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Installing sky without subcription (not freesat)

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by [email protected], 3 Aug 2006.

  1. [email protected]

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,074

    Location: MK

    My parents just want a "inidan" only television package, this is with the broadcast company called Zee-TV, they are offering a sky viewing card for £15.99 a month for thier main tv channels.

    They are not offering any kind of installation service for SKY, so it will be up to me to sort it out for them.

    I phoned a couple of Sky installers, and they would install sky for £120, but thats with a crappy Grundig box, which i would not be happy with and neither will my parents.

    Could i purchase my own sky box from ebay, and once installed by the professionals, would it work with any subcription with any valid viewing card inserted into the machine?

    Also which are the better sky boxes? Are any of the panasonic boxes any good, or are they quite old now?

    Thanks for any help :)
     
  2. daz

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 24,020

    Location: Bucks

    The silver grundig box is actually quite good.
     
  3. [email protected]

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,074

    Location: MK

    Call me a badge snob but i dont like the sound of grundig :(

    Are the panasonic STB's any good? I heard that they were malfunctioning under the new software upgrade?
     
  4. Kappa

    Soldato

    Joined: 11 Aug 2003

    Posts: 6,330

    Location: Essex

    the sony boxes are meant to be good, got optical out too.
     
  5. [email protected]

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,074

    Location: MK

  6. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    The DRX550 is a good box. Very responsive.

    The Panasonic boxes have been quite problematic since the big software update which happened the other month.

    If you find a good independant Sat. installer they will be able to source you the box that you want.

    It's a shame you are so far away otherwise I could of helped you out.
     
  7. [email protected]

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,074

    Location: MK

    Ok, i'm just about to buy the stuff off ebay, i told my dad i'll just install the sky, cant be that hard!

    Get a dish, box, a sat finder (or use the box to show the signal strength).

    Copy the location of the sky dish next door, get a relative angle and tweek from there on.

    And on top of that, we get to install the box whereever we want, with better care than any installer would do!

    So buying these items, any objections?

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-AMSTRAD-DRX550-DIGIBOX_W0QQitemZ160022213019QQihZ006QQcategoryZ96970QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/48cm-Mini-Dish-FREE-INSTALLATION-KIT-Get-it-fast_W0QQitemZ330020097653QQihZ014QQcategoryZ29783QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    I guess thats all thats needed for sky installtion, plus a quick trip to B&Q for the internal wall mount.
     
  8. Bobbler

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,210

    Location: Bath, UK

    All sounds good mate, as long as you have a nice big SDS drill and a foot long bit to go through the wall? Factor those sort of items into the equation and it suddenly becomes less of a saving against getting a paid professional in to do the job.

    Depends where you are planning on running the wire though I suppose.
     
  9. [email protected]

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,074

    Location: MK

    Hmmmm sds, indeed we do, and we have a pneumatic drill to play with too, which is fun (wait a min, there the same thing ish :/)!

    I hate the idea of a worker drilling into the house without a care in the world.

    Cant wait to play around with the new equiptment!
     
  10. MuvverRussia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,177

    Location: Cardiff/Coventry

    For what its worth the cheap sat finders are pretty crap. I've had the (mis) fortune to use them a few times (trying to grab sirius at 5e for IRN news and Astra/Eurobird at 28.2/28.5e for sky). Best bet for alignment if you don't fancy taking ages is to phone up a local guy with a meter, a guy I know charges me £20 to do that and hes pretty good.

    As for the box, its a tudsb31. These were pretty good but they use a different tuner to the TUDSB30s. As such they're not as sensitive- meaning that if you have RGB mode on then certain transponders can pixelise. They're also a bloody (read 5+ years) old box now and i'd avoid them. The new pace ones are meant to be alright though (had one in the apartment we hired in lagos, algarve back in july- quick to change channels and pretty decent- got most transponders on astra 2 using a 1.4m dish).

    Edit- internal wall mount? hmm. Most people recommend running a straight length of CAI approved cable from the dish straight to the box without connectors. Remember to set the skew on the LNB too and use self amalgamating tape to make it waterproof (or use a rubber bung). A little silicone grease helps keep the water out too (and get the f connectors on).
     
    Last edited: 23 Aug 2006
  11. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    I don't think it's fair to say all Sky installers do a crap job, most of them do but some private installers, like myself, take a lot of care and pride in their work.

    It's great when somebody says wow, that's a really neat job. Very satisfying.

    As posted above instead of buying a crappy sat. beeper I would just get a local independant in to use his meter or analyser. It will not work out that much as you wouldn't have to purchase the beeper.

    The dish will come flat packed. It's quite easy to construct.

    Make sure you factor drip loops in your cable run along with suitable bend radius. Waterproof the connection on the dish too.

    Drill from the inside of your house to the outside too.
     
  12. unknowndomain

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Apr 2004

    Posts: 2,613

    Location: London


    Thats the problem thou, first time around we had an awful person he chopped through all my mums plants at the base to put a cable in when he could have just routed it around the back then the second time (for multiroom) the guy was really good, you never know what your gona get and sky doesnt give a damn
     
  13. MuvverRussia

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,177

    Location: Cardiff/Coventry

    yeah, and if using an SDS+ when drilling through switch it to rotary for the last bit of the hole, else you'll blow off the facing of the bricks (which doesn't look too neat and tidy).

    If you're using the box to find signal strength remember that it takes a little while to update the signal strength/lock indication. This means its a bit of a pain in the arse to have to align the dish. Additionally remember that its quality that makes the difference, not strength.
     
  14. [email protected]

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 3,074

    Location: MK

    That was easy! Fix dish and align with the meter, cheap and easy and no hassle at all.

    Got 75% signal Quality too, which i hear is good.

    And i must say, sky tv is much better picture quality than NTL. And the Amstrad drx550 box is a very nice box.

    Excelent picture quality and very fast, and sexy looking, the white remote is a welcome change aswell.

    I might buy a dual LNB so i can get free sat in my room, you get a good variety of channels compared to freeview.

    Anyone thinking about installing sky themselfs should deffo try it!
     
  15. Tesla

    Capodecina

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 17,410

    Location: Bristol, UK

    Coincidentally I reinstalled my own Sky today, but then my business does it anyway so it's not as if it was new to me.

    Whoever installed Sky on our house did a pretty naff job - So I re did it all.

    Setup now comprises of:

    Dish right up at the top of the house, nice and out of the way.

    I then used shotgun cable throughout. CT100. I prefer WF100 cable but the Shotgun cable I have looks better when running dual Sky+ feeds and I just have CT100 Shotgun.

    Upgraded the standard STB in the front room to Sky+, recabled the Sky+ box in my bedroom. Phoned Sky to pair the card and whack recording on, don't think the recording was switched on though so will have to re-phone them.

    Cable from the attic aerial to the TV in the front room then a return feed from the TV to a F140 amp in the attic.

    The amp then feeds 3 televisions upstairs. It's a clever little distribution amp, it's powered via the RF2 output of the Sky STB and it will also allow each TV to have a remote eye and passes the power and commands to each.

    It's all nice and neat now, looks much better.
    I have to finish re-running the internal cabling in my bedroom but I shall do that later today or tomorrow as I have a few PC jobs to go and do now.

    Anyway, glad it all went OK for you Sanjay, did you remember to waterproof the F connector on the LNB, I come across loads of problems where the installer has overlooked this little thing.

    Also, if you're thinking of getting a Dual LNB then you may aswell go for a Quad as I believe there is very little price difference.