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Old 19-04-2013, 18:41
Dave-H
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Why are Sky updating their HD channels? Will it lead to a better HD image or is it more behind the screens situation?
I don't think anyone knows, or if they do they're not saying!
Sky certainly seem to be implying that something will be changing which will for the first time prevent Thomson boxes from receiving services that they do receive at the moment.
Whatever it is, it only seems to apply to HD.
Very mysterious!
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Old 19-04-2013, 19:27
davemurgatroyd
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I don't think anyone knows, or if they do they're not saying!
Sky certainly seem to be implying that something will be changing which will for the first time prevent Thomson boxes from receiving services that they do receive at the moment.
Whatever it is, it only seems to apply to HD.
Very mysterious!
Nobody AFAIK has said it only applies to HD. The problem is that Thomson boxes with their old OpenTV firmware will apparently be unable to cope with the next encryption change - Sky no longer have a contract with OpenTV and are thus unable to modify the software. This will also apply to all SD standard and Sky+ boxes but Sky appear to be tackling HD subscribers first, possibly as they are less likely in the meantime to upgrade to a new HD box than those with SD boxes. The encryption/card change is probably around 2 years away but by this method they appear to be avoiding a sudden massive demand for new boxes.
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Old 19-04-2013, 20:11
ProDave
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Nobody AFAIK has said it only applies to HD. The problem is that Thomson boxes with their old OpenTV firmware will apparently be unable to cope with the next encryption change - Sky no longer have a contract with OpenTV and are thus unable to modify the software. This will also apply to all SD standard and Sky+ boxes but Sky appear to be tackling HD subscribers first, possibly as they are less likely in the meantime to upgrade to a new HD box than those with SD boxes. The encryption/card change is probably around 2 years away but by this method they appear to be avoiding a sudden massive demand for new boxes.
That's the most likely explanation.

However, another thought is a major change to the way the EPG is implemented. Something along the lines of when they introduced the 4 digit channel numbers for radio channels.

If another major change like that was implemented, then all boxes would require a software update to continue working,

I have one very old sky box stuck on old software that pre dates the 4 digit radio channels and it just won't work any more.

So could they be thinking of a major change that will put the HD channels effectively in their own separate list like the radio channels are now?

If so, without a software update the thomson boxes could well end up useless.

And that sort of EPG update for the hd channels could perhaps be done in a way that would not affect the HD channels so would not require an update to SD boxes?
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Old 19-04-2013, 21:44
lotrjw
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Nobody AFAIK has said it only applies to HD. The problem is that Thomson boxes with their old OpenTV firmware will apparently be unable to cope with the next encryption change - Sky no longer have a contract with OpenTV and are thus unable to modify the software. This will also apply to all SD standard and Sky+ boxes but Sky appear to be tackling HD subscribers first, possibly as they are less likely in the meantime to upgrade to a new HD box than those with SD boxes. The encryption/card change is probably around 2 years away but by this method they appear to be avoiding a sudden massive demand for new boxes.
Oh so are you saying because of the OpenTV software that all old SD boxes need to be replaced, so that Sky can drop the Open TV software for good? and that as the Thompson HD boxes also have the OpenTV thats another reason, on top of the composite issue, that they want them replaced!
So will the SD boxes just stop working then at some point or will they sill work as FTA receivers?

That's the most likely explanation.

However, another thought is a major change to the way the EPG is implemented. Something along the lines of when they introduced the 4 digit channel numbers for radio channels.

If another major change like that was implemented, then all boxes would require a software update to continue working,

I have one very old sky box stuck on old software that pre dates the 4 digit radio channels and it just won't work any more.

So could they be thinking of a major change that will put the HD channels effectively in their own separate list like the radio channels are now?

If so, without a software update the thomson boxes could well end up useless.

