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9 common Sky Q problems and how to fix them

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Sky Q

Sky Q is out now, supplying a multi-room, ultra-connected TV experience to UK living rooms.

As you can tell from our review, we're suitably impressed. But there's no denying that there have been a few teething problems with the Sky Q package.

Whether it's confusion over Sky's new UI approach, annoyance over design quirks, or crippling bugs, there are a few sources of friction out there.

Here is a collection of prominent issues being experienced by Sky Q customers, as well as a few ideas on how to deal with them.

Bright blue light

Many Sky Q users find the blue light on the front of the box to be distractingly bright. Sadly, there's no option to turn it down or off permanently, but there is a work-around you can try.

Just swipe right on the circular touchpad, followed by the Back button, and the light will temporarily switch off.

Related: Sky Q vs Virgin Media

Sky Remotes

Remote troubles

Is your fancy new Bluetooth remote flaking out? Does it crash, or are any of the buttons unresponsive? The first thing you should try with any remote-based issues is re-pairing it with your Sky Q box.

To do so, simply hold the '1' and '3' keys together for two seconds.

Fast-forward/rewind tips

Some people seem to be struggling with the fast-forward and rewind controls on the new remote, particularly when it comes to the touch-sensitive circular pad.

Here are a couple of tips to help you manage. For one thing, you can still get a more old school FF/RW system by tapping the FF and RW buttons to the required degree. This will allow you to scroll through from 2X to 30X scanning speeds.

With the circular pad, drag and hold forward or back to start scrubbing through, and simply release your finger to start playing at the desired point.

Sky Q

Box turning itself on in the night

Eco Mode appears to be causing various connectivity and content display issues for people, including turning the Sky Q Mini box on in the middle of the night. This is a pretty common bug, so will require a fix from Sky. For now, the best way to deal with it is to deactivate Eco mode.

Where has the Stop button gone?

Did you used to use the Sky remote's Stop button when you've finished viewing a piece of content in order to cue it up for a speedy deletion? There's no Stop button on the Sky Q remote, but the 'Back' key (bottom left of the circular pad) does the exact same thing.

Related: Sky Q explained

Sky Q UI

Mini images not loading

Some users have reported that content images are not loading on their Sky Q Mini box, and that powering the mini itself off and on again is proving ineffective. To restore the images, try unplugging the main Silver box from the wall and replugging it in.

Mini box not updating

Some customers have reported that their Sky Q Mini box is perpetually telling them that new software is being updated, but that nothing actually happens. To get around this, try manually updating the Mini box. Here's how, straight from Sky:

  1. Go to Settings, Status and make sure Connection to Sky Q box has a tick.
  2. Go to Settings, System info and highlight Software version
  3. Choose Setup and then select Software download
  4. Your box will start to download the latest software via the satellite – this can take up to ten minutes.
  5. Go to Settings, System info and highlight Software version to check the status of the software download. When it says “Software update successful”, press the standby button on your remote.
  6. Your box will restart and you will see the start-up messages on screen.
  7. When the box is ready to turn on, press Home on the remote. You are now on the current software version.

Related: Sky Q vs Sky HD

Sky Q

Search days ahead

Wondering how to search days ahead without having to press and hold a button? Just use the FF and RW buttons to skip forward and back days at a time.

Sound but no video

Are you finding that there's sound but no video when returning from standby? It might be related to your HDMI setup, and how you have your Sky Q system hooked up to your audio system.

To solve this, check that your HDMI output and Optical outputs are set to the same thing.

Have you encountered any issues with the Sky Q box, or any helpful work-arounds? Do share in the comments below.

Tim Statham

March 25, 2016, 2:01 pm

What a nightmare with remotes having a meltdown with hdmi ! My Sky Q with Sony wants to randomly turn surround sound on and TV sound so you get echo ! Two Sky engineers couldn't sort it as after an hour it reverted back to mayhem. So this is what to do - have Sky and Sony hdmi in control, press Sky once only with Q remote , this turns on everything boom ! Then if it has decided to turn on TV sound just mute with your TV remote. Done. Cheers

pablouk

April 19, 2016, 12:09 pm

Where is the programme search gone, unless you know the channel or day how can you find anything..

Elizabeth Rose Milne

May 12, 2016, 8:27 pm

there's a search button on the remotes - top right

Peter Slater-Quick

May 17, 2016, 9:01 am

I have had SkyQ for 4 weeks now. Had the engineer out - couldn't fix. So they sent the SKYQ specialist engineer. Problems, 1) Sound Sync way out sometimes, 2) When you switch on each day it tells you it's not connected and is a black screen, 3) Sound dropout. He changed input from dish (2 leads) saying the engineer who installed should have changed. But he hasn't solved the problems. Getting to the stage where I'll go back to Sky HD+

