Home Sky TV troubleshooting
Fix Sky TV & Digibox Problems
This Sky TV troubleshooting guide has useful tips to fix Sky problems, without the need for an engineer call-out. Simply use the quick links below to get help faultfinding common Sky faults and error messages.
Sky Dish Installation & Alignment Tips
Sky TV reception problems can occur during bad weather if your Sky dish is out of alignment. Even a Zone 1 43cm dish requires careful alignment with a Satellite Meter or a Sat Finder Kit (which includes a compass to help find the Astra 28.2 satellite). If you wish to undertake DIY installation or realignment of a Sky TV dish you will need also need some Self Amalgamating Tape to waterproof the LNB connections.
If you're undertaking a new Sky dish installation, mount the supplied minidish bracket onto a solid wall facing south east with a clear unobstructed view of the satellite. Always use heavy duty wall plugs as any dish movement may cause signal fluctuation and Sky reception problems.
Useful resources for installing a Sky dish:
For most parts of the UK the compass bearing (azimuth) of the Astra 28.2E satellite is approximately 23 degrees east of south allowing for magnetic variation and the dish elevation will be between 21 and 25 degrees (I.E. 25 degrees for the south coast of the UK and 21 degrees for northern Scotland). Our Sky minidish installation aid provides exact bearings for Astra from any UK address.
Where your Sky minidish needs to be mounted on a long pole to achieve clearance or an unobstructed view of the Astra 28.2E satellite, mast guying may be required to reduce dish movement in high winds.
Low signal quality can be the result of poor Sky TV installation, dish misalignment or excessive pole movement - leading to the Sky TV picture breaking up during bad weather.
Causes of Poor Sky Digital Picture
If your Sky Plus HD picture is breaking up or suffering pixelation click here.
- Improving Picture Quality - To improve your Sky picture always connect your TV directly to the Sky+ HD box using a High Quality HDMI cable for the best picture or buy an Individually Screened Scart Cable if you have an older non HD-ready TV or Skybox. Cheap Scart Cables often cause crosstalk interference problems and introduce signal loss. Read about Scart lead interference for more troubleshooting advice for improving your Sky picture.
The Sky Digibox Video Output should be set to 1080i when installing a new Sky+HD box or RGB for older Sky+ digiboxes to achieve the best picture quality. Avoid using PAL if your TV supports RGB. The Picture Settings menu can be accessed by pressing Services then 4, 1 from your Sky handset.
- Sky Distribution Amplifier - Using passive aerial splitters without a proper distribution amplifier
to feed the Sky Digibox UHF signal around your home will lead to a poor Sky picture. If you want to watch Sky TV on more than
one television and be able to change channels on your Digibox, then you will need
a Sky Distribution amplifier and remote extender.
If you are suffering interference on your Sky picture on TV's fed by coaxial cable, read our guide to solving interference on a UHF Sky distribution system.
- Snowy Sky Picture - If you have problems with noisy Sky picture via your existing Sky TV distribution
system, the UHF channel used may be suffering interference from a weak Freeview digital transmission. This causes 'picture snow' and poor picture quality on the distributed UHF output of the Digibox. Try re-tuning your Sky box UHF modulator to fix this problem.
Another common cause of a poor quality, snowy Sky picture is fitting a signal booster to your TV aerial. In these cases, try
disconnecting the coaxial cable 'AERIAL IN' lead to back of your Sky box to see if this improves the Sky TV picture to TV's connected via the loft distribution amplifier. If this is the problem then remove the signal booster wherever possible or fit a low noise masthead aerial amplifier and fit a high gain digital aerial on your roof.
- Sky UHF Interference - In some cases Sky distribution amplifiers can suffer interference from nearby
Tetra masts and other radio transmitters resulting in picture patterning. Try reading our TVI filters page for help solving these Sky box problems.
Is a Sky Booster Available?
People often ask whether a 'Sky booster' is available to improve a poor satellite signal or boost signal quality. In reality, there is actually no such thing as a 'Sky signal booster'. Its nearest counterpart is known in the trade as a Satellite Line Amplifier which is fitted to the coaxial cable from the dish to amplify the LNB IF output signal.