And that sort of EPG update for the hd channels could perhaps be done in a way that would not affect the HD channels so would not require an update to SD boxes?
So you think that Sky might put the HD channels in their own part of the EPG? I like that as we could finally have BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD, ITV HD, Channel 4 HD and channel 5 HD all grouped together as the lead channels of a new HD section!
I suppose it would mean that all the SD boxes might see the HD channel placements disappear?
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Old 19-04-2013, 22:50
Dave-H
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Nobody AFAIK has said it only applies to HD.
I was only going by what the OP posted, that Sky had stated that "you may not be able to view HD channels through your Sky box".
I can't find that actually stated on the upgrade offer page on the website, so I can only assume that it was in the letter/e-mail that was sent out to Thomson owners.
I agree that it's actually far more likely to be a more fundamental problem that they can't support the firmware in the Thomson boxes for much longer, so they need to get them all out of use now ASAP.
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:13
davemurgatroyd
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Oh so are you saying because of the OpenTV software that all old SD boxes need to be replaced, so that Sky can drop the Open TV software for good? and that as the Thompson HD boxes also have the OpenTV thats another reason, on top of the composite issue, that they want them replaced!
So will the SD boxes just stop working then at some point or will they sill work as FTA receivers?
I assume you mean component analogue video output (the HD capable one) rather than composite - the lowest quality analogue video output. I do not know where you dreamed that one up from as AFAIK that has absolutely no bearing on this issue at all as I am led to believe that the component output could have been turned off at any time in software in a similar way to Humax turning off component video in their freesat Foxsat boxes a while after they were released. As far as I aware all the SD standard and Sky+ boxes as well as the Thomson HD+ boxes will continue to operate as FTA receivers as all that is affected by the inability to modify the OpenTV firmware that is already loaded on them is that part dealing with encryption which controls subscription and Sky+ functions.
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:14
lotrjw
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I was only going by what the OP posted, that Sky had stated that "you may not be able to view HD channels through your Sky box".
I can't find that actually stated on the upgrade offer page on the website, so I can only assume that it was in the letter/e-mail that was sent out to Thomson owners.
I agree that it's actually far more likely to be a more fundamental problem that they can't support the firmware in the Thomson boxes for much longer, so they need to get them all out of use now ASAP.
So if they cant support the firmware in the Thompson boxes and thats the same for all the SD only boxes, then they want everyone on the new HD boxes ASAP then?
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:20
davemurgatroyd
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So if they cant support the firmware in the Thompson boxes and thats the same for all the SD only boxes, then they want everyone on the new HD boxes ASAP then?
Yes but not really ASAP which would create a rush demand for new boxes. They probably have at least two years before the next encryption change. They actually started this process well over a year ago - I had a free replacement for an old Thomson box over a year ago after a phone call from them.
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:20
Dave-H
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So if they cant support the firmware in the Thompson boxes and thats the same for all the SD only boxes, then they want everyone on the new HD boxes ASAP then?
Well I don't know if this problem applies to all the SD only Sky and Sky+ boxes out there, but if that is the case then yes, ideally they would want them all out of use too and everyone on the newer HD Sky+ boxes.
I suspect that would be a much bigger problem than just dealing with the original Thomson HD boxes though!
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:20
lotrjw
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I assume you mean component analogue video output (the HD capable one) rather than composite - the lowest quality analogue video output. I do not know where you dreamed that one up from as AFAIK that has absolutely no bearing on this issue at all as I am led to believe that the component output could have been turned off at any time in software in a similar way to Humax turning off component video in their freesat Foxsat boxes a while after they were released. As far as I aware all the SD standard and Sky+ boxes as well as the Thomson HD+ boxes will continue to operate as FTA receivers as all that is affected by the inability to modify the OpenTV firmware that is already loaded on them is that part dealing with encryption which controls subscription and Sky+ functions.
yes I did mean component I for some reason keep getting the names of those two the wrong way round sorry.
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:25
Dave-H
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They actually started this process well over a year ago - I had a free replacement for an old Thomson box over a year ago after a phone call from them.
Me too. I think at the time it was assumed that it was because they just couldn't get the new "Picasso" EPG working on them, but subsequently it seems there's a more fundamental problem!
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:33
davemurgatroyd
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Me too. I think at the time it was assumed that it was because they just couldn't get the new "Picasso" EPG working on them, but subsequently it seems there's a more fundamental problem!
It is precisely because they cannot get the Picasso firmware working that they will not be able to implement an encryption change on them.
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:35
lotrjw
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Well I don't know if this problem applies to all the SD only Sky and Sky+ boxes out there, but if that is the case then yes, ideally they would want them all out of use too and everyone on the newer HD Sky+ boxes.
I suspect that would be a much bigger problem than just dealing with the original Thomson HD boxes though!
Yes but not really ASAP which would create a rush demand for new boxes. They probably have at least two years before the next encryption change. They actually started this process well over a year ago - I had a free replacement for an old Thomson box over a year ago after a phone call from them.
I see so we might see sky wanting to replace the SD only boxes some time soon, because of the OpenTV firmware issue, but they have more of a priority with the Thompson HD boxes because of the HD issues. So if the SD boxes are replaced I wonder if they would start with the Sky + boxes as they would only need a swap out and then come back to the other ones later. Also could Sky say sitpulate that, for all people who have SD only boxes, that if they wanted premium channels they had to upgrade their box to HD (unless they already had the premium channels), as this would be an incentive to do a box upgrade and get more people on HD boxes naturaly.
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:38
lotrjw
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It is precisely because they cannot get the Picasso firmware working that they will not be able to implement an encryption change on them.
so will that encription change aply to just HD channels or will it also come to SD channels?
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:44
davemurgatroyd
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so will that encription change aply to just HD channels or will it also come to SD channels?
All subscription and probably all FTV channels as well unless they dualcrypt them with both new and old encryptions (which I think highly unlikely).
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Old 19-04-2013, 23:56
davemurgatroyd
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I see so we might see sky wanting to replace the SD only boxes some time soon, because of the OpenTV firmware issue, but they have more of a priority with the Thompson HD boxes because of the HD issues.
What HD issues? They are almost certainly starting with HD subscribers because they are less likely to upgrade their boxes themselves than SD viewers upgrading to HD - so will cost them fewer replacements

