Sky Q Mini box - abroad

dasnico

Newbie
Hi all

I'm interested in exploring the option of using a Sky Q Mini box on my current subscription abroad over a VPN. Looking at the current set up, the boxes connect wirelessly (or via ethernet) and the mini doesn't even have a hard-wired connection to the dish. If I can swing this I'd ditch the IPTV subscription (which is intermittent at best) I use when abroad.

Though likely more complex than a typical VPN setup I don't see why this wouldn't work. Has anyone successfully managed this and/or have any insights on how this would need to be set up and configured?
 

bazcfc1

VIP Member
TK Supporter
It wouldn’t work as the mini box takes the signal from the main q box which then streams it to mini box and both need to be on the same network and with a vpn you won’t get the same IP address for both boxes
 

dasnico

Newbie
Thread starter
It wouldn’t work as the mini box takes the signal from the main q box which then streams it to mini box and both need to be on the same network and with a vpn you won’t get the same IP address for both boxes
I understand that would be the case if you left the wireless settings on in the boxes, but other users doing something similar have stated that you need to disable wireless in the engineers menu and connect the boxes to the network via ethernet. I've read of site-to-site VPN setups allowing the remote mini q to obtain a local IP address from the server location (home network with the main box) but they seem to fail due to, apparently, the box recognizing latency and providing a "network proximity" error, despite showing it has internet access. One post I found online said he had sussed it but has since stopped posting. Sky likely considered a setup like this and have tried to prevent it.
 

Robbo18

Member
I understand that would be the case if you left the wireless settings on in the boxes, but other users doing something similar have stated that you need to disable wireless in the engineers menu and connect the boxes to the network via ethernet. I've read of site-to-site VPN setups allowing the remote mini q to obtain a local IP address from the server location (home network with the main box) but they seem to fail due to, apparently, the box recognizing latency and providing a "network proximity" error, despite showing it has internet access. One post I found online said he had sussed it but has since stopped posting. Sky likely considered a setup like this and have tried to prevent it.
it’s probably to do with what is routed over the VPN vs local network at lower levels of networking.

It would be easier to use some sort of Slingbox (or alternate device since they are being discontinued) connected to the mini in your house.
 

Drbox

TK Veteran
You would have to connect it to your own vpn at home, so the mini box connects to your main sky q box. The high latency of this gives the proximity error.

Can you just not use sky go with a vpn abroad?
 

dasnico

Newbie
Thread starter
sounds like it would be easier to just use iptv abroad :LOL:

I currently do use IPTV abroad using a Formuler box, but even on a gigabit internet plan I still get channels dropping out, skipping, freezing, likely due to the service being oversubscribed. I'm just exploring options to have a set top box at home in the US, because lets be honest - a lot of American television is utter crap (I'm a dual citizen, so I can say that ;) ) Seeing how the Sky Q system is set up since I was last in the UK I assumed there must be a way to make a box work over a VPN, regardless of location.
 

pupuqiop

TK Veteran
TK Supporter
Highly unlikely your iptv sub is oversubscribed - it wouldn't make any business sense at all to sell a crap service as the money is made through recommendations and repeat custom. Does your provider have a group chat (eg Telegram, Discord etc) so you can see if other customers have issues like yours?

Other than that I'm assuming you've done all the maintenance, reboot device and router, clear cache, turn off web safe settings on your router? There's no reason why a formuler device shouldn't stream iptv flawlessly... some would argue that iptv is the only thing formuler devices are actually good for.
 

dasnico

Newbie
Thread starter
Highly unlikely your iptv sub is oversubscribed - it wouldn't make any business sense at all to sell a crap service as the money is made through recommendations and repeat custom. Does your provider have a group chat (eg Telegram, Discord etc) so you can see if other customers have issues like yours?

Other than that I'm assuming you've done all the maintenance, reboot device and router, clear cache, turn off web safe settings on your router? There's no reason why a formuler device shouldn't stream iptv flawlessly... some would argue that iptv is the only thing formuler devices are actually good for.

