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Old 01.11.2006, 18:03
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Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

If you have any of the following, submit your review of the service and what you had to do to get it.
  • Sky (satellite)
  • Free British TV (satellite)
  • Cablecom Digital TV (cable)
  • Bluewin TV (ADSL)
  • Bluewin TV 300 (cable)
  • Teleclub
  • Digital+
  • TPS
  • Other (similar digital service)
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  #2  
Old 01.11.2006, 19:09
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Pace Sky Digibox £199

This is the 'standard' sky box on sale in the UK for the last few years. You can't buy these at large UK retailers as they sell Sky contracts. So you need to know an installer or small business/dealer who sells these in the UK. They need to deliver to a UK address and can activate the box for you. Mine was activated when I got it and it was delivered to my parents' in UK.

I brought it over in my suitcase on the plane. I don't have a Sky contract, but there is enough free-to-air to watch. And , unlike Cablecon, the number of channels has increased.

The 60cm dish and LNB were bought locally along with 10m of cable. About CHF180. I couldn't align the dish, so asked the local TV shop. They took a couple of hours as the dish had to be moved. But were happy to do for CHF200.

Now we have excellet reception of BBC & ITC plus more radio that you can shake a stick at. All piped through the hi.fi.

The set-top box has run without problem for 3 years. The only problems come in heavy rain and snow storms. About 2 or 3 evenings a year, when we lose the signal for up to an hour. It does take up to a couple of minutes to start up and find the signal when first switched on.

Total cost about CHF850 as a one off cost this is CHF280 a year thus far - and will come out at about CHF85 if it lasts 10 years. My parents bring their SkyCard when they come over and watch their favourite progs!

I wouldn't be without it now, though it is not an aid to integration over here and I did live for 10 years with no UK TV at all (other than Super Channel)...
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Old 01.11.2006, 21:42
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Cablecom Digital Receiver and Recorder

Cablecom Digital Receiver and Recorder

Although I was impressed with the service at first, my enthusiasm has dwindled. The recording and scheduling changed the way I watch the idiot box but there have been certain drawbacks like not being able to switch language to English on dual language channels.

The box also gives out a high pitch ringing that temps me to throw it out of the window.

I now have my neighbour's satelite dish on my balcony so I'm going to buy a Dreambox and feed off that.

The other alternative is to buy a Dreambox that plugs into the cable and gets the Cablecom channels for free.

For 35:_ a month I am beginning to resent the Cablecom box. I am officially seeking an alternative and looking forward to sacking CC.
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Old 01.11.2006, 22:59
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Quote:
If you have any of the following, submit your review of the service and what you had to do to get it.
  • Sky (satellite)
  • Free British TV (satellite)
  • Cablecom Digital TV (cable)
  • Bluewin TV (ADSL)
  • Bluewin TV 300 (cable)
  • Teleclub
  • Digital+
  • TPS
  • Other (similar digital service)
Pace Sky Digibox - bought in UK for about 160 quid and then carried over as hand luggage. Got a full Sky sub and activated it at parents' place before bringing it over.

Worked great for 5 years and was then superceded by a Pace PVR2 Sky+ box. Bought over internet from http://www.tracsat.co.uk . Same as before, activated in UK and brought across. Also cost 160 quid.

If you want English language TV this is by far the best way to go, but of course not the cheapest nor easiest to organise.


Gav
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Old 01.11.2006, 23:01
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Sky+

I got the dish for free from a friend, a 60-70cm dish on a steel pipe set into a concrete slab. The slab sits on my balcony.

The decoder box cost a few hundred (I forget how much exactly, but it was quite a bit), and has a digital recorder built in.

My Sky subscription is approx 100 chuffs/month for full Sky with sport and movies. I also pay 100 pounds/year to some dodgy company (Insat) in England for my registration.

The cost isn't to everybody's taste, but in terms of money vs satisfaction, i find it money well spent.

The '+' part of digital Sky i think is the automatic scheduling/recording. I can see an advert for a show, and quickly instruct the box (I keep calling it the Fox Box due to having had cable in Sydney) to record the entire series automatically. The box can record something like 20-30 hours, recording two channels at once and showing a recording at the same time.

The subscription was very easy to organise through Insat, with all of their equipment arriving quickly. The dish took me about 15-20 minutes to line up using a compass. I do sometimes lose reception due to the weather, but it's not very common.
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Old 02.11.2006, 14:22
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Other (similar digital service)

Digital box for Swiss Romande TV (www.video2000.ch), which is about 300 CHF. You do not pay subscription and get BBC1 and 2 + lots of foreign channels (about 100 I think).

