Craig Murphy: author, blogger, community evangelist, developer, speaker

The Social Programmer

December 6th, 2008 at 12:40 am

Sky+ built-in COPY failed during November, Star Trek DVD mountain!

in: Rants

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[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).

Courtesy of Liam Westley, today’s copy of the Guardian carried this article by George Cole. Sky could be so good for you…I don’t think so (sorry, couldn’t resist that, Gary!) This explains a lot.

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!

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