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    More New Features for Sky's EPG

    This is a discussion on More New Features for Sky's EPG within the Sky+ HD Supertelly forums, part of the Other Sky help and support category; Well folks, this new firmware release is certainly going to rock the boat a little. So before you all jump ...

    1. #1
      Scubbie's Avatar
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      More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Well folks, this new firmware release is certainly going to rock the boat a little. So before you all jump up and down complaining, please consider what Sky has done under the hood since the Sky+ HD was first released and how much we do not actually know about it.

      There are some more features to come soon, but for the present we shall only mention those which are available immediately with the new firmware. When we are able to discuss the other features we will do so.

      For the present time this new firmware is only available for the DRX890, DRX895 and DRX595. We will let you know when the Samsung, Pace and DRX780 STBs will be updated to encompass these new features.

      So what are the new features?


      • 5.1 Dolby Digital over the HDMI
      • Eco mode to save a few pennies over night


      There are some other changes too. These are to do with how the Red Button service works for the BBC and also some changes to handle the differences in Sky's 3D channel, which is being revamped later this month and the ability to upgrade your package via the STB using the Interactive section. Also the layout of the EPG has been changed a little once more. For those of you who haven't noticed, the Sky logo now appears on the left, away from the mini-TV display and the background is a little different too.

      5.1 Dolby Digital over the HDMI

      Yep your Sky+ HD and SkyHD STBs can now allow 5.1 Dolby Digital over the HDMI lead to your TV or surround sound system. You do not have to use the Optical or Coaxial sound leads all the time now. You will need to enable this option in the Settings -> Sound menu (<Services> 0 2). Some TVs and monitors will not accept the 5.1 sound so if yours in one of these, sorry you will have to stick with 'Normal'. Some older surround sound systems won't accept the DD sound via the HDMI either, so again you will need to stick with 'Normal' and use the optical or coaxial sound leads instead.

      More New Features for Sky's EPG-hdmi_dd.jpg

      If you are connecting your STB directly to your TV do check whether or not the TV will allow the 5.1 sound to pass through to your TV set as not all of them do allow this. My 40" Samsung TV doesn't allow for this. However if I plug the STB's HDMI output directly into my Home Theatre (HT) then it works perfectly well. In practise though I preferred to connect mine up as previously (HDMI to TV, Optical to HT).

      Some people have reported that their TVs do not support the 5.1 sound through the HDMI lead. This resulted in their TV not having any sound in some cases. I would suggest that you double check which lead you are using as you may need to use a lead certified for HDMI 1.4. Otherwise you will have to set the STB's sound over HDMI to 'Normal'. Since most TVs only have stereo speakers, this should not be a major issue for most people.

      Eco mode to save a few pennies over night


      This mode caused us no end of problems over the Christmas period. However we hope that you will like it now it has been debugged.

      Essentially the Eco mode reduces the amount of electric consumed by your Sky+ HD STB whilst most of us are asleep by placing the STB in 'deep sleep' and the rest of the time it will be in 'Standby' mode. Whilst your own electricity bill may show a small reduction, Sky are under pressure from elsewhere to help reduce the overall power consumption of the millions of Sky+ HD STBs. This feature will be enabled as default with all new Sky+ HD STBs.

      There are now 3 options:


      • Eco: Reduced power overnight, standby mode when not in use for the rest of the day (4 hours of inactivity during the day or 2 hours after 11pm)
      • Active: Standby mode when not in use. Same time spans as for Eco mode
      • None: Stays on, unless you turn place the STB in Standby mode by pressing the on/off button or place it in deep sleep by pressing the on/off button for around 5 seconds


      More New Features for Sky's EPG-ecomode.jpg

      The power LED shows green when in use. Hopefully most of you are familiar with this. When in Standby mode, the LED will go orange. With the Eco mode enabled, the LED will go red when the STB is in the deep sleep mode and orange when it wakes up to go into Standby mode.

      Where before you could press the On/Off button for around 10 seconds when the STB was in Standby mode to turn it off. this time has been changed to 5 seconds. The power LED still goes red when in this state.

      Any planned recordings or overnight updates cause the STB to wake up and go into Stand By mode a short period before the event. This will mean that you won't lose out on any recordings or updates when in this mode.

      While the STB is in Eco mode's deep sleep state, any signal from your terrestrial aerial is not passed through the Sky+ HD STB. So if you have a Freeview+ or Freeview+ HD PVR, or various extra TVs connected through the Sky+ HD STB in the bedrooms which could be viewed at say 3 am or 5 am, make sure that you select 'Active'.

      Also whilst the STB is in Eco mode's deep sleep state, if you send any over-the-air scheduled recordings using the Sky+ app or the Sky website, they will not be received until the STB wakes up. For information, the over-the-air signal is repeated until just before the programme or film is due to start, thus reducing the chance of you missing it.


      So what is it like to use?

      Overnight updates were received with no issues, so too were any planned recordings. The Showcase content is fully populated. When the STB wakes up in the morning you can hear the hard drive whir into life for a few moments.

