Saving & watching programmes

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Saving & watching programmes

Postby djh84 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:40 am

I am upgrading my old Sky+ box to a Sky HD. I understand that using Copy+ I can store my unwatched programmes on my external hard drive. Can I then transfer them back onto my new box and watch them or do I have to watch them from the hard drive?
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Re: Saving & watching programmes

Postby pcbbc » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:06 am

Hi,

Firstly Copy+ can not copy your individual recordings to an external hard drive. It can make a backup of the entire DISK (in a PC unplayable format) and transfer it back again (perhaps that's what you meant) but it's a completely different thing to what most people would understand as copying RECORDINGS.
Secondly, Sky+SD to HD migrations are no longer possible since Sky deployed the Darwin EPG upgrade to HD boxes. Basically this now means that the legacy SD platforms and Darwin based HD boxes are now so disparate that they are no longer compatible. Sorry.

For copying SD to SD boxes/drives, use Copy+. This still works.
For copying HD to HD boxes/drives, check out ExPVR. This IS compatible with HD (but not SD). It's not my software (go Google it), and I haven't used it - but I hear it is very good.

But for your particular situation (I am assuming your "old Sky+ box" is SD and not HD) there is no solution.

Sorry to disappoint, Stuart.
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Re: Saving & watching programmes

Postby djh84 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:10 am

I thought that might be the case. Thanks anyway
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Re: Saving & watching programmes

Postby djh84 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:17 am

pcbbc wrote:Hi,

Firstly Copy+ can not copy your individual recordings to an external hard drive. It can make a backup of the entire DISK (in a PC unplayable format) and transfer it back again (perhaps that's what you meant) but it's a completely different thing to what most people would understand as copying RECORDINGS.
Secondly, Sky+SD to HD migrations are no longer possible since Sky deployed the Darwin EPG upgrade to HD boxes. Basically this now means that the legacy SD platforms and Darwin based HD boxes are now so disparate that they are no longer compatible. Sorry.

For copying SD to SD boxes/drives, use Copy+. This still works.
For copying HD to HD boxes/drives, check out ExPVR. This IS compatible with HD (but not SD). It's not my software (go Google it), and I haven't used it - but I hear it is very good.

But for your particular situation (I am assuming your "old Sky+ box" is SD and not HD) there is no solution.

Sorry to disappoint, Stuart.


Would I be able to watch the programmes if I connect my hard drive directly to my TV (Samsung smart TV)
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Re: Saving & watching programmes

Postby pcbbc » Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:44 am

djh84 wrote:Would I be able to watch the programmes if I connect my hard drive directly to my TV (Samsung smart TV)

All non-free to air channels recordings are encrypted with your card. Those are not watchable without using the same valid subscription card and a Sky box to decode.
All other recordings are un-encrypted DVB-S MPEG2 streams, but stored in a propriety disk format developed by NDS called XTVFS.

If your Samsung TV supports reading XTVFS volumes (highly, highly unlikely as it's a propriety format, and I don't know of anything other than Sky boxes and PC software specifically designed for the purpose that can read them) AND it supports playback of unencrypted DVB-S MPEG (possible would do as it's not too dissimilar to DVB-T used for freeview).
Check your manual or ask the manufacturer.... (good luck with that!)

So I'd say NO - but as I haven't explicitly tried it, I can not say for certain - except that it seems highly, highly unlikely.
What is very likely is that the Samsung TV may try to "fix" problems which it sees on the XTVFS volume (mistaking it for a FAT32 volume) but which are actually perfectly valid extensions which make up the XTVFS format. Once returned to the Sky+ box this will result in the loss of all recordings.

By far the easiest way to watch you old recordings is to keep the Sky+ box and transfer your viewing card back (temporarily from the HD box) when you want to watch. Assuming:
1. You keep the same viewing card when upgrading to HD (i.e. you are upgrading an existing account and haven't taken out a new contract);
2. None of your recordings you want to watch are from premium channels (movies and sport) which would require the card to be paired with the box to watch;
3. You are able to supply a working sat feed to the box for the duration of you watching (can borrow a feed from the HD box).
This will usually work acceptably for most people who simply wish to "finish viewing those last few episodes of things they haven't got round to watching yet".

Please note that recording on the SD box with an unpaired card is also still possible, but nothing will be playable (from anything other than free to air channels).
There's a full description of exactly what is and isn't possible with unpaired viewing cards as a sticky in the FAQ section.
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