The Sky+ news section will carry all the press releases, reports and any other relevant information that surrounds Sky+.

If you would like to submit a Sky+ News story please click here

  Sky+ Software update for original Pace Sky+ boxes only    
    Posted on Thursday 17th April by Callum MacFarlane
Those owners of brand new slimline Sky+boxes (Pace version 2) were today upset to find that no new software update had been delivered to their boxes. A forced update produced no new update. Even installation engineers expecting a new version to be downloaded were surprised to find that the software server that files would be downloaded from was bare.

No information forthcoming from Sky yet about when the owners of the new Sky+ model can expect their software update.
The orginal boxes should now have the following setup info:
(EPG Software Version: sky+ 1.25.d
Operating System Version: 1.3.0AB)

click here to join in the discussion on this non-event at the Sky+  Digital Spy forum

  Sky+ Software update delivers bug fixes only    
    Posted on Wednesday 16th April by Callum MacFarlane

  Sky excited their Sky+ users this morning by sending their Sky+ boxes into standby mode thus identifying that a new software update had been delivered overnight.
(EPG Software Version: sky+ 1.25.d
Operating System Version: 1.3.0AB)

Excitement soon turned to disappointment for the many thousands of subscribers who had patiently been waiting for Dual Recording, because this "killer" feature was not turned on today.

In fact the news from the grapevine is that very little of noticable difference was delivered in this latest upgrade. However this is not to say that the latest software was unimportant, far from it. Sky may now be able to cut down on refunds to dissatified customers who complained that the slogan "Never Miss A Thing" was just not true. With the latest software Sky have introduced bug fixes and stronger retaining features for Sky Series Links so that events like programme clashes and a programme not being scheduled for one week, will not result in loss of series link functionality for those programmes previously tagged.

Full Digital Spy report here

click here to join in the discussion on this update at the Sky+  Digital Spy forum
  Amstrad Becomes Additional Sky+ Manufacturer    
     Posted on Wednesday 16th April by Callum MacFarlane

  Amstrad plc announced that it has signed two separate manufacture and supply agreements with BSkyB, the first for Sky+ set top boxes, and the second for a new Sky branded combined keyboard and remote control.

These two agreements are in addition to the Company’s ongoing supply of standard digiboxes to BSkyB.

The Amstrad Sky + box will join the existing product towards the end of the 2003 calendar year and is a NON-EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT.

The new combined keyboard and remote control, to be known as the Sky Navigator, will be sold as an upgrade option as part of Sky’s new Accessory Range, a line of 11 Sky Branded products that will soon be available in over 3,000 retail outlets across the UK and Ireland.

First shipments of the Sky Navigator are scheduled for the second half of the 2003 calendar year. Digital satellite viewers will be able to use the Sky Navigator in conjunction with all standard digiboxes as well as Sky+. It will combine all the existing key functions from the standard Sky remote control and Sky+ remote, as well as QWERTY and numeric keypad functions.

Simon Sugar, Amstrad’s Commercial Director, welcomed the Company’s latest agreements with BSkyB when he said; “As BSkyB’s first and therefore longest serving set top box supplier, Amstrad welcomes this opportunity to become a key BSkyB supplier of the Sky + set top box, BSkyB’s premium product. Sky has chosen Amstrad for its long standing experience in set top box manufacture and its proven reliability and efficiency. BSkyB and Amstrad have been pioneering partners in this industry for the past 14 years and we at Amstrad place great importance on the successful continuation of this relationship.”

Brian Sullivan, BSkyB’s Director of New Product Development said “Since its launch Sky+ has been the UK leader in the emerging Personal Video Recorder (PVR) category. As this market grows it is critical that we have the suppliers to support demand. We are excited that a valued manufacturer such as Amstrad is entering the PVR market as a partner for Sky+.

We also believe the Sky Navigator will be a strong addition to our Sky and Sky+ remote control range, providing an increased level of flexibility for customers use of Sky’s interactive services such as betting, text messaging, e-mail and games. It will be one of the featured products available in the new Sky Accessory range.”

click here to join in the discussion on Amstrad at the Sky+  Digital Spy forum

  Sky+ Future Developments    
    Posted on Wednesday 16th April by Callum MacFarlane

  Sky gave exclusive access to Digital Spy reporter Alan Jay, who asked lots of important questions to the guys from Sky.

