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Sky rewards HD early adopters with free upgrade to latest box

Around 150,000 early adopters of Sky HD will get a free upgrade to the latest version of Sky+HD to boost take-up of On Demand services.

Selected Sky Movies customers will also get a free wireless connector – normally £22 – to link their Sky+HD box to their broadband router for On Demand.

The move comes as Sky revealed that 2.3 million of its 4.7m HD customers have connected their boxes to the internet, a rise of 600,000 since the start of 2013.

Sky rewards HD early adopters with free upgrade to latest box
Sky+HD is now more reliable than ever

Read Recombu Digital’s guides to Sky+HD and Sky On DemandSky’s spending £52m to get this new slice of users connected, after a £65m windfall from disputes with BT and a former Sky box manufacturer.

“In each of these instances it was our customers who were most impacted,” Sky said in its results for the first three months of 2013. “Accordingly, we have decided to pass the benefits of the resolution of these disputes back to customers with two one-time programmes.  

“Customers using our On Demand services consistently report the highest levels of satisfaction: they are more loyal, more likely to recommend Sky and more likely to take up additional products.”

Sky sees an average of 4.5m downloads every week through On Demand, and it’s also seen a boost in movie rentals since launching the On Demand Sky Store.

Launched in May 2006, the Thomson DSI8215 was the first Sky+HD box, with 160GB of user space from a 300GB drive, compared to the standard 500GB (250GB user capacity) in today’s standard DRX890 Sky+HD model.

However, it was plagued by reports of faulty power supplies so there are few in operation today, and the limited processing power and memory in the first-generation HD chipset have excluded it from recent software upgrades.

The free box upgrades will also help to reduce Sky’s service visits, which have fallen by a quarter over the year since it introduced the latest Sky+HD box, which seems to be significantly more reliable than older models.

Early adopters have traditionally fared badly with Sky, paying up front for new services like Sky Digital, Sky+ and Sky HD, with little reward for their loyalty.

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