Partly dead Sky+HD box. What to do?

edited 28 October 2019 at 1:16PM in TV MoneySaving
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ImranQImranQ Forumite
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edited 28 October 2019 at 1:16PM in TV MoneySaving
Hi Everyone,
Been with Sky with 20+ years. However our Sky+ HD box hard disk seems to have died. This has made the Sky service very unresponsive and slow. Also most menu items such as for saved recordings, Box Sets, recorded programmes etc .... no longer work.

I was onto sky just now and the options they gave are:

1) Book a Sky engineer for £65. When he/she comes out they may replace the box with a refurbished box which has only 3 month warranty. I think it is ridiculous to give a 3month warranty after forking out £65!

2) Go for Sky Q which costs £13 per month in an 18 month contract. I have heard Sky Q is good but price is extortionate!

3) After doing a little bit of internet research, I believe you can buy a box from Amazon or Ebay and get Sky to pair it with your card (you can't supposedly change a bought Sky Q box though)??

I'd appreciate if anyone can suggest any other ideas as to what to do.

Thank-you,
Imran
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Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    ImranQ wrote: »
    Hi Everyone,
    Been with Sky with 20+ years. However our Sky+ HD box hard disk seems to have died. This has made the Sky service very unresponsive and slow. Also most menu items such as for saved recordings, Box Sets, recorded programmes etc .... no longer work.

    I was onto sky just now and the options they gave are:

    1) Book a Sky engineer for £65. When he/she comes out they may replace the box with a refurbished box which has only 3 month warranty. I think it is ridiculous to give a 3month warranty after forking out £65!

    2) Go for Sky Q which costs £13 per month in an 18 month contract. I have heard Sky Q is good but price is extortionate!

    3) After doing a little bit of internet research, I believe you can buy a box from Amazon or Ebay and get Sky to pair it with your card (you can't supposedly change a bought Sky Q box though)??

    I'd appreciate if anyone can suggest any other ideas as to what to do.

    Thank-you,
    Imran

    1. It's a refurbished box, of course it's only going to have a short warranty.

    2. I'm guessing the £13 is for multiroom? If you have any discounts they will run out part way through the 18 months so watch out for that.

    3. You can go down to your local cash generator or similar and pick up an HD+ box for £10-20, just stick your VCN in the slot and it should auto pair without needing to call them.

    Edit: obviously you'll lose all of your recordings.
  • cajefcajef Forumite
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    ImranQ wrote: »
    3) I believe you can buy a box from Amazon or Ebay and get Sky to pair it with your card (you can't supposedly change a bought Sky Q box though)??

    I understand that you cannot buy a Sky Q box they are loaned to the user, if they go wrong they will just be replaced and also have to be returned if Sky is cancelled.
    I used to have a handle on life, but it broke. :|
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    ImranQ wrote: »
    Hi Everyone,
    Been with Sky with 20+ years. However our Sky+ HD box hard disk seems to have died. This has made the Sky service very unresponsive and slow. Also most menu items such as for saved recordings, Box Sets, recorded programmes etc .... no longer work.

    I was onto sky just now and the options they gave are:

    1) Book a Sky engineer for £65. When he/she comes out they may replace the box with a refurbished box which has only 3 month warranty. I think it is ridiculous to give a 3month warranty after forking out £65!

    2) Go for Sky Q which costs £13 per month in an 18 month contract. I have heard Sky Q is good but price is extortionate!

    3) After doing a little bit of internet research, I believe you can buy a box from Amazon or Ebay and get Sky to pair it with your card (you can't supposedly change a bought Sky Q box though)??

    I'd appreciate if anyone can suggest any other ideas as to what to do.

    Thank-you,
    Imran

    Don't bother with any of that junk, research up on how to swap the hard drive out and do it yourself, its not particularly difficult. Be cheaper than £65.

    Have a look at this:
    https://www.avforums.com/threads/upgrading-your-drx890-895.1453582/

    If you have the DRX890-C box (see bottom of the Sky+HD box if you don't know) you're in a perfect place - Sky+HD boxes take a chunk of the space for the pushed on-demand stuff (on the 890C it's 250Gb or half the size of the drive). You can upgrade this to 2Tb and the box will give you seven times the space you have now for new recordings.

