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Sky Plus FAQ|Annie UK


Wednesday 22 May 2024



Frequently Asked Questions

Sky Plus boxes are a legacy system, last manufactured approximately 9 years ago, it is recommended that you think about moving to Sky Q/Glass/Stream for better support from Sky

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Q01 – How do you reboot your Sky box
 

Use the following procedure

  1. Put your Sky box into standby with the power button and wait a few minutes to let the hard disk settle
    or
    hold the power button down until the power LED starts blinking red, release the power button then wait for the LED to stop blinking (Older boxes do not have this feature)
  2. Pull out the mains plug for at least 5 minutes
  3. Plug the Sky box back in again

This procedure is worth doing when your box is not behaving as expected

Note: No recordings etc… are lost when performing this procedure



Q02 – How do you perform a planner Rebuild
 

Select one of the following procedures

  • For Sky Plus HD boxes with the latest software try the following instructions:
    1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
    2. Go to Help
    3. Select Sky+ Rebuild
    4. Press SELECT (this will start the rebuild)
  • If you cannot find the rebuild option using the above instructions then you might not have the latest software and should follow the instructions below

    (steps 1 to 5 are best done without looking at the TV screen, as the menus on-screen will not behave as expected until you complete step 5)

    1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
    2. Press 0 (very old boxes may need you to press 4 instead)
    3. Press 0
    4. Press 1
    5. Press SELECT (The hidden menu will only appear after this step)
    6. Press 7 (Sky+ Rebuild)
    7. Press SELECT (An on-screen message will be displayed)
    8. Press SELECT (this will start the rebuild)

This will generally fix most recording related issues, It will usually take less than 5 minutes to complete. A rebuild will stop recordings currently in progress but your saved programmes and schedules in the planner WILL NOT be deleted



Q03 – How do you access the hidden installers menu
 

Use the following procedure (best done without looking at the TV screen, as the menus on-screen will not behave as expected until you complete step 5)

  1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
  2. Press 0 (very old boxes may need you to press 4 instead)
  3. Press 0
  4. Press 1
  5. Press SELECT (The hidden menu will only appear after this step)

You should now be in the hidden installers menu



Q04 – How do you perform a software update
 

Use the following procedure

  1. Put your Sky box into standby (with the power button), then wait a few minutes to let the hard disk settle
    or
    hold the power button down until the power LED starts blinking red, release the power button then wait for the LED to stop blinking (Older boxes do not have this feature)
  2. Turn off the power to your Sky box at the mains
  3. Hold down the back up button on the top of your Sky box NOT ON YOUR remote CONTROL
  4. Whilst you continue to hold down the back up button turn the power back on to your Sky box
  5. Keep the back up button held down (for about 30 seconds) until you see four LEDs light up on the front of your Sky Box, you should also see an on-screen message
  6. Release the back up button
  7. When the download has finished, the box will switch to standby (with an orange power LED)
  8. Wait at least 3 minutes, then press SKY on your Sky remote to switch your Sky box back on

The update will take approximately 10 minutes to complete and uses the Disaster Recovery Stream (DR Stream) to update your Skys Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) software

Note: This can sometimes take several attempts before the process works as holding the back up button down is sometimes tricky



Q05 – When will the Disaster Recovery (DR) Stream be updated
 

The Disaster Recovery Stream, where the latest software is obtained from, is updated near the end of a roll-out, which can be a couple of month or so after the start of a roll-out

Note: Sky Plus no longer gets regular software update as it is a legacy system, Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream are now the supported services



Q06 – How long does a software roll-out take
 

On average a roll-out takes a couple of months to complete, where there are issues with the software identified during the roll-out this can make things take a little longer than expected

Note: Sky Plus no longer gets regular software update as it is a legacy system, Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream are now the supported services



Q07 – Can we have details of the next software update
 

software updates are covered by a NDA (Non-disclosure agreement), details are not disclosed until the updates start being rolled out to customers.