Yes there is a group chat. Always get told it's on my end, but I have optimised my network for it to work properly. Events such as Wimbledon the BBC channels are always hit or miss and I'm constantly changing between FHD, HD and SD just to watch a match. Once the broadcast ends the channels seem to clear up. I am happy with my provider as this particular service seems to have the least disruptions of all the ones I've tried. Was hoping to have my own dedicated Sky service, but the more I look into it the less desirable I'm finding it to invest in the equipment just to test it.

That being said, I've found a service online that offers a Q box abroad (in Europe only) via a site-to-site VPN and they've said the service won't work in the US upon inquiry (which doesn't make sense to me...) I guess until someone susses a work around I'm staying with IPTV for now.
 

pupuqiop

TK Veteran
TK Supporter
Yes there is a group chat. Always get told it's on my end, but I have optimised my network for it to work properly. Events such as Wimbledon the BBC channels are always hit or miss and I'm constantly changing between FHD, HD and SD just to watch a match. Once the broadcast ends the channels seem to clear up. I am happy with my provider as this particular service seems to have the least disruptions of all the ones I've tried. Was hoping to have my own dedicated Sky service, but the more I look into it the less desirable I'm finding it to invest in the equipment just to test it.

That being said, I've found a service online that offers a Q box abroad (in Europe only) via a site-to-site VPN and they've said the service won't work in the US upon inquiry (which doesn't make sense to me...) I guess until someone susses a work around I'm staying with IPTV for now.

The BBC channels shouldn't have many watching on iptv as most people have an aerial or dish for the terrestrial channels. If everyone else is viewing without issue then optimised or not, there's probably something amiss at your end. I'd work through every step meticulously - wired connection, test sub on a different device (eg mobile phone,) use mobile data instead of WiFi, try with and without vpn, clean install of iptv app, delete all other apps on the device... all the steps I'd done I'd go through again.
 

bazcfc1

VIP Member
TK Supporter
Yes there is a group chat. Always get told it's on my end, but I have optimised my network for it to work properly. Events such as Wimbledon the BBC channels are always hit or miss and I'm constantly changing between FHD, HD and SD just to watch a match. Once the broadcast ends the channels seem to clear up. I am happy with my provider as this particular service seems to have the least disruptions of all the ones I've tried. Was hoping to have my own dedicated Sky service, but the more I look into it the less desirable I'm finding it to invest in the equipment just to test it.

That being said, I've found a service online that offers a Q box abroad (in Europe only) via a site-to-site VPN and they've said the service won't work in the US upon inquiry (which doesn't make sense to me...) I guess until someone susses a work around I'm staying with IPTV for now.
I’ve seen a few people mention about bbc and itv been pain in arse on IPTV it depends where servers are based as far as I’m aware of and can also be the suppliers source
 

grog68

VIP Member
I’ve seen a few people mention about bbc and itv been pain in arse on IPTV it depends where servers are based as far as I’m aware of and can also be the suppliers source
but if other users are saying in the group that they are not seeing any issues being the source is unlikely.

If the op is in the US but his provider is in GB/EU then that could be cause of issue. @dasnico have you tried running a trace route from your box to the server, also run a speed test on your box, NOT your phone nor computer
 

bazcfc1

VIP Member
TK Supporter
but if other users are saying in the group that they are not seeing any issues being the source is unlikely.

If the op is in the US but his provider is in GB/EU then that could be cause of issue. @dasnico have you tried running a trace route from your box to the server, also run a speed test on your box, NOT your phone nor computer
Possibly bud
 

dasnico

Newbie
Thread starter
but if other users are saying in the group that they are not seeing any issues being the source is unlikely.