So if the SD boxes are replaced I wonder if they would start with the Sky + boxes as they would only need a swap out and then come back to the other ones later.
On the other hand they could give non Sky+ SD subscribers the DRX595 non PVR HD box - who knows

Also could Sky say sitpulate that, for all people who have SD only boxes, that if they wanted premium channels they had to upgrade their box to HD (unless they already had the premium channels), as this would be an incentive to do a box upgrade and get more people on HD boxes naturaly.
They could already do that by not offering Sky+ (non HD) subscriptions but they don't and merely issue HD+ boxes and charge more for those not taking an HD sub. So why alienate customers by forcing them to take a higher sub? You really do have some strange fantasies on how Sky should run their business based on very little knowledge of how the whole industry runs at present.
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Old 20-04-2013, 00:00
lotrjw
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All subscription and probably all FTV channels as well unless they dualcrypt them with both new and old encryptions (which I think highly unlikely).
Ah so that probably does mean that the SD ones will have to be replaced then, as, if the software needs changing for a change in encription, then the old SD boxes wont be able to work. The SD boxes would become just FTA receivers then! Also re the FTV channels how many are there that are SD ones?
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Old 20-04-2013, 00:14
davemurgatroyd
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Ah so that probably does mean that the SD ones will have to be replaced then, as, if the software needs changing for a change in encription, then the old SD boxes wont be able to work. The SD boxes would become just FTA receivers then! Also re the FTV channels how many are there that are SD ones?
The FTV channels are
Sony TV
Sony TV +1
Sony Movies
Sony Movies +1
LFC TV
Motors TV
4Music
all the above are SD
and Channel 5HD being the only HD one. But what bearing this has on this issue I fail to see.
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Old 20-04-2013, 00:15
lotrjw
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They could already do that by not offering Sky+ (non HD) subscriptions but they don't and merely issue HD+ boxes and charge more for those not taking an HD sub. So why alienate customers by forcing them to take a higher sub? You really do have some strange fantasies on how Sky should run their business based on very little knowledge of how the whole industry runs at present.
Well I actually ment that if say someone with an SD box wanted to upgrade to an SD premium pack that Sky could offer three choices which all mean a new box, 1 the customer takes the SD premium pack and has to pay 49 for the new box, 2 the customer takes the SD premium pack and upgrades to the new Ent Ext + pack and a years contract on the Ent. Ext + for the new box for free, 3 the customer takes the premium pack with the premium HD pack and the Ent. Ext + for a year for the free box. Sorry i should have made what I was thinking more clear.
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Old 20-04-2013, 00:18
lotrjw
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The FTV channels are
Sony TV
Sony TV +1
Sony Movies
Sony Movies +1
LFC TV
Motors TV
4Music
all the above are SD
and Channel 5HD being the only HD one. But what bearing this has on this issue I fail to see.
it doesnt really but I just wondered what they were thanks for the info. The channels do (with the excetion of channel 5 HD) seam rather obscure and I would think not an issue for people with old sky boxes that dont have a viewing card.
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Old 20-04-2013, 00:21
Dave-H
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On the other hand they could give non Sky+ SD subscribers the DRX595 non PVR HD box - who knows
That would be fine until quite a few of those non-Sky+ subscribers found out that the DRX595 boxes don't have UHF modulators in them so can't be used to feed their RF distribution systems.