Note: Plus no longer gets regular software update as it is a legacy system, Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream are now the supported services



Q08 – How do you find the software version of your Sky box
 

Use the following procedure

  1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Press 3

The software version is the Model Number in the format R024 . 092 . 11 . 00P



Q09 – Does Sky use premium rate phone numbers
 

No, Sky uses 03 numbers

Ofcom introduced UK-wide 03 numbers as an alternative to chargeable 08 numbers, such as 0870

These numbers allow organisations to have a single national point of contact without consumers having to pay extra to call them. Calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02) and are included in inclusive minutes and discount schemes



Q10 – How long does it take to activate channels after an upgrade request
 
Package upgrades should take no longer than 24 hours and typically take just a few minutes to a couple of hours to activate


Q11 – How do you check signal strength / quality
 

The signal strengths / qualities can be found under the signal tab within Settings

  1. Tune to a channel you're having an issue with or channel 101 if all channels are having issues
  2. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
  3. Go to Settings
  4. Press 4 (signal tab)

The white part of the bars should be at least 50% of the total amount

If any of your bars are fully blue (normally this will be with a signal / quality pair of input bars) then that indicates a problem with the Dish / Cables / Sky Box, swapping the input cables around sometimes fixes this but if that does not help you probably need to call someone out to check your system

If the white part of the Quality bars are less than 50% this indicates the dish may be out of alignment

Note: If your Sky Plus box is set to Single Feed Mode (A setting in the hidden menu, see Q03) then you'll only get one set of strength / quality bars



Q12 – How do you reset the boxes network connection
 

To reset the network connection of your Sky box use the following procedure

  1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
  2. Go to Options
  3. Press 5 (network tab)
  4. Press SELECT (to display the coloured button options at the bottom of the screen)
  5. Press the Red button


Q13 – Can a planner rebuild, reboot, etc.. delete my recordings
 

No, the only things that delete recordings are

  1. Users manually deleting them with the yellow button
  2. Automatic housekeeping when space is required and the Keep feature is not used
  3. A downloaded On Demand programme has expired regardless of the Keep feature being used

A full system Reset (from the hidden menu) will also delete recordings, Schedules, etc…



Q14 – What is Diskless mode
 

If your Sky box informs you that it cannot do something because it is in Diskless Mode then this is usually due to the hard disk within the Sky box becoming corrupted or in some severe cases completely broken.

Try rebooting your Sky box using the instructions in Q01, if this fails try a software update (see Q04 for instructions), if both these fails to fix the issue then you can perform a full system reset (FSR Q15) of your Sky box to try and fix the corruption, if an FSR fails to reolve the problem then you will need to replace the faulty box, there are plenty of secondhand boxes on places like eBay etc…

A full system reset (from the hidden menu) will delete ALL recordings, Schedules, etc…



Q15 – How do you perform a Full System Reset (FSR)
 

This procedure should only be done if all else has failed, if this procedure does not fix your issue you will need to contact Sky for further assistance


Warning: The procedure below will delete ALL recordings and schedules

(steps 1 to 5 are best done without looking at the TV screen, as the menus on-screen will not behave as expected until you complete step 5)
  1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
  2. Press 0 (very old boxes may need you to press 4 instead)
  3. Press 0
  4. Press 1
  5. Press SELECT (The hidden menu will only appear after this step)
  6. Use the right arrow button to highlight Sys Reset and press SELECT. You'll see an on screen message, "This option will delete all existing and planned recordings and purchases. All Buy & Keep purchases are available to re-download from the Purchased Tab"
  7. Press SELECT to confirm, Your TV screen will go blank and your Sky box will switch itself off
  8. Wait for at least three minutes and then press Sky on your Sky remote control to switch your Sky box back on

A full system Reset (from the hidden menu) will also delete recordings, Schedules, etc…



Q16 – How do you access the Services menu without a Sky remote control
 

If your 3rd party remote control does not have a SERVICES button you can still access the services menu by pressing the i / Info or equivelent button on your remote when you are on your Sky boxes home page, also the Sky box has an i button on the top that you can use in the same manner to access the services menu



