a few turf wars: Initially with BSB whom they simply bought out (the company is now called BSkyB TV in the UK, although they don?t like to mention it). More recently they beat the challenge from ITV Digital, who had just bitten off more than they could chew. If it sounds like I?m being a bit nasty towards SKY, I?m not? Well, maybe a little, but most junkies have a love/hate relationship with their dealers. That?s right, I admit it. I am a SKY TV addict. I have been hooked since I got my first dish back in 1990. Since then I have always kept up to date with the latest developments in SKY?s technology; when SKY went Digital, I got a digibox, when SKY released SKY+ I had to get SKY+ as well. If SKY had released a dishwasher that told me what programmes I was missing on SKY I might well have considered buying that, too. For the past thirteen years SKY had been such a big part of my life that I didn?t realise how much I took it for granted. Of course, like most junkies, I was in denial. ?I really only have it for the football and films?, I would tell anyone that listened. But, now that I?m away from home, at college, I realise I was just kidding myself. SKY+ has many wonderful features, including a hard disk to digitally record all your favourite shows and films. Recording programmes is so easy with it, too. Having only four and a half channels to fill the void left by some two or three hundred channels is simply not good enough. I miss my SKY+ I went some way towards fixing one craving by getting a monthly subscription at the local multiplex, so I can see new films as often as I want. Although that doesn?t help me see all the old films on TCM or SKY Cinema, or all the weird films on Film Four. But at least I?m up to date with all the big, new releases. There is still this huge football shaped hole in my life that is proving much harder to fill. I love watching football on tv, I?m not even fussy who is playing. I?ll watch damn near anything. And thanks to SKY I had lots of choice, The Premiership, German football, Spanish football and lots of games from the Nationwide divisions (where my team are currently languishing). Not to mention all the big International matches they always get. Yes, SKY is a goldmine of choice for any armchair footy fan. Now I?m lucky if I see one live game a week, maybe two. SKY will show three live matches in a day at the weekend. There really is no substitute for it. Then there are the other smaller, less obvious things about SKY that I miss. They are not so much channels or programmes, but features; like the digital teletext service and the info box that you can bring up to see what a programme is all about. I don?t know how often I have wanted to ?hit info? when flicking through the channels nowadays. Mind you, the time I save by only having four and a half channels to flick through means I do have more time to actually look at the TV Times, which I didn?t even buy when I had SKY. Another feature they have is a banner that comes up along the bottom of the screen telling the viewer what?s on now and next on the particular channel you are watching. It i s ver y handy when you are flicking through the channels. If you chance upon a channel and you see something interesting on you can quickly get rid of the banner by hitting the ?backup? button on the SKY+ remote control. This feature affected even more greatly than I once realised. One night, when I still had SKY, I was flicking through the channels, I came upon ?Fort Boyard? on ?Challenge TV? featuring the buxom Melinda Messenger, I found myself repeatedly hitting ?backup? to try and remove an iron railing that was obscuring my view of Ms Messenger?s chest. Actually, it?s maybe for the best that I don?t have SKY anymore.