Line amplifiers will not solve poor signal quality on any satellite TV installation and should not normally be used on a Sky TV installation unless the dish is more than 35 - 40 metres from the Sky box. If you have poor Sky signal quality then you need to check dish alignment, your LNB and cable. If your live in southern Europe a larger dish will always prove to be the best signal booster of all!
It's worth noting that most Sky Quad and Octal LNB's already come equipped with a line amplifier (booster), so adding more line amplification can cause signal overload problems, leading to the picture breaking up even more than previously.
Missing Sky Channels, Error Messages & Receiver Lock-Up
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Common Sky box problems with early Digibox models include receiver lock up, being non-responsive to handset commands, missing channels or simply not working!
The Microprocessor used in early Digiboxes was sensitive to mains borne electrical noise pickup. To reduce Sky Digibox lock up problems connect your Digibox to a surge protected mains extension lead.
Common Sky faults like the Digibox box locking up, a frozen picture, missing Sky channels and on screen error messages like "there is a technical fault, please try later" can often be cured by disconnecting the Sky Digibox power cable (240V mains lead) for 20 seconds and then replacing the power.
Where problems persist, a faulty LNB on the dish or a receiver fault are the other most likely causes, although it is also worth checking Sky signal quality first. If in doubt, try borrowing a Sky box from a friend and connect it to the suspect Sky dish, to check whether that is at fault.
If frequent lock up problems are occurring on your Grundig GDS200 or GDS300 Digibox, it may be necessary to repair the Digibox power supply - see Grundig Digibox faults.
No Sound - Sky+ and Sky+ HD Box
If you have no sound on your Sky or Sky+ Box the cause could be one of the following:
- Scart or HDMI Cable Loose - One of the Scart or HDMI connectors which connects your Sky box to your TV may be loose. Press the connectors fully home at both ends of the cable.
- TV Muted or Internal Speaker Switched Off - Some TV's have a switch on the rear panel to turn off the internal speaker which could have been knocked accidentally. In addition, most TV's have a handset mute button which can be accidentally pressed.
- Digibox Locked Up - If the sound on all TV's around your home fed by the Sky box have no sound too, try unplugging your Sky box from the mains supply, wait 20 seconds and then replace the power plug. This cures many Sky box problems.
Sky TV Link Problems / Faults
Sky TV link faults are common. If you have a noisy Sky TV picture on one or more of your TV's and the TV link remote eye/s have stopped working here are a few faultfinding tips:
- Check Power to Remote Eye - Check that the red light (LED) is illuminated on the Sky TV Link Remote Eye on the TV with bad reception. No red light means that 12V power isn't reaching the TV Link via the coaxial cable.
- Check Sky Box Power to RF OUT 2 - First check that your Sky box is set to provide power to the RF OUT 2 socket. This involves accessing the Sky Installer Menu - see a screenshot.
- Check Coaxial Cables and Plugs - If Sky TV Link problems affect more than one room and the Sky picture is poor (noisy) and you can't change channels, check for coaxial cable faults, loose or poorly fitted plugs as well as bad connections at the Sky Digibox "RF Output 2" socket on the rear panel of the Skybox. RF OUT 2 is used to feed power to your loft distribution amplifier (if you have one) - so the Sky box RF OUT2 power must be set "On" in the Sky Installer Menu when a loft amplifier is fitted.
- Check your Distribution Amplifier - check all coaxial cable connections at the Sky distribution amplifier itself (may be in your loft).
- Check TV Points - If the Sky TV link fault occurred recently check for a faulty TV aerial socket in the affected room - usually at the skirting or wall mounted TV face plate. Poor solder joints and faults at a TV aerial face plate caused by cable movement are common.
Move the TV coaxial plug slightly at the face plate and at the same time check whether the LED on the Sky TV Link flashes intermittently. If a problem is found, the TV aerial outlet should be replaced with a new non-isolated TV face plate which allows the Sky TV Link distribution to pass the 12V power from the Digibox. These don't have isolation capacitors fitted as isolation in the TV face plate will prevent the Sky TV Link from operating. Face plates with F-type connectors offer lower signal loss and are more sturdy.