      The Eco mode will be set to enabled by default with the new STBs being shipped. With the update, you may wish to check you settings to see if this is the case. If you are someone who wishes to record or watch Freeview during the early hours, when the STB may be in Eco mode, then you do need to set it to 'Active' instead. For those of you who use the Magic-eye, this may be particularly important.

      Many people have in the past complained about the hard drive keeping them up at night or otherwise disturbing their sleep. As a result they typically unplug the STB or press the on/off button until it goes into 'Red' power off mode. With the Eco mode this should not be necessary in many cases. However we are aware that some may be woken up by the STB coming to life. In my case, like the alarm clock syndrome, Scubbie awoke before it did, hence she knew what was happening. However often she didn't hear it and slept on through.

      The subtle cosmetic changes are nice. I believe that the picture quality has been addressed for those who were having some issues.

      Many of the irritating little bugs have been addressed too.

      As for the future, Sky hasn't stopped here. There are other changes planned for the Sky+ HD and SkyHD STBs. When these will arrive and in what form I can't say at present, partially due to the NDA, but also because they haven't been developed yet, just discussed.

      As we said at the beginning, the development for the Pace, Samsung and DRX780 STBs will continue too. Again we can't say what is happening in detail here as we haven't seen these in beta.

      This post has been put together by both Speedyrite and Scubbie.
      Last edited by Scubbie; 19-03-13 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Corrected typo
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    4. #2
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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      Well folks, this new firmware release...
      Will this update automatically or do we need to update manually ?.
      Last edited by Scubbie; 19-03-13 at 07:14 AM. Reason: removed over quote

    5. #3
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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Some pictures for you:

      More New Features for Sky's EPG-ecomode.jpgMore New Features for Sky's EPG-hdmi_dd.jpg

      Eco Mode & Dolby Digital 5.1 over HDMI are now available

      As you can see from these, the Sky logo will now appear on the left, away from the mini-TV. What doesn't come out so well is that the background is different too.

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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Quote Originally Posted by RADZ1973 View Post
      Will this update automatically or do we need to update manually ?.
      For now please do not attempt to perform a forced update as 53.70.15P is what is on the DR Stream. Sky are sending it to various STBs in a staggered approach. Once it is on the DR Stream we hope to let you know.

      I have updated the thread with the version numbers to reflect this update. The current new version is R006.058.55.00P.

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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      If you are connecting your STB directly to your TV do check whether or not the TV will allow the 5.1 sound to pass through to your TV set as not all of them do allow this.
      I don't understand this sentence. Should one or more of the TVs be HTs?

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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Quote Originally Posted by Scubbie View Post
      you may need to use a lead certified for HDMI 1.4
      I don't want anybody to waste money buying a 1.4 certified HDMI cable as it will not make any difference. The Sky+HD boxes are all HDMI v1.1 and the SkyHD DRX595 is HDMI v1.3. HDMI cables have not had extra pairs installed it is just that HDMI chipset has had extra features added in the various versions. When two HDMI connections are made with different versions the lowest version wins and will disregard any extra functionality like ARC and the Ethernet Channel.
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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Quote Originally Posted by seawright View Post
      I don't understand this sentence. Should one or more of the TVs be HTs?
      Probably applicable to both, but the issue will be seen more with TVs than HTs. Essentially some TVs cannot cope with the Dolby Sound input from the STB and produce no sound as a result.

      Quote Originally Posted by rayferry View Post
      I don't want anybody to waste money buying a 1.4 certified HDMI cable as it will not make any difference. The Sky+HD boxes are all HDMI v1.1 and the SkyHD DRX595 is HDMI v1.3. HDMI cables have not had extra pairs installed it is just that HDMI chipset has had extra features added in the various versions. When two HDMI connections are made with different versions the lowest version wins and will disregard any extra functionality like ARC and the Ethernet Channel.
      Sorry if I differ on this but some members recently reported an issue with their TVs and a specific firmware update which was required. Yes the HDMI Lead supplied by Sky should be enough and I also have HDMI v1.3 cables which work perfectly well, but in some cases HDMI 1.4 may be required.

      3D is in the HDMI 1.4 specification.
      HDMI - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Have a look here from the horse’s mouth about HDMI specifications,

      HDMI
      HDMI :: Manufacturer :: HDMI 1.4

      Sky+HD boxes are HDMI v1.1 and cannot be upgraded as they would need a new chipset but then according to your theory they cannot display 3D as they are not HDMI v1.4.

      If the HDMI sound is not supported by the display a 1.4 cable is not going to fix it.

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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      Thanks for the info, Scubbie.

      Any chance of Sky adding CEC via HDMI?

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      Re: More New Features for Sky's EPG

      That would certainly be a nice addition, but reading between the lines with the Pace, Samsung and DRX780 STBs, I think it might be pushing things a little too far for the Sky+ HD & SkyHD STBs. At least this is what is being suggested on the public forums by various people. I can't confirm whether or not this is the case.

      This is certainly something which would be nice for a future STB though. To some extent I can do this with my own TV and HT and also my Camera, when connected to the TV.

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