So Is Sky+ up to the hype?? Is it Value Are we being ripped off?? I have had Sky plus for about 6 months & have had a few problems & am not totally satisfied with thier customer service. The instalation engineers are a bit slow, suggesting that they would like to use blue tooth but it was a very expensive cable!!!!!!! It is however a amazing system, no other system can you pause live tv record at the same time as doing this. Now you can rewind the tv you have been watching without previously recording it. It is something that I would now find very hard to live without, as it makes life so much easier. So yes it is the hype but with a few flaws. The box seems to have a problm recognising LNB2 & crashes occasionally, it also has a tendency to fail to record occasionally. One of the main problems is the box tends to cut the end of some programs off, which can be totaly frustrating. I have called sky about this a few times but have yet to have had anything done about it. Is it value???? It depends what you call value. I dont understand the extra £10 because I have paid for the box!!!! So why should I pay this?? I dont know, however I dont mind paying it if is the only way I can have this advanced technology but it is grudgingly. What I do find offensive is the fact that the BBC make you pay £180 odd a year for 2 channels of 99% rubbish & a few radio shows, the difference with sky+ is it is MY CHOICE! I am not forced to pay this & there is no fine if I do not subscribe to Sky. So on that basis it is value if you want it! Sky does take advantage, but we pay it willingly so they cant be ripping us off (on the basis that ripping somone off is charging for a service they do not want i.e. BBC)
I was just about to purchase a Sky+ box having used my friends Sky+ unit for a couple of months. I am now starting to wonder about the wisdom of buying the +box when it appears my friend has had little joy in getting sky to fix or replace his +box since it started playing up not long after he purchased it. It is possible that the faults his box appear to have could be isolated to his unit and it would be interesting to see if any other users are experiencing similar problems. Hopefully his will be fixed or replaced soon however he is obviously annoyed that he has lost many recorded programs not to mention the expense in money and time phoning sky, to no avail so far. Please note that I am not having a pop at sky, more just cautious having seen the problems first hand. I am also resonably well versed in digital broadcasting having worked in the industry for a few years on the technical side of things, and therefore am not quite so easily fobbed off by someone on the end of a phone! Please also note that I WANT a Sky+ box, but only when satisfied that it works properly. Please Sky don't rush things online until they are thoroughly tested first, thats a mistake On/ITV digital made to their cost. The problems are: 1. The box frequently turns off and reboots when trying to record a program other than the one you are watching. (You miss chunks of not only the program being watched but the one being recorded too!) 2. The box frequently fails to record a program due to the second signals absence,although swapping inputs as advised by Sky seems to cure this problem for upto a couple of days. Needless to say this makes no sense and indeed points to faulty equipment in the system somewhere and/or a bad installation. 3. The pause function ( A fabulous idea) works perfectly about 80% of the time , the other 20% of the time you lose everything from the pause point onwards, although sometimes it may give yo u a minute of recorded program. 4. The box often jams, not responding to remote or front panel inputs (No, I am not an impatient button presser!) A full mains reset being the only action that seems to cure this. Why this only happens at the beggining of your favourite programs is almost paranoia inducing! Other Niggles! 1. Why does the box not record two or more consequtive programs on the same channel as ONE recording therefore removing the need to watch part of the beggining of the second program at the end of the first recording then having to go back into personal planner and selecting the second program to watch the remainder of it. Please excuse my grammer by the way! There should be a way round this problem especially considering certain VCR's have been able to identify a program and record it succesfully even if it started late using PDC for some years now. Come Sky please dont quote schedules at us, this is the digital age!! 2. Bearing in mind my first niggle, why does it cut off the ending of a single recording so often, leaving you hanging as to the outcome of the program! So infuriating! Having said all this, when the box works it is great to use. The quality of recording and the ease of use being exceptionally good. Lets hope this is an isolated incident and Sky pull their finger out and fix his box/installation to his satisfaction. I would be pleased to hear fom anyone who have had similar problems. In my experience the more people demand qulity, the quicker it is delivered. Imagine if the box stopped recording adverts! How fast would the problem be sorted then! Hmmm something to ponder.
Since our Grundig Archive VCR died a couple of years ago, the hassle of finding tape space and searching for recorded stuff has been too much - the Japanese VCR tape cataloguing systems not really being very useful. So the arrival of Sky+ looked very tempting, and the price reduction to £250 finally had us picking up the phone. From ordering to getting a weekend installation slot took about 3 weeks - the engineer turned up as booked and installed the new LNB, cable and Pace box. First impressions were not good. Compared to the Panasonic Sky box it replaced, the Pace is ugly - a big grey facia with an artless black panel in the centre, and some groups of buttons scattered around. There is a huge ring of garish green LEDs which rotate when in playback - luckily, this "feature" can be turned off in the setup menu - phew. This is not a subtle or elegant machine At the back, there are the usual SCART sockets and phono and optical outputs. However the phono sockets are placed exactly where they foul the SCART cable, as most SCART cables exit the plug at an angle. Luckily we only needed the optical link. Our old Pace ONdigital box had a similar design fault with the aerial socket, which eventually cracked the PCB and needed a box replacement. Pace, please sort this out! Like the standard Sky box, there is a powered RF output so that with a Sky Link unit, you can watch and control Sky from a second set. Unfortunately you have to take your Sky+ remote with you even for the basic functions, as the control codes are different from the standard Sky remote. Luckily it gets better. Using the box is a joy. The remote is a slightly extended variant on the standard Sky item, to cover the extra record functions. Recording is simply a matter of selecting the programme in Sky Guide and choosing R for Record. Once recorded, the Sky Planner shows each item with either Recorded or Viewed - there are also handy bookmark functions. You can also set a "keep" flag if you do not want to lose a recording - there are a number of housekeeping options to choose how you want to manage disk space and how many extra minutes you want to record after the scheduled programme end. Live pause does exactly what it says, giving you a (temporary) on-screen reminder of how long you are "behind" real time. This also lets you skim through the adverts! Another neat touch is when you record pay-per-view programmes, the box will then keep them for 7 days, and if you don't watch it, it will delete it and you won't get charged! (Haven't actually tested this though). Unfortunately, the 5.1 audio is only available on Sky Box Office Widescreen, and there are only 2 channels of this - a readjustment is well overdue for those of us not subcribing to Sky Movies. Otherwise, recording quality is excellent, and even VHS tapes produced from the Sky+ output seem very impressive. The 40Gb capacity on the box is a bit small by today's standards, but allegedly can be upgraded fairly easily. All in all, a generally well thought out product, but a facelift and a bigger capacity would be welcome - and Sky need to dramatically increase their pay-per-view output in widescreen and 5.1 sound.