Checking Sky TV Signal Quality
Check Sky TV signal quality by pressing "Services" on the Skybox handset, then press "4" for "System Setup" and "6" for "Signal Test". Typical readings off a Sky box in dry weather under clear skies in the south of the UK are about 70 - 80% signal strength and 60 - 70% signal quality.
Even with a correctly installed Sky TV box and dish, the signal quality may drop to around 50% during heavy rain and lower still during severe thunderstorms where the Lock Indicator may display "Not Locked" and Sky reception may be lost.
For reference purposes see a typical Sky Digibox signal quality reading taken under good weather conditions in southern England using a 43cm Zone 1 dish, Zinwell Quad LNB and Pace Digibox.
A low Sky Signal Quality reading in good weather may mean that your dish is out of alignment. See dish alignment tips for help realigning your Sky dish.
No Satellite Signal is being Received - Error 25 or 29
If you see a "no satellite signal is being received" (Error 25 or 29) message try the following to identify the source of your Sky box problems:-
- Check Digibox signal quality - Your dish may have been moved or knocked out of alignment. First check the signal quality is above 50% and the receiver 'Lock Indicator' is showing 'OK'. The signal strength reading is less important, but should generally be above 50%.
If Sky signal quality is low, try re-aligning the dish with a Satellite Meter.
- Exchange your Sky Digibox - If you suspect problems with your Sky box, borrow a Digibox
(including viewing card) from a friend or neighbour and try it on your dish. Always turn off the power to the
Digibox before disconnecting the LNB cable. If the borrowed Sky box works perfectly and the signal quality is OK, then you may have a faulty Digibox.
- Dish and cable faults - If the borrowed Sky Digibox doesn't work, check the Sky minidish alignment
and coaxial cable for kinks and damage. Also make sure the F-type connector is tightly screwed onto the LNB and the joint was adequately waterproofed during installation with Self Amalgamating Tape. Check for water corrosion on the connectors and into the coaxial cable. If any signs of water or corrosion are present in the LNB connector or cable itself, replace the coaxial cable with PF100 Digital TV/Satellite Cable and
fit new F-type plugs.
- Sky LNB faults - If the replacement Sky box didn't work, dish
alignment is correct and no coaxial cable damage or water ingression is evident, there may be an LNB fault. Refer to symptoms of LNB faults for further fault diagnosis tips. If a faulty LNB is the problem, you should buy a cheap replacement LNB for your Sky minidish.
Sky TV - Picture Breaking Up and Poor Reception During Rain
- Poor Sky signal quality - If frequent Sky TV picture break up, freezing, pixelation or 'no satellite signal' is experienced on some or all channels during heavy rain, the problem is often caused by the Sky minidish being out of alignment, leading to poor signal quality. See how to check signal quality. If the signal quality reading is 50% or lower during dry weather, dish alignment should be checked. Accurate dish re-alignment requires a signal meter.
- Diagnosing a faulty LNB - The LNB is on the satellite dish at the end of the dish arm. It is exposed to all weathers and is a frequent source of failure. If dish alignment is correct, the LNB should be checked. Read how to check for an LNB fault for help with diagnosis.
- Coaxial cable damage - Other causes of Sky signal problems include water ingression into the coaxial cable/s. This is common if the cable sheath has been damaged or the F-Type connector on the LNB hasn't been waterproofed with Self Amalgamating Tape. Always replace the coaxial cable and fit new screw on F type plugs if water damage is evident. Cables which are run over a pitched roof of guttering are particularly prone to damage through rubbing and should be re-routed. See our guide to cable faults for help.
- Sky Digital signal loss during a thunderstorm -
Even a correctly installed Sky Digibox may suffer reception problems during extreme weather, torrential rain or severe thunderstorms. When this occurs a "no satellite signal is being received" message may be displayed on the screen. Unfortunately, there is little that can be done to solve signal loss during thunderstorms.
- Improving Sky reception in bad weather - Whilst a 43cm dish is adequate in most parts of the UK, a larger Zone 2 60cm Sky dish will give far superior results and much higher signal quality in heavy rain. Zone 2 dishes are recommended for the far north of England, extreme south west of England and Scotland.
