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Sky Announces Budget HD Box

David Gilbert


Sky Announces Budget HD Box

While 3D may be the new thing on the block, High Definition is still a very new standard and Sky has announced a budget HD box to tempt more people to use it’s high definition service.

Sky’s “affordable” HD box offers the same service as the original Sky + HD box but without the ability to record any shows. The budget box will come for free for new subscribers to Sky Multiroom, although there is a £30 set-up charge for totally new customers and £60 for current subscribers extending their packages. The affordable tag of the new HD box goes out the window though for those who already have multi-room, with the box costing those customers £99.

Hilary Perchard, Sky's Director of Product Management, said: "We want to offer customers as much choice as possible, both in terms of content and innovation. Therefore, as the appetite for HD viewing grows we want to make this service available to customers throughout the house so they are always able to watch great content in high definition."

While the budget box will no doubt tempt some who want the HD experience in multiple rooms in the house, the lack of the PVR feature will no doubt turn some people off and the inability to stream recorded content from the main Sky+ HD box to this budget box is also a disappointment. While the introduction of more affordable technology is always welcome, bringing more features would also be welcome.


March 17, 2011, 5:05 pm

This is definately a backward step. The ability to record, introduced with Sky+, is one of Sky's best offerings - why take it away.

If Sky really wanted to make HD affordable, then lower the prices and subscriptions. They'll have more subscribers, fewer platforms to develop/support and still make billions. Simple really.


March 17, 2011, 5:07 pm

What is the point? Sky box without PVR? NO point. Hard drive cost close to noting..


March 17, 2011, 6:02 pm

I am a Sky HD customer and recently signed up to multi-room. I decided to get a 1TB box and move my old Sky HD box into another room. While £99 is slightly cheaper the pain really comes from the multi-room subscription.

I have a HD subscription and pay around £45. To get multi-room I needed to add another £10 to my package, fair enough.

The issue I have is that this extra fee of £10 only replicates my SD channels. To get the HD channels I have to pay another £10!!!

Personally I think £20 a month for multi-room HD is ridiculously expensive. So while it is cheaper than the other options a potential cost of £399 in the first year for a non PVR service is a poor choice.

Tony Walker

March 17, 2011, 9:52 pm

Which remote control set does it respond to? The Sky+/Sky+HD ones or the plain Sky Digibox ones.

Some of us don't trust Sky+ enough and use other PVRs to control a plain Sky box. Sky may be doing with this box what they are doing with Sky+ ones and doling out the HD boxes to everyone whether they take the HD subscription out or not.

Steven Alexander

March 18, 2011, 1:40 am

Hi all

Think you have your figures wrong as it will be £49, the same price as a standard box as this will be used to replace those old non-HD boxes. So no, not a step backward either as SD boxes will no longer be available and will be cheaper than Sky+ HD boxes. This box will really just be used for people who want a basic multiroom box with no extras. In an ideal world all Sky+ HD boxes will be £49, but were not in 1... :p


March 18, 2011, 6:21 am

In an ideal world we would not have BSkyB.

Guess who's subsidising the new subscribers? Shouldn't you folks expect Ofcom to take look at this UNFAIR practice?


March 18, 2011, 6:25 am

Oh, does anybody know if BSkyB counts the multi-room packages in a household as additional subscribers?

If so then that bumps up their subscriber numbers nicely!!!


March 18, 2011, 1:17 pm

If sky want to make themselves truely "affordable" then they should allow people to pick and choose channels at will (individual channels rather than packages and charge only for what people want, for example I would only really want sky 1).

Also drop the crazy £10 tax for HD channels, correct me if im wrong but it doesnt cost them any extra to broadcoast in HD over SD (well I assume so since Freesat has HD) so charging extra for it seems pretty cheeky


March 18, 2011, 2:10 pm

I don't know how widespread this offer is yet, but Sky phoned me this week and have given me a full year of HD for just £20. Make sure you ask about this when your initial contract period has expired. A second HD box is now looking much more desirable.


March 18, 2011, 9:23 pm

As Steven said, this box just replaces the existing SD non-PVR boxes. Sky are already replacing the Sky+ boxes with HD alternatives, so their entire hardware line-up will be HD capable and will presumably offer the new EPG and Anytime+ features.

That said, Sky's boxes are still slow and unreliable and their TV packages are horrendously overpriced, while HD and multiroom charges are a rip-off. Is there really any reason for Sky to still be charging £10/month for HD other than 'because they can'? IMHO, HD and multiroom should really be one-off charges, if anything.

Oh Dae-Su

April 3, 2011, 2:23 pm

It is great that Sky seem to have noticed that HD is becoming the norm rather than the exception, but I get the feeling that this won't be reflected in their prices in the short term.
A real issue is the power consumption of the Sky+ HD boxes. It really is atrocious, whether in standby or in use. It's one of the reasons I am thinking of leaving Sky, though as JonDavid pointed out above, if you approach Sky with a view to leaving, they suddenly become very eager to drop their prices and provide further offers free of charge. What can I say, everyone likes a bargain!

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