You cannot record with it though, but at least there is no monthly fee.
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Old 02.11.2006, 15:15
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

I pay Sky £42.50 for Sky World/+ - practically everything I watch is recorded and I've upgraded the hard disk from 40Gb (about 20 hours) to 120Gb (60 hours).

I have a Quad LNB for this position and use 2 feeds for it.

On the same dish, I have two other LNBs getting signal from Hotbird and Astra1 - these feeds plus one from Astra2 go into a DiSEqC switch at the back of my dish and then run down into my Dreambox (DM500-s) runnung a Gemini image.

The Dreambox is connected to my network and uses a share on my HTPC upon which it will record the Transport Stream of programming I wish to have recorded. I then convert the recorded programmes to MPG and remove any adverts, lead-in, etc.

Both Sky+ and the Dreambox are connected to a Triax Compact Headend (Distribution Amplifier) and I am effectively inserting two channels into my house cable TV network.

What does this mean? Well, I can effectively watch Sky anywhere in the house; I can also watch the channels from the Dreambox anywhere in the house (and even over my network using VLC).

This installation has been professionally installed by Radio Hess. I'd give them 7Ĺ/10 as they did cause some delays in the installation - but the chap (Dimitri) who finished the installation said he's never actually got 100/100% for Sky before.....and I've only had picture break-up when the snow moved in early this year (and lay on the dish arm and LNB - so winter sees me keeping a broom handy to smack the dish with!).

I have to summarise that for the price I pay per month, I believe I get good value. I do also believe that I would have Sky if I lived in the UK.

An additional subscription I have is to ART Sport which cost me about £90 - plus I have a SRG card and a UK FTV card. And in addition, the Dreambox can also decode certain channels with emulators and keys. But that's naughty - only my mate would do that
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Old 02.11.2006, 15:55
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

I have Sky. I bought the Digibox a while back in Abu Dhabi and canít remember for how much, and I pay £32 for a package that has several movie channels and no sport. Around 200 channels, of which I watch maybe 10. I do get all of the channels I want though.

Moving the whole thing here was expensive. The problem being that my landlord wouldnít let me DIY it, so I had to pay an electrician without a clue. Also he overspecified the kit so that the dish (75cm) cost CHF 384 and the LNB CHF 198 + 34. I could have bought the lot for half that. Oh well, I can take them with me when I go. I couldn't move the dish from my old house as it was installed on top of the chimney, and too dangerous to attempt alone.


Installation cost me CHF 52 which didnít hurt, especially as it took the guys (two of them) about 3 hours.

Nevertheless, when I did this in Luxembourg it cost less and as a result I felt ripped off here.

I consider the amount I pay pretty reasonable, and I honestly cannot imagine living without it in a place like Zurich where there appears to be nothing I can understand on cable.
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Old 02.11.2006, 16:09
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

I have a pace Sky + box which I brought with me from the UK with a full sky subscription (forgotton how much a month this is - about £45ish) also got a Nokia digi box connected to 4 communal dishes but never watch this as there are over 3000 channels with 2900 channels being dodgy porn phone in sites!!! but i know I had an ART card for this I'd be in footie heaven!!
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Old 08.11.2006, 13:42
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Cablecom Digital Recorder

Ok so I just got my recorder yesterday. It was pretty easy to set up but didn't require a ten minute call to their tech line as they needed to remote on to my connection as the smart card wasn't working.
I'm really impressed with the channels and the record function is just brilliant. Just last night i set it off recording three movies and some tv shows to try it out.

The good news is that from next jan Cablecom will add Film4, Itv1 and 2. I guess this as a result of bluewin's english tv channels.

All in all i think its a great service and am looking forward to sussing it all out.

Brian
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Old 08.11.2006, 13:52
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Re: Cablecom Digital Recorder

Quote:
The good news is that from next jan Cablecom will add Film4, Itv1 and 2. I guess this as a result of bluewin's english tv channels.
Lordy lord. Wonders never cease

Where did you hear this please?

I asked them alst week via email and they said "no" for "contractual reasons"
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Old 08.11.2006, 14:17
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Re: Cablecom Digital Recorder

Quote:
Lordy lord. Wonders never cease

Where did you hear this please?