- Upgrade your LNB - New Sky minidish LNB's like the Sky+ Quad LNB, have a lower noise figure (typically 0.5dB), giving better reception than a single LNB fitted a few years ago which had a higher noise figure of ~0.9dB. If upgrading or replacing your Sky dish LNB, make sure you buy the correct replacement LNB for the manufacturer of your minidish or (alternatively) check that the universal LNB arm adaptors are supplied to fit all Sky dish types.
- Buy a New Digibox - If you are experiencing Sky box problems it's worth noting that new Sky Digibox models like the Pace BSKYB2600, DS430N and DS440 Skybox may improve Sky TV reception during bad weather, compared to old Digiboxes. These Sky boxes have amongst the best tuner sensitivity and selectivity
for reception of Sky TV in Europe. Cheap deals on a new Digibox can be found on Amazon.co.uk.
Skybox - Picture Break Up During High Winds
If your Sky TV picture shows signs of breaking up, pixelation or picture freezing during high winds or stormy weather
check the following:-
- Storm damage - Pole mounted Sky dishes are particularly susceptible to storm damage. Even a slight movement of the pole may cause sufficient dish misalignment to result in a "no satellite signal is being received" message and total Sky TV reception loss.
High winds can also bend or move the pole permanently in the mounting brackets, leading to reception problems even when the winds abate.
The solution is to re-locate the Sky dish onto a shorter pole or better still, find an alternative installation location where the standard minidish mounting bracket can be used to achieve line of sight with the Sky satellite at Astra 28.2E. A satellite meter is required to carry out Sky dish installation work.
- Excessive Dish Movement - If the minidish is mounted on wall T and K type wall brackets, ensure that the pole used is not too long, giving excessive movement during high winds. Guy the pole if possible. Low signal quality will result if the Sky dish is moving too much, sometimes leading to total signal loss or picture breakup.
Always check that the Sky minidish mounting is secure. If the dish is mounted on your TV aerial pole and the pole moves even by a small amount in high winds, this can be enough to cause Sky pixilation problems, low signal quality, freezing and breaking up of picture.
- Coaxial Cable Problems - Check that the LNB F-type connection at the Sky dish is correctly made, physically tight and fully waterproofed with Self Amalgamating Tape. Replace the feeder if signs of corrosion or water are evident at any point. Always use CAI approved PF100 satellite coaxial cable.
For more troubleshooting advice and technical help, see LNB fault diagnosis.
Sky Plus Not Recording Problems
- Sky+ Recording Problems - If your Sky plus box is not recording reliably it is worth checking that both cable feeds from the Sky dish are working (I.E. that the signal quality and strength from each feed is above 50%). Poor signal quality can cause picture break-up and will require further investigation.
Sky Not Recording problems can also be caused by loose connectors. Check that both the coaxial cables are securely connected to the rear panel F-sockets on the Skybox and that the cable feeders are undamaged from the dish itself.
Where the cables join the dish, self-amalgamating tape should have been used to prevent water damage. Any water damaged feeder must be replaced with new satellite grade coaxial cable.
- Sky+ Disk Defrag - A common problem with Sky+ was the tendency for the hard disk to fragment, causing problems recording due to the box not being able to fully access the free disk space.
The Sky+ box includes a Defrag (defragment) utility to tidy up the disk. To undertake this select the "Sky+ Planner rebuild" option from the Installer Menu. The Sky+ Planner Rebuild option performs a full defragmentation of the hard disk.
This utility is accessed from the Installer Menu - by pressing the 'Services' button then quickly afterwards press button 4, then 0, then 1, followed by the 'Select' button.
Poor Sky Installation
A poor Sky TV installation can cause problems. In rare circumstances, a Sky minidish may have been badly installed in a location where it does not have full, unobstructed view of the satellite leading to poor signal quality on your Sky Digibox. This can result in picture loss or break up during bad weather.
Some examples of poor Sky installation include:-
- Installation behind a pitched roof - A Sky minidish that is installed too low behind a pitched roof or right underneath a roof overhang, will work at reduced efficiency. If signal quality is always below 50% in good weather and your dish is mounted behind a pitched roof, then it may be mounted in a position where only part of the minidish surface can "see" the Astra 28.2E satellite. To solve this, re-position the dish so that it has clear line-of-sight.
