UK: SKY+ or a HDD/DVD recorder?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Applespider, Aug 18, 2006.

  1. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #1
    I don't watch much TV but I have SKY in order to watch the NFL for 6 months of the year.
    I used to just stick a tape in to cover the late game and watch it the next day.

    But my VCR is making some very odd noises after a recent powercut and it's time to upgrade.

    My options are either to fork out for SKY+ (probably £200 or so including installation unless I can get a 'deal' from customer services plus £10 a month for 6 months of the year) but that would only get me the base model of SKY+ (80GB) and I'd be looking at having to get a separate DVD recorder in order to archive anything off it.

    Or to buy a separate HDD/DVD recorder (there's a Sony 160GB one on Amazon for £260)and keep my existing SKY box. That comes with a FW out so I could dump video onto my HD should I want to.

    Both allow me to do 'timeslip' but with the Sony I'd be limited to taping the SKY channel I'm watching whereas with SKY I could do record one and watch another but since that's how my old VCR was set up, I don't think I'd find that too limiting.

    However, people with SKY+ keep telling me that it's the easiest way to do PVR and that stand-alone systems just aren't as good.

    I only have a Powerbook at the moment so getting an Elgato system is likely not the best option. And tho I do plan on getting an iMac at some point, it's not close enough to cover me for the NFL season.

    So... anyone with either SKY+ or SKY but a standalone HDD who wants to give me some words of wisdom?
     
  2. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #2
    I have Sky+ and have to say it is the best purchase I ever made and I find it so frustrating watching TV any other way, I even find myself at the cinema wishing I could rewind the good bits!

    Its just the convienence of having it all in such a good bundled system (think apple) which is why I got it. You can record 2 programs at the same time and also watch one you have already recorded.

    I don't dump to tape at the moment but am planning on buying a cheap DVD recorder for this.

    You can actually put bigger HDD in Sky+ for more recording but I've found the 80gb fine so far.

    A lot of my work collegues think I'm mad paying for it, but I have the full sky pack anyway so doesn't cost me anymore. They all have either Media Centre PC which they have to patch, makes noise, doesn't integrate as well etc....or use freeview and have there own HDD PVRs.

    None that I have seen though have the complete "it just works" of the Sky+ setup. Just watch everything thru sky and its amazing how soon you take it as 2nd nature to just rewind something your watching that you missed.

    Only problem I found is I end up going through the Sky Planner for the next 7 days and marking tons to record, even if I don't watch them its nice to have stuff there when I want it.

    My advice, order it now :)
     
  3. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
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    #3
    I've seen and used Mum's Sky+ but it didn't really blow me away. The Tivos that I've seen in the US seemed much better and if they still sold them here, new, I'd get one.

    I'm curious as to whether the separate HDD/DVD system will offer a better interface than SKY's. The ability to mark chapters and watch from midpoints would be incredibly useful on a 3-hour game which, is really what I'm most likely to be recording. And on the few occasions that I watched Sky+ with Mum, it appeared (at least on her box) that if there was a problem while rewinding, it occasionally just hopped all the way back to the beginning and you had to visually FF back through again - that wasn't so bad on a 30 minute episode but I wouldn't fancy it 2 hr 30 minutes into a football game.

    I realise that the integration is will, of course, be better with Sky+ but I'd like to hear from a few non-Sky+ PVR users. After all, if I'd gone with the computer that most of my officemates told me about, I wouldn't have a Mac ;)
     
  4. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #4
    Hmmm, I used to only have a PowerBook but I seem to recall a certain person encouraging me to buy an iMac ;) so I thought I'd return the favour!

    Although I don't have Sky, I've got an Elgato EyeTV (mine is the 410 for Freeview & TopUp TV). It works great, you won't have extra boxes sitting under the TV in your lounge, the software is easy to use and you'll be able to burn stuff to DVD etc should you so wish. It also comes with a year's subscription to the tvtv listings website so that you can remotely schedule TV programmes to record. Plus you'll have the iMac that you were thinking of buying anyway...
     
  5. Kardashian macrumors 68020

    Kardashian

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2005
    Location:
    Britain.
    #5
    Sky+ shouldn't be £200 anymore.

    You can get SkyHD for £300. HD, SATA Drive support, USB, FireWire, Recording.. urm, I think thats it :)

    Shouldn't be more than £150 - if it is, ask to cancel your subscription. ;)

    PS: I vote Sky, either way.
     
  6. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #6
    That sounds like an error. The only time it's supposed to skip back to the start is if you hold the rewind button down. It's a feature to rewind right to the beginning without having to go back to the menu and restart it. My mom holds the button down all the time when using it so I'm used to seeing this happen!

    I think the latest Sky+ software is a bit sluggish compared to to the old one and it does bug me. However, that aside, it is a fantastic system. As mentioned previously, you can watch and record different channels or record two different channels while watching something you recorded earlier.

    I don't think there's much to choose between this and Tivo and US friends that have used it while they've stayed over here have liked some features and disliked others more than Tivo so I wouldn't like to choose between them.

    Is it me or was Tivo available in the UK many years ago? Before Sky+ by a couple of years if I remember correctly but never took off.
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Sky+ all the way. Its a really simple elegant solution, one box, no worries. There's no better way for recording Sky programming imo because you can record one sky channel while watching another one. Time shifting is easy etc. Pausing is incredibly useful. Pee when you want to pee and no being strapped into your seat until the advert break!!
     
  8. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #8
    As the other guy said, this is probably due to holding the button as this goes to start. You can actually when you go to play it scroll accross to viewer defined and type the number of minutes in to skip straight to it.

