Sky’s latest update for Sky+HD boxes adds support for Dolby Digital 5.1 over HDMI connections.
Previously, Sky+HD viewers who wanted to enjoy high quality surround sound would have to have run an optical cable into an amplifier. Now all of the audio data can be carried over HDMI, meaning less cable clutter in the living room.
You can enable this by going to Services > Audio and selecting Digital Audio Output – HDMI > Dolby D on your remote.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Sky+HDAs well as this, you can rent movies from the Sky Store without having to have a phone line connected into the back of your Sky+ HD box. Now all you need to do is be connected to your home broadband router via Ethernet or WiFi with the Sky Wireless Connector you should be good to go.
The updates are rolling out to Sky+HD boxes now. When you next turn your Sky+HD box you should see the above message if you’ve had the update.
Sky is also drawing attention to a couple of older features available to Sky customers, Undelete and Eco Mode.
In the Planner, you’ll now see a Deleted tab, in between All, Entertain and the rest. Select this and then navigate to the show you want to restore and press the green button. As if my magic, the recorded programmes that have been deleted will be restored to life.
It happens in busy households. Accidental deletions are often the source of domestic frostiness, but now you can rescue shows that had previously been consigned to oblivion and everyone can calm down…
Note that your Sky+HD box will automatically delete any old shows that are lingering around in the Deleted folder so as to ensure your hard drive still has room for new recordings. Anything that’s been scrubbed from the Deleted folder will be gone for ever.
A power-saving new Eco Mode has been introduced that promises lower energy consumption without interrupting any recordings. Eco Mode will automatically shut your Sky+HD box off overnight while still continuing to record any programmes you want. You can turn on Eco Mode by heading into Settings > Standby Mode and selecting ‘Eco’ from the list.
The Sky+HD boxes that will get this update are the 4F31 (Amstrad DRX890 or DRX895) types which will benefit from a phased rollout over the next few months and the 4F30 (Amstrad DRX780), 9730 (Samsung) or 9F30 (Pace) models which will get the updates later in the autumn.
The older Thomson 4E30 (DSI8125) boxes are no longer supported and won’t be updated. It’s unlikely there are many in use: Sky promised in May to replace any still being used by subscribers.