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Neil Jones3,319 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Does Sky Q not use a new system? I know they send out new cards.


Apparently not and it seems from everything I've read not everybody who upgrades to Sky Q needs a new card, so presumably you can use the same one from your Sky+HD box if it's new enough:

http://helpforum.sky.com/t5/forums/forumtopicprintpage/board-id/skyq/message-id/9248/print-single-message/true/page/1 posted:
If your Sky viewing card begins with 7 or greater, you're good to go, no change is required. This can be any card in your home i.e a multiroom box card can also be used for the main Sky Q box. Often the cards starting '7' or greater are red in colour. Always check for the number 7 first, this is the key factor.

Does your card begin 6 or below? You will require a new viewing card.


Of course this is contradicted elsewhere on the Sky forums and for new SkyQ customers is irrelevant anyway.

*edit* I don't think the Minibox have cards in them.
Orry Verducci1,541 posts since 1 Feb 2005
Granada North West Today
My understanding of Sky's current encrpytion arrangements is that Sky Q uses the same version of VideoGuard as Sky+HD, but it requires one of the newer red cards to be able to request multiple keys simultaneously, which is required to be able to decode multiple channels to be streamed to mini boxes (which don't have their own cards) and tablets. The older white cards only supported providing one key at a time.

On the card sharing note, that is currently an issue for Sky (and other providers), but as far as I know it only works for SD channels (despite claims to the contrary by people selling card sharing access). Sky locked down the ability to card share for HD channels some time ago.

All currently active cards and the currently available Sky+HD / Sky Q boxes have a feature where they can pair up and exchange encryption keys, which allows the card to provide the channel decryption keys to the box in an encrypted format that only the authorised box can decrypt (essentially double encrpytion). As Sky have switched this on for HD channels, and the Conditional Access Modules available for receivers/capture cards don't understand these encrypted keys, they have made it imposible to decode these channels in anything other than a Sky+HD or Sky Q box. If it wasn't for the old SD Sky boxes in circulation which don't support this, no doubt Sky would have switched it on for SD as well.
Riaz268 posts since 6 Jan 2016
Sometimes the simple options produce the best results...

1. A decent transmitter infrastructure and robust modulation rather than that fragile 64QAM. OnDigital had lousy reception in around half of Britain including several populated areas.

2. Getting BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, and Channel 5 on board as early as possible. That would have resulted in digital terrestrial being able to supersede and replace PAL rather than just complementing it. Production of analogue only TVs for the British market could have ceased at that point.

IMO ITV tried to bite off more than they could chew with things like pay per view, interactivity, and football rights before the basic infrastructure was in place. Once the infrastructure was in place to the point where PAL had reached legacy status - like 405 line in the mid 1970s - then the pay per view channels could have been successful assuming they used a stronger encryption!
Inspector Sands10,284 posts since 25 Aug 2004

2. Getting BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, and Channel 5 on board as early as possible. That would have resulted in digital terrestrial being able to supersede and replace PAL rather than just complementing it.

All of the analogue channels were on board from the start of DTT, including S4C which played a major role. Apart from 5 which was only a year or so old at the time, they all got their own multiplexes and invested lots in new channels.

They were marketed as part of ondigital and did their own marketing too, though maybe that caused confusion? It was never touted as a replacement but was always intended to be, though apart for some expensive integrated TV sets there werent really any non-ondigital DTT receivers on the market (and the ones that were were often ondigital box hardware in a TV)
cwathen3,377 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Westcountry Spotlight
Quote:
2. Getting BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4, and Channel 5 on board as early as possible. That would have resulted in digital terrestrial being able to supersede and replace PAL rather than just complementing it. Production of analogue only TVs for the British market could have ceased at that point.

It was nothing to do with the availability of the terrestrial channels on OD (although as stated above, DTT and by extension OnDigital carried all of the terrestrials from the start). Early digital TV, regardless of how it was marketed as being a 'conversion' to digital, was in fact just a digital multi channel replacement system for analogue multi channel systems that existed rather than ending analogue dependencies. Analogue terrestrial was still necessary for recording one channel whilst watching another and in many/most houses every other TV in the house still relied on it for a signal as only the main front room TV had the digital service. With equipment costing £200 a pop for a single tuner box (more than that if you went subscription free), it wasn't viable to do anything else.

Even post-OD, CRT TVs and VHS recorders remained in production and remained the predominant TVs and recording equipment in use and 99% of this stuff only ever had analogue tuners. This wasn't anything to do with infrastructure, it was simply that such equipment was mature technology and affordable. Newer equipment such as flat screen sets with DTT tuners and recordable DVDs/PVRs was on the market but it was all very expensive at that time and as a result not very common. Even the first Freeview boxes were all around £100 or so - by that time that was more expensive than a small 14" TV and double the price of a budget VHS machine. They would still have been seen as a multi channel route more than something people would rush out to buy for their kitchen TV.

There was no real inroads made to changing this until about 2005/6 which is when CRT/VHS equipment finally left general sale, in favour of flat screen/recordable DVD/PVR solutions that all had DTT tuners in them and had then become a lot cheaper. This was also the point when Freeview boxes finally hit the £30-£40 mark and became cheap enough to justify buying for any old TV in the house.

Even then, it still took a few more years for people to actually go and buy all this equipment. Certainly when I worked in electrical retail between 2006 and 2009 although everything I sold by then was digital, it was usually being sold to replace analogue equipment which people were still using, even in 2009 (and why shouldn't they be - in many cases it was only 3 or 4 years old!).

