How to get Sky Anytime+ on your Sky+HD box
Sky Anytime+ is now available to any Sky subscriber with a Sky+HD box and a broadband connection, even if you’re not a Sky Broadband subscriber.
If you’ve ever browsed the Sky Anytime section of your Sky Guide and found it a bit shallow, you’ll be very happy to know that you can now access a huge selection of drama, entertainment and documentaries, as well as up to 70 films a month, and pay-per-view films on Sky Store (formerly Sky Box Office).
The selection available to you will depend on your Sky subscription, but it includes catch-up and archive shows from Sky, UKTV (owners of G.O.L.D., Dave, Good Food and Yesterday), the History Channel family and Discovery’s group of channels. ITV Player is already on Anytime+, and BBC iPlayer will be added later this year.
Programmes are available in both HD and SD, and unlike most on-demand libraries, they download to your hard disc as you watch, so you can usually watch them again before they expire, or take up where you stopped just like any other Sky+ recording. Some shows can even be copied over to ‘Your’ section of the hard disc from the Anytime section to keep for posterity.
That might come in handy, because the Anytime section is pretty small on the early Sky+HD boxes (about 240GB), although it’s 500GB on the first-generation Sky+HD 1TB box, and a full 1TB on the second-generation 1TB box announced this week.
As with most on-demand TV services, a minimum speed of 2Mbps is recommended if you want to enjoy a smooth experience with as little waiting as possible, although you can get by on lower speeds if you’re patient.
Follow us through the next few pages and we’ll show you how to connect your Sky+HD to the internet, activate Sky Anytime and access the service on your TV.
Activate Sky Anytime+ at MySky
Sky Anytime+ doesn’t cost any extra, but you’ll need to activate it as part of your Sky subscription so Sky knows which films and TV shows to deliver.
If you haven’t already got a MySky account, the first step is to sign up. Not only can you activate Sky Anytime+, you can also use the Sky+ phone and tablet app, and the Sky TV Guide online, and set up recordings on your Sky+ box from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. You get a Sky email address as well.
You’ll need your Sky account number (from your last bill), and go to https://skyid.sky.com/signup/myskyauthorised. When you’re signed up, go to sky.com/anytimeplus and follow the instructions to activate Anytime+.
You’re now ready to access Anytime+ on your Sky+HD box.
Connect Sky+HD to your router
If you’re lucky, your broadband router is near enough to your TV to connect via Ethernet.
You’ll probably need to buy a length of CAT5 Ethernet cable with RJ45 connectors pre-fitted. Find a spare Ethernet port on your router (that was the hardest part for us!), and plug in the cable from there to the Ethernet port on the back of your Sky+HD box.
If your router’s in another room to your Sky+HD box, you could consider the Sky Wireless Connector. It costs £60 from Sky and connects to the Ethernet port on your Sky+HD box, then converts the signal to WiFi and connects to your wireless broadband router. Your router will need to support WiFi G or N in order to connect and give the speed you need for video.
Once you’ve plugged it into your Sky box and turned it on, there’s a quick routine to go through with your remote control to connect to your router, similar to connecting a laptop or mobile phone.
The alternative to wireless is a powerline network connection, which uses your mains wiring to piggy-back a network connection to your router. You need plug-in adapters costing around £70 each, and we would recommend anything supporting the HomePlug AV2 standard to give you high speeds for streaming video. Find out more in our feature on How To Extend Your Home Network.
Connect to Sky Anytime+ on-screen
When you activate Sky Anytime+ online, a signal should be sent via satellite to turn on the Anytime+ settings on your Sky+HD box. If this doesn’t get through, you may have to change a few settings manually – you can also follow this route if you don’t want to activate online.
- Press the Sky button on your remote and use the cursor keys to go up to the top menu bar and press right or left until the Options menu appears.
- Press down once, and right or left until the Customise menu appears.
- Go down to Enable Anytime and Broadband Connection, and if they don’t say ‘On’, press right to change each option, then press Green to save the changes.
Wired connections with Ethernet
If you’ve connected with an Ethernet cable or over a powerline network, then it should now connect automatically when you press Red for Anytime from the TV Guide. If not, you might have to change some more settings.
- In the top menu bar, find the Settings menu.
- Go down and find Network.
- Local Connection and Service Connection should say OK. DHCP should be On.
- If Local Connection is not OK and DHCP is Off, change DHCP to On, press Green to save and wait to see if Local Connection changes to OK.
- If Local Connection is not OK and DHCP is On, you may need to change the IP address manually.
- Change DHCP to Off and go up to IP Address. Most home networks use addresses from 192.168.0.1 up to 192.168.0.255 – and fill up from the lowest of the last number. Enter 192, press right, then 168, press right, then 0, press right, then 100, and press the Green button to save, and wait for the results. If your Local Connection doesn’t change to OK, you’ll have to find a home networking expert to find an empty IP addresses on your network.
- If Local Connection is OK but Service Connection is not OK, then you’ll have to contact Sky or your ISP to find out what’s getting in the way.
If you’re using Sky’s Wireless Connector, you’ll have to log in to your wireless router.
- Connect the Ethernet cable from your Sky+HD to the Wireless Connector. Plug in the power unit and press the power button.
- The Wireless Connector starts automatically searching for wireless networks, and your Sky+HD box will show a scanning screen, followed by a list of the available wireless networks and their signal strength.
- Select your network and you’ll be prompted for the passcode, which you input with your Sky remote like a mobile phone keypad. TIP: Keep pressing the number key to get to lower case letters – the password is case-sensitive.
- Once logged in, you’ll see an information screen about your wireless connection, and now you can start browsing Sky Anytime+.
From the TV Guide, press the red button to start Sky Anytime+. It always starts in the Showcase – a selection of the latest from Sky’s channels. A lot of the Showcase content will have been pre-downloaded onto your hard disc so you can start instantly.
Select or scroll across to see Sky Store – the new name for Sky Box Office – and the other genres. What you can see will depend on your subscription, although there will always be something there to tease you to upgrade.
There are also sections for numerous channels from Sky One to ITV, although the ITV Player listing is a disappointing list that you can’t sort into any useful order.
Download and watch
If you like something, you can either watch it instantly or download it to watch later.
Most films and TV shows in the Showcase and Most Popular categories will be already downloaded to your hard disc via the satellite connection.
Otherwise you’ll have to start downloading until there’s just enough for you to start watching, and the rest will downloaded while you watch.
Sky’s progressive download system means you shouldn’t experience any pauses while the download catches up, unless your broadband speed is really poor. Once downloaded, the recording will be there until it’s removed from the Anytime+ library.
If you want to keep a film or TV show to watch at any time, then you can copy it to your Sky+ Planner by pressing the Record button on your remote control.
You can’t do this with Sky Store, but it should be OK for most films and TV shows covered by your subscription.