If the op is in the US but his provider is in GB/EU then that could be cause of issue. @dasnico have you tried running a trace route from your box to the server, also run a speed test on your box, NOT your phone nor computer

Not performed a trace route, but speed tests from the box (with ethernet) run about 500mbps (fiber connection is ~1gbps) which I was surprised at given the box is supposed to have gigabit ethernet. When I test from my computer with ethernet I average about 940mbps. I'm in England currently but will have to look more into it once I get back to the states.

My guess was that those channels have a high amount of viewers during certain events, and also a lot of people are online in the evening so the source internet connection could be slower. With the time difference when I'm watching that would all make sense. I've also noticed in the group chat there are a lot of foreign phone numbers, so I wouldn't rule out that my provider has a lot of clients abroad.
 

gaz82

Newbie
Not performed a trace route, but speed tests from the box (with ethernet) run about 500mbps (fiber connection is ~1gbps) which I was surprised at given the box is supposed to have gigabit ethernet. When I test from my computer with ethernet I average about 940mbps. I'm in England currently but will have to look more into it once I get back to the states.

My guess was that those channels have a high amount of viewers during certain events, and also a lot of people are online in the evening so the source internet connection could be slower. With the time difference when I'm watching that would all make sense. I've also noticed in the group chat there are a lot of foreign phone numbers, so I wouldn't rule out that my provider has a lot of clients abroad.

In my experience a speed test means nothing in reality as all you're doing is testing the speed between your house and the specific server hosting the speed test web page. It doesn't take into account your ISP's traffic routing or other bottlenecks.

I don't know how technically minded you are so apologies if this example comes across as over simplistic, but...

Think of your internet connection as a car. Your cars top speed is 150 miles an hour (your internet speed) which is great if your driving down a motorway towards the speed test location.

Unfortunately to get to your IPTV service from your ISP's location there's no motorway, you need to drive down a B road to get there. Even though your car can go 150 miles an hour, you cannot drive at that speed on a slow winding road to get there. There are also other cars on the road trying to get there too, which is fine on a 3 or 4 lane motorway but not when it's a single track B road.

From the IPTV service point of view, there no problem at their end. Also, other ISP's have motorways from their location but yours doesn't which is why you're suffering with a slow connection.


Have you tried your IPTV over a VPN connection? This will change the traffic route and may solve the issue for you.

In regards to the Sky Q mini box in a different location, I don't think the boxes use Layer 3 / TCP/IP which is why most site to site VPN's fail. They must use a lower level network to ensure the boxes are physically on the same network.

As others have said you would be better off using a sling box type device to control/view the box remotely.
 

dasnico

Newbie
Thread starter
@gaz82 - I appreciate your example! I am quite technically minded but this is a good way to explain how an internet connection works.

Responding to your question - I have a VPN installed on my Formuler box but the connection speed drastically drops when its connected to multiple locations (which is expected to a certain degree) and I find I have packet loss when watching FHD channels. I am inclined to set up a dedicated remote access VPN at our home here in the UK, however I believe Sky is the ISP and the group chat has a lot of messages about not using Sky BB without a VPN as they block, so I could end up circling back around with service issues.

Regarding the mini box, I believe others have tested with Layer 1, Layer 2 and Layer 3, but it seemed to all come down to latency. There are various posts online about making the "Q" network work over ethernet with wireless disabled on the box due to large homes not having the wifi range. The box needs to initially be configured within range of the main box but then the wireless can be turned off, so it's seemingly possible to get it to all work through a router. I'd be surprised if someone doesn't eventually figure it out.
 

Jay N

Newbie
There is a site called ZeroTier which allows you to create a SD-WAN which would mean that all your devices would be on the same network regardless of location. I haven’t tried this myself yet but might be worth a look to see if it helps with what you are trying to achieve.
 

dasnico

Newbie
Thread starter
There is a site called ZeroTier which allows you to create a SD-WAN which would mean that all your devices would be on the same network regardless of location. I haven’t tried this myself yet but might be worth a look to see if it helps with what you are trying to achieve.

Great find! Even if it doesn't work for this scenario I'm glad you told me about this.
 
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