Not much information was forthcoming on the major upgrade for Dual Recording except for Sky to say that it was "coming soon".
  • Main revelations on the future roadmap included a new ability to save live paused programme to disk
  • Also plans include the A-Z listing for a full week ahead and the ability to check for a particular programme.
  • The Sky+ Guide split into recorded and to be recorded – will have the ability to sort by A-Z and to see recorded and unrecorded lists separately
  • There will be an increase in the number of Favourite channels that can be stored
Full Digital Spy report here

click here to join in the discussion on these questions at the Sky+  Digital Spy forum

  Sky reduce the price of Sky+ further to £199    
    Posted on Saturday 5th April by Callum MacFarlane
  Sky are now 1/3 of the way to achieving their long term unstated objective of "giving away" Sky+ boxes. The price has now fallen to £199. The monthly subscription price remains (and Plusworld suggests will always remain) unchanged at £10. Standard installation for Sky digital subscribers is £50. See for updated info.    
  New Sky+ now Officially Exists    
     Posted on Saturday 5th April by Callum MacFarlane
  At the same time as the price reduction to £199 Sky have officially announced the production and distribution of a new look Sky+ box, (which has been extensively pictured on Plusworld since February)

The following is the official press release from Sky:
=== Press release starts ===

The new Sky+ digibox is approximately a third smaller in size: Dimensions - 380mm x 72mm x 243mm Weight - 4.5Kg (Packed)
  Rest easy now exists, it wasn't a figment of our imagination!  
  Brian Sullivan, Director, New Product Development and Sales at Sky said "Sky and it's manufacturing partners continually update set top box designs to stay abreast of consumer electronic trends, and improve internal structures to maximise performance and operational efficiencies.

Sky+ was introduced back August 2001 it we felt it was time to give it a bit of a face lift."

Sky+ is periodically updated via software downloads that add new features and improve the service. The new Sky+ design maintains the exact same functionality, connectivity and storage capacity, and thus will have no discernible difference in performance to the end user when compared to the original.
=== Press release ends ===
Sky confirm New Sky+ Box Differences "Purely Cosmetic"    
Posted on Tuesday 4th March by Callum MacFarlane    
In an e-mail reply to a potential Sky+ customer, Ian Shepherd, Sky Customer Marketing Director, gave cast iron assurances that the new Sky+ box is no different in service delivery or specification to the current model. See the full transcript of his e-mail reply below:

Dear Mr xxxxx
Tony Ball forwarded me your email about the "new" Sky+ box which will be available before very long.

I wanted to reply to lay to rest any misinformation on the internet about this.
The change from the current Sky+ box to the new one is entirely cosmetic (the box will look different and I dare say there are some differences in the manufacturing process too) but it will have exactly the same functionality as your current Sky+ box does.

That functionality, of course, will continue to improve over time as it has done over the last few months, but the improvements will be across both types of box.
Unfortunately, the internet is a notoriously unreliable source of this type of information, but I hope that with this note I can put your mind to rest.

best regards
Ian Shepherd
Customer Marketing Director

  Digital Spy PVR Forum - Email reply from Sky re. new Sky+ box

The New Sky+ : Specification Details    
Posted on Tuesday 4th March by Callum MacFarlane    

In an e-mail reply to a potential Sky+ customer Pace have given out the first piece of information about the newly designed Sky+ box. They have confirmed that the specification of the box has not changed from the current Sky+ system and crucially the hard disk drive size remains the same at 40 Gigabytes. See below for a transcript of the actual e-mail.

From: Customer Support []
Sent: 04 March 2003 11:10
To: 'xxx xxxx'
Subject: RE: New Sky+ Box

The specification of the Sky+ receiver has not changed, the drive remains the same size.
Best Regards
Customer Front Office
Pace Micro Technology plc

The New Sky+ - You Saw it First Here
  Posted on Friday 28th February 2003 at 14:30 by Callum MacFarlane
Updated on Sunday 2nd March 2003 at 02:55 (additional photos)
Apparently it doesn't exist. Therefore there can be no official photos. However Plusworld has obtained photographs of a box that looks just a tad like the new Sky+.
Make your own mind up with the photos below (Apologies for the lack of sharpness in detail on some of the photos). Click on any photo see a close up.
Digital Spy PVR Forum - No New Sky+ Box?