Sky+ has to be one of the biggest consumer cons ever initiated by B Sky B. It's like buying a video recorder and then having to pay for the privelege of using it. There's no reason for Sky's £10/month charge for Sky+ other than profiting out of people who don't know any better. Not satisfied with charging people subscriptions for channels funded by advertising (mostly by loan companies), Sky now think that they can charge people a subscription to use their video recorder. Stay away from this product/service out of principle. There are other products on the market or coming on the market soon that give you much of the functionality of Sky+ but without paying a subscription. After all, you don't pay a subscription for a conventional video recorder, so why should you pay one for Sky+? The electronic programme guide (EPG) is free-to-air, and Sky+ should be able to make use of that without an extra subscription.
Sky Plus - Digital TV Recording System Easy to order: just phone Sky, give Credit Card details, etc and the job is done. Engineer turned up 5 working days later to upgrade satellite installation. He took about 45 minutes. Great system, yes you can pause live TV, but I do not use that facility that often. Recording programmes in advance is easy. You use the Sky TV Guide function. Sky channels give you the option of a "Series Link". So you can set up to record all the "Malcolm in the Middle" espisodes off Sky One without too much trouble, should you want that is! I have not tried downloading from the Sky+ box onto my VCR yet, so cannot comment on this feature. You can record onto and watch from Sky Plus at the same time. I understand that Sky are going to offer TiVo type functionality at some stage , but do not know when. So, in summary it is a good bit of kit which has proved popular with all of my family.
It was with much anticipation that we went to Comet at the end of August to pre-order our Sky+ box. Sky+ is the new service from Sky that replaces your digibox with a new box that includes a hard disk. The new box has dual connections to your dish, and enables you to: - Record onto the box (no tapes etc) - Pause live TV - Record one programme whilst watching another - Record 2 programmes at once (coming soon) Getting the box installed proved to be a little tricky - Sky were not geared up for people who bought boxes from electrical retailers - if you get quote a long delay (e.g. 6 weeks) for install, complain like mad or ring back - ours was changed from 6 and a half weeks to 1 week when we rang back!! The engineer fitted our box yesterday - it involves replacing the LNB on the dish and removing the old cable and replacing it with a double-cable (the new box has 2 Sky tuners) Once in operation, I have the say that the box is truly revolutionary - it changes the way you watch TV. Calling up the Sky TV Guide now gives you new options - pick a program in the future to record, tell the box to record all programs in a series, set reminders (as before). The system just works! - it warns you of clashes, and tells you how much space you have on the hard disk (the box can record about 25 hours of TV at the same quality as the original broadcast). Whilst watching live TV, you can press Record to save the program you are watching, or even celver, press Pause and go and make a cup of tea - come back, press play and it carries on where you paused from - you can fast fordward and rewind perfectly through recordings at up to 12 speed. It really is extremely good, and I can't recommend it enough. The box costs £300 to buy, and it currently adds £10 a month to your Sky subscription - it may not sound worth it, but believe me it is - no need to use your video or remember to set it again - unless yo u want to archive programs that is. Its so easy, and works brilliantly!!