I asked them alst week via email and they said "no" for "contractual reasons"
yep if you go to their website and click on digital tv then there is a little note saying that these three channels are added in Jan 2007. I think they are added a very good english service now and for CHF 25 its pretty cheap.
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Old 08.11.2006, 14:44
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Re: Cablecom Digital Recorder

Quote:
yep if you go to their website and click on digital tv then there is a little note saying that these three channels are added in Jan 2007. I think they are added a very good english service now and for CHF 25 its pretty cheap.
Thanks.
But as far as I can see it's only Ticino, not German or Romandie areas...

Back on topic:
We've been with Cablecom for around 18 months.

We're not big TV watchers so theri digital package does us nicely for CHF 25.

Easy install, no problems.
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Old 08.11.2006, 14:53
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

OK, I have the cheapo option, I have an old 80cm dish and a no name decoder (both of which I bought many years ago in Northern Cyprus)

Iíve bolted the dish to the shed in the back yard and aligned it to Astra, I receive BBC1, 2,3,and 4, news and parliament, ITV1, 2,3,and 4, film 4 sky news CNN and many more, including the golf channel and Real Madrid TV !
Radio stations include all the BBC 1,2,3,4,5,6 7, 5live extra and all their regional ones, plus the independents like virgin, capital jazz fm etc etc.
Video allows me to record only the channel that the decoder is on , ie I cant watch BBC1 and record ITV1.

Ok so I miss the premeirship footie, but with match of the day and BBC coverage of the FA cup plus ITV and Swiss TV covering the champions league itís enough to keep up.
Considering itís all free, I canít really complain.
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Old 08.11.2006, 15:24
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Cablecom will have new English option starting from Jan 2007 which contains Film4, ITV1 and ITV2. You have to subscribe for this additional offer. This means 10CHF on top of your 25CHF just like the other foreign language offers (Italian, albanica).

The statement is very confusing on the website of Cablecom. I have to call one of the agents for the confirmation.

Still Bluewin is better if they can waive the one-off fees.
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Old 11.11.2006, 16:46
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Quote:
Cablecom will have new English option starting from Jan 2007 which contains Film4, ITV1 and ITV2. You have to subscribe for this additional offer. This means 10CHF on top of your 25CHF just like the other foreign language offers (Italian, albanica).

The statement is very confusing on the website of Cablecom. I have to call one of the agents for the confirmation.

Still Bluewin is better if they can waive the one-off fees.
Cablecom really are taking a liberty here. All the 'new' stuff that they charge for is FTA on satellite.

Anyone considering Cablecom should definitely think about satellite if it's a possibility for them (ie. South facing place to site the dish).


What will happen when Cablecom dump analogue totally? Currently the fee of approx 25CHF per month for the analogue service is bundled into the 'Heiz und Nebenkosten' of most apartments (whether you want it or not). With digital currently costing a minimum of 19CHF per month extra, will it get chucked onto the existing bills? What a ripoff.

Gav
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Old 14.11.2006, 16:38
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

We have cablecom digital TV now and we find it okay. Our balcony is facing due west so we don't have so much choice. The movies in C more are okay, plus there are the BBC channels etc. It is enough. We got the recorder as well so we can record movies when we are not home. Even with just cablecom I found that I am watching TV more...if I would get the Sky TV, I think I will grow roots in front of the TV! One thing I don't like about it is that it is really not possible to change the language in digital so what I do is switch the digital TV off and watch the shows in Swiss TV in analogue.
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Old 14.11.2006, 17:38
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Cablecom or Bluewin may be the only solution if you can't have Sky.

For you Sky snobs looking down your nose and pointing out the expense: give us a 3rd way and stop saying "Sky"

You're sounding like one of those fascist public transport fanatics slagging off car owners...
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Old 16.11.2006, 13:46
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

Just to confirm that now ITV1,2 and film4 have been confirmed for German speaking switzerland from the 1st January on Cablecom Digital.

Cheers

Brian
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Old 16.11.2006, 14:55
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Re: Your Review: Set-Top Box solutions

I have finally taken the plunge and bought a Humax HDCI Free to air satellite receiver (499chf from Media Markt Dietlikon). Its brilliant, and if you can erect a dish then do it and enjoy BBC HD and many other channels including all BBC channels and ITV1,2 and film4 for FREE with none of the messing about with viewing cards.

Quote:
Just to confirm that now ITV1,2 and film4 have been confirmed for German speaking switzerland from the 1st January on Cablecom Digital.

Cheers

Brian
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