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DIY SkyHD INSTALL (How it's done)


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Old 27-11-2006, 09:55
Rotara
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There's been many questions (& I guess there will be after this posting) about how to go about upgrading/installing SkyHD yourself. This is my experience & I hope it will help others.

1. Obviously you've decided HD is for you & you really want your telly to finally earn the power & expense you've fed into it for the past however many months! As an existing customer you can call up Sky anytime & ask for an upgrade. The softly spoken Scottish lady will explain to you the box will cost either 349 (it was 399) for a straight upgrade + 60 installation fee (which you must have if going via Sky) or 299 & free installation if taking out a Multiroom subscription i.e. using your old Sky+ box in another room. Multiroom subscription is currently an extra 10 a month! CURRENTLY THERE ARE NO CONCESSIONS FOR EXISTING CUSTOMERS. Don't waste your time pleading with the poor lass on the phone for a discount. Some members have threatened to quit Sky in order to invoke a customer relations discount. It might work.

2. The only other 'cheaper' way of doing it is to buy the HD Box independently & perform the installation yourself. It might sound a daunting task, but it really is quite straight forward once you have all the neccessary instruction in one place (hence this posting). There are many online sellers that can sell you the box without contract or installation mandate. eBay is by far the cheapest. I bought mine (the current Thomson model Brand New) there for 230.

3. Once you get it home you need to make sure you've either watched or backed up your existing planner because once you've replaced the box you will no longer be able to access the stuff on the old box unless you subscribe to Multiroom or re-pair your card with the old box at a later date. You can also copy your stuff to a VHS, DVD-R or DVD-HDD. You may choose to perform a system reset if you're planning to pass the old box on or sell it on eBay or something. But I would hold on to it just incase the new box fails some months down the line, it's always handy to be able to just swap them over, besides you'll be extremely lucky if the old Sky+ Box fetches more than 50.

4. Shutdown your old box, wait for the Hard Disk to park & spin down before switching it off or unplugging at the mains. Carefully unplug all the cables at the rear of the old box (you may choose to leave all the cables in situ' as you can use them again on the new box). This guide is assuming you already have Sky+ so you will already have the correct LNB & cabling to the back of the Box. Carefully unscew the F-Connectors attaching the Coax to the rear of your old box. Remove the box. It doesn't matter which way round the coax cables reconnect to the new terminals each one carries the same signal.

5. Unpack your new SkyHD box & offer it up to the space you've just made, (clean dust & dirt away first!). Slide it into place & reconnect cables at the back DO NOT POWER UP YET. Be careful not to connect the telephone line into the RJ-45 Ethernet socket by mistake, when fiddling around at the back in badly lit conditions it's easy to make that mistake! Reconnect the Coax, you may choose to use long nosed pliers to tighten the connection but usually finger tight will suffice.

6. This is the important part. This is the SOFTWARE UPDATE.
BEFORE you power up the unit hold down the 'BACK UP' button on the top of the unit. (Forget about the remote for now) This is the button on the box itself. Whilst pressing & holding the button power up the unit by plugging it in or switching it on from the socket. 4 little lights should light up on the front of the unit. Some say the TV displays a message but in some cases it doesn't (it didn't for me). After approx 30 secs you can release. It might look as if nothing is happening but the box is dowloading the Software Update. After approx 10 mins (sometimes longer) the lights go out & the Box goes into 'Stand-By' (Single Red Light). Leave the box for 2 mins.

7. If you have an HD Ready TV then ensure the HDMI cable is connected. You may also choose to connect in the conventional way via SCART just incase your TV needs its HDMI input to be enabled. Some TV's come out the factory wih the Digital connection disabled. At this point remove your viewing card from the old box & place it in your new box. (It doesn't go into the intercative card slot) You'll need to 'flip down' the cover on the righthand side you will see a slot for your card in there.

8. Take your box out of stand-by. You should see the Sky+/HD demo screen. If not try scrolling through your input options & double checking your connections. If you can see the screen you are now ready for the tricky bit!

9. Put the new batteries in the Remote Control & press:

SERVICES=>
4, 0, 1, Then hit select (you have to type these in quick succession, this will take you to the technicians menu).