 More updates on this story as they come in.

Date of Software Update of Sky+ Dual Recording extended?
Posted on Tuesday 18th February by Callum MacFarlane

Cable & Satellite Europe (issue 225) reports on developments with Sky+. "Next on the agenda is "the ability to record two programmes on different channels simultaneously" by June 2003." according to James Soames, senior manager for new product development and sales, BSkyB.

Plusworld noted that the article quoted Mr Soames with his statement, but had the date outside his quotation marks. Whatever that might mean. Time will tell.

Lies, Damn Lies, and Issues of Differing [levels of] Severity
Posted on Tuesday 18th February by Callum MacFarlane

Also reported by Cable & Satellite Europe (issue 225) was the views of James Soames, senior manager for new product development and sales, BSkyB regarding. bugs and enhancements to Sky+ :

"A product of this nature will always have issues of differing [levels of] severity. We had a few customer service issues with the start of programmes being missed but we have since downloaded functionality enhancements. These upgrades enable manual recording and control over buffer time, with an instant rewind feature added in December.
Plusworld looks forward to the new super up-front Sky+ advertising campaign:
"Never Miss A Thing with Sky+ subject to Issues of Differing [levels of] Severity".

Sky+ Subscribers on the Up
  Posted on Friday 14th February by Callum MacFarlane

Sky Digital's latest company report shows that Sky+ Subscribers have increased by 27,000 to 65,000 in the period July 1st 2002 - December 31st 2002. Only a small part of this period covers the reduced price offer on Sky+ of £250.
Full Sky Digital Interim Report Here (PDF Acrobat Reader format)  

Advertising Sky+ News
  Posted on Wednesday 12th February by Callum MacFarlane

Web site PVRUK is giving details on the parties involved in future advertising work for Sky+. The article hints at a large Sky+ advertising campaign. The source is Marketing Week.
PVRUK - Push Coming for Sky+  

Amstrad unwilling to confirm rumour of new Sky+ box
  Wednesday 29th January by Callum MacFarlane
Despite rumours to the contrary, Amstrad are denying that they have any plans to launch their own version of Sky+. However it is believed that Amstrad have been looking into the feasibility of producing their own Sky+ box. It is possible that there may be some plans but the time is not right for a commercial announcement

For full details please select the link below:

PVR UK - Amstrad Denial

Digital Spy Forum - Possible additional Sky+ manufacturer

New Sky+ Box?
  Tuesday 14th January by Callum MacFarlane

Rumours persist that Sky are about to unleash a new version of the Sky+ box in March/April with the same functionality as the current system. The main difference allegedly being the much smaller size of the new Sky+ unit. Conjecture on technical internet web sites is that Pace have managed to reduce the size and cost of the box, so making the whole sales operation more cost effective for Sky.

Whether this will result in a substantially lower purchase price for Sky+ remains to be seen.
Digital Spy Forum - New Sky+ Box

Instant Rewind added in new software update
  Monday 9th December by Callum MacFarlane

The world of "Tivo-like" functionality moved a step closer when Sky downloaded the latest software update on 9th December 2002. (The update had been planned for "late summer").

The instant rewind feature can be turned on by entering the Services Menu, choosing Sky+ SetUp, then choosing the number of minutes buffer you wish to record.

Digital Spy Forum - Sky+ Has Updated

Sky+ Price Cut
  Monday 2nd December by Callum MacFarlane

The confusing world of Sky+ pricing has taken another turn with the price cut to £250 for a "limited time only".

Although plusworld expects the price to remain static at £250 after Christmas. Whether better "loyalty offers" are still available is difficult to ascertain. Phone Sky+ 08705 800 800 for details of their "best offer" for you.

