Which Systems is Copy+ Compatible with?
- Sky+ & Sky HD (this includes Sky+ from Sky Latin America in Brazil)
- DirecTV in the US
Copy+ is generally compatible with XTV machines, so SHOULD also be compatible with the following...
- MySky from Sky in Italy
- ViaSat in Sweden
- Yes and Hot in Israel
- Foxtel IQ from Foxtel in Australia
- MySky from Sky in new Zealand
- SkyLife in Korea
If you own a box from one of these operators please get in touch because we'd love to ensure Copy+ is compatible.
What Can I do with Copy+?
This software is designed to make copies of Sky+ / XTV hard drives. This is of use when you wish to perform any of the following functions:
- Upgrading or replacing your Sky+ or SkyHD hard drive?
It's not a problem! This is anticipated as the main reason for using Copy+. Use Copy+ to copy all your recordings to your new drive or box!
- Upgrading from Sky+ to SkyHD?
Use Copy+ to copy your existing SD recordings onto your new HD box! - Excellent!
- Faulty Sky box being replaced?
Don't panic! - Backup your disk onto your PC, and restore to your new box when it arrives*! Now regardless of replacement box type.†
If the HDD is starting to fail in your Sky+ box, often you will experience unreliable operation beforehand. For example recordings may fail for unexplained reasons, recording may stutter on playback, or the box may reset itself regularly for no apparent reason. There are many explanations for the above symptoms, but one possible cause that should be considered is a failing HDD. Another possible cause is the file system has become corrupt - see the next section.
Please note that this software will not assist if the HDD has already failed completely and, as a result, cannot be read. However there are often warning signs such as the ones described above just before failure, and in this case it may not be too late to save your recordings. Of course there is always the possibility that, in transferring your ailing drive to your PC, you will cause it to fail completely - That is a risk you will have to take.
- Want to use a drive larger than 270GB (500GB for SkyHD)?
It's easy! - Use Copy+ to correctly format your new drive to its full capacity up to 1TB!
- To correct errors on the drive*
If the file system becomes corrupt on the Sky+ box, then similar symptoms can be experienced to those described in the "Failing Drive" section. Often it is difficult to tell to the two apart. However the resolution for both problems is the same - Attempt to copy your recordings to a new drive.
Because Copy+ reconstructs the file system on the destination drive from scratch, and only copies the existing files from the source drive, it should be able to fix many file system errors. For example cross-linked clusters and missing clusters. In some situations some recordings may not be salvageable.
- Making backup copy of your hard drive*
Worried about losing important recordings? Relax! - Backup your drive regularly with Copy+!
- To defragment the drive*
The generally accepted expert opinion is that the Sky+ HDD does not need to be defragmented. XTVFS, on which Sky+ is based, was designed from the ground up for storing very large video files. Additionally the demands of a PVR device are very different from those of a standard PC:
In a standard home or office PC, it is often required to load a whole file into memory all at once. To the user it is desirable if this happens as quickly as possible, as it is often the result of a request to start an application or load a document directly. The performance of this kind of access is significantly improved if the file can be read from consecutive sectors (or clusters) on the drive, which is what the defragmentation process achieves.
A PVR, on the other hand, actually accesses files rather slowly. A standard 1 hour recording may occupy 2GB of disk space, but when played back over the course of 1 hour only actually results in a data rate of around 0.5MB per second. This is well within the throughput rates for modern hard drives. A PVR never has to load the entire file at once, but just small segments of it. In addition the XTV file system is well optimised to finding the location of the actual segments required quickly and easily, even when using fast forward or rewind.
However, if you do feel the need to defragment your drive, then the Copy+ software can do it for you. In fact it does a full defragment on every copy by default anyway. Unfortunately, at least for the time being, this requires a new drive as the destination for the copy. Please do not ask if or when an "in-situ" defragmenter will be available. Quite frankly I'm not sure it will - the prospect of even a small bug in my code destroying all your recordings is not something I relish being responsible for. I'm sure you would not appreciate it much either.
What Can I NOT do with Copy+?
Perhaps most importantly, here is a list of the things Copy+ cannot do:
- Copy programs to your PC hard disk for viewing later
- Copy programs to your DVD recorder, or indeed any other device that is not a Sky+ box
- Merge the contents of two disks - The destination is always overwritten
- Copy any other type of disk other than a Sky+/XTV format - Use Norton Ghost or similar if you want to do that
- Edit programs on your Sky+ drive to remove ad breaks, or padding
- Run on a Mac or under Unix/Linux - Sorry I have no plans for such a version