Sky+HD 2TB Inc Wi-Fi Box walkthrough

Sky HD has become the forefront of HD broadcasting in the UK, it launched back in 2006 just in time for a summer of football (soccer!)  to be broadcast. When I first covered Sky HD it had only 10 HD channels, they have now grown to over 70 in total and are finally packed with some great looking TV, something that was missing back when it first launched.

Service Improvements

Many other things have changed with Sky HD since the 2006 launch, the Sky+ HD Guide had a much needed make over in late 2009 with the channel listings finally getting cached onto the hard drive rather than streamed down the tuner. This also meant that a small Mini TV view could be added into the top right of the guide while browsing channels.

In 2010 Sky launched Sky Anytime+ their range of Video-On-Demand services and the first 3D only channel - Sky 3D broadcasting 3D Films, sports and TV programmes.

In 2012 Sky improved their EPG once more, fully integrating their On-Demand services across the planner, increasing the amount of channels that can be viewed in the guide in one go and allowing programmes to be viewed by Genre. The most recent improvements from Sky came just a month or so ago with a massively improved search feature that makes use of not only increased speed, but also allows you to search by actor, TV shows, films and more and includes on-demand content too.

The good news is that not only has the software and broadcasting levels of Sky HD been improving, so have their satellite boxes. Today we are covering their latest top-end Sky+ HD box - the Sky+ HD 2TB box with built in Wi-Fi.

Yes this is a beast of a box for those of you who like to record TV shows both directly from the Sky service and via on-demand. Despite the box being 2TB in size, you actually have around 1.5TB of space to use as the other 500GB are used to on-demand and various other bits of software and caching, still it is a huge amount of recording space to make use of.

Sky tell us that you can record around 350 hours of HD/3D content on this box, while plain SD content could add up to around 1180 hours. This isn't an exaggeration both as we have been recording film after film in HD and still have 90% of space remaining. Comparing this to our old 500GB box that had less than 20% of space nearly all the time we use it and it is a godsend, especially with children in the house making use of On-Demand kids programming.

Integrated Wi-Fi

The built in Wi-Fi is an excellent performer too most of the time. Setup is easy on the new Sky boxes as you can just press a button on the front of the box to bring up the connection menu and get connected within a minute or so. The box supports both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequency band too which is great news for those with modern routers.

Download speeds vary all the time, not just depending on your service provider but also depending on which on-demand service you are making use of. Most of the time we have been using BBC iPlayer and HD shows tend to take a few minutes to download at a time, though within a few seconds you can start to watch the programme you are downloading before the download has finished.

More Box Improvements

Another update that many Sky HD users may have missed is that Dolby Digital 5.1 via HDMI is now supported on recent boxes, this means there is finally no need for an extra optical cable hanging around behind your TV. This feature came as a firmware update a few months ago for many boxes released in the past few years so it is well worth checking to see if it supported on yours.

Finally the Sky+ HD 2TB box is also slightly slimmer than the older 500GB ones, it's not a massive difference but you can clearly see it, though depth-wise it is now 10mm bigger. The 2TB box also has a darker design to it too, it fits in better with the other devices under our TV now too.

Pricewise the Sky+ HD 2TB costs customers £149 if you have the Sky Entertainment Extra+ Pack which costs £32 a month which isn't bad for a box that will last you some time and the company have enough options for people who either don't want to pay out or who won't fill their boxes up as much as we do.

Final Thoughts

Overall I can't really fault the box or service, it does exactly what you want it to do and really can be packed full of content. I'd like to see some of the On-Demand internet downloads a bit faster for those of us on very high speed connections, but it isn't really an issue most of the time. I'm personally very pleased that Sky have integrated Wi-Fi in this time round too, making it even easier to connect your box up.

In the end, if you record loads of TV in high definition then this is the Sky box for you.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft files for Mod, Office Mod and Windows Mod trademarks

Next Story

Microsoft releases 'Cold Alley' airplane simulator game for Windows 8.1

31 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Tried sky hd+ about 18 months ago, and told them to come and take it out after less than a day of playing! Felt like I was losing too much compared to what I had with Virgin... be interesting to see if that still the same now. One big killer was not being able to record 2 things at the same time whilst watching live tv...

DrScouse said,
Tried sky hd+ about 18 months ago, and told them to come and take it out after less than a day of playing! Felt like I was losing too much compared to what I had with Virgin... be interesting to see if that still the same now. One big killer was not being able to record 2 things at the same time whilst watching live tv...

I guess if you like to record multiple things at the same time and watch Live TV it could be an issue, but honestly right now I could never return to Virgin's TiVo service unless they drastically improved it and their box speeds.

Byron_Hinson said,

I guess if you like to record multiple things at the same time and watch Live TV it could be an issue, but honestly right now I could never return to Virgin's TiVo service unless they drastically improved it and their box speeds.

The missus always seems to have stuff recording, so its def a bonus. At the time I had Sky HD, their on-demand service was almost non existent... I also love the broadband service I get from VM, constant 120mb. I may check them out again around feb when my current deal with VM runs out.

