DIYers, Install a Sky+ Box yourself

in Techie Stuff
9 replies 7.6K views
Last summer I came across a Pace Sky+ box at a boot sale for £15. £2.50 for coaxial cable and £1.25 for connectors at our local pound shop, already had some cable clips. Fortuneately, the sky installers installed a quad LNB when setting up my original Sky DigiBox, so I had 3 spare outputs on the LNB making it easy to connect the extra lead needed for the Sky+ box. 'Phoned Sky to match up my DigiBox card with the "new" box and this was done within a few minutes.

It might sound unbelievably lucky, but passing our local Cash Converters a few weeks ago, they had a 320GB Maxtor hard drive displayed in the window for £20 usually £45+. Bought it, put it in the Sky+ box replacing the original 40GB hard drive.

Now have approx 160 hours of recording time for less than 40 quid and no problems so far, touch wood.

Unfortunately still have to pay £16.50 per month for Sky's basic package. But compared to the £12 per month we pay for the BBC channels, which we rarely watch, Sky is a very good deal.

I might be a bit odd, but I am a pro Sky person. My neighbours a few doors down have recently had an outdoor aerial installed to pick up FREEVIEW and it cost them nearly £200 and then another £189 for a Humax box which has turned out to be nowhere near as user friendly and reliable as a Sky+ box. Sky's installation charges are quite fair in my opinion and the people that do the installations have to earn a living. But if you can DIY then it shouldn't cost much more than a fiver for installation as long as you have an existing dish with at least a dual LNB attached with a spare output.

If you're happy with standard definition TV as I am for the present, there should soon be many second-hand Sky+ boxes on offer at boot sales and in Loot because a lot of Sky customers are replacing theirs with Sky HD boxes. For me currently there aren't enough HD channels with HD programmes available to warrant the extra expense of getting a HD box and the extra £9.75 a month. Supposedly HD channels like Channel 4 HD & SCI FI HD mainly only broadcast a few HD programmes daily, BBC HD repeats and repeats its programmes incessantly and ITV HD isn't currently available. For those that can afford Sky Movies & Sky Sports, well that's another matter.

NB. I wouldn't recommend self-installation if your dish is above first floor level.:A

Duplicate Thread - Tried to move to: In my home (includes DIY) MoneySaving

Replies

  • MoneymakerMoneymaker Forumite
    2K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
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    I prefer Freeview. My wife uses a Humax 9200T twin-tuner PVR to record. Initial outlay was around £160 but we'll never need to pay another penny until we have to buy a new one.

    However, if you are interested in satellite TV, I can point you to a completely FREE eBook for download. Go to The Cool Book Shop web site and look for "Understanding Sky Digital TV and Freesat".
  • Moneymaker wrote: »
    I prefer Freeview. My wife uses a Humax 9200T twin-tuner PVR to record. Initial outlay was around £160 but we'll never need to pay another penny until we have to buy a new one.

    However, if you are interested in satellite TV, I can point you to a completely FREE eBook for download. Go to The Cool Book Shop web site and look for "Understanding Sky Digital TV and Freesat".

    I'd go the Freeview route myself, but in this house we're sadly addicted to the Discovery channels, Animal Planet and Crime.

    Thanks for the info, very much appreciated.
  • EnglishMan - I was wondering if you could help me a little. We have a TV downstairs with a Sky+ box - all is great with that. I also have an old Sky box stored in the attic which works but for which I had no use.

    My 20 year old portable CRT TV, which is in our bedroom, had just given up the ghost and so we purchased an LCD HD ready TV with the freeview decoder inside it.

    I have an aerial in the attic which is poor (and no external aerial), plus when I go on the freeview website and type in our postcode, it indicates that we can pick up all of the channels but we may need to change our aerial position (assuming we had one outside) and thus we should contact an aerial company.

    We can pick up no digital channels on the new TV and the analogue channels are also poor (as they were before - I just never got around to doing anything about it).

    I believed we had two routes:

    1. Call out an aerial guy and ask them to install an external aerial for £200'ish.

    2. Pay Sky for the multiroom option £9.95 per month and get them to sort out the cabling etc.

    However your post has made me think, taking into account I have a spare sky box, do you know if it is possible to connect the cables up somehow, perhaps similar to how you have done it, so that I can watch freeview upstairs using the old spare sky box whilst the sky+ box is being used downstairs to watch all of the sky channels. I suspect I would need a new sky card to do this; however I'm not sure of the implications of it i.e. whether it will contravene the Sky T&Cs etc.

    As you will probably tell, I don't really have a clue what I'm talking about. Hopefully a bit of research and some helpful tips from your good self will help me on my way and stop my wife nagging me.

    Thanks in advance.
  • if it is possible to connect the cables up somehow, perhaps similar to how you have done it, so that I can watch freeview upstairs using the old spare sky box whilst the sky+ box is being used downstairs to watch all of the sky channels. I suspect I would need a new sky card to do this; however I'm not sure of the implications of it i.e. whether it will contravene the Sky T&Cs etc.

    You will need to run a cable from the LNB on the Sky dish into your bedroom.
    There should be a spare place for the cable as standard installation when getting Sky+ is to put a quad LNB on the dish.

    If you manage the above, you can plug the cable into your spare Sky box and off you go.
    You will get nearly all of the Freesat From Sky channels, except the likes of FIVER and FIVE US. You can pay Sky £20 though to get a card and you would then get all the free channels they offer.

    This would be your cheapest option assuming you're confident enough to get up to the dish.
    Dave. :wave:
  • Thanks PhantomFlanFlinger - that's great.
    This would be your cheapest option assuming you're confident enough to get up to the dish.

    Hopefully I won't do a Rod Hull - that emu has a lot to answer for.

    Our sky dish isn't that high - I'm sure my wife will hold the ladder securely!

    Thanks again...
  • I currently have a basic Sky box and have been given a secondhand Sky+ box - having read previous thread sounds as though I have the right connections for the box but do I need to call Sky to let them know I have a Sky+ box, if so, do they make any charges and if so, what are these for?

    Any information greatly received!
  • DatabaseErrorDatabaseError Forumite
    4.2K Posts
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    I did similar, only I had to buy the quad LNB myself....but I do have it running sky boxes in 2 bedrooms (kids) and the sky+ for downstairs.
    I got the 160Gb model from ebay (noisy - gonna have to fix that one day) and sold the old box..cost me around £3 for the upgrade :)
    Utinam logica falsa tuam philosophiam totam suffodiant.
  • cyberbobcyberbob Forumite
    9.5K Posts
    I have found Humax Freeview PVRs more reliable than the SKY+ box just my experience with no monthly subscription either.
  • skyvirgin wrote: »
    sounds as though I have the right connections for the box but do I need to call Sky to let them know I have a Sky+ box, if so, do they make any charges and if so, what are these for?
    To use the Sky+ box fully, it needs 2 inputs from the dish. If you only have a normal digibox at the moment, you'll only have one cable to the box.

    Assuming you have some sort current subscription, you'll be able to record, but you'll have to ring Sky up to the the card paired to the box.

    If you have no subscription, you won't be able to use the box to record unless you're willing to pay Sky £10/month.
    Dave. :wave:
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