Whilst out and about seeing customers last week, one of them asked me why they couldn’t get their Sky+ box to record programs. My immediate thought was that the software was either not the latest version, or it was faulty, and not the actual hardware inside the box that was the problem.
I would like to point out some important things from the start:
- It is very unusual for a Sky+ box to go wrong. But these things do happen.
- Your Sky box must be connected at all times to a telephone line.
- Most users need not apply for a firmware update, this is only a recommended for users who are experiencing problems with their decoder.
- This article is for Sky+ decoders, but it may also work on Sky HD and original Sky Digiboxes – but it remains untested.
- Lastly (the boring part, but pay attention!), thetechangel.com is providing this information in good faith, but waivers any responsibility for damage caused by these procedures.
The problem that my customer was experiencing was recordings were set and they didn’t record, as well as being unable to access the Sky+ planner or recorded programs.
Notes before you start
To upgrade to the latest software, you will need to force the decoder if it is failing to do so
- You must have at least 50% signal quality, or more, before attempting a software upgrade
- Make sure the satellite cable lead is tightly screwed into the decoder and not loose
- You must have your decoder connected to your Sky registered phone line, i.e. not a secondary number that they do not know about
- You are strongly advised not to run this procedure if you have already got the latest firmware available
- You must not use your phone line whilst you are doing this process
- Do not unplug the decoder from the mains whilst the software update is happening, or where it appears to have stalled / crash. You may end-up doing permanent damage.
- If you have broadband on the same phone line / number, you must make sure that you have a broadband filter at the socket that the decoder plugs into. It may also be best that you turn-off your broadband connection at your router or modem whilst doing this process.
How to upgrade to the latest Sky Firmware / Software
- Remove your Sky viewing card from the decoder.
- Turn on your TV and ensure that you can see a feed coming from your Sky decoder (if you remove the card it will most likely just give you a message to reinsert the card, but no TV images will be shown, only a blue background).
- Turn-off the decoder at the wall socket, or better still unplug it and wait one minute
- Then, holding down the ‘back-up’ button on the front of the decoder, plug it back into the mains. Do not use the back-up button on the remote control.
- Still holding down the back-up button, count to 15, or wait until all the lights on the front of the decoder are on. A message should appear on the TV screen saying that the decoder is “Updating System Software – Please wait” – do so (patiently). When you see this message, you can remove your finger from the back-up button. Remember not to use your phone line during this period.
- Wait for around 15 minutes for the software upgrade to complete itself.
- When the update has completed the decoder will restart itself automatically. Wait for 2 minutes and 30 seconds after the red light appears. If it does not, wait for a minimum of 1 hour before turning it off and on again at the mains.
- Try watching and recording some TV and see if it works.
How to perform a full system reset on your Sky box
This should really only be used as a last resort. This is because all the recordings you currently have in your Personal Planner will be deleted.
- Press services on your Sky remote control.
- Highlight option 4 using the up/down arrows and press select.
- Press (number) 0, then 1, then select to access the Installer Menu.
- Highlight option 8 and press select to access the Full System Reset procedure.
- You will receive a warning advising you that you are about to delete everything that is currently in the planner. Press select to continue.
- You will see a message on your TV screen, “Housekeeping Please Wait.”
- After approximately two minutes the Housekeeping message will disappear and your Sky box will carry out the procedure and switch itself off and back on.
- Leave your Sky box on standby for one minute and then test the recording facility to confirm that this has solved your problem.
If you have come this far in the article, then final advice would be to call Sky Customer Support to book a service call.