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Sky UK Charges Old 4K TV Customers £50 to Get HDR Upgrade

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 (5:45 pm) - Score 64,258
sky q tv 2016

Sky (Comcast / Sky Broadband) finally launched their long-awaited High Dynamic Range (HDR) TV upgrade last month (here), which was made available to those with an existing Sky Experience or Ultra HD (4K) subscription. Unfortunately those with older Sky Q set-top-boxes will now have to pay £50 to benefit.

The sting in the tail for Sky’s much delayed introduction of HDR was that only newer Sky Q 1TB and 2TB set-top-boxes were compatible with the HDR upgrade (i.e. those with model number 32B0xx), which complements Ultra HD resolutions by enabling video content to contain even more colour and vibrancy.

Sadly this left early adopters of Sky’s Ultra HD platform to feel a touch abandoned. Customers who don’t already have a UHD (4K) subscription can get around this by upgrading, but if you happen to have such a subscription already and an older Q box then you were out of luck as Sky had yet to introduce an upgrade or replacement process.

At the time we reported that Sky expected to introduce this later and so it has come to pass. Posting in a somewhat low key announcement via their community forum today, one of the operator’s employees directed customers to “register your interest in upgrading an existing non HDR 2TB [box] to an HDR version.”

Sadly that message goes to a pre-register page (here for public or go here for the members-only page), where Sky is asking older 4K customers for another £50 to get the new HDR box (self-install). Needless to say this didn’t go down particularly well and here’s just a small sample of the reaction from those who have so far spotted the update.

Sample Sky Complaint 1 (Ben1980)

“Charging a £50 set up fee really is taking the mick. This shocking service to existing customers, most who are the early adopters and paid the highest fees might be the reason I do cancel. “

Sample Sky Complaint 2 (tarbat)

“£50? Even for customers who had their v2 (HDR) box swapped out by Sky and replaced with v1 box?”

Sample Sky Complaint 3 (SoupDragon57)

“£50 is outrageous! It’s rented equipment and it’s not hard to swap them over. Could do it myself. Grateful my contact is due up at the end of July.”

Sample Sky Complaint 4 (scottief)

“Wow, Sky, that’s really smacking your loyal early adopters right in the teeth who paid a lot of money for V1 boxes and a Sky Q service that (let’s face it), was an absolute bag of nails for months. Whilst at the same time, you hand out free boxes to those who’ve joined the bandwagon later. Bravo!! I for one will NOT be paying your £50 fee and as a VIP Diamond member that’s been with you for 20+ years, I think this is disgraceful.”

As it stands Sky’s new HDR upgrade doesn’t yet have a lot of content to offer and so there’s no immediate need to rush into adopting it. Equally the pre-registered £50 upgrade service hasn’t yet clarified exactly when it will begin sending out the new kit, which is probably for the best as we suspect that customers will be venting about this for a little while.

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75 Responses
  1. Avatar Sky says:

    Sky can piss off for all I care. Hate sky. Hope they go out of business

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      I very much share your sentiment.

    2. Avatar Mark says:

      Sky know how to go with things, i need 3 engineer visits to do exactly what i already know, being an engineer in the 90s i already know how sky q works, but no , it must be done by sky, so each time the house is redecorated etc, must the sky q box have an engineer visit, or what about a powercut,

    3. Avatar Adam says:

      While you might be a little frustrated that’s a bit of a heartless comment to make given the current situation. You want them to go out of business and cost so many people their jobs? If you don’t like Sky or indeed any other company that much then leave them and go elsewhere!

    4. Avatar Broadmarsh says:

      If you do not like SKY and you a want full range of TV channels including streaming, do not think about BT TV. Terrible setup and not user friendly at all.

    5. Avatar Rich Murgatroyd says:

      Got sky q 2 tb very early on.Plus soundbox and all the premium channels,internet with sky and mobile with sky and now they want me to pay £50 more .Dont fkn think so sky.How about a bit of loyalty to us.Prime,apple n Netflix for me I think.

  2. Avatar John says:

    I’m with them, as some are early adopters and paid the most at the start.

  3. Avatar Michael V says:

    Sky never knew how to look after existing customers & early adopters of new services / hardware. Part of the reason I left as a customer & also as a member of staff who worked for the company back in 2015.

