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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sky HD Changing channels in W7MC

Ok, there is several ways to do this. I already have a existing extensive IR setup & blasters, so keeping the IR blasting to a minimum is preferable for me.

I already have 1 IR bud over the IR sensor on my Sky HD box, I'll go into my IR setup later,
so I could use another IR bud to control the sky box, and I did try initially!

So with DVBlink, you have several options when it comes to blasting / channel changing.
The more popular method is to use the MCE blaster, that you would already have if you are using W7MC -

in fairness, its a good remote, feels good when using W7MC

Ok, also back to DVBlink, most users chose the MCE blaster option and use one of the IR buds places over the IR sensor on the Sky box, this does work, but definitely not 100% accurate.

This can be especially annoying if you end up missing scheduled recordings due to the channel not changing properly.

Don't get me wrong, the MCE blasters do work well in some setups, but since I already have a IR bud on my sky Thompson box, I was looking for alternative solution.

here it is:

This controller allows you to control one Sky or Sky+ box from a PC via USB.

it also has a handy command lien interface app as well:

this sky-control.exe was extremely handy when interfacing with the DVBlink software.

to set it up:

make sure you are using dvb 2.0 beta 1

then for ir blaster config, in dvb, select hooks.

copy sky-control.exe -> hooks folder specified in channel-change script
copy channel-change script -> hooks folder specified in channel-change script

edit channel-change script


call "..\HaupBlast.exe --sky --channel" %SHORT_CHANNEL_NUMBER%


"sky-control.exe" --sky+ --channel %SHORT_CHANNEL_NUMBER%

so the sky-control.exe listens to channel changes coming from W7MC, then is then triggered in the hook script and send the channel change to the dusky box -> sky box via the RF connector (as if it was a sky-eye)

This works perfectly for changing channels, not had 1 incorrect channel change yet!

ok, but now for some bad news! Unfortunately sky have this PIN protection on movie channels before watershed hours, and is not completely consistent, so if you go to a movie channel, that requires a pin, then the screen in media center will stay blank, and you will get the dreaded "No TV Signal" !!!!

ok, so there might be a workaround for this, still in the works.

I am thinking if I enable the PIN protection on ALL movie channels, then script the PIN entry on just the movie channels, here is my example scripts (still needs work....)


  1. Just bought the dusky control but can't get this working & I've followed your instructions to the letter
    I've got the latest dvb link installed - would that make a difference ?
    Do you still need to rename sky-control.exe ?
    Do you need to connect the ir buds even though not using ?
    Do you need to delete the help instructions from the beginning of the change-channel.cmd ?
    Any ideas ?
    Thanks David

  2. Hi David, sorry just seeing your post now.

    I don’t actually use this setup anymore as I am using the dream box to do all the hard work now ;-)

    regarding your questions:

    - yes use latest dvblink 3.x (I have not tested 4.x yet)
    - you have to use the hooks option in dvblink to call the sky-control.exe (no need to rename it)
    - no need to use the ir buds as the channel changes are going over usb->dusky box->coax->sky box
    - no need to delete the help instructions.

    I'll drop you a email if you need assistance with the scripts

  3. fyi, there is a fix to enter the PIN for movie channels ina more recent post....