    You can in theory shove any three and a half inch computer hard drive in, though you'd be better off with one of these which is what the later boxes almost always came with:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-ST2000VM003-Pipeline-3-5-Inch-Internal/dp/B008B0RQ1C
  • edited 28 October 2019 at 6:32PM
    ImranQImranQ Forumite
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    edited 28 October 2019 at 6:32PM
    Neil_Jones wrote: »
    Don't bother with any of that junk, research up on how to swap the hard drive out and do it yourself, its not particularly difficult. Be cheaper than £65.

    Have a look at this:
    https://www.avforums.com/threads/upgrading-your-drx890-895.1453582/

    If you have the DRX890-C box (see bottom of the Sky+HD box if you don't know) you're in a perfect place - Sky+HD boxes take a chunk of the space for the pushed on-demand stuff (on the 890C it's 250Gb or half the size of the drive). You can upgrade this to 2Tb and the box will give you seven times the space you have now for new recordings.

    You can in theory shove any three and a half inch computer hard drive in, though you'd be better off with one of these which is what the later boxes almost always came with:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Seagate-ST2000VM003-Pipeline-3-5-Inch-Internal/dp/B008B0RQ1C

    Actually I was researching into whether it's possible to change the drive and came across youtube videos (https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=changing+sky%2BHD+drive) which show you step by step how to do it. Thanks for your useful reply.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Forumite
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    ImranQ wrote: »
    Actually I was researching into whether it's possible to change the drive
    Why would you spend time and energy changing the hard drive when a fully operational decoder is available for a song without any such "tinkering"?

    In both scenarios, the old recordings are lost in any case...
  • ImranQImranQ Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Why would you spend time and energy changing the hard drive when a fully operational decoder is available for a song without any such "tinkering"?

    In both scenarios, the old recordings are lost in any case...

    I don't care so much for the recordings.

    The Sky+HD box I had with my Sky service over 20 years ago, crapped out a short time after I started with Sky. Apparently these boxes have some faults that appear after a short while. At the time, as now, Sky offered to come out and repair the problem with a replacement refurbished box as I was just out of warranty.
    After a bit of research, I subsquently bought a box from a private dealer who repaired the defects in these boxes at the time and resold the boxes on.
    Fast forward 15-20 years, my current box has lasted without a single hitch. I thought that because of it's reliability, it might be better to just replace the HDD rather than rely on a 2nd hand box. You can't rely on second hand equipment which might crap out in the near future.
  • Neil_JonesNeil_Jones Forumite
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    Technically all Sky+HD equipment is now second hand, considering they don't make them anymore and the technology is best part of eight years old for the most recent box for that platform, the DRX 895 (the one with the wireless built in and a 2Tb HDD).

    If you replace the drive in your existing box you don't need to re-pair/authorise the card, it'll just carry on as it is now - the box will reinitialise the drive and you can carry on just using it, be like brand new.

    Your box will work without a working HDD, just not particularly well. But it'll work. The Sky+HD range of boxes might look chunky but hardware wise they are/were very reliable. Most issues on them were software, not hardware, nothing that couldn't be fixed with a reboot.
  • ImranQImranQ Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Neil_Jones wrote: »
    Technically all Sky+HD equipment is now second hand, considering they don't make them anymore and the technology is best part of eight years old for the most recent box for that platform, the DRX 895 (the one with the wireless built in and a 2Tb HDD).

    If you replace the drive in your existing box you don't need to re-pair/authorise the card, it'll just carry on as it is now - the box will reinitialise the drive and you can carry on just using it, be like brand new.

    Your box will work without a working HDD, just not particularly well. But it'll work. The Sky+HD range of boxes might look chunky but hardware wise they are/were very reliable. Most issues on them were software, not hardware, nothing that couldn't be fixed with a reboot.

    I remember the rebooting! My original box got rebooted 50 times a day! That's why I ended up replacing it! The current one has been so reliable - maybe a reboot every blue moon...
  • prowlaprowla Forumite
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    I've acquired Sky boxes over the years and paired them to my account without issue.


    One with a 2 TB (terabytes) disk will hold plenty of downloads.


    Whilst you can replace the disks inside, the boxes can be a faff to open, as they are made not to be.
  • ImranQImranQ Forumite
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    prowla wrote: »
    I've acquired Sky boxes over the years and paired them to my account without issue.


    One with a 2 TB (terabytes) disk will hold plenty of downloads.


    Whilst you can replace the disks inside, the boxes can be a faff to open, as they are made not to be.

    Yes! Fwding through some of the youtube videos, I saw the process was not straight forward to take out the HDD. I thought the same as you - that the boxes were designed not to be opened LOL!
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