Q17 – How do you reset your On Demand connection with a Sky box connected to your router via Ethernet
 

Try the following procedure

  1. Put your Sky box into standby (with the power button) and wait a few minutes to let the hard disk settle
    or
    hold the power button down until the power LED starts blinking red, release the power button then wait for the LED to stop blinking (Older boxes do not have this feature)
  2. Pull out the mains plug for at least 5 minutes
  3. Whilst the box is powered off remove the Ethernet cable
  4. reboot your broadband router
  5. Power on your Sky box
  6. Wait another 5 minutes for the Sky box to fully initialise
  7. Reinsert the Ethernet cable


Q18 – How do you reset your On Demand connection with a Sky box connected to your router via Wi-Fi adapter
 

Try the following procedure

  1. Put your Sky box into standby (with the power button) and wait a few minutes to let the hard disk settle
    or
    hold the power button down until the power LED starts blinking red, release the power button then wait for the LED to stop blinking (Older boxes do not have this feature)
  2. Pull out the mains plug for at least 5 minutes
  3. Whilst the box is powered off remove the Wi-Fi adapter from the USB port
  4. reboot your broadband router
  5. Power on your Sky box
  6. Wait another 5 minutes for the Sky box to fully initialise
  7. Reinsert the Wi-Fi adapter to the USB port


Q19 – Why am I being asked to upgrade my subscription for some On Demand programmes
 

On Demand is the name given to any programme you download to your Sky Plus box. This name does not indicate which section the programme comes from when you search for its title, the programme could be from Catch Up ,that is free to all subscribers or it could be from Box Sets, which requires an additional monthly charge.



Q20 – Why is Audio Description (AD) still on after I have turned it off
 

If this is on an existing recording then you cannot turn AD off for recordings as the audio track is recorded at the same time as the video and it is not possible to remove the Audio Description soundtrack, once you turn off AD the any existing or new scheduled recordings will not include the AD soundtrack.

AD for live broadcasts can be turned off and on at will.

If you are having difficulty turning off AD from live TV then try a planner Rebuild (See Q02 in this F.A.Q).



Q21 – How do you perform a New install
 

Before using the instructions below try rebooting your Sky box, see Q01, as this sometimes gets things working for you and is much easier

A New install will do a dial back to Sky (Call home) that will pair / authorise your viewing card to your Sky box

Use the following procedure (best done without looking at the TV screen, as the you will not get to the hidden menu until you complete step 6)

  1. Make sure your Sky box is either connected to a phoneline via the modem cable or that it is connected to your broadband via Wifi or Ethernet
  2. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote control
  3. Press 0 (very old boxes may need you to press 4 instead)
  4. Press 0
  5. Press 1
  6. Press SELECT (The hidden menu will only appear after this step)
  7. Scroll across to New install
  8. Press SELECT
  9. Press SELECT

If you have issues with the above then additional viewing card help (from Sky) can be found here, if all else fails you can phone Sky and they can try to pair your viewing card remotely

Note: No recordings, Schedules or Settings will be deleted due to this process



Q22 – Why can I not record a programme whilst watching another live programme
 

There could be an issue with one of the dish inputs

  1. Try rebooting your Sky box using the instructions in Q01
  2. Check the signal and strength of both dish inputs using the instructions in Q11, if the 4 bars are not mainly white then there is an issue with the corresponding dish input
  3. Make sure both dish cables are undamaged and securely screwed into your Sky box (finger tight), make sure none of the thin copper sheilding wires are touching the thicker central copper wire
  4. Try swapping the input 1 and 2 cables around at the back of your Sky box
  5. Check that the dish is not lose or moved (even the slightest bit)

If you can see nothing wrong then you will have to call out someone to have your system checked



