Monday 17 December 2012

Cutting the (virtual) cable...

I've come to a realisation.

We currently subscribe to $ky+HD standard package (no movies or sports) and pay around €44 for the privilege. Since moving to to Windows Media Center for TV viewing, we have circumvented some of the restrictions of the set-top satellite box such as limited storage space and dual-tuner limits. However, I'm still paying that €44 p/m, and it's going up.

What's more, in setting up favourite channels in WMC, we've come to realise how few of those channels we actually watch to any great extent.

There's very little beyond what's available on freeview / saorview that we actually view. So, what would happen if I packed in $ky? I'd miss the occasional Sky Arts concert and some first run sci-fi on Sky 1. Wife will miss food/style channels & kids will miss some of their channels. But that accounts for about 5% of our total viewing.

Monday 10 December 2012

One little box...

New Linksys Modem/Router
So I had a call from my wife on Friday while I was at work;

"The TV isn't working, most of the channels are black"

Oh-oh. I'd sold the migration from set top box to WMC on a number of grounds, including ease of use. I was not helped by the fact that the weekend I migrated, my Satellite supplier updated the EPG UI, for the better.

Anyway, I figured there might be an issue with the software on the MediaServer and gave her the nuclear option of rebooting. That didn't work so I said I'd have a look when I got home.

On inspection, it did indeed seem that many of the TV channels were black with only free to air channels playing properly.

During setup, I knew this happened if the DVBLogic end of things was not set up correctly, the dreambox was down or one of several other things was preventing the dreambox helping decrypt the channels.

I immediately thought there was an issue with the card entitlements renewal. The dreambox is supposed to take care of this but it seemed like about a month since the migration to WMC and I thought it might need a night  in it's old home in the satellite box.

Next day, still no joy. I popped the card back in the dreambox and checked entitlements. All was well. Something else must be wrong...