Sep 252013

Sky HD Thomson box users may be seeing a warning message on their screen, saying that they can receive from Sky a free replacement SKY+HD box at no extra cost.

Obviously this only applies to Sky users in the UK, as users in Spain will simply not be eligible to receive these boxes directly from Sky.

Why are Sky doing this?

Well Thomson Sky+HD boxes have been known for not exactly being the most reliable Sky+HD boxes. In fact it has been said that this is one reason why Sky bough the Amstrad set top box division, and are now making their own “Sky” branded boxes.

As a result Sky have also stopped updating the software in these Thomson Sky+HD boxes.

This means that Thomson Sky+HD boxes will soon lose the ability to view encrypted HD channels, as the software currently loaded into Thomson Sky+HD boxes is not compatible with the new Sky encryption software. This new software is also rumoured to accompany a Sky card change in the enar future, again to increase security to try and reduce Piracy and cardsharing.

One of these changes to the Sky encryption is the introduction of another level of “Sky Card Pairing”, which uses not only the Sky+HD digibox serial number, but also a number generated by the Sky box, the “Receiver ID”.

As a result of this, if you ae a Sky subscriber, and using a Thomson Sky+HD box, you may find that soon (1st October is rumoured!) that you will no longer be able to view your Sky Sports, Sky Movies, and Sky HD channels on your Thomson Sky+HD box.

So you will need to get a new Sky+HD box, and get your Sky card “Paired” to that new receiver should you wish to continue to view your Sky premium channels.

This is also a good warning for anyone looking to buy a Sky+HD box from the internet like from Ebay or Amazon. The boxes may suffice for the basic “free to air” channels like BBC, ITV, C4 and Fives, but may not be able to work in the future with Sky card and Sky pay channels.