A look at SkyHD (Freesat from Sky)

The DRX595 – Sky’s basic multi-room digibox also used for Freesat from sky installs. One of the last Sky boxes that have non recording capability. While these boxes have a good selection of channels thanks to the Sky EPG listings, the lack of on Demand and streaming apps are a huge turn-off… unless you have an existing smart TV or streaming STB / Bluray Player.

This is due to how Sky had implemented on demand on their HD platform, instead of each service using it’s own streaming app, all catch and on Demand services use the Sky Anytime system, where programmes are downloaded onto the subscribers box. Since the DRX595 lacks a hard drive to store this on, there is no on demand support

The DRX595 does come with a fully equipped HD remote with the playback buttons, and the front panel indicator shows a recording and playback light, hinting the ability for the box to set remote recordings from another Sky+ HD box. Or maybe the ability to connect an external hard drive to it’s USB 2.0 port?

Search and Scan banner that appears when you change channels, and can also be viewed by pressing select or the arrow buttons on the remote.

Pressing the i button brigs up a short synopsis of the program

When you view an encrypted channel that’s not part of your package, pressing red takes you to the MySky upgrade screen. Unlike other platforms Sky does not hide unsubscribed channels, they remain in the EPG

Viewing upto 8 hours of schedule in advance, despite the digibox having 7 days worth of listings stored in its memory

Pressing help gives you options for subtitles or audio description.

TV Guide

Tabs are used to switch between the different channel guide categories. There’s a dedicated guide for the local channels but since there is only one local channel I’m not sure of the purpose of this?

Search

The search feature, you can use the remote or the original Open/Sky keypad or the Sky Navigator. You will need to reprogram the keyboard in order for it to work on the HD digibox, but all of the alphabetic keys will work.

  1. On the Sky/Open keypad – Press TV
  2. Press and hold Select and Blue together until the red led on the remote flashes twice
  3. Press 2
  4. Press Select, the red LED should flash twice
  5. Test by pressing the Sky button, then try the Tv Guide button

You will need to repeat this procedure if you replace the batteries in the keypad.

Settings

Picture – This digibox can output up to 1080i, 720p or 576 (SD PAL), here it is set to 576 for capturing HDCP purposes. Scart Control set the scart auto switching feature for when the digibox turns on, whilst the video output lets you toggle between PAL and RGB

Sound – The digibox can output stereo audio or Dolby Digital through the optical or HDMI output

Signal – Checks the signal levels, unlike the old Sky guide this display’s information for the current channel you are tuned to, rather than the default transponder

Options

Not sure why this exists? seems to cover the same as the settings menu. Here you can change the subtitles, customize the TV guide and add additional channels

Non EPG channels can be added and view through the options menu, here you can see now and next listings only, and can save up to 50 channels. This is useful to add local tv channels, alternative ITV and Channel 4 regions or services that are testing on Sky.

Parental Controls

Interactive

Sky had previously pioneered the use of interactive TV via its platform, where customers could buy, manage their finances and play games through the digibox, sadly today all that remains here is the My Sky services, which just allows you to view your Sky account through the digibox. No way to play Beehive Bedlam…

Sky News

Sky News previously had an interactive services which shows different, sadly this requires on of the more later SkyHD or SKy Q boxes.

BBCi

The only digital text service remaining on Sky, BBCi just displays news and weather forecasts. The service is designed for both HD and legacy SD digibox’s.

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