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Ma wants the exact same as Sky but not Sky.... :-/

  • 06-04-2022 11:15am
    Registered Users Posts: 17

    Hey guys and gals,

    I know similar things have been asked and I've read through a good bit but just want to clarify a few things.

    So the mother finally got fed up of paying for sky. She cancelled, has Netflix and Prime but she wants her TV channels and wants to be able to record. She had an older Sky HD box, not sky Q. I suggested she just see how it goes when sky cuts off, her using it as a free to air box with Netflix and Prime but no, that's not good enough. I don't have the model of her TV right now as she's away but it's a fairly new Samsung.

    Her requirements...

    UK channels and Irish channels


    Pause and Record ideally with series link

    My requirements...

    Mammy proof.

    I'm handy enough with computers etc and think I'm pretty confident I can set up a complex box with a little help but I need something pretty fail proof, pretty simple and reasonably clean. I don't live with her. I often travel. I can't be around to fix it every time something happens.

    Am I correct in saying that plugging in the cable into a freesat box should work fine as she didn't have sky q?

    Am I right in saying for simplicity, reliability and cleanliness, the UK official freesat box is probably the best option? Can I add my own external HDD instead of paying for the over-priced ones with internal storage? Are you limited to recording one show at a time?

    With this set up or a better one..... what is the best way to get the Irish/saorview channels for her?

    I am open to alternative set-ups of course that are reasonably Mammy proof. I'm presuming there's no legal way to do this solely through the internet?

    Thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭galtee boy

    Unfortunately, your mum is looking for the Holy Grail, a clone of a Sky Box, epg with series link for all Irish and UK channels, it must be plug and play and be as user friendly as a Sky box, doesn't need epg download or need updating when a satellite channel changes frequency etc etc. The short answer is, it doesn't exist. There are boxes out there, using various software that downloads epgs, mixes Irish and UK channels together, ( only Rte are in HD of the Irish ones). I've yet to see anyone selling one of these boxes off the shelf, ready to plug and play. Enthusiasts can manage them and are tech savvy enough to maintain and update them when needed. As regards the Internet, eir and Vodafone do IPTV, obviously there is a cost, but some very good new customer deals for the first year are available, but your mum would be back paying a subscription again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    You dont say how much you want to spend and how many programmes are recorded but you can do a box that will look and behave like sky BUT you have to know what your doing from the outset AND if there is a glitch the user has to know how to do a hard reboot ie power off at back and back on. I would not worry about channel changes they are so few and far between it does not matter.

    Get a Zgemma H7S and a Kingston ssd, load openatv 6.4 and add a skin by KIDDAC to get sky look. Autotimer same as series link. Remote needs a hard press and line of sight. do the zgemma and amazon for the ssd. Get the zgemma that takes the ssd in a rear slot not the one that needs cover to be removed. Total about €210.00 do it with a HDD but SSD is better.

    I have just done a box for a friend but it one sat tuner and saorview. Here are a few pics so you get the idea.

  • Registered Users Posts: 32,558 ✭✭✭✭NIMAN

    Maybe just buy a Freesat recorder box, and get the Irish channels thru Saorview?

    Many recent tvs allow you to record Irish channels on to an attached USB drive

    This is what I have been using for 10+ years since I ditched Sky.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭galtee boy

    I have asked this many times over the years, what you have shown there in the pictures looks fantastic and would satisfy most people who want to ditch Sky, so why isn't there somebody out there, online or whatever, selling these boxes with epg, auto timer, skin etc already installed, ready to plug and play? All the end user would have to do, is connect a satellite cable and a Saorview cable. Even the most un tech savvy person could do that much.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,476 ✭✭✭galtee boy

    I suppose you're right, too small a market. I seem to remember coming across some company a few years ago, in Kilkenny I think, offering something similar to Swoofer's box, though not half as impressive looking and if I remember correctly, they wanted something like €450 for the box, though they were offering support afterwards for any glitches.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 gravity121

    Thank you for this. This is excellent. I think she'd be happy to go to 300 if everything went smoothly for her. Of course, like most mammies, she's no idea what's involved in what she's asking for. @galtee boy 100% agree she wants the holy grail 😅

    I'll do my research on these and be ready to rock for once she's back. Totally agree on ssd, for her I imagine 500 gb is enough she tends to delete things once she's watched them. This will scan the Irish channels in too correct?

    Cheers again

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,228 ✭✭✭✭Supercell

    Even if you did sell such a thing, a couple of months later frequencies will have changed and stuff will need updating etc, theres always a certain amount of manual tinkering with these needed by someone a bit technical in the family.

    Have a weather station?, why not join the Ireland Weather Network -

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    Changing of frequencies is few and far between now for obvious reasons but yes a little know how is required. The OP did say he was confident etc. Reply was for him. I should add its a lot easier than you think once set up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 868 ✭✭✭More Music

    That's my exact setup. I'm sure his Ma will apreciate Willie TV.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,718 ✭✭✭funnyname

    I should be too old to still be a juvenile git but I am, so is there any way to change the label on this set up?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,312 ✭✭✭andy1249

    That is just the "favourites" bouquet which is user created.

    When you make it , its got the default name of "favourites" and you can edit it to any name you want.

  • Registered Users Posts: 783 ✭✭✭Tango One

    I been messing around with autobouquetsmaker maker and the skins sky q one looks nice. Haven't got it looking as good as that. Did you manually setup the bouquet after running autobouquetsmaker via a Web browser?.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    I use dreambox edit to make the bouquets. The skin is r19

  • Registered Users Posts: 783 ✭✭✭Tango One

    Thought I tried r19 the guide didn't look exactly like that possibly some custom setting I need to do running openatv 7.1 at the moment .

    Tell me to feck off but any chance of an export of that boutique?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,329 ✭✭✭swoofer

    I can send you the channel list but it wont show up as above until you tweak the skin. Its all over at linuxsat forum BUT I stuck with openatv6.4 and I did the channels for the customer ie what they wanted.

    Here is the link to the r19 skin have a read and use openatv as Vix is tricky.