Sky+ HD 2TB Receiver Review

What is a Sky HD 2TB receiver?

The annual Christmas vigour is once again adult on us. Not a whole shopping presents/catching adult with family thing; that’s easy. No, we’re articulate about that terrible chewing feeling in a array of your stomach revelation we there’s no proceed in ruin you’ve got scarcely adequate gangling room on your Sky box for recording all that tip Christmas telly you’re going to skip while you’re attack a Sherry with Aunt Gemima.

This year, though, it could all be different. For if we set yourself adult with one of Sky’s new Sky HD 2TB receivers we could download full HD boxsets of Game of Thrones, The Wire and Mad Men for saying we by all of winter’s long, dim nights while still carrying bags of room for recording each Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special ever done and It’s A Wonderful Life 10 times (just since we can).
Sky HD 2TB

Sky HD 2TB receiver: Design and Features

From a outward there’s zero about a Sky HD 2TB receiver that shouts Christmas Life Saver during you. While a all-black extraneous looks somewhat some-more critical than a grey and black finish of Sky’s customary receivers, it’s frequency an instance of ‘tech porn’ by today’s name standards.

Getting adult a bit closer to a new Sky HD 2TB box, though, leads to a rather critical find of a WPS symbol and a tiny LED that shows either you’re on Wi-Fi or not.

Yes, we review that right: a latest Sky HD 2TB receiver (and Sky’s new customary Sky HD receiver actually) supports Wi-Fi. This is an enormously acquire and prolonged over-due further to a spec of Sky’s receivers, finally acknowledging that it’s not always during all easy for people to tough handle their Sky box into their broadband network. We could suppose this being to some people as appealing a reason for upgrading from their existent Sky receiver as a 2TB box’s additional storage capacity.

The further of Wi-Fi is generally critical these days since on-demand calm is now such a pivotal partial of Sky’s calm offering. We’ll come behind to this presently, yet initial we should run by a Sky HD 2TB’s other connections: namely an HDMI, dual LNB inputs, an aerial loopthrough system, both visual and coaxial digital audio outputs, and an Ethernet pier should we cite a hardwired proceed to regulating a new Wi-Fi.

It’s value adding that mercifully if we supplement a Sky HD 2TB to your network we no longer have to have your box connected to a phone line to equivocate breaching your Sky agreement TCs. The Box Office squeeze info your phone line was compulsory for before can now be rubbed by a internet.

Intriguingly, a Sky HD 2TB also sports dual USB ports, lifting hopes that Sky has finally embraced a calm pity series and authorised we to play behind multimedia files by a receivers. Unfortunately, though, a USBs do zero during all during a time of writing. And before we ask, no, Sky HD 2TB receivers do not support DLNA record transfer.

We frequently find there are some-more than dual programs display during once that we wish to be means to watch or record on a Sky height (and these instances are firm to arise over Christmas), so another somewhat unsatisfactory thing about a Sky HD 2TB box is a sustenance of a same twin-tuner arrangement found on Sky’s normal HD receivers. We’d have preferred four. But there we go; maybe subsequent time.

A sincerely new firmware refurbish does mean, though, that a Sky HD 2TB’s HDMI outlay supports 5.1-channel digital audio, stealing a need for regulating a apart digital audio wire to your AV receiver if we wish to suffer Dolby Digital multi-channel audio. This competence sound like a tiny point, yet home cinema fans will cruise it’s coming as acquire – and as prolonged overdue – as a integrated Wi-Fi.
Sky HD 2TB

Turning to a whole raison d’etre of a Sky HD 2TB box, a outrageous recording capacity, it transpires that indeed usually 1.5GB of a unit’s full 2TB ability is accessible for your possess recordings. The other 500GB is indifferent for ‘pushed’ content; shows a box annals automatically during Sky’s insistence in a wish we competence imagination examination them during some point.

We’re struggling to cruise of a singular time we’ve ever watched any of this pushed content, however, so it’s unsatisfactory that a entertain of your recording ability is given over to it. Maybe one day Sky will be means to confederate some arrange of training functionality so that a pushed calm can be some-more consistently applicable to your observation habits. As it stands, though, a On Demand territory usually feels like 500GB of squandered space, to be honest.

Still, before we get too cross about this, 1.5TB of accessible space for a possess recordings is frequency tiny beer. It thrashes a poop out of a 160GB or 250GB or personal storage accessible in customary Sky HD receivers, and is reckoned to yield adequate space to store adult to 350 hours of HD or a towering 1180 hours of customary definition.

Not that you’ll substantially mostly wish to be recording anything in customary definition. A large captivate of Sky’s height to AV enthusiasts is a series of HD channels it carries: 67 during a time of writing. This compares with usually 10 on Freeview and 6 on Freesat. Even Virgin usually carries 22.

We’d increasingly argue, too, that a conspicuous volume of downloadable on-demand calm Sky now offers as partial of a subscription fees is roughly on a standard with a border of a HD coverage in terms of creation a use feel value a money. And a on-demand calm we’re articulate about here is not that ‘pushed’ things we mentioned earlier. This is loyal on-demand catchup TV, mixing a outrageous brew of recently aired TV shows – some in full boxset versions – and cinema during no additional cost if a programming falls within your subscription package.

