Have Your Say

Here we publish any emails that users have sent us.

If you have any thoughts on Sky+ then please contact us using the email link below.

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Basic Needs...

A real need for me on Sky plus -

Is to be able to PIN protect any recorded program, preferably with a different pin to parental control..

The rational: Many households including ours have children in the house, but having the parental control turned on is unnecessary as the children are in bed, or supervised. This situation isn't the case in the day, when one might have recorded an 18 rated film, with possibly sexual or violent content.

Currently the only solution is to enable parental control, but this is irritating, and individual recordings ought to be able to be set, to require a pin, both before, and after the recordings are made. I don't think this would be hard to do, and I would use this more than the series link I guess....
Another need is for them to properly debounce that yellow button, so that you don't accidentally delete another program in the planner, when the screen scrolls up.

I'm sure it must have to happened to other people too. (see Editor's Reply below)
No..we don't like the current use of the Yellow button!  

One other point which might interest you, is that I lost all my kept (and other) Sky+ recordings a couple of weeks ago, and Sky virtually admit that something happened... Many boxes were reset and put on 998... So was mine but it also developed a sudden attack of permanent amnesia....

We need some kind of robust filing system or something which makes it impossible (unless of hardware failure) to lose files.. Perhaps it should be down to the user to accept resets and software upgrades, so his data will not be compromised, and lost, due to incompetence, and as a programmer myself, it seems to me, that is what it is.

This was extremely irritating, and I no longer trust this thing to store my programmes in the way I trust my computers to store my programs.. Ok disk crashes can happen, but this was clearly not one of those...
Regards, Shaun.

Editor says: Thanks for your e-mail. Excellent points you make about the PIN protection. I know Sky bods read plusworld, so let's see if they take up your suggestion.

As for that yellow button - aaarghhh - we are all in the same boat! Apparently Sky development team don't want to tamper with their "perfect colour coded system" - I somehow think they don't have a household of busy humans who can make mistakes.
I consistently hear that Sky are asked to install a toggle menu option in Services menu that says, confirm deletion / yes or no - so that you can choose to delete or not! (instead of realising too late that the recording is gone).

As for losing all recordings, small comfort for you Shaun, but this is very rare. But obviously it’s still Sky’s problem. If your Sky+ is under warranty, demand a replacement.

Boomerang that doesn't come back

Hi, I'm a Sky Plus user and love it, I'm not however a tele- addict so I only subscribe to the basic sky package, largely because of reception difficulties in the local area.

Yesterday I learnt that Boomerang had been moved out of the basic package and in to the next bracket up. Is this a back door route to pushing everybody on basic packages up to the next level without the costly marketing normally required?

  If only Paul Bateman could get Boomerang 24 hrs a day!  

I spoke to Sky, their response was "we're free to alter the package Offering as we see fit; if you want to still receive that program [Boomerang] then you will need to upgrade"

Rgds, Paul Bateman

Editor Says: If you subscribe to a package it's highly unfair of Sky to change the terms & conditions so that it's detrimental to you, the customer. Fair enough for new customers, but existing customers should have their package and channel choice honoured.

Sky+ Red Tape

Just a query. I run two Sony digiboxes, one for feeding my TiVo and the other for general viewing where there is a recording clash. I am tempted to go with Sky+ to reduce my current three boxes down to one with no loss of functionality (ish!).

The quad lnb with the extra cable was installed by an approved Sky installer some three-four weeks ago and everything is working perfectly. I contacted Sky CS to ask about purchasing a Sky+ system which wouldn't be a problem except for they want to charge me a £50 installation fee which for me amounts to the guy delivering the box, plugging it in and screwing in the two coaxial cables.

  Sky - making life as difficult as possible for some customers  

Sky would not budge and would not sell me the box without paying this fee. Is this normal? Any way round it you can suggest?

Paul Caden

Editor Says: Buy Sky+ from somewhere other than Sky and install it yourself. (if you can find Sky+ anywhere else at the moment)

Viewing the Version

Hi Just got Sky+ this morning. I have been reading your site for the past couple of weeks and think it is really useful. I will be using it regularly from now on! A quick question for you. My box is the new type and has a different EPG to the one listed on your website.
  now which software version is Sky+ supposed to be on?  

How do I know if it is up to date or not? The installer cancelled the box download after about 15 mins because he said it was taking too long! The version is "Sky+1.24 .i1" Is there any chance you could list the EPG version for the new boxes on your site as well as the old ones.

