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Never miss a show with Sky’s Mobile Remote Record service

It’s time to introduce a new columnist today — Vikki Chowney. I saw Vikki speaking at an event recently and asked if she’d consider contributing to MIR. She readily agreed — and I’m delighted that she did. We may even see her on camera (on MIR TV) soon.

In her first piece, she’s looking at the wonders (and challenges) of Sky’s Mobile Remote Record service. (Sky, for those outside of the UK, is a satellite TV broadcaster).

Over to Vikki!

– – – – –

I’m a recent convert to the joys of Sky+. In fact, I’ve been a fan for years, but due to what I now presume to be laziness on the part of my Sky engineer – I hadn’t been able to set anything up to record ahead of time, only pause/play live television. Now, a secret socket has been found in my boiler cupboard and all is well.

This doesn’t however, stop me from forgetting entirely that I want to record something in the first place. In fact, because service has only been functioning fully for a few months, I find myself overlooking the fact that it’s now working at all.

So, today I unearthed an email from a friend talking about Sky Mobile’s Remote Record service and decided to give it a whirl. It’s pretty self-explanatory – providing you’ve got a Sky+ (or Sky HD) box, and subscription, you’ll be able to use your mobile or PC to remotely record anything you like.

First things first, even with said friend’s fabulously hyperlinked email; I wouldn’t call it the easiest installation in the world. It was straightforward and simple enough, but I’m unfamiliar with the Sky portal. There are so many different services available that you really need to concentrate to prevent from getting caught in an infinite loop.

Before I could do anything, I signed up for a My Sky account – which happily took all of a few minutes – then clicked on the most obvious-looking tab, Sky Mobile. From there, I was able to sign up by entering my mobile number and accepting the T&C.

After an instantaneous text, I should have been able to download the Sky Anytime app. Which I would have done if my e71 had been compatible, or more accurately – if the Sky website hadn’t told it wasn’t and blocked me from going any further. Bit of shame, as from the very beginning when purchasing my e71, I was told that anything that works on the N95 I should also be able to use.

BUT I am still able to text in alerts on this handset. Simply save a specific format (name of show, channel, date and time) as a draft and edit when you need to send.

That’s all very well, but is only really useful if you already know what you want to watch, or what time it’s on. Going on the basis of the N95 theory above, I managed to trial the Sky app on that handset, and the installation ran perfectly first time. I repeated the process above, and then connected phone to Sky box. Just click ‘interactive’ on your remote, and press ‘1′ for Sky Active. Scroll down to Sky Products from the menu, and then select Remote Record. Register a new ‘My Sky User’ (you’ll need to connect via a Freephone number), and type in your mobile number again.

I was however, still determined to get it to work on my e71. It’s lucky that I know some people who know far too many things about phones. After a quick call, I pasted the download link (as sent to me via text) into my web browser, used User Agent Switch to trick it into thinking I was an N95 and downloaded away. There’s no reason it should work on one and not the other. Connect phone to laptop via USB, and then use Nokia PC suite to transfer onto your e71.

On the big old screen of my e71, the app itself is beautiful – containing scrolling news updates, access to Sky Entertainment & Sports content, as well as your 7 day Sky TV Guide. You can also access Mobile TV from this portal as well, but it doesn’t appeal to me so I’m staying well clear. You can search by category as per a normal Sky set up, or for a keyword and then activate one-click record request.

From your PC, you simply access My Sky and pick which programmes to watch. My mind tends to steer towards frivolous Sky-related issues when I’m truly out and about, so the mobile app is much better for me.

There are a few snags; you need to send recording requests at least 30 minutes before the start of a programme, and the text confirmation messages cost 25p. Plus, there are network/ISP charges to factor in. However, all of these are minimal and utterly worth it when you’re short of time, or are halfway into work before you remember that the series finale of your favourite show is on at 6pm when you won’t be back till late.

– – – – –

Thanks Vikki!

25p per text? Well at least you finally got it on your Nokia E71… with a bit of jiggery pokery.

Has anyone else setup Mobile Remote Record? How did you get on with it?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

16 replies on “Never miss a show with Sky’s Mobile Remote Record service”

I’ve been using the Sky Anytime App on my E71 since I got it last year, its a brilliant app for setting your Sky+ box to record when out & about. Its alos very useful fr keeping check of the footie scoreson a Saturday, you can even set it to alert u with a crowd noise when someone scores. If anyone wants the SIS file I have it in my Downloads page over on nokiaaddict.com 🙂

Interesting that this communicates with Sky who then send the info to your box. I use TiVoWeb which runs a web server on my TiVo via my ADSL. This allows me to control my TiVo directly. It also has a bunch of optional modules for extra functionality.

Best of all, because it's a web service, I don't need to download anything.

I've been using the Sky Anytime App on my E71 since I got it last year, its brilliant. I have 3 SKY+ boxes and have 2 of my phones setup for 2 boxes and the wifes for 1 box. Aswell as being a great app for setting ur sky+ box to record while out & about its also great for a saturday afternoon to check to footie scores, you can even setup to be in the background and have a crowd alert noise when someone scores. If anyone wants the app I have the SIS file in my downloads page at nokiaaddict.com

This process just got much easier using the new Sky Mobile Application from my Nokia 5800 on Vodafone, pre-installed on the device the application captures both Mobile TV streaming in H264 (amazing quality) and the Sky EPG (programme guide) + remote record service. Nokia have made both the service much more accessible and eradicated some of the isues you refer to in your note above. There are still some set up issues to manage, register with My Sky and set up at home using your Sky + box but after that the service is seamless. The application also includes access to Sky News and Sky Sports feeds and 24-7 football.

Keith have you any screenshoots or video of the app on the 5800? Need to get this app on my wife's O2 PAYG 5800 🙁

You really need to jump through hoops to get it working, but once you do it's great!

Spent ages on the phone to various Sky folk, even had to have a TV package added! They credited back the difference. Why was an extra pack required? Well you can't have Remote Record with an odd number of packs!!

The 'record' signal is sent over the air – not via the Sky+'s telephone connection. That's why it's sent almost immediately. It's also why it works even if the box isn't connected to the phone line (or the line's engaged). The downside of this is there's no way of seeing if you have a programme clash or no space left on your planner.

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