The full list of channels lonesome by this catch-up area seems to be flourishing constantly, and during a time of essay comprises: BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD, Demand 5, all a Sky Movies channels, a Sky Sports channels, a Universal Channel, Syfy, Fox, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky Arts, TLC, E! Entertainment, Lifetime, a Discovery Channel, National Geographic, History, Crime Investigation, Disney XD, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, and a Star Network.

You’ll note that a locate adult things is not singular to usually Sky’s possess or ‘premium’ channels; carrying all a large 4 UK giveaway to atmosphere broadcasters upheld as good is a genuine throng pleaser.

The interface for Sky’s catch-up territory is attractively presented too, with copiousness of HD-resolution graphics to pull we in. The usually locate is that regulating graphics so heavily while usually regulating around a bottom third of a accessible shade space for a catch-up TV menus means that other calm over what Sky chooses to prominence can be a bit tough to lane down, with many shows being relegated to a place in a prolonged alphabetical text-only list.

You can do calm searches for stuff, and where churned episodes of something are accessible these episodes are all stored together in a ‘folder’. But it still feels some-more of a onslaught to find reduction mainstream on-demand calm than it ideally would.

The same somewhat churned conditions relates to Sky’s electronic programme guide. While while Sky’s EPG is brilliantly presented as a browsing complement and has flattering most laid a grounds for all other EPGs that have followed it, tracking down specific preferred calm isn’t generally intuitive, even once you’re informed with a hunt tool’s fiddly calm submit system.

One other emanate with Sky’s interface that isn’t addressed by a latest 2TB box is a miss of a retrograde EPG (where we can corkscrew behind by prior days of programming to find catch-up content). Such systems are used unequivocally effectively by Virgin, YouView and Freesat on some of their tide receivers, and if Sky could conduct to confederate some movement of this complement into a EPG during some point, we think it would now solve some of a on direct content-finding issues remarkable earlier.

While there are areas where Sky could potentially urge a interface, though, it’s critical to highlight that a niggles are eventually left looking flattering teenager when deliberate opposite a fluidity of a EPG as a programme browser, not to discuss a gigantic advantages subscribers get from a fact that as good as carrying an rare series of channels (including tons of HD), Sky’s support of on-demand calm is miles forward of a rest.

Exploring a Sky HD 2TB box to a fullest also reminds us that these days Sky’s support for unstable inclination is outstanding, in terms of both a multi-screen observation knowledge supposing by a Sky Go use and a browsing facilities upheld by a Sky app.

Sky Go now lets Sky subscribers tide (some live, some on-demand) 54 channels on iOS and Android devices, with a £5 a month Sky Go Extra use additionally vouchsafing we download calm rather than usually streaming it. The Sky app, meanwhile, does a unequivocally accessible pursuit of removing turn a calm anticipating issues gifted with a Sky HD 2TB’s on-screen menus. For instance, we can hunt by all a listings brilliantly fast and uniformly with small swipes of your finger on a Sky App EPG, and have a app automatically name a right channel on a Sky receiver when we press on a programme we wish to watch.

Also, of course, it’s most easier to commence calm searches of a accessible programming when we can submit calm around your intelligent device’s hold shade keyboard rather than carrying to regularly press a categorical remote’s numerical keys to name opposite letters.

Sky still shows a slight disposition towards iOS users with a Sky app – and with some of a other apps, come to that. But thankfully a disproportion in functionality turn between a dual platforms is distant reduction conspicuous now than it used to be, and Sky has publicly affianced to work tough to eventually broach as most cross-platform relation as it can.
Sky HD 2TB
The final indicate to cruise in this territory is pricing – and indeed this is flattering complicated.

But a categorical sum go like this:

  1. Existing Sky TV business holding Entertainment Extra and existent Sky TV business with an Entertainment Extra or other Sky TV HD subscription adding Sky Multiscreen (£11.25pm per box) are entitled to one Sky HD 2TB box for £49.
  2. Existing Sky TV business with an Entertainment Extra or other Sky TV HD subscription and new business fasten Sky TV with Entertainment Extra are entitled to one Sky HD 2TB box for £149.  
  3. Each domicile is entitled to one ignored box per household. Additional Sky HD 2TB boxes £249 per box.
  4. Customers holding Sky TV but Sky Entertainment Extra and business purchasing a standalone 2TB box but Sky TV can get a Sky HD 2TB box for £249.
  5. Standard set-up is £30 for new business and £60 for existent Sky TV customers. This latter cost comes with a supplement that ‘a non-standard set-up competence cost extra’

Sky HD 2TB Receiver: Set Up

There’s not most to contend here really, as in a immeasurable infancy of cases your receiver will be commissioned for we by a Sky engineer. Which is usually as good really, as a implement routine hasn’t unequivocally been designed with a finish user in mind.

However, if a Sky operative calls turn to do a implement for you, it’s going to cost we between £30 and £60. So it’s accessible that Sky will let we do a designation by yourself for giveaway if we feel adult to it, and even provides an instructions page to assistance we out. That page can be found here.

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