    Also when pausing on a recorded program, press the red key and it bookmarks it. The when paused press the yellow button I think and you get a menu with all your bookmarks. Schweet.

    Plus, you can now set your Sky+ to record via text. You assign you mobile to it and text in a message and it records it. I never thought I would use it but set it anyway, then the next day I was reading a mag and it had a program starting while I was at work I fancied watching. Quick text to the my box, got home and it was waiting for me :D
     
  9. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
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    #9
    Yes it was... and yes, it probably was Mum holding down the button. :rolleyes:

    As I said, the recording two channels stuff really doesn't bother me. My TV is rarely on aside from watching the news if there's some major incident or watching the NFL games (which is listed as one show on SKY from 6pm to 12.30am each Sunday) - hence why I'm keen to be sure that whatever system I get, I can easily jump through the game! ;) How is it on very long recordings?

    The reason my SKY+ might end up costing silly amounts is because the original engineer screwed up and I ended up having to put the dish on the roof which involves a 'special' install. If I'd known that originally, I'd likely have stuck with cable - SKY paid to get it up on the roof since it took them 18 month to accept that trees generally grow leaves in the spring but not sure what they'll charge me to have the LNB fitted.

    Chances are I'll give them a call and see exactly what the price is going to be - but going from their site, it looks like the 'standard' no-deal price is £159 - before making a final decision.
     
  10. XIII macrumors 68040

    XIII

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #10
    As mentioned earlier, call Sky, and ask them what price they will give you. Then say that's too much.. and if that doesn't work, tell them your cancelling the whole contract. They WILL offer you a better deal then. :)
     
  11. Lau Guest

    #11
    Yeah, when we actually cancelled Sky, we got them offering us Sky+ for £40. :) If you tell them that you want Sky+ but you're cancelling because you think it's too expensive and a DVD recorder would be better value the "retaining" department will offer you a variety of lavish and disturbingly cheap deals. :D
     
  12. mrfrosty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    #12
    I vote sky+ every time......its soooo easy to use........it's one of those things that just works.....
     
  13. nomad01 macrumors 68000

    nomad01

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2005
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #13
    Well b*gger me. lol You learn summat new all the time. Just tried that and it works. Ace! :) Thanks for that. Nice feature. Like the bookmark menu that gives you previews of each bookmark.

    Have to say I watch more TV now than I ever did before I had Sky+. I record loads of shows now and can watch them when I have more time at the weekend. Plus I can skip through the adverts!

    Someone at work told me it would change how I watch TV and they were pretty much correct.

    It work fine with long recordings. In previous years, I have, on a couple of occasions, recorded Big Brother ( :confused: ) throughout the night and it just records. You can fast forward up to 30 times the normal play speed to get to where you want.
     
  14. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
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    #14
    Argh... have done some more digging and still can't decide...

    SKY will give me Sky+ (including installation on my stupidly high roof) for £80 which ain't bad plus a reduction in the monthly charge for 6 months. So in all about £140 for the first year.
    Pluses: I get to watch one/record another (which I rarely do now), I get a new Sky box since my current one is probably 6 or 7 years old, I get the 'just works' experience.
    Cons: It's £120 a year (after 12 months) for the privilege of recording since I don't have/want enough Premium channels to get it free. It's only an 80GB drive - obviously if I want to archive anything off, then I have to buy a DVD recorder (another £100 or so).

    Amazon have a Sony 160GB HD with dual layer DVD for £242.
    Pluses - HD size and DVD capability. It does automatic intelligent bookmarking of recordings so you can thumbnail through a program to decide when you want to be. It has Guide+ so you can still record stuff through an EPG if you want to. You don't pay £10 a month for ever more
    Cons - I'll only be able to record/watch one channel through Sky. I'll still have my old potentially dodgy Sky box.

    To be honest, if it wasn't for needing Sky Sports Extra for my NFL games, I'd jump straight for a freeview box and dump Sky entirely

    And no, dcv, it's too early to buy the iMac... I'm waiting for Leopard for that! ;)
     
  15. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #15
    No worries. I found the yellow button trick totally by accident the other day. Was like "how the hell did I do that!" :)

    You can actually record 2 programmes at the same time if you want, but you then have to either watch one at the same time, or watch something you've already recorded. Worked great when two films clashed which I could record while watching last nights IRL.
     
  16. machappymeal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    #16
    I've had Sky+ for a year now and could not do without it. Everything works out quite pricey though as I have multi-room as well as an additional subscription to Setanta Sports. Still, if you love sport....

    Looking forward to the Ryder Cup.
     
  17. Applespider thread starter macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #17
    Actually, I only love the NFL otherwise I'd have Freeview

    However... I've now got a date for my Sky+ installation but in mid-Sept since I need the 'special heights' team

    The guy I spoke to on the phone though the other day had told me fibs as to the deal though and I couldn't get the discount on my package for the year but only 3 months and it would have been a refurbed box. Nice Scottish man on the phone this morning gave me a new 80GB box and managed (not entirely sure how) to get me a package that involves me paying an extra £3 a month for the next year but getting all the channels - Sports and Movies. :D
     
  18. machappymeal macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    #18
    That sounds like a cracking deal, congrats.
     
  19. AndyR macrumors 6502a

    AndyR

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    #19
    Good deal mate. The packages on Sky vary so much. I pay £42 pm for everything and get Sky + included.

    My mate pays £48 pm with Sky + because he doesn't want some of the movies so he has to pay an extra £10 pm for Sky+. Can't make him see sense. Just don't want the extra channels!!! :rolleyes:
     

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