This software is for personal use only. A license is required to use this software for commercial purposes.

END-USER LICENSE AGREEMENT FOR ExPVR IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT CAREFULLY BEFORE CONTINUING WITH THIS PROGRAM INSTALL: pH-Mb's End-User License Agreement ("EULA") is a legal agreement between you (either an individual or a single entity) and pH-Mb for the pH-Mb software product(s) identified above which may include associated software components, media, printed materials, and "online" or electronic documentation ("SOFTWARE PRODUCT"). By installing, copying, or otherwise using the SOFTWARE PRODUCT, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA. This license agreement represents the entire agreement concerning the program between you and pH-Mb, (referred to as "licenser"), and it supersedes any prior proposal, representation, or understanding between the parties. If you do not agree to the terms of this EULA, do not install or use the SOFTWARE PRODUCT.

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Contents

Is it possible to use ExPVR to transfer my Sky+ HD recordings to a larger disk?

Is it possible to use ExPVR to copy my Sky+ / Sky+ HD recordings to a new box?

Can ExPVR copy from a standard definition Sky+ box or Thompson Sky HD box to a newer Sky+ HD device?

Can ExPVR copy Sky+ or Sky+HD recordings to my PC (to watch in media playing software)?

Which PVRs are supported?

Does this application support the extraction of encrypted recordings?

Which recordings are encrypted?

What software do I need to watch the extracted recordings?

How do I attach the hard disk from my Sky+ HD or other XTV-Based PVR to my computer?

Does this application change the hard drive in any way?

My target disk is not listed in ExPVR, how can I make it be detected?

Are my scheduled recordings copied to the new disk/device too?

What do the colours and letters beside each planner item mean?

Windows explorer crashes when trying to open a folder containing Sky+ recordings, how do I fix this?


  • Is it possible to use ExPVR to transfer my Sky+ HD recordings to a larger disk?

    Yes, ExPVR will allow you to upgrade the hard disk in your Sky+ HD box to a larger size, while retaining all of your existing recordings.

  • Is it possible to use ExPVR to copy my Sky+ / Sky+ HD recordings to a new box?

    Yes, ExPVR will allow you to copy recordings from any of the supported Sky boxes to a new one. Note that the new box must be one of the HD models (for a full list of supported devices, please see our Device Support section).

  • Can ExPVR copy from a standard definition Sky+ box or Thompson Sky HD box to a newer Sky+ HD device?

    Yes! The older boxes (standard definition Sky+ and Thompson Sky+ HD) have a different planner format, but ExPVR is designed to handle this. ExPVR will automatically convert your planner as part of the transfer process.

  • Can ExPVR copy Sky+ or Sky+HD recordings to my PC (to watch in media playing software)?

    Yes, ExPVR is able to extract all recordings which are not encrypted, these can then be viewed in your favourite video playing software or portable device.

  • Which devices are supported?

    Please see our device support page.

  • Does this application support the extraction of encrypted recordings?

    Unfortunately this feature cannot be added. I am not sure of the legality of such a feature and in any case, Sky would take a very dim view; for these reasons I will never add this to ExPVR.

    If you extract an encrypted recording, it will still copy but the recording wont be viewable on your computer (it will still be encrypted).

    Note that copying encrypted recordings to another Sky+ HD hard disk or a disk image will work fine. The encrypting only prevents watching the recordings on a PC.

  • Which recordings are encrypted?

    Recordings from channels you have to have your card inserted to view, are encrypted. Recordings from other, free to air channels (BBC1, BBC HD, ITV, E4 etc.) will extract fine.

    Encrypted recordings are highlighted in a pale red in ExPVR.

  • What software do I need to watch the extracted recordings?

    The recordings are extracted as standard *.TS files (MPEG Transport Stream). VLC Media Player is recommended for viewing these but they can also be viewed in any Direct Show player (e.g. Media Player/Media Center/DVBViewer) with the correct codecs.

  • How do I attach the hard disk from my Sky+ HD or other XTV-Based PVR to my computer?

    All XTV-Based PVRs contain standard PC hard disks with either an IDE or SATA connection. All Sky+ HD boxes have SATA hard disks. It is recommended you connect your hard disk via an external SATA or IDE caddy, but it also possible to connect them internally as long as you read the warnings in the support section. For more information please read the tutorials here.

  • Does this application change the source hard drive in any way?