Q23 – Why am I getting a No satellite signal message
 

There could be an issue with one of the dish inputs

  1. Try rebooting your Sky box using the instructions in Q01
  2. Check the signal and strength of both dish inputs using the instructions in Q11, if the 4 bars are not mainly white then there is an issue with the corresponding dish input
  3. Make sure both dish cables are undamaged and securely screwed into your Sky box (finger tight), make sure none of the thin copper sheilding wires are touching the thicker central copper wire
  4. Try swapping the input 1 and 2 cables around at the back of your Sky box
  5. Check that the dish is not lose or moved (even the slightest bit)

If you can see nothing wrong then you will have to call out someone to have your system checked



Q24 – Why is my Sky box stuck on initialising
 

There could be an issue with one of the dish inputs

  1. Try rebooting your Sky box using the instructions in Q01
  2. Check the signal and strength of both dish inputs using the instructions in Q11, if the 4 bars are not mainly white then there is an issue with the corresponding dish input
  3. Make sure both dish cables are undamaged and securely screwed into your Sky box (finger tight), make sure none of the thin copper sheilding wires are touching the thicker central copper wire
  4. Try swapping the input 1 and 2 cables around at the back of your Sky box
  5. Check that the dish is not lose or moved (even the slightest bit)

If you can see nothing wrong then you will have to call out someone to have your system checked



Q25 – My viewing card looks burnt, is it damaged
 

It is highly unlikely that your viewing card is burnt, the card is glued together with resin that overtime discolours leaving a brown mark, this is quite normal and the card will work, there is no reason to replace the card unless it is no longer authorising your channels and re-pairing and/or a new install has been performed and failed



Q26 – How do you clean the remote controls internals
 

If for some reason 1 or more buttons stop working on your Sky remote control this could be a build up of natural oils from your fingers on the printed circuit board (PCB)


To clean the remote controls internals perform the following

  1. remove the single screw found in the battery compartment
  2. Carefully pry the two pieces of the remote case apart (this can be rather tricky) to gain access to the PCB and rubber button mat
  3. Clean the parts with a dry soft cloth, making sure the PCB and back of the button mat are totally clear of any dirt etc…
  4. Put the remote back together again in the reverse sequence you took the remote apart


Q27 – Why are some channels requesting a PIN in the daytime
 

Ofcom have allowed some channels to show out of watershed programmes but require a PIN to do so

Note: There is no way to turn these PIN requests off


Ofcom: Review of the mandatory daytime protection rules

Ofcom: What is the watershed?

Ofcom: TV watershed has been protecting viewers for 50 years



Q28 – What are the most current Sky box models
 

It is worth noting that Sky Plus HD boxes were last manufactured in 2015 so all boxes, available from Sky or secondhand, will be at least 9 years old

The boxes with the most current software are:-

  1. DRX890 (with 250GB of recording space)
  2. DRX890W (with 250GB of recording space, built-in Wi-Fi)*
  3. DRX890WL (with 250GB of recording space, built-in Wi-Fi, No built-in RF (I/O link required) and fewer outputs)*
  4. DRX895 (with 1000GB or 1500GB of recording space)
  5. DRX895W (with 1000GB or 1500GB of recording space, built-in Wi-Fi)*
  6. DRX895WL (with 1000GB or 1500GB of recording space, built-in Wi-Fi, No built-in RF (I/O link required) and fewer outputs)*

Other models of box should be avoided

* The newest models



Q29 – What is the latest software version
 

The latest software version available on the Disaster Recovery Stream for the DRX890 and DRX895 boxes is: R024 . 092 . 11 . 00P



Q30 – How do you change your Sky boxes DNS server
 

Use the following procedure to change the DNS server on your Sky box

  1. Press SERVICES on your Sky remote
  2. using your Sky remote Highlight the Settings box and press SELECT
  3. using your Sky remote Highlight the network tab and press SELECT
  4. Press the Green button on your Sky remote (Manual IP Configuration)
  5. Fill in a static IP address for your Sky box, this address must be unique to your network (LAN) and outside the DHCP range for your router, check your routers settings to ensure this

