Author Topic: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles  (Read 5830 times)

Offline TimC

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What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« on: October 29, 2015, 01:44:08 PM »
I thought I would put this one up to scope a way forward for all the Skippa users (enthusiasts?)

From what I see, those who own Skippas have, what could have been one of the best PVRs available but with the following drawbacks.
* no warranty
* virtually no Tech support
* no ongoing development
* totally dependant on the IceTV EPG subscription
* a little buggy

From what I understand the 1.1.10604 Firmware is the most recent and the final firmware that will be provided.

While all this looks fairly grim, the reality is the Skippa is still a pretty functional unit.
* Its well integrated with the IceTV EPG. I don't seem to be getting get failed timers now.
* Addskip works fairly reliably. There's a couple of things I'd like improved, but oh well!!!
* it gives us Catchup TV
* three tuners is handy
* I love the way the padding works i.e. a bit before and after is recorded even if there is a timer immediatly following.
I'm sure there are lots of other things we all like.

I intend to keep my Skippa as long as it continues to be reliable.

Be that as it may I have a number of questions:

Will we be able to continue with the Skippa forum here, or will it have to be moved?
  I have heard that It may have to be moved as the Skippa dosen't really have anything to do with the New IceTV company.

What is the best way to structure the forum?
  Its current structure is based on IceTV supporting the Skippa. Now that that will not happen, there may be a better way to organise it. e.g. There's no point having a Wish List section if no one is going to do any development.  The same goes for the Firmware section.
  I also note that no one is reporting bugs any longer. Is that because they aren't being found or have we all just given up?
  What bug workarounds have been found? It would be handy if all the workarounds could be found in one place, instread of hunting through hundreds of bug reports. Similarly a list of known bugs with the current firmware will be handy for the future.
 
What support does the New IceTV intend to provide?
  A couple of IceTV staff do seem to be looking at the Skippa posts at the moment and providing often valuable support. A thousand thanks by the way.
  Will this support continue or is it just that the support is being provided in there own time?
  What will happen in the future if some change in the EPG service causes problems with the Skippas?
  Is the New IceTV committed to ensuring that the EPG service will continue to work with the Skippas?
 
Are there people (i.e other forum members) capable of providing Technical Support?
I have seen that Warkus has been helping out a few people and has opened up at least one, but he can't be expected to provide technical support to all of us without compensation of some sort.

How many Skippas are out there anyway?
  Are there enough Skippas in use to make providing technical support as a business worthwhile?

Is there a way forward firmware wise?
  Are there Intellectual Property issues?
  Can a person with programming skills do work on it without being sued?
  Is there someone out there with the skills?
  Could someone do some work on it and sell an update without being sued?

Sometimes car enthusiasts can keep an obscure model running for years after you would expect all of them to be on a scrap heap somewhere.
Perhaps we Skippa enthusiasts can keep our units running for a reasonable time as well.

What are your thoughts?
Toppy, 2400, Toppy 2460, Skippa

Offline MB4913

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2015, 02:00:19 PM »
I support the OP 100%. Even with the limitations described above, in combination with IceTV, the Skippa is a fantastic PVR. I would love it if a co-operative of some sort could be formed to support the existing users.

Apparently there are a few thousand more Skippas that have been manufactured and are being held in a warehouse somewhere. If they could somehow be released, there would be a reasonably large user base.

Offline warkus

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2015, 02:03:06 PM »
They won't be...

Definitely not as skippas anyway...

Offline JPP

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2015, 02:41:50 PM »
I don't have answers to most if not all of your questions.

For now though, I'll add that I've just become a proud owner of a Skippa that the previous owner didn't want any more. As promised by him, it appears to be in perfect working order. He was happy with it, but didn't want to pay for an ICETV subscription.

I took note of what Warkus posted re the high temperature the SOC IC runs and confirmed that out in the open, i.e. not in an enclosed cabinet and with nothing on top of it, it runs at around 65-70 deg C (ambient 25 deg C). It runs about 10 deg cooler when the unit is in Standby, i.e. the video output is turned OFF.

As I'm going to be putting it in a cabinet, I've added a small 40mm fan inside the unit directly in front of the SOC IC heat sink. The noise level is almost imperceptible - and less than what the HDU makes.

The heat-sink temperature under the same condition, i.e. the unit out in the open (but lid in place as before) has dropped to 45 deg. Ambient temperature still at 25 deg C.

It does of course run 24/7 as there is no deep standby in the Skippa, unlike the Beyonwiz T2, to which I've also added the same fan. The T2 (with a 3rd tuner USB tuner) case is almost the same size as the Skippa and is supplied fan-less too. The HDD puts out very little heat in comparison to the SOC IC, so even if you were to put in an SDD drive, it would only reduce the overall case temperature slightly and do nothing for the SOC chip temperature.

