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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the title says but i thought this one seemed the best place to post.

I have a Sky+ box (no big deal i hear you say!) and i have nearly filled my HD space (even after increasing the size). Anyway, i was wondering if it is possible to copy these movies and sitcoms onto my computer (there is a usb port on the back).

But then i started thinking...

What program would i need to watch them off my computer

and most importantly...

Does this break copyright laws?

Hope you can help.


TSF Emeritus
26,228 Posts
Copy+ (beta freeware) can be used to copy the hard drives from Sky+/XTV set-top boxes.
The software has many uses, including:
* Upgrading to a larger hard drive
* Replacing a failing hard drive
* Correcting errors on the drive
* Making backup copy of your hard drive
* Defragmenting the drive

To use Copy+ you will need Microsoft Windows XP and 2 free IDE channels (in addition to your primary XP Boot drive) - one to connect your old drive to and the other for the new drive. These can either be internal drives, or external USB 2 attached drive caddies, or a combination.

See this article on tranferring from Sky+ to PC. There's some conflicting advice, but they say it can be done, legally it's a grey area.
The reason you can't export video from the Sky+ using the USB is both technical and political/copyright related.

1. Technically the recording on the Sky + hard drive is still encrypted. The Sky+ box only decodes this using the viewing card on replay (which is why if you downgrade your subscription you can't watch recordings of programmes from channels you no longer subscribe to, even if you recorded them when you did subscribe!). This is how Sky + can record two things, with only one decryption system.

IF you were to export the recordings you'd need to decrypt them as you exported. This MAY be possible - but it isn't implemented at the moment - only replay currently decrypts.

2. The rights issues involved in allowing people to export recordings of some content are not insignificant. Any export offered by Sky is likely to implement DRM to ensure the recording only lasts a finite period of time, or only plays on authorised devices. (As TivoToGo requires in the US?)

If you're looking to get Sky Digital on your PC, there are two options open to you:

* Connecting via your Sky Digibox - This is the easiest and cheapest - you need to run an aerial lead (coax) from the RF output socket of your Sky Digibox, to the input aerial socket on a standard PC TV card or USB TV adapter. This way, you can watch and record whatever channel the Digibox is tuned into. You need to use the PC card's software to "tune in" to the TV channel that your Digibox uses (the 'modulated' RF output channel). Note that the 'Freeview only' PCI/USB devices won't be suitable for use with an RF signal generated from a Sky box - look for an analogue (normal TV) card or box, or better still, a card that copes with both Freeview and analogue, such as the HVR1100

* A direct connection to your dish - We know of a couple of boxes that allow you to connect directly to a satellite dish's connector - the most common one is the Hauppauge 3000. You can plug one end into a PC, and the other end to your dish, and use the supplied software to access Sky Digital direct - it's not as easy as you'd expect though - you may need to buy a CI card adapter to allow you plug in your Sky Digital subscription card to get channels other than those that are free-to-view.

If you're looking to watch different Sky channels in a different room of a property with an existing installation, you need to take out "Sky Multiroom" with Sky Digital . An engineer visits to run a new cable from the dish LNB to your required room - they normally supply a set-top box as part of this installation. You could then connect the output of the box to a standard analogue PC PCI card input. If you want to do this without a box, then there are a couple of Digital Satellite receivers for the PC, however note that if you're looking for subscription channels, you'll need a subscription card from Sky, and a PC receiver with a CI interface to accept the card - we don't know of any PCI cards that support a CI interface. For more advice, try our Tech forum.
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