Chris Gillies

May 21, 2016, 9:03 am

Had Sky Q for just under 2 months now. Hugely impressed and hugely disappointed at the same time. Got the Silver box and 2 Minis - installation engineer knew nothing about wireless or wired networks and I ended up with wireless repeaters on the floor in the hallway and on the kitchen table. Solved that problem by going into the engineers menu, disabling wifi and enabling wifi and connecting via the LAN provided by my own Powerline system (I'm a computer network engineer btw). This solved most of the speed and connectivity issues I was experiencing after the install. However since then I have noticed that the Silver box often locks up and gets very hot (recently went away for a week Sat to Sat, box locked up on Tuesday and all the recordings failed with Power Failure error message which was obviously not the case, as a power interruption was all that would fix it. Thank heavens for the Catch-Up feature lol, which is so much better than the old method!), the remote control often becomes unresponsive, followed by the box, when ffwding 2-3 times in quick succession, all 3 boxes need repeated reboots as they lock up. The concept of being able to watch anything in 3 rooms (the pause-in-one-room-resume-watching-in-another is just awesome) but this product is a good 6 months of product testing away from the stability you came to expect from the HD and + boxes. The mere fact that Powerline functionality and LAN ports were disabled is evidence enough that this product was released too early.

On the plus side, the software interface is very easy to get used to, which you need when it is such a leap away from the old style, and the speed of reboot is also much much improved over the old boxes. And as I've said before, being able to watch the same recording in 3 different locations in the house is excellent (although something that should have been done a decade ago!) My only minor day-to-day gripes are the touchpad on the remote, which is easy to accidentally touch and interrupt one's viewing, and that you get to see ALL recordings on ALL boxes - I think it would work better if the recordings were segregated into "recordings ordered by this box" and "all other recordings" e.g. I don't want to trawl through fields of CBeebies to find Game of Thrones!

Thanks for the tip on getting through the planner days at a time, it seemed like a rather large oversight to only be able to scroll through the planner by the hour.....

SimonIOW

May 22, 2016, 10:02 pm

Just found out at you can't run a Nintendo WII U and a mini Q at the same time.

Wife (upstairs with the mini) was having connectivity issues, whereas I (downstairs with the WII) was having issues with the game pad

Resolution?

Turn one off...

Mel Hunt

May 24, 2016, 7:03 am

Had Sky q for just over 2 weeks, it is an absolute disgrace that sky can sell this rubbish. Literally breaks down one way or another every day. If you are thinking about getting this system, for your own sanity, don't. It's seriously not fit for purpose.

MD

June 9, 2016, 7:30 am

I had mine installed 7 days ago, worked fine on day 1 didn't try day 2 as we were out, 7:00am day 3 not working! phoned Sky only to be told can't get an engineer out until Thursday! so we have gone almost a week without our TV, we try it every now and then and it works sometimes, then stops again, technical problem, network problem or signal problem, it is driving me mad, I think if it works it's a great system, and I am hoping that my problems with it can be solved, but I agree with others it is of no use like this and all of us who are switching should have a much reduced subscription charge for helping the engineers and suppliers through the teething problems!

MD

June 9, 2016, 8:08 am

Wish I was a Computer Engineer! Found your tips helpful although I don't know a LAN port from any other port! lol, we have only had ours for one week and in that week we haven't had a full days viewing, we try it every now and then and it works sometimes, then stops again, technical problem, network problem or signal problem, it is driving me mad, I think if it works it's a great system, and I am hoping that the problems we are having can be resolved, but I agree with others it is of no use like this and all of us who are switching should have a much reduced subscription charge for serving as trial customers thus helping the engineers and suppliers through the teething problems!

Christopher Christoforou

June 18, 2016, 11:12 pm

I think it's almost brilliant. My wife hates it, and I have still to teach a 95 year old how to use it.
The on screen menu is too large and does not show enough hours. Get rid of the left side view and move pip to one corner.

Iain

June 26, 2016, 4:05 pm

Have had my system for about 8 weeks now. I do like it, but like most others it has not been without incident. It took 5 visits from various engineers before it was able to work on either of the minis, but fortunately we always had picture on the main Silverbox. The "wireless" system now has a cat 5 cable connected between the main box in the lounge and one of the minis in the upstairs bedroom. This mini can then connect to the other mini downstairs in the kitchen. Fortunately the engineer who set this up did have good knowledge of the system and had the solution implemented within an hour despite about 8 hours of time spent by other engineers. One thing i dont know that many people are aware of, is the fact that the system actually sends stats and shows downtime etc to the tech team at Sky. If you get to tier 2 support they can actually tell you when the sytem went off line and stopped sending info! What info they can see (and store) is not known, but wouldnt it be great if they could remotely work/restore your system without any engineers being required to attend?
Since its stabilised i really like the system, though the bluetooth remote needs a little work. Trying to use the touchpad is still a battle of wits, but hey when you are an early adopter,seeing these little teething troubles being addressed and resolved is all part of the fun. One concern i have is that since it has been installed we have had to reset the main box 7 times (the last time 2 days ago and then again this morning), due to "technical fault" showing and no loading of any data. The box sits well ventilated on a shelf on its own in the rack. Its a simple work around requiring powering off for 30 seconds then rebooting but on an electrical product only 8 weeks old its 7 times too many. I feel another engineers visit is imminent...........