    Exampe address that is OK on a default EE/BT Home Hub / Smart Hub: 192.168.1.10 and for Sky 192.168.0.254 (there is only a tiny chance of an address clash so should be good)
  6. Fill in the Subnet mask with 255.255.255.0
  7. Fill in the Gateway Router, this is the IP address of your router (ie 192.168.1.254 for a EE/BT Home Hub / Smart Hub, 192.168.0.1 for a Sky router, other addresses can be used, by other IPS's, but these are the two most common addresses)
  8. Fill in your desired DNS servers IP address ie 1.1.1.3
  9. Press the Green button on your Sky remote (Save Settings)


Q31 – How do I get Sky on an additional TV using RF1 or RF2 with a coax cable
 

You will firstly need to make sure your TV has an analogue (non-freeview) tuner as the Sky box mixes its signal with the existing frequencies transmitted over the coax cable, if you require a magic eye then connect your additional TV to the Sky box using the RF2 socket (this is the one that carries power) otherwise you can use either RF1 or RF2, then tune your TVs analogue tuner to the Sky boxes frequency (default frequency is ch68).

If your TV only has freeview (many TV manufactures are not providing the defunct analogue tuners on newer TVs) then you'll not be able to use it via RF and would require additional hardware such as a video sender

Note: The frequency on the Sky box can be altered withing the hidden installers menu (see Q38), when choosing a different frequency you need to make sure you are not clashing with a freeview frequency or the picture quality may suffer



Q32 – I have just moved home and my Sky box gives no satellite signal when attached to the existing dish
 

Not all Sky dishes are equal, if the pervious occupants of the property had Sky Q then the LNB (low noise block) on the arm of the dish would have been changed for a newer wideband one, this LNB will be incompatible with older Sky systems and will need changing before the dish will work

There is such a thing as a hybrid LNB that will work with new and old Sky systems but you need to make sure the cables are connected to the correct ports on the LNB for the system you are trying to use



Q33 – I have a communal dish, who is responsible for repairs
 

A communal dish and its supporting hardware, cables and sockets is the responsibility of your landlord, buildings management, housing association, council, etc… only they can arrange for any work to be performed on your communal dish setup



Q34 – Why will a rented movie will not play from my Sky box
 

If you want to watch a movie on yor TV via your Sky box then the movie must be rented from the Sky store section on your Sky box, if you rented elsewhere it will not be available on your Sky box



Q35 – My Sky box is showing No signal, what does this mean
 

A Sky box will only display "No satellite signal" if you are seeing "No signal" on your TV screen then this message is produced by the TV itself and not your Sky box, check that you have selected the correct input on the TV (using the TVs controls)

This message could be caused by: A faulty Sky box video output socket (ie HDMI), a total failure of the Sky box, a faulty cable that connects your Sky box to the TV, a fault with the TV, etc…

Further help may be obtained from your TVs user guide



Q36 – Do you still need a phone line for your Sky box
 

The short answer is NO

The requirement for a phone line was removed several years ago, the latest models of Sky Plus HD boxes did not even have the hardware to connect to the phone line



Q37 – Where can I find my viewing card / slot
 

Your viewing card / slot is behind a flap / door situated on the front-right of the box



Q38 – How do you change the RF channel
 

Use the following procedure

  1. Enter the hidden (installers) menu, see Q03
  2. Press 4 (RF Outlets )
  3. Press SELECT
  4. Press the down button and type a new channel number between 21 and 69
  5. Press the Green button to save your settings
  6. You can now tune / re-tune your analogue TV to the new RF channel


Q39 – One of my dish input signals is showing an empty signal strength
 

There is an issue with the dish input or you have only one cable from the dish

  1. If you only have one cable from the dish turn on Single Feed mode in the hidden installers menu (see Q03 for intrcutions to get to the menu)
  2. Try rebooting your Sky box using the instructions in Q01
  3. Make sure both dish cables are undamaged and securely screwed into your Sky box (finger tight), make sure none of the thin copper sheilding wires are touching the thicker central copper wire
  4. Try swapping the input 1 and 2 cables around at the back of your Sky box

If you can see nothing wrong then you will have to call out someone to have your system checked



Q40 – Can I use my old/spare Sky Plus box for Freeview
 

Short answer is NO

Freeview is delivered via terrestrial Aerial and NOT via a satellite dish

You can however use a Sky Plus box, with an appropriate dish, to receive FreeSAT, this can be done even without a viewing card (without a Sky subscription you'll not be able to record / playback / download etc...)