Thanks for you help James

Editor Says: No sooner asked than done James. Just to clarify, at the time of writing (30th May 2003) the new Sky+ box does not have the same software as the old Sky+ box. Your version 2 Sky+ has: EPG version sky+ 1.24.i1 - which is correct at the moment, and is one update behind Sky+ version 1 which as EPG version: sky+ 1.25.d We don't yet know when Sky when will send an update out to all the new Sky+ version 2 boxes.

Incredible Offer on Sky+

Just a quick email to thank you for letting me know about the ‘incredible’ offer that Sky are doing on Sky+. (Sky+ "Incredible" Offer for "Loyal" Customers 1/5/03)

I already have the full sub (for over 2 years) and a second box with a mirror card. I ordered Sky+ last week, blissfully unaware of this offer until I found your site. I rang sky, explained what I knew and after a little bit of verbal tennis I was able to be put my order on the loyalty scheme saving me £10 a month. (And the £25 installation!)

  Letters to "Loyal Subscribers" were sent out offering them an "Incredible Deal"  

However, there are a few caveats – I supplied my second box and fitted it myself so I was not tied to the 12 month contract on the second card – otherwise I would have had to have three cards running! I also had to cancel my original sky+ order and my second card – though I was able to get rebooked on my original install date (in two days time!) and I won’t have to cancel my cards until then so there should be no loss of service.

Naturally, I will keep an eye on my statements, but once again, thank you.


Editor Says: Our pleasure, that's what we're here for.

Small drive - small minded

At last, I thought, I've been waiting for a new Sky Plus box to arrive so I can take the plunge. But what, still only a 40GB drive? Surely not. What museum are Pace buying these old things from? Maybe I'll have to wait a bit longer.... Or perhaps they will have bigger drives in them but it's being kept a secret for now?

Colin McCormick

Editor Says: A golden opportunity to have a 80GB hard drive, but Sky bottled out of it. Possibly fearing a backlash from current subscribers and the difficulty in getting rid of the old style version 1 Sky+ Pace boxes left in stock if the hard drive size was different.

Full System Reset

Dear Plusworld,

Just come across your site - what a fascinating and interesting resource it is! I have owned a Sky+ box since January 2002 and have found it to be an extremely useful piece of kit.

It's generally reliable, but I have found that it needs a full system reset every so often otherwise it develops a habit of forgetting recordings that I've requested, or losing programmes on the hard-drive!

The Technical people told me about the hidden installation menu, where one of the options is to wipe the HDD clean - which solved this problem.

Wondered if other users had found this?

It's also great news that Sky Movies is to significantly increase the number of Widescreen transmissions, but wondered if you knew that this also meant an increase in the number of DD5.1 transmissions?

I've e-mailed Sky ... but given their past Customer Service track record, I'm not holding my breath !

Anyway - do keep up the good work.

Best Wishes David Croxson

Editor Says: Cheque's in the post David, thanks for those kind comments. HDD clean is not an option to be considered lightly especially if you have series links about all over the place. Sky are saying that there will be more films in DD5.1 - you have to check the EPG to find out which ones.

Loyalty has no Rewards

So, I've had Sky digital since late 1999 - full package. I then moved up to Sky+ in early 2002 for the extra £10 per month and maintained my second box for £12 per month.

As I said, on full package - I pay £61.00 per month. My trusty black sky digital Panasonic has never once let me down. Surprising but true.

I went through three sky+ boxes in the first four months, each of which had a separate problem, but the last box has now lasted just over a year without failure (now just out of warranty - time to fail I suppose).

I am generally happy with the services available. The menus, the recording facilities, pausing, re-wind, interactive TV (I never use the sky active services, find them slow and pointless - I have broadband and this meets all my requirements - can't remember the last time I used teletext or digital text).

Anyway, from this once can probably surmise that I like new technologies, I like to get hold of them as soon as they are out and expect to pay more for them, despite the fact that Sky appears top use many of us as beta testers.

I appreciate that the purchase/installation costs of Sky and Sky+ will change (most likely, decrease) and accept it - however I get quite annoyed when Sky seem to blatantly avoid customers such as myself when it comes to subscription charges and potential savings.

Previously Sky have made the offer of Sky+ subscription and second box for £15 per month. Wasn't available to me. They have since made an offer for new subscribers (providing all hardware bought new admittedly) to get Sky+ £10 charge waived if they get a second box and get the full package. Obviously unavailable to me.

I have rung up Sky and asked if there is an opportunity for savings, but they simply advise that I am not eligible for an offer, and they can't reduce my subscription. I could ring up and threaten to have it all uninstalled, but I am not a great believer in cutting off my nose to spite my face, and I am not so blinkered as to accept any services from a cable company.