- Trees and other obstructions - Obstructions like tall trees in front of the dish, between the dish and the Astra satellite will cause a bad Sky signal or no satellite signal. Trees and foliage will lead to wide fluctuations in signal quality when they move in the wind and Sky picture freezing or picture pixelation may occur. Relocate the dish such that it looks around any obstructions. See Sky dish installation for help re-installing the dish.
- Dish not horizontal - It's important that the LNB arm of any Sky minidish is horizontal as the LNB has a fixed offset angle (LNB skew). Check the minidish LNB arm is horizontal with a spirit level. Adjust the dish mounting and re-align if necessary to correct the problem using a Satellite Alignment Meter & Finder Kit.
In some cases a low signal quality reading can result from a Sky dish which is mounted at a slight tilt (angle), even if the dish is
- Poor LNB connector waterproofing - The connector/s on the LNB must be waterproofed with Self Amalgamating Tape to prevent water damage to the coaxial cable and corrosion. Careless Sky installers have been known to use unsuitable PVC tape or no tape at all, resulting in Sky reception problems or even total reception failure.
Sky Digibox Faults
If you have Sky Digibox problems or an intermittent fault, it is always worthwhile borrowing a neighbour's Skybox and viewing card and temporarily installing it at your property to see if that too suffers from the same problem.
If you're not technical, make a note of all cabling before you disconnect your Digibox.
Where to Buy a Replacement Sky Digibox
If you have a faulty Sky Digibox, you can buy cheap replacement second hand Sky boxes or a reconditioned/refurbished Sky Digibox on Amazon.co.uk. Amazon also offer some of the cheapest deals on a new Sky Digibox - for example you can buy the Pace DS440 for around £90. You should also be able to buy a cheap secondhand Skybox for under £30 as a replacement for a faulty unit which is uneconomical to repair.
Alternatively, you could take up one of the latest deals from Sky for a cheap Sky+ HD box for just £49.
Common Causes of a Faulty Digibox
Sky Digibox problems and faults are often caused by inadequate ventilation. Never put a anything on top of a Skybox as it obscures the ventilation holes and causes the Digibox to overheat reducing the life of electronic components. A computer CPU fan can be fitted to reduce these problems.
Thomson Sky HD Box Faults
The power supply of the Thomson DSI8210CS Sky HD box suffers from frequent failure. This accounts for 95 percent of all Thomson Digibox faults, with various symptoms including:
- No satellite signal is being received
- Sky HD box stuck in 'Standby'
- Sky plus HD picture breaking up on recording
- Flickering power LED on Sky+ HD box
- Buzzing noises from the digibox
Digifix repair Thomson Sky HD box power supplies at component level, fitting high quality Panasonic, low ESR 105 degree capacitors. The repair cost is around £32.95 + £2.95 p&p.
Amstrad Digibox Faults
Early Amstrad Digibox models suffered from frequent tuner problems. This was the most common Amstrad Skybox fault, resulting in a "No satellite signal is being received" message on the screen. To fix the problem replace the Amstrad Digibox tuner or buy a refurbished, secondhand or new Digibox. New Pace BSKYB2600 and DS430N Digiboxes have a fast processor and give excellent results under weak signal conditions - recommended for Spain.
Grundig Digibox Faults
Many Grundig Digibox problems are caused by the failure of the power supply capacitors. The problem is made worse by Digibox overheating due to lack of ventilation. Symptoms of Grundig Digibox power supply problems include receiver lockup and picture break up. Repair kits and further advice is available at CHS Interactive for GDS200, GDS300, GDS310, GDS2000 and GDS3000 models. Detailed information about Grundig Digibox faults can be found on the Satcure website.
Sky Digibox Repair
Undertaking a Sky Digibox repair may (in some circumstances) prove more costly than buying a replacement Sky box or upgrading to a new more energy efficient model. Where repairing your box is the best option we recommend the Digibox repair service by Digifix Ltd, with prices from around £35 plus return carriage in the UK.