I'll be running these two PVRs in parallel when I've got them both fully configured. So far impressions are too preliminary to comment really - if there is sufficient interest I could post these later - perhaps Whirlpool might be the best place to do this? Dave/Daniel?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 03:01:23 PM by JPP »
Phil.
Beyonwiz T2, DVDO Duo Video Processor

Offline JPP

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2015, 02:43:10 PM »
They won't be...

Definitely not as skippas anyway...
Perhaps as Altech 9600-ICETV or 9600+. It would then be no different to any other ICETV enabled PVR, but with the benefit of having the best implementation of ICETV. Not sure if the ad-skipping would still exist or enabled - maybe that would be a risk that UEC would not be willing to be exposed to wrt being taken to court over it.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 02:49:15 PM by JPP »

Offline Paul55

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2015, 02:51:02 PM »

Perhaps as Altech 9600-ICETV or 9600+. It would then be no different to any other ICETV enabled PVR, but with the benefit of having the best implementation of ICETV. Not sure if the ad-skipping would still exist or enabled - maybe that would be a risk that UEC would not be willing to be exposed to wrt being taken to court over it.

I very much doubt there will be any love or cooperation between IceTV and Altech

Offline warkus

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2015, 03:03:58 PM »
I agree 100% Paul. If indeed altech are the reason for the icetv demise, I cant see any further cooperation between these parties. Its unlikely at best anyway.

Who knows. Stranger things have happened.


Offline IanL-S

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2015, 03:05:19 PM »
I very much doubt there will be any love or cooperation between IceTV and Altech

Yes that is a strong possibility. However, they say money talks .... the big question will it outweigh the past "animosity"?

What happens to the warehoused SKIPPAs is a matter for the Administrators and Altech. The question of warranty support aside, it would be in Altech's interest to get them out of the warehouse, and the old IceTV to get a possibly token payment for the licensing of intellectual property. If they are sold as SKIPPAs than there would be some hope of furture firmware updates (excluding ad-skipping).

In situations such as these you do not always see rational behaviour.

Ian
IceTV: 2xTRF-2400 + 2xTF7100HDPVRt + SKIPPA + T2
No IceTV: a few Toppys
Synology NAS
Check out the oztoppy wiki and Topfield Aus Forum for Toppy help
ozSKIPPA wiki coming soon (I hope)

Offline Stalky

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2015, 03:06:40 PM »
As far as extra support goes, I think Dave from IceTV mentioned that a lot of the staff (previous staff?) had Skippas so I would assume they would be keen to contribute to keeping the Skippa dream alive.

Offline IanL-S

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2015, 03:10:53 PM »
Once the ozSKIPPA wiki is up an running (someone is not pulling his/her weight in the process of getting it sorted) there will be a more structured way of presenting information about the SKIPPA than is possible via a forum. This can be seen by comparing the Topfield Australia Forum to the oztoppy wiki (http://oztoppy.wikidot.com/).

Ian

Offline Carljh

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2015, 03:18:30 PM »
Excellent post, TimC

Offline Dave at IceTV

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2015, 04:12:50 PM »
What support does the New IceTV intend to provide?
  Is the New IceTV committed to ensuring that the EPG service will continue to work with the Skippas?

The Skippa is still an IceTV compatible PVR so will continue to get the same support as other IceTV compatible recorders.
 
cheers

Dave
Customer Service

Offline TimC

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2015, 05:35:33 PM »
I took note of what Warkus posted re the high temperature the SOC IC runs and confirmed that out in the open, i.e. not in an enclosed cabinet and with nothing on top of it, it runs at around 65-70 deg C (ambient 25 deg C). It runs about 10 deg cooler when the unit is in Standby, i.e. the video output is turned OFF.

I am curious what is the best way to use the Skippa.  I am yet to have a freeze, so I usually don't resteart it often.

I have heard a school of thought that says that integrated circuits that are often turned on and off have a shorter lifespan than those that are running all the time as the heating up and cooling cycle causes mechanical stresses to the chip especially larger ones.

Which do you think would be worse, running the chip continuously at a high temperature of giving it a chance to cool down from time to time by turning it off when you are not using it?

Offline Paul55

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2015, 06:30:20 PM »
High temperature + computers (such as a PVR) = component failures

Offline Heideho

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Re: What Happens with Skippa when all the Dust Settles
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2015, 06:41:58 PM »
I'm definitely nervous about all the talk about overheating of the Skippa. Apart from the clock stopping which hasn't re-manifested itself since the firmware upgrade I'm pretty happy with performance to date. It's a hugely better interface than my old Topfields and I am hoping it continues to run. Appreciate the support that's proposed by the community here even though I hope that I don't need it.

Thanks!
Brisbane


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