[As quoted in the Guardian SKY HASSLES: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2008/dec/14/technology-letters-blogs-full]
If you caught my tweets last month, you may have noticed that I noted that my Sky+ box was generating copy protection signals preventing my DVD recorder from recording the episodes of Star Trek from Virgin One and Bravo. Without going into huge amounts of detail, I figured that any time a “What’s on next” caption appeared and occasionally during advert breaks, a Macrovision-like signal was issued causing my DVD recorder to stop recording.
Whatever you may be thinking, I believe that I am entitled to record these episodes for a number of reasons. Firstly, I don’t have time to watch them live – I have a day job, a wife and a kid, time is in short supply. Secondly, the Sky+ hard drive is woefully small at 160GB, of which we get 80GB of personal space, whoopee (yes, I will be doing something about that later). Thirdly, I am simply recording what I would have watched anyway, I’m not recording it to keep per say…I’m happy to buy the DVD boxed set for that. And to be honest, Star Trek is *all* that I watch via Sky, all other programmes I could get via Freeview (if we had a decent signal where I live, moot point).
In my humble opinion this is a huge FAIL for Sky. I had even gone to the lengths of buying one of these cables in order to normalise the signal from the Sky+ box to the DVD recorder. Sadly that cable failed miserably, dead on arrival…now I’m embroiled in the returns and refund process, more hassle…all thanks to Sky.
I will of course be testing the COPY feature again this month. However in the meantime, I have some 20+ episodes of Deep Space Nine to catch up on…and I can’t dump them to DVD as I have been doing most nights for the last 8-9 months. Yes, I do have 100+ DVDs chock full of Star Trek to catch up on!