Coaxial Cable Downlead Problems
Only double screened CT100 or its newer counterpart PF100 satellite cable should be used for Sky TV installation, so if you find standard TV coaxial cable (without a foil screen) has been fitted as part of a DIY Sky TV installation, it will need changing for double screened cable.
For cable runs of 10m or less it is acceptable to use RG6 or WF65 cable, but this is inferior to WF100/PF100 and should not be used for a long cable run or signal losses will be unacceptable. Line amplifiers may help where coaxial cable length exceeds 30 metres.
Cables like PF100/WF100 have a solid foam insulator which makes cable water damage must less of a problem.
It really helps to be able to identify types of coaxial cable to determine whether poor quality cable has been used in your Sky installation.
Joining Two Pieces of Coaxial Cable
Any join in the satellite coaxial cable should be done professionally, using a female F-type coupler made watertight with self amalgamating tape if the cable joint is outdoors. Fully tighten the plugs before taping up the joint. Due to signal loss, a maximum of one coaxial cable joint per downlead is sensible on any Sky TV installation. Avoid joining the Sky Digibox downlead altogether for best results.
A badly joined, damaged or kinked coaxial cable down lead often causes poor Sky signal quality or no satellite signal. Always use
7mm satellite cable clips when securing CT100/PF100 or WF100 cable to a wall to avoid pinching the cable. The exception to this are CT125 and WF125PE cables which need 8mm coaxial cable clips and special (wider) 'F' type plugs.
Problems with F-Type Connectors
The F-type plugs at the Skybox and LNB should also be checked to see if they are correctly fitted and tight. The centre core of the double screened coaxial cable should protrude by about 5mm from the end of the F-type plug when the plug is fully screwed onto the cable.
If the centre core of the coaxial cable doesn't protrude from the end of the plug, then this will lead to a poor or intermittent connection with the LNB or Sky Digibox. Help for fitting F-type plugs is available in how to fit an F type plug.
Troubleshooting Sky Minidish LNB Faults
An LNB fault can occur at any time and symptoms can include:-
Sky Dish Quad LNB
For Sky+ HD & Freesat
- Easy installation
- Includes dish arm adapters
- Suits all Sky dishes
- Loss of some or all Sky TV channels depending on the nature of the LNB fault. This problem can also be caused by a faulty Digibox, so try another Skybox on your dish first!
- Loss of horizontal or vertical polarised Sky channels - Around half of the Sky Digital channels on Astra 28.2E are transmitted in horizontal polarization and the other half in vertical. Polarization switching on a Sky LNB is carried out by the receiver switching the DC voltage applied to the LNB, down the coaxial cable feeder. A fault in the voltage switching either in the Sky Digibox or (more commonly) the LNB can cause some Sky channels to fail with a "no satellite signal is being received" message. Intermittent faults can also occur, which can cause picture freezing, pixelation or signal break up on one polarization or the other. If in doubt replace the LNB.
A list of vertical and horizontal channels on Astra 28.2E is provided at the SES website. If the Sky Digibox is found to be at fault (not switching the LNB voltages correctly), you will need to buy a cheap new or second hand Digibox - we suggest you try Amazon.co.uk.
- Missing Sky channels - Low band satellite channels are transmitted between 10.7GHZ - 11.8GHz (22KHz LNB switching tone "off") and High band channels between 11.6GHz - 12.7GHz (22KHz LNB switching tone "on"). Switching between low and high bands on the LNB is done by the Sky digibox sending a 22KHz tone down the coaxial cable. If the LNB isn't correctly responding to the 22KHz tone and selecting low and high bands, then some Sky channels will show "no satellite signal is being received" and the LNB is faulty and must be replaced.
- Replacing a Sky dish LNB - costs less than £10. Buy a replacement LNB if a fault is suspected. Troubleshooting LNB faults which are intermittent in nature can be difficult, but if your Sky Digibox works well on a neighbour's dish and you've checked your own cable and connections, then a faulty LNB may be the problem. LNB replacement is straightforward. A dish alignment check is recommended after replacing an Sky minidish LNB, especially if you are upgrading to a heavier Sky+ Quad output LNB from a single output LNB. A signal meter is required for this.
