MySky is falling

As half a million or so New Zealanders know, Sky's Digital service died a bit before 6pm yesterday until reviving about 8am this morning (in the middle of my recording the final Gilmore Girls episode, argh).

I understand that (rarely) satellites fail, and that errors like this are a huge problem, but will sometimes happen, and that Sky was probably mostly at the mercy of Optus (who own the satellite) here. The response time wasn't great, but it wasn't as bad as it could be.

My issue is that during the outage, all my MySky box would do is show the "atmospheric conditions" error dialog. I have 60-odd hours of recorded material, which don't need a live signal to display (or shouldn't), and couldn't watch any of it. This should have been the time that MySky shone, because I should have had many hours of material to watch while I couldn't watch/record live TV. Instead, I was stuck with free-to-air TV like everyone else.

Poor design. A "mature" product would not have this flaw.

(I think, although I'm not 100%, that my MySky box was accessing the guide – i.e. pulling data from the satellite feed – when things died. Maybe this problem didn't happen for everyone. I would certainly be interested to know if that was the case).

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John Gee on April 1, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    My MySky was recording when the outage occurred. During the outage the unit was displaying the atmospheric error instead of a signal, but was still responsive. I was able to list my pre-recorded programs.

    However, each pre-recorded program behaved the same when I tried to view. It started playing for a few seconds, and then an error message came up saying that MySky can not be used without a signal. So the error was quite explicit, although unexpected and annoying!

  2. Posted by Chris on April 6, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    I have a friend who has mysky – he had the same problem, could not watch the recorded shows.
    It must be a ‘feature’ that was put in by sky, maybe to allow them to ‘apply’ DRM even after something has been recorded? Or it could just be to make sure you have a valid subscription to view recorded stuff.

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