    ExPVR only reads from your PVR hard disk, it will not make any changes. It is therefore safe to use without any worry of corruption.

  • My target disk is not listed in ExPVR, how can I make it be detected?

    Your target disk must be blank before it will display as a target in ExPVR. This is to prevent the accidental overwriting of the wrong disk. There is a guide describing how to delete partitions from a disk on our forums.

  • Are my scheduled recordings copied to the new disk/device too?

    Yes, your scheduled recordings will also appear in ExPVR and can be selected in the same way as ones that have been previously recorded.

  • What do the colours and letters beside each planner item mean?

    ExPVR colour codes recordings based on the following parameters:

    Red Background Encrypted recording
    Blue Text On Demand recording
    Grey Text Deleted recording (in 'Recycle Bin')
    Black Text Standard user recording or scheduled recording

    There are also a number of letters to the left of each item which indicate:

    s__ Scheduled recording
    _u_ User recording
    _v_ On demand recording
    __e Encrypted recording
  • Windows explorer crashes when trying to open a folder containing Sky+ recordings, how do I fix this?

    Windows uses a system of small pieces of software called 'codecs' to interpret video and audio files. Many windows video players uses these to play back these files; including windows media player and windows explorer. Windows explorer uses them to generate the thumbnails you see when you browse a folder containing video files.

    If there is an issue with one of the codecs you have installed, they can sometimes crash the application that is using them. In the case of windows explorer, this will happen when you browse to the directory and it tries to update the thumbnails.

    In order to fix this issue, you will need to work out which codec is causing the issue. Sky+ recordings use an MPEG-TS container and typically use MPEG4-AVC (HD recordings) or MPEG2 (SD recordings) for video. You should look for codecs you have installed which handle these formats and remove them until the issue is resolved.

    If possible, it is highly recommended to use VLC Player to watch Sky+ recordings, as it does not rely on codecs to decode the files.

Version Comparison

ExPVR FreeExPVR+ExPVR Commercial

Price

Free!

£19.99

Contact for details

Extract From Sky+ HD to PC (to watch on PC)

Limited to 200Mb
per recording

Copy Between Sky+ HD Hard Drives

Limited to 15
recordings per copy

Copy recordings from a Sky+ box to Sky+ HD box


Note: There are currently issues copying from Sky+SD to the DRX890 after a recent sky update.

Limited to 15
recordings per copy

Format a new disk for use in a Sky+ HD box

Merge recordings from multiple Sky+ HD boxes

Display all the details of each recording in the planner

Use for commercial purposes

Download

Copying Between Hard Drives

ExPVR allows the copying of recordings to a new Sky+ HD hard disk. This allows you to upgrade your Sky+ HD hard drive to a greater size without losing your recordings!

Current Features

  • Able to extract all non-encrypted recordings from supported PVRs.
  • Copy recordings between Sky+ HD hard disks.
  • Repair issues with your Sky+ HD recordings.
  • Copy recordings from older Sky+ devices to newer Sky+ HD boxes
  • Format new hard disks for use in an XTV based PVR.
  • Able to choose which recordings to copy to the new disk.
  • Re-adds PMT, PAT, ECM and PCR to the recordings to increase compatibility with video players.
  • Easy to use, intuitive interface.
  • Supports batch copies, just select all the recordings you want to extract and ExPVR will do the rest!
  • Full planner support; all the details of each recording are shown, including the channel name, recording title and synopsis.
  • Complete help file guiding you through the extraction process.
  • Able to extract directly from the disk, or from a disk image.
  • Merging of recordings on multiple hard disks onto one.
  • All future updates are included in the price!

Planned Features

  • Planner editing.
  • Adding new video files to the planner.
  • If you have any more suggestions please post in our forums!

Darwin and OpenTV

The Sky+, Sky+ HD boxes (and their varients from providers in other countries) all run a software called XTV. There are two major versions of this software; an older OpenTV-based system (used by standard definition Sky+ in the UK) and an new-linux based one (originally code-named 'Darwin') which is used by the Sky+ HD boxes.

ExPVR fully supports hard drives from Darwin systems and can both read them and write them. However, ExPVR is only able to read OpenTV disks (it cannot write them).

In summary you can perform the following types of copies:

  • OpenTV -> Darwin
  • Darwin -> Darwin
But you cannot do:
  • OpenTV -> OpenTV
  • Darwin -> OpenTV

Model Numbers

You will be able to find out which model of Sky+ device you have by looking at the sticker on the rear panel of your box.

