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Sky+ HD upgrade (1TB)

Discussion in 'Home Cinema & Hi-Fi' started by EVH, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. EVH

    Don

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 23,464

    Location: Swansea

    Hey all,

    Decided to replace my near 2-year old Thompson digibox with a shiny new Pace box and 1TB upgrade. Everyday I'd have some sort of problems, be it blue screens, poor signal strength, failed recordings etc. and I was fed up.

    Anyway, I thought I'd post some pictures of my recent upgrade on here, to show those who might be interested.

    [​IMG]

    Kit:
    • Pace TDS850NB Sky+ HD Digibox
    • Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD103UJ (1000GB)

    Suprisingly, there is not a lot you need in the way of tools:
    • T10 Torx security driver
    • Something to help pry the case open (I used spoons)
    • Phillips screwdriver to remove the HDD.

    For those that may not know: Any drive over 500GB will need to be prepped with a free program called skycopyplus before it can be used.

    I used 2 USB caddies plugged in a to a laptop, however you can insert the drives directly in to a PC to perform the copy.

    As I was not transferring any recordings the process took seconds.

    Finally, these pictures aren't meant to be a step-by-step guide. Just a documentation of the upgrade.

    You can find guides to upgrading a particular digibox (each brand varies slightly) here

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    16x HD movies recorded, and 93% free :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  2. -Ad-

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 4, 2004

    Posts: 13,227

    Location: Aberdeeeeen

    You put Thomson box in your first line, but have a PACE :p

    Nice one with the guide, did mine last week and it is amazing having soo much space. Need more tuners as i can't record enough programs at once. But remember when doing this upgrade that samsung boxes are seriously picky about HDDs that work, Thomson less so, and PACE the best (especially with a WD EVCS 1tb drive which is the best drive for these boxes).

    [​IMG]
     
  3. knowlesy

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 6, 2006

    Posts: 4,668

    Location: Newcastle

    nice :) if only I had sky hd now :( I take it voids your warranty but what about 2tb disks?
     
  4. -Ad-

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 4, 2004

    Posts: 13,227

    Location: Aberdeeeeen

    No need for 2tb, plus I don't think disks over 1tb work.

    The warranty sticker can be prized away on some, but if you heat it with a hairdrier then the glue becomes less viscous and can be pulled away easier. On my PACE box the sticker was paper (compared to plastic ones before) and melted + fell apart.

    I removed all traces of it with TIM cleaner. If sky ask (very unlikely) then 'What sticker mr sky?' :D
     
  5. knowlesy

    Mobster

    Joined: Jan 6, 2006

    Posts: 4,668

    Location: Newcastle

    ahright nice :), might persuade my parents too :)
     
  6. Hamster

    Soldato

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 5,618

    Location: location: location

    Useful news for Samsung HD box owners who want to upgrade to 1TB. As you probably know it's very picky with hard drives but a few people have recently successfully upgraded it with the 1Tb Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000.B SATA-2 Hard Drive 16MB Cache, model no. HDT721010SLA360.
     
  7. EVH

    Don

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 23,464

    Location: Swansea

    -Ad- I had a Thompson box, and replaced it with a Pace one from Satbuyer :D

    Also, I couldn't find that WD drive on the usual etailer sites (that could get here by today e.g. before easter) and to be honest the Samsung is near-silent (even without adjust the acoustic management) and a good performer.

    The 1TB limit is due to Sky software limitations, so you can't go bigger...

    You may notice that I chose to disconnect the small ribbon cable from the upper button board, I didn't fancy twisting the lugs with my uber-sized pliers and it was enough enough to put back in.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  8. smogsy

    Soldato

    Joined: Dec 9, 2006

    Posts: 7,179

    Location: @ManCave

    actaully the limit is 500GB that the software will use
     
  9. EVH

    Don

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 23,464

    Location: Swansea

    Yes, without the skycopyplus program the box will only use 500GB.