Note: Freesat and freeview have different TV guides thus provide different sets of channels, there is some overlap



Q41 – Can I use my old/spare Sky Plus box for Freesat
 

You can use a Sky Plus box, with an appropriate dish, to receive Freesat, this can be done even without a viewing card (without a Sky subscription you'll not be able to record / playback / download etc...)



Q42 – Can I use a Sky Plus box on a Sky Q satellite dish
 

Sky Q uses a wideband LNB on the dish, this will not be compatible with Sky Plus and will result is a "No satellite signal" message

There is a hybrid LNB that is compatible with both Sky Q and Sky Plus but Sky do not install these any more (you would have to get one from a 3rd party), this type of LNB has separate connections for each type of service



Q43 – How do I program my Remote Control for my TV when I don't know the code
 

Use the following procedure on your remote control to find a code that can control your TV:

  1. Press TV
  2. Press and hold down SELECT and Red buttons together until the red LED (on your remote control) flashes twice.
  3. Press TV
  4. Press the power button
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 above until the TV switches off
  6. Press SELECT to save the code.

Note: Some TVs don't use IR so cannot be programmed to use a Sky remote



Q44 – Can I get a multiscreen box from Sky
 

Sky no longer supply new multiscreen setups for Sky Plus, for multiscreen you'll need to move to Sky Q, Sky Glass or Sky Stream



Q45 – What are the rules for accessing Sky TV abroad
 

UK: Viewing Sky content abroad FAQ

ROI: Viewing Sky content abroad FAQ

Note: Make sure the flag at the bottom of the resulting page is set to the correct country or the info given will be wrong (you will be given a warning at the top of the page if the country is detected as being wrong)



Q46 – Why am I getting "Interactice Services are unavailable"
 

Sky have turned off the access to some of the Interactive services from older boxes (My Sky, Get Sky Products and Help and Support). You may be able to access some of the missing services on the Sky website

Sky is now only supporting Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream systems



Q47 – How do I access the missing Radio stations
 

Do an Internet search for the name of the station and you should be able to find how to access the station.

This can typically be done via one of the following (not the definitive list): Their website, an FM/DAB radio, A smart Stick (Amazon fire, Apple TV etc..), a Smart assistant (Siri, Alexa, etc...), a Smart TV, Freeview



Q48 – What does the message about losing Sky channels mean
 

Please note: Some media outlets have been incorrectly stating that Sky+HD customers will also be affected by the SD channel changes


Around about June/July 2024 ALL Sky SD owned channels are to change their delivery protocol to DVB-S2 that only the HD boxes can process, so ALL older SD only boxes will not be able to output these channels (if your sky box can receive Channel 5 HD then you need do nothing as your box will not need replacing)

If your box is SD only and you want to keep receiveing these channels you can either replace your incompatibile boxes with a second hand Sky+HD box (see Q28), or upgrade to a newer Sky service (Sky Q / Sky Glass / Sky Stream)

Official Sky Channel Upgrade Info



Q49 – I'm having problems (technical faults) downloading On Demand content
 

Firstly try rebooting your router and your Sky box

If the above fails to fix your issue then this could be an incompatibility with your routers firmware, check to see if there is an update for your routers software, if your router is up to date then you might need to replace the router with a newer one (contact your ISP)




The guidance supplied on this web page is given in good faith. This web page is in no way affiliated with Sky plc or its subsidiaries.
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