Digital Spy Forum - Sky+ Price Drop

New Sky+ Pricing Models exclusively for "top tier" Sky subscribers
Posted on Wednesday 14th August at 22:00 BST by Callum MacFarlane

Digital Spy reports an exciting development in a Sky+ promotion for "loyal, long-standing top-tier" sky subscribers.

The report indicates a trial of a new promotion, offering "top tier" Sky subscribers Sky+ for £200, a free relocation of a digibox and reduced rate for a mirror 2nd subscription.

It is also mentioned that current Sky+ subscribers may also be eligible for a mirror sub discount.

No official announcement has yet been made from Sky, and customers so far cannot request this offer.

For full details please select the link below:
Full Digital Spy report here

Digital Spy Sky+ forum thread - "It's true. Sky+ down in price..."
World’s first twin decoder gateway range from Pace
Posted on Wednesday 14th August at 13:15 BST by Callum MacFarlane

From September 2002 European retailers will receive stock of the world’s first integrated twin decoder and twin tuner satellite home gateway range with optional hard disk technology. Pace’s ‘Puma’ gateway is designed to enable households to watch two separate digital programmes on separate TV sets or record one live programme whilst watching another.

It us unclear at present whether this new functionality will be added to new Sky+ systems sold in the future.

Pace Information here

New Sky+ Add On Storage Device Planned
Posted on Friday 9th August at 23:15 BST by Callum MacFarlane

Brian Sullivan, Sky's Director of New Product Development and Sales, spoke at the Sky+ PR event in London yesterday. He indicated that whilst no larger hard drive is planned for Sky+ in the near future, there is likely to be made available an external hard disk storage device. No further details of the device or price were made available.

Mr Sullivan added "These devices are some way off, at least next year, and they will be installed by Sky endorsed Engineers only. Mr Sullivan agreed that this would partly satisfy customer’s need for more storage space when dual recording comes to Sky+.

To date, Mr Sullivan said that research had shown that Sky+ is used mostly as a time shifting device and not so much as an archive of old programmes, but Sky were there to satisfy all its customers needs, he added.
Join in this discussion at Digital Spy by clicking on the following link:
Digital Spy forum - New Sky+ Add On Storage Device Planned


Record Two Programmes Simultaneously whilst watching another SKY+ programme previously recorded
Posted on Thursday 8th August at 17:25 BST by Callum MacFarlane

The "killer feature" of dual recording, is currently being worked on.  So said Nick James, Head of the Sky+ Development Team.  Mr James said that the dual recording implementation was actually straight forward, what was more time consuming was the correct implementation of user menus and prompts so that no-one is confused, and users know what they are doing when they need to watch live Sky+ TV or cancel a recording.

This important major upgrade is scheduled for early 2003.  However Brian Sullivan, Sky's Director of New Product Development and Sales, said that if the upgrade was ready then it would be great to get it rolled out for Christmas.


Instant Rewind Coming Soon
Posted on Thursday 8th August at 17:00 BST by Callum MacFarlane

Sky+ will constantly record the channel you are tuned to - so if viewers come in half way through Eastenders, they will be able to rewind and watch from the start without missing the first bit.  What's more, those watching live sport will be able to take over from the broadcaster, selecting their own instant replays of the live action to watch again, such as dubious referee decisions or fantastic goals.  This facility will be available late Summer.

Sky+ Price - No Changes
Posted on Thursday 8th August at 16:00 BST by Callum MacFarlane
updated 16:55 BST

BSkyB today announced that they would not be changing the retail price of Sky+ (at £299) and they would not be changing the monthly subscription of £10 per month for Sky+.

One crumb of comfort for potential and current Sky+ users alike according to Brian Sullivan, Sky's Director of New Product Development and Sales, was that the lifetime subscription option was "a software option already enabled at Sky's Livingstone call centre, but the market could not currently take any more confusion about PVR/PTRs and the one pricing model worked for Sky & avoids delivering a complex message on choice to consumers."

Mr Sullivan mentioned a possible total cost of ownership at £600.  Whether this was an example or a prediction, is unclear, but that would make a lifetime subscription if it was introduced cost £300.
Join in the discussion at Digital Spy regarding Sky+ Pricing by clicking the following link:
Digital Spy forum -Sky+ Box Price Drop


28,000 Sky+ Subscribers
Posted on Wednesday 31st July at 10:15 BST by Callum MacFarlane

BSkyB today announced their annual results.

