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    connecting SKY to MCE

    This is a discussion on connecting SKY to MCE within the Sky & Sky+ TV forums, part of the Other Sky help and support category; ok, some totally noob questions so dont laugh! can MCE fully control sky digibox? recently i have been thinking about ...

    1. #1
      skycaptain's Avatar
      skycaptain is offline Sky User Member
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      connecting SKY to MCE

      ok, some totally noob questions so dont laugh!

      can MCE fully control sky digibox?
      recently i have been thinking about setting up a media centre PC and need some advice on issues i might encounter. the first bieng MCE unable to fully control the digibox and thus exiting windows in order to change channel/watch/record TV. i am going to rely on user experiences here to decide wether or not to go ahead with it.

      the other issue is connection options. do i use RF out 1 & 2 from the digibox to capture the signal using a tuner card on the PC or is it better to use the VCR scart on the digibox and connect to the tuner cards s-video via an adapter?

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    3. #2
      Ratcliffes's Avatar
      Ratcliffes is offline Sky User Member
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      Re: connecting SKY to MCE

      Personally I have been pretty disappointed with Media Center. I set up a box with the idea of playing with it. My graphics card has an S-Video input so I use that to capture Sky output but the experience is in no way shape or form as good to use as a Sky+ machine and if the main reason you want to do this is to be able to archive to DVD, save yourself a packet and use a DVD recorder. There are of course other good reasons to have a Media Center. I use mine as a DVD jukebox, storing the DVDs on the Hard Disk and I also use it as my primary iTunes machine and file server. I understand that there are ways of using a PC card developed to decode the sky signal and which will accept a sky viewing card (ie removing the need for a sky box at all) but I keep asking myself why I would want to go to all that trouble and cost when Sky+ does it so well and relatively inexpensively.

      I know it doesn't do the same job but I have considered Apple TV as I think it would do the job I have for it better than MCE as I don't need to use it to record live TV (and my wife and kids could use it) but I appreciate it doesn't do the same job as MCE. Bottom line is that if what you want is to use MCE to watch/record TV (Either Sky or Terrestrial) don't bother. Save your money and buy something dedicated to the task in hand.

      To answer some of your questions, you can connect an IR blaster to a Vista Media Center PC and I understand it should control a sky box in the way you would expect it to although I found it often didn't work well with the hardware I have which meant failed recordings or recordings of something I didn't want. The problem as always with IR control is that there is no feedback from the device being controlled so if one if the IR commands isn't received for some reason, the MCE PC has no idea and carries on regardless. You can use RF and an analogue TV tuner but this means you cannot have a freeview tuner in the same box -Painful, you have to choose one or the other as the Free EPG in MCE is either analogue or digital but not both. The other way is to use composite, S-Video or if you have enough cash RGB as an input. Picture quality is highly dependent on your capture and video cards though as the input is often at 50Hz and the output to your Monitor at 60Hz which causes a flickering picture if you are tyring to watch real time.

      Thumbs down from me but others might have had more success and/or a better experience. A good website for MCE junkies is The Green Button - Your Media Center Community
      Last edited by Ratcliffes; 23-07-08 at 02:07 PM.

    4. #3
      mikey4020's Avatar
      mikey4020 is offline Sky User Moderator
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      Re: connecting SKY to MCE

      I wouldn't use MCE to control Sky. I think it would involve more work than it's worth. Have you considered looking at a dedicated Sat tuner for MCE. You would only be able to get FTA channels though??



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