ProveTheNegative

July 5, 2016, 9:14 pm

Had a Sky Q Silver plus 4 Minis installed at my house about 3 months ago. Since I had Cat5 installed to most rooms already I chose to get everything connected via wired ethernet and not wireless. I did not have a Sky Hub router: I had a Draytek one instead.

The system is definitely bleeding edge and has numerous issues. I've been pulling my hair out for a while with blue screen "connectivity issues" and missing icons for ages. The missus wanted to kill me but I finally got it working and here's how:

Keep all wireless connection options on all boxes ON - even if you're exclusively using wired ethernet - otherwise the system loses the picture idents and other oddities.

Keep the Sky Q Silver box ON. Don't let it go into Standby. The system becomes unstable if that's allowed to happen. There's an option to do this in the Setup menu. That was causing connectivity problems so there are definitely bugs in the Sky Q Silver box in Standby mode: avoid at all costs.

Fingers' crossed but it's now working reasonably reliably.

I still hate the fact that I feel like Sky's guinea pig and that technical support is non-existent. Once it's working though it's very, very good.

ProveTheNegative

July 5, 2016, 9:16 pm

Try to change the Setup option on the main Sky Q box to disable the option allowing it to go into standby. Good luck.

ProveTheNegative

July 5, 2016, 9:17 pm

I agree. They should not have released such a buggy machine. Try to change the Setup option on the main Sky Q box to disable the option allowing it to go into Standby. It worked for me. Hope it works.

ProveTheNegative

July 5, 2016, 9:19 pm

Try the option on your main Sky Q box in the setup menu to disable it going into Standby mode. It worked for me. Hope it works.

Allan

July 8, 2016, 11:11 am

Hi, We are experiencing the same issues with 2 of our clients (different premises). We have tried the same setup as yourself however, HD content fails to stream over wired or wireless (even with the Q box in the same room as the main Sky Box!). Can you confirm if after 3 days you are running stable (including HD content). Thanks...

ProveTheNegative

July 8, 2016, 12:38 pm

Yes. Still stable. Only problem has been when the main box crashed for no reason. I should also mention that I've fixed the IP addresses of all the boxes.

ProveTheNegative

July 23, 2016, 11:16 am

Unfortunately and although I've done absolutely nothing to the boxes or set-up, I'm back to the old problem of the boxes running for 15-25 minutes then getting a blue screen for 30 seconds and then back to normal. Frustrating and unacceptable.

ProveTheNegative

July 24, 2016, 10:23 am

Allan - I now have very stables streaming between ethernet boxes but I don't have proper idents. A small issue. The problems were being caused by my Sonos system. I've switched this off for now until I isolate the exact reason.

Tony Jolliffe

July 26, 2016, 11:14 pm

Had a really weird time with one of the Minis - Fast Forward and Rewind would make the thing go berserk - it would skip up and down the timeline, keep going forwards 5 mins, then skipping back, going back to start of prog, or straight to the the end - all on it's own.
Had Sky Engs out, they changed the Mini, the Silver box and fitted boosters - all to no avail. The box had a mind of it's own and was virtually unusable.

I figured out what the problem was - the Mini box was on a plate glass shelf (TV Stand) I shifted it away from the glass and it was fine, I put some black cloth under the box and that was fine too - I figured it was something strange about reflected IR signals off the glass. Anyway, permanently relocated Mini box and it has been perfect ever since.

Shane Cossey

August 3, 2016, 2:20 pm

On the old Sky HD box, you could just press the play button and the recording you were last watching would continue from where you left off. Does anyone know of a shortcut like this on the Q box? Fed up of going through the recordings menu to find the programme again.

Michael Rockall

August 7, 2016, 9:28 am

Is there a way of knowing if you have viewed a recorded programme, on the old sky + box it told you the programme had been viewed.......hopefully a simple solution?

Jason Moore

August 9, 2016, 10:24 pm

I too had my Q streaming messed up by my sonos wired installation, i changed my sonos to all wireless except one sonos boost to allow access to napster and internet radio.

This allows fluent streaming from Q main to Q mini boxes but I still loose icons and suffer Q minis crying wolf that they have no internet connectivity.

Sonos support presently suspect sky q cannot cope with sonos using STP protocol on the same network.

Sky Q will probably be ready for use in August 2017, for sure it's not ready for reliable use in August 2016

Peter Cobrin

September 24, 2016, 4:35 pm

The optical out socket is so loose that the cable keeps falling out

Faye Southall

September 29, 2016, 3:48 pm

Oh I've got Sky Q being delivered in 8 days. Hope a lot of the glitches mentioned below are sorted. My husband isn't happy about losing his recordings on his old Sky + box when the new mini is put in his study. Hope he'll be happier with a better quality Picture!

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