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      Ive being with sky since 1990, i was an engineer fitting sky, bsb, and later freesat systems, i know everthing about how sky gets delivered by satellite etc, and i also had direct to home tv as a hobby, however sky are now pricing themselves out of the market, they also tell me everything i already know about q box installs, but when i try to get a q box, no it must be done by sky, im tempted to leave, and go to freesat, also their prices are awful for long term users, ive got sky sport, entertainment and broadband plus 1 multiroom, £143 a month, and yet nextdoor got the full package but no multiroom and only pays £56, and they only had sky for 5 years! Glad im not installing anymore, though, i think skys day was the 90s until 2017.jeramy dorrach must be worried now!

    2. Avatar Daniel says:

      Reply to Mark, not Michael – You pay £143 EVERY month for TV ? One hundred and forty three pound.. Every.Single.Month ?

      Do you watch TV 22 hours a day or summat?? I’m amazed people pay over £50 a month for it. WOW

    3. Avatar Jonny says:

      £143 per month, I think your getting ripped off mate. Have you not thought about asking for a discount? If you’ve been a loyal long serving customer since 1990, it puts you in the category as a VIP customer. I’ve been a customer of Sky for well over 25yrs and I’m a Gold VIP customer, do you could quite well be a Gold or Platinum VIP customer. Anyway for you to be paying £143 per month and for what your getting is ridiculous. I split my services between 2 providers “Sky and Virgin” Sky for the TV part and Virgin for my Broadband and Phone/Landline. I pay £83 a month to Sky (which I only hot this deal last week 18 month contract) this includes Sky Q 2TB Box & 2 Mini Boxes, Sky Signature, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sports, Ultimate TV Addon Netflix 4K upto 4 Screens, Multi Screen x2, Sky HD, Ultra HD. Again ALL this for £83 per month. As for my Virgin package, I get Vivid 200 upto 200mbps (my speed check comes back at around 214mbps) and Landline + Weekend Calls only (as we have contracted mobile phones with unlimited texts and minutes with other providers). I pay Virgin £39 per month for that, best of both worlds, best TV and definitely best and fastest broadband, for less than what your paying per month and I’m getting a great deal more. I also have a iptv package which also gives me over 5000 Channels including all the Sports, PPV, Movies and a lot more, which I only use for the Sport (when a football game isn’t shown on Sky or BT) and PPV (when a boxing or ufc fight or football game is ppv), I pay £60 a year for this service, this is provided in full 1080p. Best of all worlds. I would get in touch with sky to see what they can do. I play both Sky and Virgin off against each other everytime my contracts are coming to an end, works all the time. Hope this helps.

  4. Avatar Karen says:

    I had an original box, but the Hard Drive started failing and was corrupting recordings. They swapped it free of charge and got a nice new model. Perhaps I was lucky but be picky about issues and you might save £50.

  5. Avatar Craig says:

    I gave my notice to Sky and gone with Freesat, with Netflix and Amazon Prime.

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      That makes a good choice, and if your a classic lover like me consider, britbox, i love the old fashioned comedys, shame britbox has poor ratings though, i perfer this over sky anyday, i dont think disney will out do netflix, might be wrong, but i think disney will call the shots then put the price up.

    2. Avatar Grazza says:

      Mark – Instead of Britbox, why not look at some of the freeview channels for old comedy. Forces TV has lost of 70s comedy and drama, Talking Pictures has all classic films and there are plenty of UK/US comedies on Netflix. I give anything that the BBC do a wide berth and that includes Britbox.

  6. Avatar David says:

    I won’t be staying with sky, terrible customer service from sky yet again, don’t bother about there best customers,I will be getting rid of my box and sky, getting too expensive.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      The same can be said of Virgin media too. Both VM and Sky are well aware that their collective time is short now other (better) web based services are either free or less than their monthly subscriptions. So they’re going to milk the existing customer base for every penny before they fold.

    2. Avatar MikeP says:

      It also does for the “quad-play” case (which is all about ARPU figures for investors anyways, not actual customer benefit)

  7. Avatar Matt says:

    Hmm, yeah closest I’m getting to Sky right now is using an old Sky HD box to get Premier Sports HD, as for subscribing to Sky they got no chance, wouldn’t even be using there STB if there was a choice (Which I’m still investigating)

    1. Avatar Onephat says:

      You could look at Netgem TV as it’s included in the price. Only issue is you can’t record Premier Sports using that platform.

    2. Avatar Matt says:

      Hmm, thanks for the heads up, I for some reason thought it was an Ireland thing…

      Probably going to stick with the satellite setup for now and maybe consider in future

  8. Avatar Pezza says:

    Unfortunately we have it in our house, not my choice but then again it is the only way to watch F1 unless you go Now TV for 720P, or pay Sky a few just for 1080P content.
    I hate Sky too, I am out of co tract currently though so will not consider any renewal without a free upgrade to my box for HDR.

