Blue Card Switch Off/White Card Reactvation Updated 26/04/10
On 1st March 2010 Sky finally switched off the encryption for the old blue yellow house cards which have now been replaced by the white cards. This has had the following results:-
When trying to access Sky 3, Fiver, Five USA and the +1 versions with the old Blue card the viewer is greeted with the Channel Unavailable Message Code 25. Unfortunately with Sky’s latest encryption system, inserting a defunct White card will not correct this as all that happens is that the viewer is greeted with the message that This is not the correct card for your box.
All that inserting an unpaid blue or white card will now do for the user is put Five, Fiver etc in the EPG and allow you to watch Five only. Five is of course now Free to Air hence inserting any defunct Sky card, Blue or White, will put Five into the EPG and allow it to be viewed.
Inserting a Blue or White card will of course still cause the appropriate region variations of BBC and ITV to be loaded into the EPG according to the post code stored on the card
A Pace 2600C1 with EPG 3.7.6 and Op Sys 1.2S4FJ which had been previously using a Blue card was left with a expired white card in it a week ago and upon checking it 4 days later it was found that the box would receive Sky 3, Fiver, Five USA etc and that the card was now acting as a FTV/ Freesat card. It has yet to be established by what mechanism this has happened as there was certainly no message indicting that the white card encryption software was being installed. It has also yet to be established whether the card has been paired to the box. More info will follow when things become clearer. The 4 day period covered Monday to Friday, this is significant
It has now been established that expired new white cards WILL re-activate as FTV cards and that they do NOT become paired to the box in which they are re-activated. It would appear that the update mechanism is not like the old, leave the card in the box for 24 hours routine, but appears to be connected to when Sky send out their updates. It has recently been found that an expired white card inserted in a Thomson DSI 4212 with 3.7.6 and 1.2S4FJ re-activated in the early hours of Friday morning (approx 3.00am), with the box reverting to Standby indicating that some form of update had taken place although the version numbers had not changed.
Current suspicions are that White cards need to be inserted into the box a full 24 hours before Sky's update cycle in order that the box can validate the postcode on the card against Sky's database. So if you want to re-acivate a white card insert it into the box on a Wednesday evening and leave it until the following Friday morning when it should have re-activated. When attempting to re-activate a White card, simply ignore the message “This is not the correct card for your box” and leave it to do its own thing.
If you pay Sky £20.00 for a White Free to View card as part of their Freesat promotion it is unlikely that it will be paired to the box for which it has been requested and should work as a FTV card in any other box, without a phone call to Sky to get it transferred).
One other artefact of the white card encryption appears to be that executing a forced software update on Thomson and Grundig boxes will only work if the box sees a White Sky card, working or expired. Without a card or even with a blue card, the forced update does not happen. An unrelated issue is that for some time now the BSkyB 2600C1 also no longer responds to the forced update routine no matter what process is executed; the user just has to leave it plugged in and wait for a Sky instigated update
Latest EPG 3.8.8, 1.2S4FM
It would appear that Sky are now updating certain makes of boxes with Op Sys 1.2S4FM and EPG Ver 3.8.8. Boxes known to have received this update are Pace DS 430N, DS 440/5N, Amstrad DRX 550, Panasonic DSB 30, 31 and 40.
At the time of writing certain boxes will update with this version when using the forced update routine and others will still only update to the previous version 1.2S4FJ and 3.7.6. Those that will update to the latest version using the forced update are Pace DS 440/5, Amstrad DRX 550, Panasonic DSB 31 & 40. The DSB 30 will only update to 3.7.6 as will Grundig GDS series, Thomson, Pace 2500B and lower