Sky has apologised for the major technical problems over the weekend that caused the Anytime video on-demand service to crash thousands of Sky+ HD boxes.

On Saturday afternoon, there were reports of Sky HD receivers freezing or going to stand-by when trying to access the Anytime menu.

This happened on a wide variety of different model set top boxes and the issues happened repeatedly when trying to access Anytime over the weekend and into yesterday.

In a statement, Sky said that a "technical issue" had caused some HD boxes to freeze or go into stand-by while accessing the Anytime service.

After investigating the problem, the satellite broadcaster believes that it has now "identified the root cause" of the failure, meaning users no longer need to manually disable Anytime to continue using their Sky+ HD box.

Despite being confident of resolving all the technical issues today, Sky has taken the precaution of not introducing any new content to the on-demand service until everything is fixed.

"While our final checks are continuing, we're taking the precaution of not adding new programmes to Anytime for Sky+ HD customers," said the firm.

"This is a purely temporary measure and we hope to be able to reinstate the full service as soon as possible. We're sorry for any inconvenience caused in the meantime."

Sky said that the technical problems only affected Sky+ HD boxes rather than standard definition receivers.

Anyone with a HD box that has frozen is advised to press and hold the standby button on the Sky remote control or Sky box until the green power light turns red.

After waiting 15 seconds, users need to press the Sky button and the power light should turn from red to amber to eventually green as the box restarts