So, I am just venting. I pay over £60 per month. I do realise that my second subscription is held at £12, but that was the stated price at the time of subscription and I haven't had taken advantage of any offers or deals, in fact I've never been offered any, ever.

If any one knows if I am missing something here, then let me know. I realise Sky are a company that wishes to make a profit, but I just wish they weren't so blatant about the way they disregard high subscription long standing customers. And yet more of this stuff from Sky!  

Danny Martorana.

Editor Says: Red Tape seems to be a theme this month. Customer Services works in mysterious ways - try e-mailing Sky with the words "e-mail of complaint" in the subject heading and send to skydigital@bskyb.com with details as above. Let us know what transpires.

A cold Day in EPG

Since the last update to the EPG software (v1 1.25.d - 16 Apr) the sky+ sometimes freezes when you press backup (to get back to the planner) and you have to press backup again to get back to the planner, now this isn't a problem in itself BUT, when this happens the subtitles are missing even though they are still turned on in Services>System Setup>Subtitles and Language.

The ONLY way to get them back is by unplugging the box waiting a few seconds then plugging back in again then they are back working until the next freeze up.

I have been onto sky about this and a chap phoned me on bank holiday Monday to clear up what the problem was and after he was clear on what the problem was he said he would try to replicate the problem on their sky+ box, about an hour later he phoned back saying that he did manage to recreate the problem on their box and that he would tell the development team about it, nothing has been done yet.

Well done that man. I am worried that the constant unplugging/plugging in of the box is going to damage it. It seems to me that they don't test these updates with the subtitles function on before releasing the updates. It would help if they were to put some kind of soft reset (which would be the equivalent of unplugging/plugging the box) on one of the menus,   Subtitles are only any good if you can actually see them!

I see there's a Full System Reset in the Installers menu but I think that formats the HD as well. One other thing, re. Re Mark Templeman’s e-mail to you in the last ”Have Your Say” the same thing happens if you want to watch a recording when there's no satellite signal during a spell of bad weather. When I emailed sky about this they came back with something to do with contracts (I cannot remember now it was a while ago and I've lost/deleted the email).

Stephen Martin

Editor Says: Yes lovely effect that when you press back-up! Who tests these updates? I understood it is Sky employees themselves...how did they miss that?

Missing subtitles is a more serious and related issue - let us know when it is fixed.

HDTV Query

HI this maybe off topic what is this I hear about America broadcasting HDTV. What is the chance of this in the UK with SKY any info would be appreciated thx

Craig Mills

Editor Says: High Definition Television and recording to Sky+ are both as likely as Captain Picard growing hair! The basic problem is that there is no extra revenue in it for Sky. So sorry - no.

Repeated Poor Service

Dear Editor,

I purchased a new Sky+ Box in November 2002 as I moved into my new home and everything was fine until January 21st 2003. On that afternoon I pressed Pause and was greeted with a "System Fault" message. None of the recording features would work but I could still view. After going through all the resetting procedures, I telephoned Sky who advised me that I would need a new box and that a technician would telephone me within 48 hours.

I waited until 7th March 2003 before my Sky+ box was replaced. This Followed daily telephone calls to Sky who could only e-mail the technicians without any success. Extremely unhelpful. On 9th March 2003, only two days after the box was replaced, the fault returned. I once again telephoned Sky and was told that the software needed to be downloaded once again.

I unplugged the box, held down backup and restored power and waited ten minutes. All the recording features returned. About ten minutes later, the box turned itself off and has done so intermittently since. Live pause only works occasionally, sometimes freezing the system and the recording features no longer work despite repeating the procedures above.

I am awaiting a call from a technician. When the box was replaced, the new box was not in the Sky packaging but in a brown carry box. I am convinced that I was given a refurbished box that has not been repaired correctly.   Since when did Sky+ come in a brown box?

My box was only two months old when the original faults appeared and Sky are simply not being helpful. I am considering getting rid of Sky Digital altogether - £300.00 for the box and £52 per month for what?

I think that I am entitled to a new box and refund of my additional subscription but can you please advise me as to the position?

Also, what should I do next?

Yours hopefully Scott Eason

Editor Says: Blimey, this month is turning out like an edition of BBC Watchdog (you can just write in praising Sky+ if you want!) In Scott's case of course, there isn't much to praise. Again, I would urge you to e-mail Sky direct with a subject of "Sky+ Complaint" - they do take complaints seriously.


That's it for this edition of Have Your Say - If you would like to get something off your chest, give a bit of praise or let us know what you think about Sky+ then please do drop us a line - we'd be delighted to hear from you.  

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