For those of you who read my previous blog post about getting Sky+ on the cheap, I’m glad to say it’s now all done. The whole thing works completely flawlessly, and I’m a little amazed at how easy it was to install myself.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m a tight-wad at heart and I’ll find any way to make something cost a little less than it should. In this case, I wanted to get Sky+. The Sky+ system is the Personal Video Recorder (PVR) for Sky TV here in the UK. It lets you pause live TV, rewind live TV, record shows while watching other channels and so on. This last part requires another feed from the satellite – two completely different signals that can be controlled by the Sky receiver. Sky has without doubt the most amount of channels and we’ve been a customer of theirs for quite a while without problems. However, as an existing customer who doesn’t want the “Multiroom” facility I’d have to fork out nearly 260 quid for it.. Ooofff.. too pricey for me, especially with a wedding around the corner.
So this weekend – the easter break – was my chance to install it myself. Armed with a cheap Sky+ box from ebay (with its’ upgraded internal hard drive allowing 160Gb of video), a 20 metre roll of coaxil cable with pre-fitted plugs on each end (from ebay again) and a new LNB wotsit for the Sky dish (yes, again from ebay), I was ready. I went round to my folks and borrowed their ladder, then back to ours and up to the dish. After turning off the power to our existing Sky box, I just clipped the holding pin keeping the existing single-output LNB and slid it out of the arm. I unscrewed the existing coaxil cable and then slid the new LNB – with 4 outputs – into the arm and put the new pin in. I screwed in the old coaxil and then turned on the old box to see if I still had a picture. Luckily I hadn’t knocked the dish out of alignment and the signal was still pretty excellent.
Next up I screwed in the second cable and ran that back to our lounge, alongside the other cable using cable-clips to keep it tidy. Here’s how it looked when I was done..
Spot the two cables? These go back into the Sky+ box in the lounge, which I hooked up and then powered on. After checking the signal quality and strength on both inputs I put in a quick call to Sky. They weren’t too happy that I’d installed it myself (they prefer to have Sky engineers come round and do this for 60), but still went ahead and processed the order. We now have the full pause / rewind / record facility that Sky+ offers. Fantastic! Cheap too… :) The only down-point is that Emily said, “Hey, while you have those ladders you can clean the windows”…. Ahhh.. nuts..
Links – All about Sky+