Scroll down to INSTALLER SETUP=> SELECT
Scroll down to NEW INSTALLATION=> SELECT

This will initiate a scan for the channels available.
This takes approx 30 secs.

You'll get a screen(s) saying channel line up or channel ok &/or screen showing you satellite signal strength. click ok, or select continue after 2 or 3 continues the callback process begins. Ensuring your box is connected to the phone line the details of your box will be sent to Sky.
If the Callback FAILS (as mine did!) don't worry it could be something to do with the viewing card not being valid in that box or a problem at Sky's end.

10. Pairing your card to the new box.
In order for you to see your subscription channels or use the Sky+ facility you will need to tell Sky you have a new box. You will notice some FTA channels are working & Indeed BBC HD should be on as well. But on your subscription channels it's telling you to upgrade... This is what you need to do:

Call: 08702404040

Option 2 (for Sky HD)
Option 2 (for Sky HD activation)

DO NOT input your home telephone number, it will ask you twice to do so, just ignore it! Everytime I input my number the system hung up on me! Leaving it puts you through to an operative. Explain you want to pair your existing card with the new box. They will ask for the Version Number of the software & the serial number of the Box (have your remote to hand as they will guide you through this process). By the end of the conversation the Sky agent should've explained how much extra you will be charged. SkyHD subscription is 10 on top of what your existing package costs. NO CONCESSIONS! They will charge you an apportionment if you are between bills then charge you in advance on your next available bill. So don't be alarmed if your bill remains unchanged for a month or so then leaps by 20 or so, this is because they charge you one month in advance. After it will settle to your usual amount + 10.
After activating your card the signal can take anything up to 4 hours to get to your Box/Card.. It usually takes a few minutes. After which you can enjoy glorious HD.

Remember by going this route you could make substantial savings & crucially you are not bound by a fixed contract with Sky. You don't have to remain connected to the phoneline. The downside is you're limited to whatever warranty comes with your box which is nothing to do with Sky. So if your Box develops a fault after 2 months you can either run back to the person you bought the box from or hassle the manufacturer. Sky will send out an engineer if you pay. Best checking.

Happy Upgrading!
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Old 27-11-2006, 10:23
andybno1
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nice guide I think this should be a sticky
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Old 27-11-2006, 10:45
D2580
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I recently got Sky HD and the process above couldn't have been worded better. Only reason I'm posting is because of the eBay mention, I ordered a HD box from eBay, I paid 245 for the box which was great, but....I'm still waiting! I decided to cancel my order and as yet have not received a refund, PayPal are on the case. I decided enough was enough and ordered one elsewhere from www.thedigiboxshop.com , admittedly it was dearer but at least I received it, only took three days to arrive.

I know that not all eBay purchases are like this and many people have had a good experience, but I was new to eBay and really disappointed with the result.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

Thanks

Last edited by D2580 : 27-11-2006 at 10:46.
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Old 27-11-2006, 11:02
Paul from Ulm
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First of all I agree this should be made sticky.

Next, and this is very important to some of us, this finally puts out of the window the argument that you can only get HD authorised by having a phone line connected. If the the callback "fails" (which it would if there was no phone line) then you follow the above procedure and HD is enabled. It also apparently avoids the need for Sky to send a new card for HD which we all knew was uneeded in the first place.
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Old 27-11-2006, 11:12
Nigel Goodwin
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Originally Posted by Paul from Ulm
Next, and this is very important to some of us, this finally puts out of the window the argument that you can only get HD authorised by having a phone line connected. If the the callback "fails" (which it would if there was no phone line) then you follow the above procedure and HD is enabled. It also apparently avoids the need for Sky to send a new card for HD which we all knew was uneeded in the first place.
No, it's a load of rubbish! - Sky insist on a callback before they will authorise a Sky+ or HD - unless you get a complete idiot on the phone who can't folow simple instructions.

There has never been any reason for them sending a new card, this only happens when they mistakenly send you a multi-room card.

The rest of the post is also misleading and incorrect, for example the prices aren't right - an HD box is 299 + 60 installation. Also the rubbish about not being contracted is completely wrong - the contract (and phone connection) doesn't apply to the box - it applies to your Sky+/HD subscription with BSkyB. It doesn't matter where the box comes from, or what you paid for it!.