    However, there is also software on the sky end that physically cannot exceed 1TB, because of the filesystems in use.

    There are people who have RAID'd 2x 750GB drives, and limited them to the maximum 1TB as a single 1TB drive will only ever be ~940GB
     
  10. -Ad-

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 4, 2004

    Posts: 13,227

    Location: Aberdeeeeen

    Nice one, glad you have a good samsung drive. I use them in my pc and have never had problems.

    Got to love these PACE boxes.
     
  11. EVH

    Don

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 23,464

    Location: Swansea

    Yeah, that's why I was confident about choosing it (I'd heard reports on AVForums that people had used it successfully) and I'd also used them in PCs with no trouble. At first I was contemplating adjusting the acoustic management, but to be honest I'm glad I didn't, totally unnessecary.

    First real test last night.. hammered it with back to back dual recordings and it didn't miss a beat. Even the FF/RW on playback was smooth; on the old Thompson if you hit 30x it would go slowly (~6x) for about 5 second then catch up at 30x. Annoying!!

    The signal strength is also full, unlike the Thompson which usually showed 3/4 bars, hence my pic of that.. couldn't be happier.

    I was suprised how easy it was to use the skycopyplus program though. Perhaps it's because I wasn't transferring recordings (I did a forced update on the system with the old 300GB drive before I put the 1TB in) :)
     
  12. -Ad-

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 4, 2004

    Posts: 13,227

    Location: Aberdeeeeen

    Totally agree with your tests too. FF etc is perfect and hammering with a number of recordings + some timeshifting works fine too. Highly recommended upgrade, and copy+ is fantastic too, kudos to the creator for making something soo easy to use. Also very helpful on the copy+ forum :)

    Been recording madly over the past few days and am still at 93%, and that's with mainly HD programs and films.

    Won't have enough time to watch all these recordings :D:D:D
     
  13. photoshop

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 7, 2006

    Posts: 5,279

    i think i need to do this but im too scared i'll balls it up
     
  14. EVH

    Don

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 23,464

    Location: Swansea

    I recorded the new Red Dwarf episode, and perhaps 8 or so other SD programs and a 2hr HD film and I'm still at 98%! :D

    If you can upgrade a PC you can do this. Look at my original post, there are several step-by-step guides to follow, you can't really go wrong if you have the right tools and go slowly. Biggest challenge is the copying of recordings (and that was a button click!)

    If you need help swing me an email.
     
  15. photoshop

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 7, 2006

    Posts: 5,279

    Cheers EVH. I've got no recordings so will be (or should be) a simple install. Saying that though, i dont think i've used more than 20% of the original drive yet :)
     
  16. Toekiller

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 2,561

    Location: Jersey

    Is the original drive a 5400?
     
  17. malef!c

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Jun 27, 2006

    Posts: 1,473

    Wicked post - was thinking of doing it to my box as its only ever got about 10% space left!
    This weeks project is sorted :)
     
  18. Toekiller

    Mobster

    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 2,561

    Location: Jersey

    Well to answer my own question, it's a 7200.

    How do I know? I followed the OP footsteps and now have a slighter quicker box with alot more space ;)

    Thompson box + Samsung 1TB. Used copy plus and everything went without a hitch.
     
  19. photoshop

    Soldato

    Joined: Nov 7, 2006

    Posts: 5,279

    Just ordered a 1Tb WD EVCS drive :)
    I dont have any recordings to transfer over to this 1TB drive.

    I will use an internal SATA connection on my PC to connect the removed SkyHD drive -> make an image of it -> remove drive -> install new 1Tb drive into PC -> copy image on to it

    Can i do the above using Copy+ ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  20. EVH

    Don

    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 23,464

    Location: Swansea

    You'll need to use Copy+ to do that.

    Yes, it's possible and it's what I did (no transferring of programmes)

    @ Toekiller ... faster box? Thompson? ;)
     


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