Introduction to Sky
Sky is the leading subscription-based digital TV provider in the
UK. It also happens to provide broadband (both ADSL and fibre) as
well as home phone services.
It offers the widest range of channels, including 37 that are in
crystal-clear High Definition (HD).
The channels are grouped into themed Entertainment Mixes, so you
only pay for the kinds of shows you want to watch.
The basic package comes with a Sky Box, a wireless router, basic
broadband and free evening and weekend calls. You also get your
choice of one of Sky's Entertainment Mixes, like the Style and
Culture Mix or the Music Mix.
If you want faster broadband or more channels, Sky makes it easy
to mix and match packages to fit your needs.
Sky digital TV
You can also upgrade from the standard Sky Box to the Sky+ Box
or the new Sky+HD box. With Sky+, you can pause and rewind live TV,
so you can get up and make a cuppa without missing a moment of the
It also lets you record an entire season of your favourite show
without the hassle of video tapes or DVDs. Sky+HD adds the wealth
of High Definition content and extra storage space.
You can also subscribe to a service called Sky Multiroom. With
Multiroom, you can have an extra box to watch different channels in
different rooms at the same time.
There'll be no more fighting over the remote because each member
of the family gets to watch the shows he loves, even if those
Whether you're a sports fan, a film buff or an arty type, Sky
offers the widest range of television channels to suit your
interests. With Sky's Entertainment Mixes, you only pay for the
kind of shows you want to watch. Choose from 6 different mixes
including Music Mix, Kids Mix and News & Events Mix.
There are also 2 Premium Mixes. Movies Mix comes with 10
different film channels, each dedicated to a specific genre. Sky
Sports Mix gives you over 100 sports on 4 different channels,
including live Barclays Premier League games. It's essential for
any sports fan.
If you have a high definition TV, you'll love Sky's 37 dedicated
HD channels. Sky has more live HDTV than any other provider.
The Sky+ Box allows you to pause and rewind live TV, so you'll
never miss a crucial moment because the phone rang. You can record
entire seasons of your favourite shows with the touch of a button.
There's no need to program complicated timers or mess about with
video tapes. With Sky+, it couldn't be simpler. The standard Sky+
Box stores up to 40 hours of television. You'll never have to
schedule your night around the TV guide.
The more expensive Sky+ HD Box is great for fans of Sky's
dedicated high definition channels. It has double the capacity of
the standard Sky+ Box and can store up to 30 hours of HD
programmes, or up to 80 hours of standard definition
Did you miss that show that everyone is talking about? With
Sky's Anytime TV, you can watch the most popular programmes up to a
week later, at no extra cost. Anytime TV lets you choose from a
selection of hit shows, as well as hidden gems that you may not
normally watch. Watch what you want, when you want.
Why it may not be right for you
When you sign up for Sky, their engineers will come to your
house to install a satellite dish. If you live in a flat, this may
not be allowed. Be sure to get the consent of your landlord or
freeholder before you sign up.
Sky TV is transmitted via satellite, but its broadband comes in
through a telephone landline. If you live outside of Sky's
broadband network area, and want to take its broadband product, you
will have to pay extra for internet access.
Also, Sky's basic phone package includes free UK evening and
weekend calls, which is great for talking to your family and
friends at those times. However, if you mostly make calls during
the day or to overseas, this may not be the best option for you.
However, you have an option to upgrade to Sky Talk Unlimited, which
gives you free daytime calls to UK landlines and 20 international
destinations. With either option, you will still have to pay
monthly BT line rental, which is not included in the price.
There is something else to consider. The actual broadband speed
you get will depend on the quality of your phone line and your
distance from the telephone exchange. In some areas, you could be
paying for 8Mbps but getting a lot less.
From a single satellite and 4 channels, Sky has grown into the
UK's largest subscription-based digital television provider,
offering over 300 channels, fast broadband and free calls.