OK so we all know that's a rubbish way of distributing signals round the house nowadays, but I bet a lot of people still do it!
I can't imagine anyone not wanting a PVR instead of a basic "zapper box" now either, even at no extra subscription cost if they've got a subscription, but there may still be some non Sky+ subscribers who won't want to upgrade to a PVR unless it's for free.
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Old 20-04-2013, 00:27
lotrjw
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That would be fine until quite a few of those non-Sky+ subscribers found out that the DRX595 boxes don't have UHF modulators in them so can't be used to feed their RF distribution systems.
OK so we all know that's a rubbish way of distributing signals round the house nowadays, but I bet a lot of people still do it!
I can't imagine anyone not wanting a PVR instead of a basic "zapper box" now either, even at no extra subscription cost if they've got a subscription, but there may still be some non Sky+ subscribers who won't want to upgrade to a PVR unless it's for free.
they could always use the single feed mode, then if people wanted to make full use of their box then they would pay for that extra feed. That way Sky would be giving everyone a PVR box, but its up to the customer to make full use of it.
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Old 20-04-2013, 11:55
Dave-H
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they could always use the single feed mode, then if people wanted to make full use of their box then they would pay for that extra feed. That way Sky would be giving everyone a PVR box, but its up to the customer to make full use of it.
Having a PVR box "locked" into single feed mode unless you paid extra, which is what you seem to be suggesting, would be pointless. You already have to pay extra for the PVR functionality to work as it is unless you have a channel subscription, which amounts to the same thing.

BTW my previous post was worded wrongly at one point I've just noticed.
It should have said "I can't imagine anyone not wanting a PVR instead of a basic "zapper box" now either, as there is no extra subscription cost if they've got a subscription....."
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Old 20-04-2013, 13:58
matty168
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Just got my new Sky+HD box today replacing my old white Sky+ one, at first I thought the current Sky+HD was getting replaced but was very happy when we rang sky and they said it was replacing the white Sky+ one

Was gonna pay to upgrade to HD a few weeks ago, glad I didn't now
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Old 20-04-2013, 14:28
lotrjw
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Having a PVR box "locked" into single feed mode unless you paid extra, which is what you seem to be suggesting, would be pointless. You already have to pay extra for the PVR functionality to work as it is unless you have a channel subscription, which amounts to the same thing
Sky + functionality is essentially free if you have at the least Entertainment channels sub so that wouldnt be an issue surely? Those customers who have the old no pvr box would have the option to have the extra feed installed for 60 or just a free box upgrade on a single feed mode. I was thinking about the single feed mode because of what you said (which you slightly corrected but I think I got the gist of), that people would want a PVR instead of a basic zapper box. This would in fact be three options for those customers 1 and 2 what I just said and 3 what you said about a basic HD zapper box. I wonder what Sky will offer in the end though.

Also I dont see why Sky would need to oblige anyone just on Sky + only 10 per month, that has an old SD box, with just free channels, with a new HD box as I surely would only effect the few FTV channels.

If anyone who is on the Sky + only sub on an old box, after the encryption change and they wanted to update, then they would just get the HD box on getting Ent Ext +, which I assume would be the lowest for them to then upgrade.
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