WiredHomeGuide - Home Networking, TV & Audio

Sky Plus

Sky offer two versions of Sky+. The first contains a 40gb hard disk and will record up to 20 hours of TV. The second contains a 160gb hard disk and will record up to 80 hours worth of TV. The picture on the right shows the insides of a 40gb Sky Plus system.

The 40gb version is much cheaper than the larger capacity 160gb version. HowSky Plus insidesever, we successfully upgraded the hard disk to 120gb. Download our e-book showing you how we did this .

Sky Plus is designed for people wanting a lot more out of their Sky digibox. The Sky + box enables you to pause live TV or record one programme while watching another.

You can even easily set up the Sky + box to record episodes from your favourite series. The stored TV programmes are kept on the internal hard disk so there is no need for videotapes.

The onscreen menu is very easy to use, simply highlight the channel you wish to record and press the record button.

It will automatically record at the time the programme starts, plus if you have instructed it to record several other programmes at different times it will record those as well.

When installed generally the Sky plus box is complete with a 4 output LNB and new type remote control. This potentially allows you to run a cable to another room and use your existing Sky box. Sky offer this as an install option. The catch is that they will want an additional subscription fee each month from you.

For upgrade customers they will replace the existing LNB at the end of the dish and an additional satellite cable fitted from the dish to the receiver will be added. You could do this yourself as its pretty straight forward as there is no need to re-align the satellite dish, the old LNB slides off easily and the new Quad LNB is designed to slide back on.

Sky insist that the installation is carried out by a recognised fitter but the receiver can be purchased either online or as a take away option from many retailers.

Some cable will be required for the additional cable run, we would suggest using a high quality CT100 cable which is less than £1 per metre.

Sky used to charge the customers an additional £10.00 per month (Known as Sky Plus subscription). The good news is that this has been scrapped but you have to subscribe to two or more premium channels usually costing in excess of £30.00 per month.

The Sky Plus receiver will only operate as a normal Sky receiver until the card has been activated, once activated the Pause, Record, Playback features will then function. The Sky card can be a new card or one being transferred from a previously used Std Sky receiver, the card is activated by Sky when the Sky plus receiver is plugged into a UK telephone line, this can take up to 5 minutes for the receiver to dial out and the equipment to be fully functional.

Once the card is activated all the functions of the receiver will continue to work even if the telephone line is disconnected, however the Sky Plus contract insists that the receiver remains connected to the telephone at all times for the first year. The telephone connection is monitored by Sky and can lead to the card being switched off and possible fines imposed by Sky if the contract between Sky and yourselves is broken.


International Standards

DVB-compliant audio and video decoding MPEG2 video


  • Modem telephone line
  • Input from terrestrial via analogue RF.
  • RF Output to primary TV Set
  • Left and Right Audio Outputs
  • TV and VCR SCART
  • S Video
  • Optical Digital Audio Output
  • Second card reader on front panel for interactive applications
  • High Speed Data Port
  • IF inputs from twin LNBs


Hardware and Software Features

  • Sky Guide electronic programme guide
  • Enhanced RC including keys dedicated to time-shifted playback.
  • Pause/play/stop/record/FF/RW
  • Two satellite FE (tuner/demod.)
  • Transport stream input processor (ASIC)
  • Internal hard disk drive (20hrs, 40GBytes) or (80hrs, 160GBytes)
  • MPEG 2 audio decoder
  • Dolby AC-3 output and Dolby Pro Logic output
  • Supports 'over air' download of new software into FLASH memory
  • 256 colour OSD from palette of 16k colours
  • Parental lock
  • 160GB versions include 2 USB ports (these currently do not work)


Conditional Access

  • NDS CA with integral smart card reader


  • V.90 PSTN Modem

Consumer Features

  • Pause Live TV
  • Record programmes in Digital Quality
  • Watch one digital channel while recording another
  • Automatically record every episode of your favourite programmes
  • Enjoy Dolby Digital compatible broadcasts

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