    Luckily more and more is coming to streaming services and Sky can do one once F1 comes back to terrestrial TV which most of the teams want to happen, because Sky has a total monopoly on it.

    1. Avatar Pezza says:

      I meant pay Sky more money just to get 1080P on Now TV which is disgusting in 2020. I worked for them for several years and everything was geared towards getting people to buy the TV service no matter what, and most of its profits are driven to pay for the premiership or other football leagues. I could say things about them but won’t as they watch social media channels. Let’s just say a cheap company that’s not managed very well.

  9. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

    It’s not exactly unknown to pay for better STBs. If you are a Virgin Media customer with a TiVo, admittedly not a great box, you have to pay £99 plus £25 activation fee for a replacement V6.

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      Virgin, and ntl before that and comtel before that used to badger me over the years, trying to get me to switch from sky to cable, i never let on i was in the trade as a sky freesat installer
      But over the years remark after remark about sky all of which i have to say was never true coming from the cable guys used to baffle me, until they found out who i was! It became clear that there instruction is to get as many over to cable as possible what ever the excusses, one guy even told me that by 2000 all of sky will be gone and that itv digital will join forces with ntl and everything and everyone will be on cable, when comtel left our road in such a shocking state 1996 , ntl took over things got worst not better, there are 56 homes in my road in 1996 the road was cabled, 2 joined up, by 2000 this had lept to 4, by 2005 2 more at the other end of the road, since then 5 have left but another 3 have joined, 1s leaving next month while sky are still in 38 houses not sure if there all paying, or swapped to freesat, but cable certainly not had a big impact here, and although the tivo boxes are good they are extremly slow, had a go with a v6 box, which is better, but i dont think cable will ever hit big from tv, broadband might yes, as to the guy who told me everything being on cable by 2000 he works for bt now.

  10. Avatar Granola says:

    You give them £50 so they can rent you a different box to the one you already rent from them and in so doing you lose all your recordings and I expect scheduled recordings, favourite channels setup etc, and all this for a more vivid picture on how many channels !!!

  11. Avatar Colin Turner says:

    Not a happy VIP Diamond SkyQ customer at the moment had a V1 box from day one I like Sky program’s never had a problem with Sky Customer Service always helpful and get good deals when renewing my contract I might been a lucky customer but I not lying,but why should loyal customers pay for a upgrade box to get HDR. SKY I think you have got this upgrade wrong for us V1 box and you are going to lose a lot of Loyal Customers so please rethink your cost for this upgrade

  12. Avatar Raymond Luk says:

    Sky is having a laugh aren’t they? They should be paying me extra £50. I only have the basic package. It was £20 when I joined now they charge 50? Offered me a Sky Q In the past but wanted to charge me more… They offered me free sky hd for a friggin month.. at the end of the contract I am gone…when my contract comes to the end…. piss take

  13. Avatar Fat Cat says:

    It’s ok everyone. I’m rich.

  14. Avatar John says:

    We had been with sky over 20 years, loyalty means absolutely nothing to sky they just want your money. Every year you get a letter saying it’s going up. My wife and myself had enough so cancelled sky and moved to freesat, best thing we ever did. Got one of their new 4k Freesat boxes (2tb Recordable) and it’s amazing, some better things on their than sky q. Best thing we did leaving, no contract now and 4mths of sky bills has paid for the new box.

    Leave sky, you won’t regret it.

    1. Avatar Brother reality check says:

      What can you get on freesat that you cant get on sky?
      I’ve always considered sky delivers the very best you can get on any uk tv service. I get that to provide this costs sky to innovate the boxs costs sky. I’m sure they’ll invest heavily in innovation.
      Has anyone considered the whit elephant in the room?
      What’s that you ask. How about the monopolies commission and the football associations splitting the games between providers. This doesn’t save the end user money as I now have to sign upto 3 different paid for services sky,bt and now amazon to watch my team play.
      My point is sky put more and more into their service each you but some people want to pay less and less and at the same time get better products(you wont find anywhere near the same quality with any other uk company

    2. Avatar Pezza says:

      @Brother Reality Check, you sound exactly like a paid Sky employee deliberately defending Sky I’m afraid. And yes Sky do do that. As for your football, boohoo Sky paid 2 billion more then its nearest competitor to bid for the premier league a few years back, Sky paid 5 billion, the person who did it was so chuffed with themselves, can’t think why. But as a direct results of Sky’s inability to properly judge the market properly, the pay for footballers went up and that’s a documented fact. So Sky increased the cost to all subscribers regardless if they had football or not to pay for that increase, so you should be thankful for the competition commission, but as I said you come across as a Sky employee, it’s pretty obvious actually.