Sky (UK)

PVR ModelComments
Sky+ HD (Darwin):
  • Pace TDS850NB
  • Samsung HDSKY
  • Amstrad DRX780
  • Sky DRX890 (all models)
  • Sky DRX895
All models are fully supported and tested
Sky+ HD (OpenTV):
  • Thompson DSI8215

Sky+ SD (OpenTV):
  • Pace BSKYB3000
  • Pace BSKYB3100
  • Amstrad DRX-180
  • Thompson DSI6210
  • Pace TDS470N
  • Pace TD570N
  • Amstrad DRX-280
  • Thompson DSI8210

ExPVR has support for copying from these boxes (either to a Darwin Sky+ HD box or your computer). Copies to legacy OpenTV devices are not supported.

Note: After a recent Sky software update, the DRX890 Sky+ HD no longer seems to support recordings originating from Sky+ SD (non-darwin) devices. I am currently investigating a solution, but in the mean time, copies from legacy devices to the DRX890 are not supported.

Sky Italia

PVR ModelComments

My Sky HD (Darwin)

Our users have used ExPVR with various Sky Italia PVRs (both darwin and legacy) and have reported success.

My Sky (OpenTV)

Foxtel (Australia)

PVR ModelComments

Foxtel iQHD (Darwin)

Our users have used ExPVR with some Foxtel iQ and iQHD PVRs and have reported success.

Foxtel iQ (OpenTV)

KabelBW (Germany)

PVR ModelComments

Humax iHD-PVR C (OpenTV)

There is experimental support for copying recorings from this device, including extracting recordings for PC viewing.

Sky Deutschland (Germany)

PVR ModelComments

Sky+ (Darwin*)

Sky Deutschland use a slightly different hard disk layout to other providers and disks from these devices are not yet fully supported. Please see the post on our forums for more details.

Other

This application should work with other XTV-Based PVRs with similar firmware. The best way to find out is to try the free version. There is no risk in trying this application as it makes no modifications to the source disk.

If you do try another box please send me an email telling whether or not it works! I can then either add it to this list or add support.

Contents

Does this application support the extraction of encrypted recordings?

Which recordings are encrypted?

What software do I need to watch the extracted recordings?

Is it possible to copy recordings to a new, larger, XTV formated hard disk which can be used in place of the old one?

Will Push VOD 'Sky Anytime Showcase' recordings work?

Which PVRs are supported?

How do I attach the hard disk from my Sky+ HD or other XTV-Based PVR to my computer?

Does this application change the hard drive in any way?

I have copied my recordings to a new hard drive, but there a some "failed" entries in my planner.

 

  • Does this application support the extraction of encrypted recordings?

    Unfortunately this feature cannot be added. I am not sure of the legality of such a feature and in any case, Sky would take a very dim view; for these reasons I will never add this to ExPVR. There is however a plug-in API which you could use to add this feature if you wished.

    If you extract an encrypted recording, it will still copy but the recording wont be viewable on your computer (it will still be encrypted).

    Note that copying encrypted recordings to another Sky+ HD hard disk will work fine.

  • Which recordings are encrypted?

    Recordings from channels you have to have your card inserted to view, are encrypted. Recordings from other, free to air channels (BBC1, BBC HD, ITV, E4 etc.) will extract fine.

    Encrypted recordings are highlighted in a pale red in ExPVR.

  • What software do I need to watch the extracted recordings?

    The recordings are extracted as standard *.TS files (MPEG Transport Stream). VLC Media Player is recommended for viewing these but they can also be viewed in any Direct Show player (e.g. Media Player/Media Center/DVBViewer) with the correct codecs.

  • Is it possible to copy recordings to a new, larger, XTV formatted hard disk which can be used in place of the old one?

    Yes, this is now possible with ExPVR version 2 and above, please see the Copy & Format Wizard page for more details.

  • Will Push VOD 'Sky Anytime Showcase' recordings work?

    Non-encrypted Push VOD recordings can be extracted in the same way as standard ones and will work correctly. Pull VOD ('Sky Anytime+') recordings which have been saved may work but this has not been tested.

  • Which PVRs are supported?

    Please see our device support page.

  • How do I attach the hard disk from my Sky+ HD or other XTV-Based PVR to my computer?