BTW, as for the failed callback, you shouldn't give up after one attempt, it usually takes a number of tries before it gets through!.
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Old 27-11-2006, 12:13
crumbs
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Thanks for the info, Rotara. A very useful post to those that will be doing a DIY Sky HD install.
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Old 27-11-2006, 12:26
Rotara
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Originally Posted by Nigel Goodwin
No, it's a load of rubbish! - Sky insist on a callback before they will authorise a Sky+ or HD - unless you get a complete idiot on the phone who can't folow simple instructions.
This wasn't my experience last night. After 4 or 5 attempts at the CallBack I decided to pick up the phone. The Sky Agent simply had me relay the Version & Serial Numbers over the phone. I wouldn't go as far as branding the chap an 'idiot' he was a decent enough person & I had HD up & running in no-time, It was customer service as it should be.

Originally Posted by Nigel Goodwin
The rest of the post is also misleading and incorrect, for example the prices aren't right - an HD box is 299 + 60 installation. Also the rubbish about not being contracted is completely wrong - the contract (and phone connection) doesn't apply to the box - it applies to your Sky+/HD subscription with BSkyB. It doesn't matter where the box comes from, or what you paid for it!.
The Sky Sales person I spoke to explained that the box on its own was 349 + 60 Install fee. This does sounds incorrect coz on their website it does indeed state 299. This I concede. I also agree the end user is still bound by the terms & conditions of the rolling agreement, but what I was suggesting is that you're not 'Locked' into another 12 month agreement.

I'd like to add, for the benefit of others that are intending to attempt a self upgrade, that this is a guide, it's an account of my experiences. That's all! Some aspects may differ depending on circumstance or indeed who you talk to at Sky.

As for eBay.. I bought mine from a chap who was local to me, so I was able to drive over & collect in person. I would go for somoeone who has good feedback.
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Old 27-11-2006, 12:44
Rotara
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Originally Posted by crumbs
Thanks for the info, Rotara. A very useful post to those that will be doing a DIY Sky HD install.
I thank everyone that helped me with getting my box up & running. I calculated I saved 130 over the Sky Standard Deal.

That pays for 1 year HD Subscription, Fish & Chips and 2 cans of Beer!.

Cheers Guys!
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Old 27-11-2006, 17:23
Boozyuzi
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I am thinking about upgrading but not paying the 10 a month - quite happy with BBC HD and the improved PQ on SD pictures. I presume that I go through the same routine but just inform them that I don't want to be a HD subscriber.

Last edited by Boozyuzi : 27-11-2006 at 17:37.
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Old 27-11-2006, 17:28
Rotara
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That's correct. You can transfer your viewing card (& current subscriptions) to the new HD Box. You don't have to subscribe to HD to get BBC HD. I don't know how well (if at all) the SkyHD box upscales Standard Definition. It might just 'pass-through' as SD without any discernable effect.
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:33
shox
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i have a standard sky digibox, will i be able to use these instructions to install sky hd myself.
i mean will i need any extra wires, or is it not possible
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:46
Nigel Goodwin
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Originally Posted by shox
i have a standard sky digibox, will i be able to use these instructions to install sky hd myself.
i mean will i need any extra wires, or is it not possible
You will need to run a second lead from the LNB, and replace it with the quad one that comes with the HD box. You will also need to run a telephone lead, unless you already have one?.
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:53
bigal66
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the lnb is held in with a plastic pin,remove pin slot in the new one, buy twin sky+ cable form ebay,done mine yesterday no problems apart from input 2 was not picking up the signal,this was down to the cable ends not being stripped back enough. running like a dream saved over 100 all parts bought on ebay hd box quad lnb + cable hope this helps
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:55
banbury_oddball
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That's right, if you did not have a Sky+ box previously, just will need to purchase a new LNB, a bit of cable and two F-type connectors, one for the LNB and the other for connecting to the HD box.

Congrats on the savings, it's one way of upgrading to HD without the 299 box charge, 60 install and 120 additional HD subscription package for 12mths. Beers to you !
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Old 07-12-2006, 13:06
Boozyuzi
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This guy is selling Sky HD boxes for 180 inc postage - brand new stock, sealed, 12 month guarantee. Mines should be here tomorrow.


