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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Some Changes to TDT – Important Sky Card Information – Sky Boxes switching off

Some Changes to TDT – Important Sky Card Information – Sky Boxes switching off

TDT is the Spanish Digital Television service available via your TV aerial. With TDT you can receive around 30 digital Spanish Channels. Although there are no UK or English channels on TDT, you can, in many cases, change the language of certain UK and USA imported programmes from the dubbed Spanish into English. In most cases this can be done by simply pressing the “Audio” button on the remote control.

Sony Entertainment TV no longer available

One of the TDT channels that transmitted a number of American TV imports was the Sony Entertainment Channel – SET. However, you may have noticed that in the last few weeks it is now unavailable, or you are getting a “channel scrambled” message. This is because SET is no longer being broadcasted on TDT. It has been replaced by AXN. However, AXN is the second pay channel on TDT, the first being GOL TV.

To watch these Premium TDT channels you require a Premium viewing card, and a TDT receiver or a TDT Integrated TV with the ability to read the card. Currently a monthly subscription of around 15euros is required for access to both Gol TV and AXN.

High Definition Channels on TDT

Over the coming year some more HD TDT channels will become available. I say more, as in some areas of the Valencia area it is possible to receive Canal 9 HD. Later in the year TVE, and Telecinco are expect to launch their TDT HD channels. In order to receive these TDT HD channels you will require either a TDT HD set top box, or a TV with a built in TDT HD receiver.

Important Sky Card information

As many are aware Sky TV recently replaced their viewing cards from the Blue with Yellow house cards to the all white cards. On the 1st March 2010 all the old blue yellow house cards were deactivated and no longer “unlock” any of the Sky TV channels.

The new white cards have also thrown up a few interesting surprises.
Sky card require a constant signal from the satellite to “keep the cards alive”. If the cards do not receive this “keep alive” signal over a few weeks, then the cards can “go to sleep”. If the cards have “gone to sleep” then one the encrypted channels you will see a message informing you that “This is the wrong cards for this set top box”.

The old blue Sky cards could be “woken up” by leaving them in ANY Sky digibox over a period of 24 / 48 hours, and the channels would eventually reappear. However, the new white Sky cards can only be woken up by leaving them for 24/48 hours in the Sky box that he cards were originally activated in.

Sky Boxes Switching Off Randomly

Since the beginning of March 2010, some Sky boxes have been experiencing an issue where they are switching off at random times, even if you have turned off the Autostandby feature on the Sky box.

The Autostandby feature automatically puts the Sky box into Standby mode if the box has been switched on and no remote control buttons have been touched for 4 hours – supposedly helping you save some power by not having the box turned on all the time.

However, on the Pace 430N Sky receivers, a software update from Sky has been causing the boxes to shut down at random times. You can confirm your make of Sky box by looking at the sticker that should be on the bottom of your box. By pressing Services, 4, 5 and accessing the System Details, software version 3.8.8 is the one that is causing the issues. All other Sky boxes and software versions are at the moment OK.

You can correct this problem yourself, by performing a manual software update which rolls back the software to the previous working version.
This process should be done in the morning, and only if you are getting the background music playing when you enter the Sky menu system, as the frequency for the software download may not be available on small dishes or in the afternoon, and performing it when the frequency is not there could damage your Sky box.

1 Unplug your sky box from the power
2 Press and hold the BACKUP button on the Sky box – not the remote control.
3 Still pressing the Back up button, reapply the power.
4 Keep pressing the back up button on the Sky box until RED YELOW and GREEN light glow on the front panel of the box. A “Downloading” message may also appear on the screen
5 Once these lights have appeared you can release the Back up button, as the box has now started the software download.
6 The Sky box will reboot once the download has been completed. You can confirm if the correct software has been downloaded by going once again into the System Details (Service, 4, 5) and checking that the Software version is now 3.7.6

I should better reiterate that this process should only be down if you can get the download frequency (11778) indicated by the background music on the sky menu screen, that you may also have to re add those “extra” ITV1, C4 and Five channels you have added into your Other Channels lists, and that you perform this upgrade at your own risk and I cannot be held liable if it fails and / or damages your Sky box.

This and further information can be found on our website and Satellite TV forum:

The Sat and PC Guy - Digital Satellite and Terrestrial Installations and Maintenance for the Costa Blanca

or the forum

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