    All XTV-Based PVRs contain standard PC hard disks with either an IDE or SATA connection. All Sky+ HD boxes have SATA hard disks. It is recommended you connect your hard disk via an external SATA or IDE caddy, but it also possible to connect them internally as long as you read the warnings in the support section. For more information please read the tutorials here.

  • Does this application change the source hard drive in any way?

    ExPVR only reads from your PVR hard disk, it will not make any changes. It is therefore safe to use without any worry of corruption.

  • I have copied my recordings to a new hard drive, but there a some "failed" entries in my planner.

    If the "failed" entries are recordings that you choose not to copy then this is normal and they can safely be deleted, this occurs if the "Rebuild Planner" option has been disabled; the recordings that where not copied still exist in the database and the Sky box is just reporting that they no longer exist.

    If any of the recording you selected to copy appear as "failed" then something when wrong during the copy operation, please contact us or post in the forums for more help.

  • ExPVR V3.8.16 Released

    ExPVR V3.8.16 is now available on our downloads page.

    This update fixes the issues affecting recording grouping and on demand content with the new Sky+ planner version on DRX890/5 devices.

    Users who have copies which have been affected by the older ExPVR versions (V3.8.14 and V3.8.15) can fix the grouping issues without needing to perform the copy again using the tool available on our forums.

    Written on Thursday, 27 June 2013 17:08 Be the first to comment! Read 3075 times
  • ExPVR V3.8.13 Released

    ExPVR has now been updated to V3.8.13. This version contains explicit support for the new R006.058.60.00P planner, which has just been rolled out to Sky DRX890 and DRX895 boxes. There are also a number of fixes for copies between legacy and darwin Sky Italia (MySky) boxes and experimental support for reading from Sky Deutschland hard disks.

    This version will now write the newer databases (V2.51) for DRX890/895 devices. For this reason, please make sure that your device is up to date (has at least R006.058.60.00P) before attempting to copy to it if you have a DRX890 or DRX895. Instructions on how to force an update (if your box has not already done this automatically) are available here.

    The new version can be downloaded from the ExPVR downloads page.

    Written on Friday, 10 May 2013 16:38 Be the first to comment! Read 2926 times
  • Brand new website design

    As you may have noticed, the ph-mb.com website has just been updated! It is now running on a customised version of the Joomla CMS which will allow future changes to be made far easier. You can now expect to see far more frequent updates to the content on ph-mb!

    This new system has been extensively tested, but there is a small chance there could be some small bugs. If you do notice anything not working correctly, or just want to give some feedback on the new layout, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or make a post on our forums.

    Written on Thursday, 25 April 2013 00:20 Be the first to comment! Read 2506 times
  • ExPVR V3.7 - Fix for pre-darwin to picasso
    I have just uploaded ExPVR V3.7 to http://www.ph-mb.com/products/ExPVR/downloads. This version contains a rewritten database engine which fixes the issues concerning the new Picasso firmware. There are additionally quite a few bug fixes and some improvements to the copy process and UI.

    The issue with pre-darwin to picasso copies (viewtopic.php?f=6&t=626) has now been fixed and there is now full support for the new picasso features (e.g. the un-deletion support).

    Please visit http://www.ph-mb.com/products/ExPVR/change-log for a full change log.
    Written on Sunday, 13 January 2013 16:17 Be the first to comment! Read 2434 times
  • ExPVR V3.5 Beta - Pre-Darwin Conversion & Disk Merging

    I have just uploaded a new beta version to http://www.ph-mb.com/products/ExPVR/downloads which adds a fair few new features, including support for copying from pre-darwin Thompson boxes (the legacy planner is now converted to the darwin format as part of the copy) and the ability to copy recordings from more than one source drive (disk merging).

    I have also added an option to add the date the recording was made to the beginning of the synopsis of each copied recording. The current sky planner only shows the day of the month, which can be quite annoying for people with older recordings. Obviously this will not work for recordings made after the copy, but it is better than nothing.

    As this is a beta, there may be some issues, but I have tested all the features with my Samsung box, and a Thompson I purchased the other day, and everything seems to be working. One possible problem is that this version is a bit more picky when it comes to the database format (it has to be, as it must also create databases as part of the Thompson conversion and merging features), so if any of the boxes have a slightly different database version it may give an error. If this happens, I would be grateful if you could send me a copy of the databases (PCAT.DB and MFS.DB in the FSN_DATA directory of the sky hard disk) so I can add support.

    Written on Monday, 23 April 2012 10:51 Be the first to comment! Read 2575 times