To replace the LNB, first turn off the 240V power supply to your Sky Digibox. Then remove the small retaining pin under the LNB arm and slide out the minidish LNB arm. Then carefully remove the amalgamating tape around the F connector and unscrew it, disconnecting cable from the LNB. There are several different types of Sky minidish LNB, so make sure you purchase a replacement LNB compatible with the manufacturer of your dish.
Fitting the new LNB is the reverse of this process. Always waterproof the F-connector by wrapping the joint with some Self Amalgamating Tape.
- Sky reception problems in cold weather - If reception breaks up or you get 'no satellite signal' when the outside air temperature is freezing this may have been caused by an LNB fault. Replacing the faulty Sky LNB will cure the problem. Of course, if the dish is covered in ice or snow then reception will be lost even with the best Sky dish LNB!
Sky Digibox Firmware Upgrade
The latest firmware version numbers for all Sky digiboxes can be found on Sky EPG Info.
If your Skybox has an older version of firmware, you can force a Digibox software upgrade (in UK only) by following the instructions below:-
- Check Sky Digibox signal quality is 50% or more before attempting any software upgrade
- Remove the Sky viewing card from your box
- Ensure that a phone line is connected to your Digibox
- Turn on your TV. Ensure that your Skybox is connected to your TV using a Scart cable
- Disconnect or turn off the 240V mains supply from the Sky Digibox
- Switch on the mains supply whilst holding the "Backup" button pressed on the Digibox front panel for 10 seconds, or until all front panel LED's (lights) illuminate and the "Updating System Software" message is displayed on your TV
- Do not attempt use of your phone line during the firmware upgrade!
- Wait for around 15 minutes for the software upgrade to complete, at which time the receiver will re-boot automatically. If it doesn't, wait at least an hour before disconnecting the mains supply
- Do not unplug your Skybox from the mains supply or satellite dish during the software upgrade or permanent damage could be done and your box rendered unusable
- Do not attempt a firmware upgrade if your Sky Digibox already has the latest firmware version
Zone 2 Dish Minidish Regions
The UK footprint of the Astra 28.2E Satellite which transmits Sky Digital, means that the signal strength is weaker in northern parts of England and Scotland than in the south. The Scottish Borders (areas north of Carlisle) should use a larger 60cm Zone 2 dish to improve Sky reception and minimise picture break up or pixelation during bad weather. If you are using a Zone 1 43cm dish in the north of Scotland to receive Sky, it is likely that you will suffer reception problems during heavy rain. Upgrade to a larger 60cm Zone 2 minidish for improved reception.
Sky TV Radar Interference
Sky Digibox interference problems (picture break up and pixelation) can be the result or nearby airport radar or from police radar detectors and jammers inside cars which radiate microwave frequencies. Radiating police radar detectors are illegal under the Wireless Telegraphy Act 1949.
If Skybox interference is experienced, re-position your Sky minidish low down behind a brick wall, to screen it from the interference source. You'll need to choose a new location which has a clear view of the Astra satellite (which is about 18 - 25 degrees above the south east horizon).
The dish location for any Sky TV dish installation must be chosen to avoid anywhere where vehicle or people movement can occur in front of the dish or where it could be knocked.
Sky Handset Problems
We have received reports of Sky handset problems with Plasma TV's. Plasma screens can produce light in the infra red spectrum and this may interfere with the Sky handset.
The easiest solution to this is to move the Sky box further from the Plasma TV. Alternatively, you could try a Sky TV Link Remote Eye in the affected room as these seem less susceptible to the problem and the TV Link eye can be repositioned more easily.
UK Sky Digital Channel Guide
An up to date channel list of all UK Sky TV channels on Astra 28.2E - listing transponder frequencies and polarization can be found on the OnAstra website. Also, the Astra Satellite Footprint Tool gives dish sizes required for reception of Sky Digital in Europe.
The Sky Digital EPG channel numbers are useful if you are viewing with a Sky Digibox. An up to date list of Sky free to air channels may also help if you are considering cancelling your Sky subscription, as will our article on Sky Freesat which will help you to save money.
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Please note that due to personal time constraints, I cannot provide individual troubleshooting advice concerning Sky Digibox faults or dish problems.
About The Author
Written by Steve Larkins.