DrScouse said,

The missus always seems to have stuff recording, so its def a bonus. At the time I had Sky HD, their on-demand service was almost non existent... I also love the broadband service I get from VM, constant 120mb. I may check them out again around feb when my current deal with VM runs out.


Can't fault their broadband. Still have their 120mb myself.

...also, have mine connected via 5GHz band on router, as its right next to the Sky box (5GHz ain't that great at distances anyway), so its perfect. Never had a problem with On Demand content, fast and swift, of course, this depends on your broadband connection, and as mine is 100Mb, I have no worries

Yeah they need to add another tuner to enable recording more than 2 channels at once, sadly this will also require additional feed from the dish though.
I notice from the pic of the connectors, that they no longer include any coax outputs, so the old RF2 9v output for 'Magic Eye' controllers in another room is no longer an option. Pushing people to take multiroom at £10pm no doubt, extra box, extra feed. No wonder no extra tuner added

My only problem with it is that it only has 2 tuners. Virgin's TiVo box has 3 tuners now, and whilst the TiVo box is a little clunky occasionally, I find it gives much better picture quality in HD.

Brian M. said,
My only problem with it is that it only has 2 tuners. Virgin's TiVo box has 3 tuners now, and whilst the TiVo box is a little clunky occasionally, I find it gives much better picture quality in HD.

I switched from virgin TiVo simply due to the box being so slow and it taking way too long for Virgin to ever update it.

It's a real shame, Tivo has huge potential but the interface holds it back so much. I find it's clunkier to use than even Virgin's old V+ box and THAT was poor as well.

Sly_Ripper said,
There was a TiVo update about 2 months ago, it made it so fast and smooth.

Either I didn't get it or I haven't noticed it =\

Brian M. said,
My only problem with it is that it only has 2 tuners. Virgin's TiVo box has 3 tuners now, and whilst the TiVo box is a little clunky occasionally, I find it gives much better picture quality in HD.

I found Sky HD picture better, recently left VM for Sky due to TV being complete rubbish, so slow and awkward to use. Sky out does it in every way possible.

I found the exact opposite. I much prefer the TiVo to Sky's boxes these days - and I found both SD and HD look better on Virgin than Sky.

Sky do have great coverage and seemingly good hardware, it can't be denied. But the price is just far too much. We have seen many companies get penalised for monopolizing the market and Sky have been doing it for years. With BT Sport now, hopefully things will change.

As a sidenote, this company sued MS for using Sky in Skydrive. I still can't get my head around that because the reason was people would think its a product from Sky, even though zero people ever thought it was.

djpailo said,
As a sidenote, this company sued MS for using Sky in Skydrive. I still can't get my head around that because the reason was people would think its a product from Sky, even though zero people ever thought it was.

The only person who thought it *might* be confusing was the judge, who probably doesn't have Sky in the first place. Therefore it was deemed confusing because this one Luddite thought so.

mrbester said,

The only person who thought it *might* be confusing was the judge, who probably doesn't have Sky in the first place. Therefore it was deemed confusing because this one Luddite thought so.

BSkyB actually had it's own online backup service that was called Sky Store and Share, that acted as a Drive before Microsoft even started beta testing their Mesh service, let alone launching Microsoft SkyDrive. However, BSkyB did close down their own service before Microsoft made it's plans, but of course they (BSkyB) still own the rights to the name 'Sky' and a drive for storage makes it seem like BSkyB's back in the online storing business... at least in the UK.

Unless someone forces UEFA, EPL and the other European leagues to slash their demand for cash, the prices aren't going to go down. BT is only going to add to the problem, now to get all of the football experience you will have to pay for sky sports and BT sport.

Edited by Gaffney, Dec 28 2013, 7:29pm :

unless you upgrade to Entertainment Extra+ while on Entertainment extra or just entertainment which is either £5 or £10 extra per month. You will either get a discount or the box for free.

Or you can just find a second hand box and pair the box to your viewing card (yes you are totally fine to use a second hand box). Your box only comes with 12 months warranty (only because it's the law really).

Edited by Gaffney, Dec 28 2013, 7:41pm :

It's a big price to pay considering you can only ever use it with Sky. It's not like the box can be used with other satellite services, bar freeview.

Jaxkesa said,
Shame it's £209 for existing customers to upgrade their old box to the 2TB one.

It's a shame they didn't put a 4TB HDD in it. The drives themselves cost around £120.

What really annoys me is that there isn't a even an low cost upgrade path for long time customers with the much older boxes. I still have one of the white boxes with the old UI on it. A new customer gets a better box than me for free.

Lamp0 said,
What really annoys me is that there isn't a even an low cost upgrade path for long time customers with the much older boxes. I still have one of the white boxes with the old UI on it. A new customer gets a better box than me for free.

Call them up and threaten to leave. You must be out of contract, they'll give you a brand new box if you're willing to sign another 12 months away.