Sky is offering customers the chance to take delivery of a new set-top box without needing to reach for their wallets. The completely free upgrade is being dished out to anyone who currently has an ageing Sky+ device in their homes with this gadget being traded up for the very latest Sky Q box.
Sky+ originally launched way back in 2001 with it soon attracting more than five million customers due to its simple user interface, iconic remote control and ability to record shows onto its internal hard disk. At the time this was a ground-breaking device that offered a new way to watch TV.
Sadly, at launch, this award-winning box couldn’t access High Definition (HD) content and that’s why Sky is now offering these free upgrades as some important programmes are no longer going to be broadcast in Standard Definition (SD) from this year.
If you weren’t already aware, from later this month, local programming on BBC One and BBC Two changes to HD only. This means if you don’t have an HD-ready box, you won’t be able to watch things such as your local news.
Instead, when you attempt to tune in you’ll see a message that reads, “The BBC is making all its services available in HD. To watch local BBC One programmes, you need to upgrade to HD. If you are a Sky TV customer, you should visit www.sky.com/help/bbcupgrade.”
To see if your Sky box is affected simply select channel 105 on your remote. If you see Channel 5 HD, you’re not affected. If you see Channel 5 in SD, you are and you’ll need to upgrade your Sky box.
You can also press Services on your Sky remote, then Press 4 then 5 and check the version number. If your box is one in the list below you’ll need to update it.
The affected boxes are:
Digibox: 4F01 to 4F06 (Amstrad) • 4E01 to 4E05 (Grundig) • 9F01 to 9F08 and 9F0A (Pace) • 0F01 to 0F05 (Panasonic) • 4E06 to 4E08 (Thomson)
Sky+: 4F2001 to 4F2006 (Amstrad) • 4F2101 to 4F2118 and 9F2101 to 9F2137 (Amstrad or Pace) • 9F2001 to 9F2024, PVR2, 9F2201 to 9F2235, 9F2301 to 9F2339 (Pace) • 4E2101 to 4E2141 (Thomson)
If your device is on that list then Sky says you can upgrade to the new Q box for free. An engineer will need to visit but there’s no fee for installation and Sky has confirmed that there’ll be no change to your Sky TV package or pricing.
You can upgrade by calling 0333 759 5121.
Once everything is sorted, you’ll then not only be able to watch local shows in full HD but also have the award-winning Sky Q box in your home.
This device features the ability to record numerous shows at the same time along with offering the option to view in 4K which is four times better than standard HD.
There’s also voice search to help find shows and content faster plus it’s fully compatible with streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video.
Want to know more? Read our full Sky Q review