At June 30, there were 28,000 subscribers to Sky+.

click here to join in the discussion on these figures at the Sky+  Digital Spy forum


New software update now available
Posted on Monday 29th July at 08:15 BST by Callum MacFarlane
updated 16:05

The long awaited Sky+ software  update had been rolled out.
* Users now have the ability to record radio stations for the first time (via manual timer)
* Sky have introduced a manual timer including Repeat function, to be used when Series Links are not present.
* The new feature of being able to add differing amounts of padding cannot be different  for each recording, but is a global setting.  

* There is now a Battery Low Indicator for your Sky+ Remote Control
* Copy function will now copy in the order that you chose the recordings
(With Thanks to DiGiTaL for the screenshots)
Check out the following link for all the detail:     

Digital Spy forum - Sky+ Software HAS Updated


Major Software Update – "Anticipated Soon"
Posted on Sunday 28th July at 00:15 BST by Callum MacFarlane

Anticipation is growing within the Sky+ community that the first Sky+ software update of 2002 is now imminent.

Many Sky+ users are pinning their hopes on an update within the next 7 days.

With the BskyB annual report on Wednesday and a Sky+ PR event in the 2nd week of August, all the pointers indicate an update is due soon.

Information on the contents of the software update indicate that the following features are likely to be included:

* Ability to record radio stations for the first time

* A manual timer including Repeat function, to be used when Series Links are not present.

* The ability to add differing amounts of padding to each recording should now mean an end to missing the climax of shows that consistently over-run such as, Coronation Street.

There has been no official announcement from Sky on the exact date of a Sky+ software update.

Stay tuned to for all the latest news on this major software update.


plusworld Channel 4 & E4 Series Links – News Update
Posted on Wednesday 17th July at 08:45 BST by Callum MacFarlane

The extent to which Channel 4 and E4 have decided to use Series Links is now becoming apparent.

From being in a position last week where C4 & E4 were the last of the "big 4" to add series links – they are now leading the field with a large number of series links. (see EPG screenshot below)

Strangely, some popular shows which Ch4 have been asked specifically to introduce Series Link for have not yet been added. For example, the daily quiz show Countdown, on at 4.15pm Mon-Fri, which would seem a prime candidate for a Series Link hasn’t got one.

Plusworld will attempt to find out why most major shows are Series Linked but some are not.

Check out the following link for all the detail:     

Digital Spy forum  -  C4 & E4 - Series Links have arrived!!!!!


plusworld Plusworld teams up with Digital Spy
Posted on Tuesday 16th July at 23:40 BST by Ken Clark

Today saw an exciting day in the short life of We've teamed up with Digital Spy, the webs leading digital forums, so as to give our users the best possible arena for discussing all things Sky+.

Chief Editor of, Callum Macfarlane said, "This is a major development for plusworld, we wanted to ensure that the Sky+ Users Community had the best possible outlet for it's users concerns, questions and general community chat, and we’ve achieved that with Digital Spy."

After talks with the staff at Digital Spy, Sky+ was given it’s own sub-forum inside the PVR main forum. A link to ‘  - a sky+ users community’ has been included in the description to this forum in case you could ever forget! Simply click on the link below to start contributing to the webs best digital forums. Enjoy.

Digital Spy Sky+ Forum      


plusworld Sky+ Future - Provisional Plans Revealed
Posted on Monday 15th July at 13:40 BST by Callum MacFarlane

Web site Digital Spy today revealed the provisional plans for future upgrades of Sky+.

The article mentions dates when events are likely to happen, and the features that are likely to appear.

Many of the new facilities are features that users have been asking for, for some time.  Radio Recording, Manual Timer and True Dual Recording are the highlights of this latest news.

Digital Spy  - Sky+ News Item


plusworld Channel 4 and E4 Launch Series Links
Posted on Sunday 14th July at 22:35 BST by Callum MacFarlane
updated 23:08

It has been reported in the Digital Spy PVR forum (thanks to Murray Park) that Channel 4 and E4 have introduced series links to some of their shows

I have checked this 10 minutes ago, and there are indeed series links available. found this was a surprising addition, as only last week when we contacted C4 on behalf of our users, they told us that they had no plans to incorporate Series Links at present. (see letters area).