Sky is operated by the British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB),
which is part-owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
It began in 1989 as a 4-channel network, with the launch of the
Astra satellite. By 1990, Sky had 1m UK customers. These days Sky
has over 9m direct subscribers and 3.2m more through a partnership
with Virgin Media.
The 4 channels have expanded to over 300, including 100+ digital
entertainment channels and 200 free to air channels. With such a
great selection, you can always find something to watch, any time
of day or night.
While Sky is most famous for its digital TV, it also offers
broadband and free telephone calls. In 2006, BSkyB acquired the
networking company Easynet, and in July of that year launched a
broadband internet service for all its customers naming it Sky
Sky joined other triple-play providers in offering packages that
include digital TV, broadband and phone. It means you can pick and
choose the services you want and save money in the process.
Sky's popularity has been boosted by the launch of its own news
and sports channels. The most famous of these is Sky Sports. Since
its launch in 1990, Sky Sports has outgrown its single channel and
now takes up 5.
If you're a sports fan, you can't beat Sky Sports' coverage.
However, these channels are also available from other providers,
including Virgin Media and Tiscali (now TalkTalk).
All Sky broadband packages include a 12-month subscription to
McAfee Internet Security Suite. This means that you can surf with
confidence knowing that you have the latest technology to fight
virtual intruders. McAfee also has parental control features, which
can filter out websites that may be inappropriate for children.
TV upgrade options
You can add up to 5 other Entertainment Mixes for £1 a month
- Variety Mix
- Music Mix
- Style Mix
- News Mix
- Knowledge Mix
- Kids Mix
- Sky Movies Mix
- Sky Sports Mix
A Sky box or Sky Digibox is a digital satellite TV receiver
marketed by Sky in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Put simply,
the Sky box decodes signals from satellites high up in space above
the UK and displays digital satellite TV on our televisions at
home. The Sky box is connected to a satellite dish (Sky calls its
small dishes minidishes) which receives the signals from
There are three different types of the Sky box:
Sky box - standard option
The Sky box is the standard option for Sky customers. It doesn't
have enhanced features such as recording - which is only available
on Sky+ or Sky+ HD boxes.
The basic features you can get with a Sky box are:
- Access to your chosen Sky Digital TV package;
- The Sky Digital EPG;
- Interactive services.
The Sky box gives you access to games and interactive services
such as Sky Active. You can also order movies and major sporting
events from your remote control with Sky Box Office. These features
are only available if your Sky box is plugged into a working
landline telephone socket.
Remember that if you do have your Sky box connected to a phone
line and you have broadband at home, you should fit an ADSL filter
to your Sky box to reduce interference on your broadband connection
and home phone line.
A Sky box is a great way to access the world of Sky TV. But if
you want better features such as recording and high-definition
digital TV viewing you should consider a Sky+ or Sky+ HD Box.
The Sky+ box has revolutionised the way we watch digital TV. A
Sky+ box has all the basic features of the Sky box but its main
feature is recording. The Sky+ box enables you to pause, rewind and
record live digital TV, record an entire series of your favourite
show using series link, record one digital TV programme while
watching another and record two digital TV programmes while playing
back a recorded digital TV programme. Programmes are recorded to a
hard drive in the Sky+ box so there's no need for tapes or discs.
The Sky+ box also includes one touch recording and the on-demand
Sky Anytime service.
Another great service for Sky+ is Sky+ Remote Record. This
allows you to set your Sky+ to record a programme using your mobile
phone when you're out - so there's no excuse for missing your
Sky+ HD box
Sky+ HD combines all the best features of Sky+ and tops it off
with stunning high definition digital TV.
When you compare the Sky+ HD picture quality to your standard Sky+
box picture you probably won't be going back to standard definition
With a Sky+ HD box you get:
- Access to 35 HD digital TV channels
- Sky Anytime
- Enhanced Sky+ HD EPG
- Double the hard drive space for recording
To watch Sky+ HD channels you need a HD ready TV.