Sky+ HD 2TB Receiver: Performance

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Sky+ HD 2TB Receiver

Summary

Our Score:

9

Sky HD 2TB: Performance

In terms of AV quality, the new 2TB receiver doesn’t appear to differ in any way from Sky’s normal HD receivers. This is only to be expected really, as the digital decoders in the box are essentially the same, and you’re hardly likely to find Sky streaming less-compressed digital HD channels just for the 2TB receiver!

The good news, of course, is that in HD picture quality terms Sky’s platform remains the one to beat. Its HD feeds consistently look cleaner and sharper than those of any other HD broadcast platform.

To be clear, we’re not talking levels of detail and clarity to rival good Blu-ray discs. It’s true to say, also, that the quality of the image can vary a bit between channels and content types. However, overall Sky’s HD delivery is ahead of the pack in quality as well quantity terms.

Standard definition pictures tend to look much more grubby. But this is certainly no more so on the 2TB receiver than it is on an ordinary Sky box, and more importantly you couldn’t say Sky’s standard def handling is worse than that of Freeview and Freesat.

Sky HD 2TB

When it comes to recordings, the Sky HD 2TB follows its Sky forbears in delivering results indistinguishable from the original broadcasts. Which isn’t surprising when you consider that the hard disk is simply recording the incoming digital broadcast stream! The only difference between the 2TB box and ‘normal’ Sky HD receivers is that the 2TB model can store so much more of its recorded perfection.

One last point to cover here is 3D. Sky is sticking with the format – it’s currently shown on Channel 170 – despite apparent public apathy, and the broadcaster does a pretty good job of it for the most part, showing an increasingly good understanding of what sort of filming works and what doesn’t with its self-generated output.

The only disappointment is that the resolution of Sky’s 3D broadcasts is compromised by the need to broadcast stereoscopic images side-by-side rather than using two full-resolution images like you get with 3D Blu-rays. This means Sky’s 3D pictures don’t look as high resolution as 2D HD broadcasts – a fact which joins with the dimming effect you experience while wearing 3D glasses (active shutter ones in particular) in helping us fully understand why some people would rather stick with 2D.

Jammers

December 4, 2013, 12:58 pm

If you upgrade to a new Sky box, is it possible to somehow transfer all of your recorded material?

Robin Schlee

December 4, 2013, 7:52 pm

The self install upgrade is absolutely straightforward

Paul Phillips

December 4, 2013, 9:27 pm

nope.

Prem Desai

December 5, 2013, 9:13 am

For existing Sky HD existing customer, this costs £249 + £60 setup.

Not really worth it IMO

Dave

December 5, 2013, 11:15 am

thats not strictly true .. it is possible but it is a lot of faff and you will need good IT skills ..

Andrew Dahison

December 13, 2013, 9:44 am

I think the Sky+HD 2TB box is a decent product. I don't know is it upgradable or not? But good to choose a new one. Because for existing costumers it won't be a good deal.

no idea!

March 17, 2014, 4:28 pm

I do subscribe to sky and have this box - If i no longer want to be a sky customer can i still use it for free channels?

Steve Ahern

April 6, 2014, 9:18 pm

Sky +HD 2 TB box is 100 times better than the Normal SKY HD box I'm buy it end week

#musicworldsMTV

March 3, 2015, 1:28 am

Just tell them you want to go freesat with sky

Zuleika von Fleuger

October 20, 2015, 7:45 pm

I utterly hate the Sky HD box. It will only record one thing. I have missed so many of my favourites, because it fails to record every time. And on some days there no signal, either. You also can't fast forward or rewind, even on recordings. Utterly disgusted. Tried to tell them at Sky when they called to ask how I was getting on, but she abruptly ended the call. Does Sky only want good feedback? Honestly, if you're thinking of subscribing to Sky HD, don't. It's not worth the hassle.

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