Now that the upper hall has a seating area and tv unit, I really needed a second box for this area. Further to this, with the oil industry continuing to see a decline, the company was looking at all options to streamline costs, and when you consider the number of employees they have in the city, then the costs for subscription TV services would be fairly substantial over the course of a year. They had therefore decided to withdraw this benefit at the end of the year. This would mean I would need to source my own subscription anyway.
The existing LNB was a dual output, so first up I ran a coax from the dish on top of the roof of the stairwell, then along the water pipe on the roof area and followed it down onto the balcony and through an existing hole in the wall that the previous occupier had made. I still had to put the F-connectors on the ends, but will leave this to later.
Next up was getting my hands on a box for upstairs. I had no idea how it all worked over here so after searching online and looking at the OSN website, I decided to jump into the car and head of to Hyatt Plaza mall where there was apparently an OSN outlet (according to the website).
This was the first time into this mall, so no idea where the oulet was, so just wondered around until I spotted it, it was a simple booth with a guy and a computer, that was it. I thought that maybe you could just buy a box take it home and then phone up to activate the smart card, but having had a look around the shop, couldn't see any set top boxes.
I headed over to the booth and asked the guy where can I get a box. He said you can't buy them, and you get them when you subscribe. I explained to him what I was looking for and that I had no idea what current 'package' the company was providing.
After a good chat with the guy, I decided to sign up for a 'Platinum HD' package, which came with a 1TB Recording Full HD set top box, 102 Channels (53 HD), 10 new movie rentals per month, On Demand, On Demand Extra (library of box sets etc.), it also came with a second HD box and kids package (30 channels). This would do to get going until I fully understood what I was getting.
I asked the guy how long it normal takes for installation and he said within 48Hrs, but would see if they could do it today. I thought that given it was already afternoon, there is no chance it would be the same day, but within a couple of days was fine by me.
I got back to the villa and took a phone call from a guy later that afternoon and he asked if he could come and fit the boxes. As you could imagine I was fine with this, but surprised considering it was now starting to get dark. The main box needed internet access for the on demand services, but the location in the villa was WiFi only, so he also proceeded to install a WiFi dongle on the box.
The guy turned up (now dark) and proceeded to change out the LNB on the roof, terminate the cable that I had pulled in and set up both the boxes. He said that the cards would be activated in about an hour.
3 hours later, the cards were still not activated, so I did some searching online and found an activation page on the OSN website, unfortunately the Captcha mechanism wasn't working and even though I had entered the correct verification code, it kept saying I had done it wrong. Just to be on the safe side I tried different browsers and different devices, but no joy.
I resorted to phoning the UAE telephone number on the screen. I had some issues with my mobile not being recognised when I keyed '2' to select English, and in the end had to use the landline phone. The representative was really helpful and after setting up the first box which was next to the phone, she called me back on my mobile so I could go downstairs and try the other box.
I also asked the rep how I could upgrade the second box to receive more than just the kids channels. This required to upgrade to a 'Platinum +' package, however the second box would need to be replaced, I was happy with this and see arranged an appointment for 2 days time.
The next morning I got a phone call about 8.30, it was another OSN installer and he wanted to come over now and replace my box. So much for 2 days time! Again, I was more than happy with this.
He turned up, went up onto the roof, installed a splitter on the primary LNB output, then replaced the upstairs 'kids' box or a 'showtime hd' box that was also a recorder. The card was then activated and he left with the original second box.
So, all working now. Less than 24 hours, from first rocking up at the OSN booth to have the system installed and then upgraded!
I really would wonder if Sky TV in the UK would have been as effective....
Anyway, everyone happy now and just need to get a jumbo telly now!