Sky Plus boxes - the facts

Like if this guide is helpful
Has your Sky + box packed up? If you are certain that it has and your "no signal" message is not attributable to some other cause (failed LNB - the doodad that is affixed and points at your dish, damaged cables or cable detached from its RF connector), then can you replace it successfully by buying another one on eBay? Yes you can but take the following factors into account before committing:

These boxes are all at least 7 years old now and nothing last forever!
if you buy from an electronics retailer the chances are that the box has been refurbished and may
therefore enjoy a longer lease of life than an original box bought from a private party.
If you buy from a private party, get an assurance from them in writing that they have run a signal
test (available in the Sky "Services" menu) and that test shows a minimum output of 50% on lines 1 and 2.
Request a right to return the item if, when you receive it, your signal test shows way lower than 50%.
The point is, things wear out over time and the constant heat that the Sky box receiver is subjected to
over time causes it's receiving capacity to deteriorate, eventually to zero.
if your box is well and truly dead then the standby (red) light will slowly flash and will not turn to green when
you try and turn the unit on.

Assuming you are buying on eBay and not from Sky, you are probably wanting to use your Sky dish and the box
to access Freesat channels. Providing your dish and LNB are both aligned correctly and your cables and their
terminals are all fine, then you should have no problem. You only need ONE cable connected to receive the
Freesat channels and you do NOT need a Sky viewing card OR a Sky Freesat card! You will only be able to record one programme while watching another if 1) you have 2 cables attached to dish and box and 2) you have a Sky subscription. Sky will try to sell you a Freesat card for £25 - don't do it! Freesat channels are so named because they are FREE! They will also tell you, that without a Freesat card or a subscription you will slowly lose channels over time until you are down to zero. Rubbish! They know perfectly well that you will lose channels as your Sky nix ages and deteriorates! So they are just trying to trick you into buying a Freesat card from them.

If your present box is still working but you find you are steadily losing  channels and getting "no signal" messages,
and you are certain your dish has not moved slightly in a storm and your LNB mounting is solid and it hasn't shifted either, then your steady loss of channels is a good sign that your Sky box receiver is going out.

If you have decided you have no interest in ever receiving Sky channels again, and you are willing to spend the
money, then consider replacing your Sky box with a Freesat box like the Manhattan Plaza HDR.S which gives you about 150 Freesat TV channels, loads of radio stations and a hard drive to record on to for £129.99 retail (Dec 2013 prices). Accessing the non- Freesat channels on the Manhattan, is however, a faff but over all it works just fine with a Sky dish. But bear in mind, the Sky box can access over 240 channels without any dickering around with "add non-Freesat channels" procedures.

Have something to share? Create your own guide... Write a guide
Explore more guides