Check out the following link for all the detail:

Digital Spy forum  -  C4 & E4 - Series Links have arrived!!!!!


plusworld Sky+ Users Find A Voice On The Web
Posted on Sunday 14th July at 13:30 BST by Callum MacFarlane Official Press Release - 14th July 2002

Sky+ Users Find A Voice On The Web

Users of the satellite personal television recorder system Sky+ have had little opportunity over the past 12 months since the product's launch to comment about the level of service they receive. Until now the only available outlet has been through various forums and newsgroups which don’t act on users views constructively, if at all. is about to change all that with a new web site that has brought together expert and novice users to get the best out the Sky+ system.

Whilst Sky+ is a "cutting edge" product, it's had it's fair share of teething problems. One of’s aims is to highlight these issues and to give users a definitive reference as to what to expect with their system. Many have complained that if they’d known they were experiencing a known problem they would not have wasted time trying to source a resolution.

Callum MacFarlane, Chief Editor of said, “Sky+ users don't understand that when something goes wrong, why it went wrong and what they can do about it”. “This product is called a ‘Personal Television Recorder’, and owners do take it as a Personal matter when one programme cuts the end off another, or when a planned recording, using the Sky patented ‘Series Link’, fails to record.” is campaigning for a better service.  “Using Sky+ is far superior than any VCR available, the system just needs refining and BSkyB need to start listening to their customers." added Mr MacFarlane.

Link to

Note for Editors

The above press release is in reference to BskyB’s Sky+ product. Here are a few reference details for this product in case of unfamiliarity...

Sky+ is an evolution of Sky’s Digibox, their set-top-box for receiving broadcasting via satellite and is only currently manufactured by Pace unlike the Digibox. It utilises an on board hard disk and two tuners to record streams without loss of quality on playback. Since the launch of Sky+ last year, they have shipped and installed over 25,000 units. Sky charge a monthly subscription of £10 on top of customers package price to be able to access the extra features that Sky+ gives. Sky+ currently costs £300 to purchase the hardware, which the customer owns outright, plus installation.

Brief Feature list...

Ability to record one satellite channel whilst watching another.

Ability to watch a recording whilst recording another programme.

Ability to live pause the channel you are watching.

All these features are fully integrated within Sky's Electronic Programme Guide (EPG)

If you require any more information please do not hesitate to contact me on the following email address

Callum MacFarlane
Chief Editor

============== PRESS RELEASE ENDS ==============

plusworld Pace / Sky deal has implications for Sky+ users?    
Posted on Tuesday 2nd July 2002 at 19:34 BST by Ken Clark

Today Pace Micro Technology PLC, the producers of the Sky+ hardware,
announced that they had concluded discussions with Sky yesterday over supply agreements for Sky+.

Sky made further commitments to purchase hardware, and also made significant revisions to the contractual terms under which Pace supplies the Sky+ system, this contract runs until the end of 2004.

Pace confirmed that there had been changes to Sky+ product pricing, but Sky
themselves have not confirmed any details as to what they are. This change
will result in a drop for Pace¹s immediate pre tax profits, and there will
be further loses as they have also agreed to produce the hardware at a loss
for the next nine months. Pace has been pushed into this deal with Sky due
to its poor financial year, largely down to the slow take-up of digital
cable for which it also supplies hardware.

It's not all bad news for Pace though. They confirmed that they will receive
in addition a monthly payment from Sky in respect of each Sky+ monthly
subscription paid by Sky's customers, currently £10 per month. They did not
confirm what percentage they would receive of this amount but went on to say that from April 2003 trading terms would revert back to normal.

Sky are yet to release an official press release on this matter.

plusworld     What do you think about this news? Does it mean that we'll never get rid of the £10 subscription? Will Sky+ set top boxes become cheaper?Click the following Digital Spy link to express your views in the relevant thread.

Digital Spy forum - Pace / Sky Deal

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