Pennine Plus
56-58 Cavendish Street
Keighley
West Yorkshire
BD21 3RL

Contact Name - Geoff Higgins
Tel: 01535 600700

He's a memeber of the arial installers association

http://www.cai.org.uk/asp/about.asp - do a search for him.
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Old 07-12-2006, 13:49
avit_now
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damn thats a good price, i think i may be buying myself a crimbo pressy!

I am going to do exactly the same i think, I want bbc hd and maybe a few subsription channels but am too tight to pay for a full hd subscription

ta

nev
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Old 07-12-2006, 13:53
Boozyuzi
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Better get on the phone sharpish .... folk over at the AV Forums are swamping him with calls.
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Old 07-12-2006, 14:24
avit_now
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okey doke - will do! cheers mate

nev
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Old 07-12-2006, 16:10
shox
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i have purchased the HD box from cury's at half price, after buyin a tv from them.
Does this mean that they will automatically call up sky, who will send an installer and charge me 60 quid?
and if it is, is this non-negotiable
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Old 07-12-2006, 16:50
shox
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Can anyone tell me what the LNB wire is (sorry, very new to this)
also, will i be able to use jus the one LNB cable, and will i need to replace the LNB cable with the one that comes with sky HD?
and is the lnb cord the cord that comes from the dish to the actual box, or is it a nother wire?

thnaks

Last edited by shox : 07-12-2006 at 16:52.
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Old 07-12-2006, 20:19
banbury_oddball
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Shox

If you have Sky then the engineer will change the LNB to allow up to four connections and of course the second cable. This is the same stuff across the board.

If you have Sky+ already, then its just a case of connecting the box as you have the two cables anyway. YOu will need two cables to run HD as it has the Sky+ record feature and two LNB inputs.

As for your other comment on the tv from Currys, I'm sure that they give you a number to call and a reference to claim your 1/2 price box - someone confirm this ?
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Old 07-12-2006, 22:36
shox
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im gonna go in tomorrow to currys t find out.
i dont really need the sky+ feature of recording, so can i jus use 1 wire to get the picture
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Old 08-12-2006, 11:12
Nigel Goodwin
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Originally Posted by shox
im gonna go in tomorrow to currys t find out.
i dont really need the sky+ feature of recording, so can i jus use 1 wire to get the picture
It can work (in a limited fashion) with one lead, but you DO NEED the Sky+ feature, it's more useful than the HD!!.
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Old 04-01-2007, 17:32
itchy_chin
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Originally Posted by Nigel Goodwin
No, it's a load of rubbish! - Sky insist on a callback before they will authorise a Sky+ or HD - unless you get a complete idiot on the phone who can't folow simple instructions.

There has never been any reason for them sending a new card, this only happens when they mistakenly send you a multi-room card.

The rest of the post is also misleading and incorrect, for example the prices aren't right - an HD box is 299 + 60 installation. Also the rubbish about not being contracted is completely wrong - the contract (and phone connection) doesn't apply to the box - it applies to your Sky+/HD subscription with BSkyB. It doesn't matter where the box comes from, or what you paid for it!.

BTW, as for the failed callback, you shouldn't give up after one attempt, it usually takes a number of tries before it gets through!.
Sorry for dragging this old post back up, but can anyone confirm who is correct here? I have my HD box arriving tomorrow with a (up until now) firm belief that I could self install without needing a phone line. As I use VOIP for my phone there is no way this will work with Sky. I currently have Sky Digital for years and I was hoping to just pair the card and initialise the HD channel over the phone with Sky.

Has anyone NOT been able to activate HD without a callback?
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Old 04-01-2007, 17:40
banbury_oddball
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You can call Sky to say that it has failed with the callback, they will ask you a series of questions obtaining your card number, serial number of box, model number, and something else that now escapes me but it's in the system info screen.

I had a problem where the box would not connect via the callback as the lines were down on the evening of the install, even the engineer couldn't get through ! So I called them around 9pm and got straight through.


However if you have a HD box you enter into a 12mth agreement with Sky that require you to have your box connected to a landline which is something they are pretty strict on.

As mentioned, it doesn't matter how you acquired the box, dish etc, if you are a new HD subscriber (including upgrade from Sky+ to Sky HD) you do enter into a 12 month agreement for the HD subscription and phone line is required.

Let us all know how you get on.
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