Over the years Sky have upgraded their digibox software over-air on a semi regular basis, unfortunately for the user, and for commercial reasons, Sky seldom indicate what the upgrades do and when they are going to transmit them.
In order to determine which version of software and EPG your box is running, press the Services key on your remote control, then press 4 or highlight System setup, press select, then press 5 or highlight System details and press select, this will now reveal a table indicating which Operating system and EPG version your box has installed, normally the last 2 items. The latest version of EPG is 3.8.8 and Op Sys 1.2S4FM
In the past it has been possible to force a software update using the forced update routine as follows:-
Updating Resident Software
This may be achieved by the following: -
1) Ensure that the dish is correctly aligned with the satellite, (28.2 deg East for Sky Digital) and that the LNB is connected.
2) Remove the power connector from the digibox.
3) With the power now disconnected depress and hold the “Backup” button on the front panel of the digibox whilst restoring power to the box.
4) Continue to keep the “Backup” button depressed until all the indicators on the front panel illuminate, (happens after approx 15 seconds). “Backup” button may now be released. If you are using a Scart connection a message “Updating Software …….” will appear on your TV screen. You need do nothing more while the updating process is in progress except wait 15 to 20 minutes for it to complete when the digibox will revert to Standby on completion. Normal viewing may now be commenced.
Unfortunately, this procedure does now not appear to work for all digiboxes, particularly the Pace BSkyB 2600C1. For some time now the BSkyB 2600C1 no longer responds to the forced update routine, no matter what process is executed; the box appears to execute the process with all the font panel lights illuminating etc, however at the conclusion of the process the version numbers have not changed and in some cases the front panel lights just never go out.
All the user can do is just leave it plugged in and wait for a Sky instigated update. Updates frequently take place in the early hours of Friday Morning (3.00am) although updates at 3.00am on Sundays are not unknown
With the advent of the recent release of EPG 3.8.8 and Op Sys 1.2S4FM, it is now uncertain as to what version of software will be downloaded on the forced update as 3.8.8 only appears to be available for certain models, these being the Pace DS 440/5, Amstrad DRX 550, Panasonic DSB 31 & 40, although it is known that Sky have updated Panasonic DSB 30s and Sony VTX 750Us to 3.8.8.
Now that Sky appear to be concentrating all their efforts on SKY + HD it is unclear as to which SD boxes they will now be supporting with software updates At the time of writing certain boxes will update with version 1.2S4FM and 3.8.8 when using the forced update routine, whilst 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 the Grundig GDS series, Thomsons, Pace 2500B and lower.
Software Revision History
Below is a table of the software revision history for Digiboxes from what is believed to be the release version to the current version.
Op Sys EPG Op Sys EPG Op Sys EPG Op Sys EPG Op Sys EPG
1.2S1B7 2.5.10 1.2S4Ba 2.7bb.5* 1.2S4Bq 3.1a.5 1.2S4FB 3.3b.5 1.2S4FI 126.96.36.199
1.2S1Bg 2.6a.9 1.2S4Bc 2.8b* 1.2S4F3 3.2.11 1.2S4FE 3.4.4b 1.2S4FJ 3.7.6
1.2S3Bu 2.7a.2* 1.2S4Bj 3.0.11 1.2S4F9 3.3a.6 1.2S4FH 3.5.3 1.2S4FM 3.8.8
There are certain key points in the software revision history that it may be as well to note these being as follows:-
Op Sys 1.2S4F3 and EPG 3.2.11 saw the change over from the old Solus card to the Blue Yellow house card. This version will now not really work has it will only register channels into the 300s and will not even register Sky News (Ch 501).
Op Sys 1.2S4F9 and EPG 3.3a.6 saw a major overhaul in the format of the EPG going from the blocky 2 tone Blue and yellow screens to the more subtle light blue screens.
Op Sys 1.2S4FI and EPG 188.8.131.52 saw the following upgrades:-
Number of favourite channels increased from 30 to 50.
Planner option 0 in TV guide moved to yellow button.
Blue button function added to display listing of favourite channels.
Op Sys 1.2S4FJ and EPG 3.7.6 saw the Auto Standby feature added in services and the introduction of the new white Sky card. This version also incorporated features to handle the dual encryption systems A and B for the transition from the Blue Yellow House card to the new white card.
The release of 3.7.6 was a bit of a disaster for Sky as it received a welter of complaints due to the default of the Auto Standby feature being set to “on” and boxes apparently randomly switching to standby. For Pace boxes BSKYB 2200 and 2500B the software was rolled back to 184.108.40.206 and a new version of 3.7.6.ns was downloaded with the Auto Standby default set to “off”, this only applied to the over-air update, if a forced update was executed 3.7.6 was downloaded to the box. The Pace 2500N received 220.127.116.11
It would seem that there is now a mish-mash of software comprising Op Sys 1.2S4FJ, EPG 3.7.6 and Op Sys 1.2S4FM, EPG 3.8.8 drifting around, the only obvious differences being the change in the telephone numbers (Services Option2). It is suggested that as long as your box has Op Sys 1.2S4FI and EPG 18.104.22.168 or higher your box should not have any problems, (having 22.214.171.124 has the advantage of not having the tiresome AutoStandby feature)
P.S. 19/07/10 Thomson DSI 4212C and 4214C are now updating to 3.8.8.using the forced update routine. Grundig GDS series and Panasonic DSB 30s are still stuck on 3.7.6. as are Pace DS 430s
23/09/10 Futher Developments
It would now appear that most boxes, save for the BSKYB 2600C1, will update using the forced update routine to 3.8.8, although early Amstrads are still somewhat reluctant and must have a signal strength of at least 50% to do so. It has however been noticed that since the advent of 3.8.8, it has not been possible to reacivate any viewing cards, at least the 2 that I tried would not co-operate. The last successful re-actvation was a little while back using a DSB 30 and 3.7.6 software.
I have a sneaking suspicion that cards will not re-activate using 3.8.8. having tied various makes of boxes without success. Will update this if and when more information becomes available and would suggest that users do not force 3.8.8 if they already have 3.7.6
Withdrawal of Forced Update for SD digiboxes
For many months now it has been known that it is not possible to update the Pace BSKYB 2600C1 using the forced update routine, however in recent weeks it has been found that it has also been impossible to update the Pace DS 430N from 3.5.3 to 3.8.8.
More recently it has also been found that the Thomson DSI 4212 will also not update from 3.5.3 to 3.8.8 but the DSI 4101 will update from 3.7.6 to 3.8.8, it has also not been possible to update a Panasonic DSB 40 from 3.7.6 to 3.8.8.
As of 1st Jan 2013 it would now appear that Sky have removed all of the forced update streams. Digiboxes such as the Amstrad DRX 550, Pace DS 440 & DS 445, Grundig GDS series, Panasonic DSB 30 and Sony VTX 760U which were updating before Christmas now do not.