Sky+ and SkyHD in the same room

If you have subscribed to Sky Multiroom and have your Sky boxes in different rooms where the IR signals can't conflict you won't need to read this article.  But, if you want to distribute more than one Sky box throughout your house from a central location you will run into problems.

SkyHD_Skyplus

 

A Sky+ remote will also control your SkyHD

Straight out the box your Sky+ IR remote will control your SkyHD box too, but your SkyHD IR remote won't conflict with your Sky+.  Crazy, and makes me wonder if it's a design fault which has been overlooked or an intentional feature which prevents you from having 2 Sky boxes in the same room, distributed to all the rooms in your house, because officially Sky want you to have a box in each room.

The Solution is an SPC4 and some black tape

TVlink make a great product called the SPC4 (4 way super plus combiner) which gets round the problem of conflicting Sky+ and Sky HD IR codes.

spc4_super_combiner_sky

As the name suggests it can control upto 4 sky boxes.  In short, it works by reprogramming your remote controls to send different IR codes which don't conflict and then converts them back before sending them to 1 of your potential 4 Sky receivers.  Sometimes known as a 'dog leg converter'.

Sky receivers will take IR control via the RF input at the back.  This means you have to get some black insulating tape and cover the front IR receiver which doesn't look great, but normally if you have more than one sky box in the same location they'll be hidden away so it doesn't matter.

Re-programming your Sky remote for use with SPC4

Each device can be controlled remotely by programming the remote control to the ports on the combiner. 
To assign a remote control to a Sky set-top box Press the TV button on the remote control, hold down the Select and Blue function button together and the Red LED should flash twice. Key in 0, 1, 2 or 3.
This should be the number of the combiner port the Sky receiver to be controlled is connected to on the SPC4.
Press the Select button, the Red LED will flash twice.
Finish by pressing the Sky Button on the remote control.
Once the remote control has been programmed it may not work the Sky set-top box via the front IR sensor.
If this function is required then the remote control will need to be programmed back to 0.
Each device is connected via the RF2 of the Sky receiver into one of the four combiner ports on the SPC4.
The power on the RF2 port will need to be switched on (you can do this in settings).
The TV out port on the combiner then feeds to a Remote IR Eye location or a Global distribution amp for additional locations.

Sky+ and SkyHD reprogrammed IR Codes

If you have decided to go the super combiner route and you use other controllers to send IR codes you'll notice that the standard IR codes found on the web won't work anymore.  This is very annoying if you're using something like a Sling box or logitech all in one remote as you'll have to learn the codes yourself.  I spent hours searching for reprogrammed SkyHD codes but found nothing, so here's what learned using my Global Cache IR learning device.

For a SkyHD remote reprogrammed to port '0' on an SPC4 the HEX IR codes are as follows:

SkyHD and Sky Plus Hex IR Codes textfile

SkyHD, Homeseer and Mainlobby VB

If you are using Homeseer to send IR commands I found the best way was to write some VB which handles all the codes.  Because I'm also using Cinemar MainLobby Server I'm using the MLHS plugin to execute commands on ML from Homeseer.  Here's the script I'm using to send IR codes to my reprogrammed SKYHD box:

download SkyHD VBscript here

 

 

 

    Post your comments...