Switchover couldn't have realistically been done any earlier, in fact if anything the regions that switched before 2010 were being forced into it a little too soon for comfort, a timetable starting in 2010 would have been much easier to work with.

Ultimately, switchover was only achievable after the price of consumer level equipment fell as the technology matured, not when the infrastructure to manage without analogue was there. I don't see how OD could have driven that to be any different.
Last edited by cwathen on 1 August 2016 1:04pm - 2 times in total
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London Lite6,727 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
I was able to buy an analogue CRT 28" tv in 2006 for £200. The CRT was faulty within weeks and when it went back for repair, the engineer said that it'd cost as much to repair and that CRT repairs would be obsolete in the near future.

My first flat screen wasn't until 2014, when I purchased an LG LED Smart TV, so I missed the whole 720p LCD HD Ready TV phase. In fact, even now, I still use a CRT 14" Sanyo tv from 2002 in the kitchen with a DVB-T Freeview box.
cwathen3,377 posts since 27 Dec 2001
Westcountry Spotlight
I was able to buy an analogue CRT 28" tv in 2006 for £200. The CRT was faulty within weeks and when it went back for repair, the engineer said that it'd cost as much to repair and that CRT repairs would be obsolete in the near future.

My first flat screen wasn't until 2014, when I purchased an LG LED Smart TV, so I missed the whole 720p LCD HD Ready TV phase. In fact, even now, I still use a CRT 14" Sanyo tv from 2002 in the kitchen with a DVB-T Freeview box.

Although relegated to the spare room now, I still have my 32" Panasonic Acuity CRT set (Quintrix SR tube). Beautiful piece of kit - even has component input and supports progressive scan. For (non-HD) content it still puts many LCD sets to shame. And the sound was so much better on CRT TVs - bigger cases = bigger speakers. Despite costing a pretty penny in it's day it is worth absolutely nothing now and doing no harm so I decide to keep it even though it is barely ever used these days.


And call it dewed-eyed nostalgia if you will, but there's something very satisfying about hearing a CRT fire up which is lost on modern TVs.
Last edited by cwathen on 1 August 2016 1:13pm
Michael3,988 posts since 5 Sep 2005
On Digital were never going to position themselves as being "lesser" to Sky. That would have been suicide. They had to put up a business which could deliver most if not all of what Sky could, but without that pesky dish on the side of your house.

Of course, that was like saying an Austin Maxi is like a Rolls Royce. Sure they both have an engine, doors, windscreen and will get you from A to B, it's going to be slightly less comfortable in the Maxi.

On Digital COULD provide multichannel choice, pay per view, internet TV and live Premier League football. But it was always not-quite-there. Even now, everything that isn't Sky is inferior in some way.
MetalGearRex652 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
On Digital were never going to position themselves as being "lesser" to Sky. That would have been suicide. They had to put up a business which could deliver most if not all of what Sky could, but without that pesky dish on the side of your house.

Of course, that was like saying an Austin Maxi is like a Rolls Royce. Sure they both have an engine, doors, windscreen and will get you from A to B, it's going to be slightly less comfortable in the Maxi.

On Digital COULD provide multichannel choice, pay per view, internet TV and live Premier League football. But it was always not-quite-there. Even now, everything that isn't Sky is inferior in some way.

OnDigital did provide some decent channels, but it was always never going to beat Sky or the cable companies at all due to the limitations of DTT. Their focus on quantity over quality dented the picture quality of some channels and the signal was dreadful.

OnDigital's collapse did have negative repercussions for ITV. The share price for both Granada and Carlton collapsed while ITV1 descended into a deep pile of lowest common denominator programming. Only with Freeview's success and their reignited multichannel expansion did it start to get its legs up.
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'
London Lite6,727 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
OnDigital may have worked if Sky were allowed to become a partner in the business. Instead, they had to pay market rate to distribute their programming. The majority of the Carlton and Granada channels were largely crap, with the exception of Granada Plus.
nwtv20037,855 posts since 5 Jan 2003
Granada North West Today
OnDigital may have worked if Sky were allowed to become a partner in the business. Instead, they had to pay market rate to distribute their programming. The majority of the Carlton and Granada channels were largely crap, with the exception of Granada Plus.


This, and if Sky were part of BDB as it was once called then I don't think Sky would have been aggressive with Sky Digital marketing, and the fact they started to give away the free set top boxes very quickly.

There is always a market for people who want to have the best of Sky, either without commitment or without a satellite dish. On Digital hoped to be that, but circumstances ensured that this didn't happen. Closest thing we have to that is NOW TV.
steve
steviegTVreturns
MetalGearRex652 posts since 11 May 2016
London London
OnDigital may have worked if Sky were allowed to become a partner in the business. Instead, they had to pay market rate to distribute their programming. The majority of the Carlton and Granada channels were largely crap, with the exception of Granada Plus.

As mentioned before, the Carlton channels suffered from no Sky carriage, and there was little content that was compelling, World and Kids lasted barely more than a year, and even Select couldn't muster against Plus, let alone UK Gold. Cinema did have cartoons showing before films, which was generous indeed, but the closure of ITV Digital killed that channel.

In the case of GSB, Breeze didn't even muster good ratings, and the loss of original programming didn't help either, making it a much less worthy channel to watch. Plus was decent - but the ITV merger gradually made the prospect of GSB being dealt with more likely. And no one saw it coming - it was eventually replaced by ITV3, while M&M co-existed with ITV4, albeit in a low key state.
'What is the only planet capable of sustaining life?'
'Mars.'