  15. Avatar Mike says:

    TV is for old people.

    1. Avatar William Young says:

      YOU WONT BE YOUNG FOREVER…

    2. Avatar MikeP says:

      But that doesn’t stop you getting a keyboard without a stuck CAPS key 🙂

    3. Avatar Mike says:

      Not all of us can be Young forever xD

  16. Avatar Paul Green says:

    Just cancel! They will then throw everything at you to stay.

    1. Avatar MikeP says:

      IME, they do that once it’s too late – i.e after you’ve actually cancelled and signed up for another service.

      Which is adding insult to injury.

    2. Avatar Bez says:

      Yes paul. To right. But the best part is if you have any mini box in your home you can not use. HDR. So what’s the point. If a lot of people just told sky to piss off. It may do some good. A lot of people will lose job. Cus of this cov_d. shit. Well done. Brilliant work. Keep up the good work to piss people off.

    3. Avatar Alex Atkin says:

      I haven’t been with them for I think 10 years now. Every since I cancelled they just kept sending me THE SAME offer over and over, that was worse than I had been paying before I cancelled.

      Was waiting to see if they would offer me a Sky Q upgrade, they never did.

      Honestly don’t miss them, happy with Netflix and Prime. If CBS All Access ever gets round to launching in the UK, I’ll have more content I want to watch than Sky ever delivered.

  17. Avatar Mark says:

    £50 for an upgrade to a Sky Q design that was outdated when it came out, boy amazing! The whole system was poorly designed from day 1 and I’m glad to not have invested in what is a rented system…

  18. Avatar David Dunn says:

    I’ve always updated to the latest box as soon as possible but was lucky enough (somehow) to get a HDR compatible box when I went for Sky Q. It’s wrong that they are charging £50 to send out and fit a “Rented” box though, if you took Sky Q silver within the first year you shouldn’t have to pay for a new box.

  19. Avatar Jono says:

    Lot of SKY hate!

    We have tried the alternatives – Freesat, YouView, even Now TV.

    Our house hold loves SkyQ we have a mini box in our kids rooms, which they love.

    It just looks and works better than everyone else. Yes its expensive but we are happy to pay for it, its used every day.

    Bit annoying having to pay £50 to upgrade the box, but in all honesty I will probably just wait at some point when my contract is up I’ll ask for a free upgrade.

  20. Avatar RaptorX says:

    This is seriously taking the piss and that first comment in the article really sums up exactly why. I suspect that Sky are testing the waters here and will do a u-turn on this awful policy. It’s pure profiteering, nothing more.

    1. Avatar William Young says:

      Some time ago I took up an offer for Sky Q box for £30 for Sky Diamond customers…after installation I did not see any difference on my tv…same day it was fitted I cancelled and they went thru all the legislation to see if I was within my rights to cancel they accepted and refitted a new Sky + box credited my account and no charge .
      Crux of the story is..they were offloading there old Sky Q boxes to unsuspecting customers .ps I still have the Sky Q box and mini box that was 4 months ago…obviously they dont want it back.

    2. Avatar Pezza says:

      @William, oh you better hold onto those boxes trust me, one day they’ll request them back and they WILL charge you if you don’t send them back.

    3. Avatar Bez says:

      To right. Sky can stick it.

  21. Avatar Arthur says:

    I cancelled my sky sub in January they made no offer to keep me reduce the bill or extra channels nothing ok just cancell

    Now just using old Sky+HD box as freesat and got Amazon video + Now TV
    Enertaiment Movies Kids for £9.85 pm dont miss any of the Sky channels Theirs enough to watch on Now TV good enough

    1. Avatar Marc Miller says:

      I’m think Now TV is owned by sky lol .. so they still get your pennies to put towards the large football bill lol..

  22. Avatar Keith Blackwood says:

    Been a sky customer for years and never get to any loyalty deals.
    Whereas new customers do.
    Shocking

    1. Avatar Roger_Gooner says:

      A lot of Virgin Media customers complain about exactly the same thing. But this is how the free market is supposed to work and if you have a choice jump ship.

  23. Avatar Sam says:

    Had a V1 box, and last year it had the click of death and locked up. Sky came out, tested dish and cables, confirmed sky box was faulty, and gave us a brand new V2 box! Never really been felt let down by sky, have a good chat with them, and they will help you, be rude and demanding and they would rather you left!

    1. Avatar RaptorX says:

      That sounds about right. I joined Sky for the TV service a few years ago and have had consistently good service from them, despite all the negative stories. The only thing I really don’t like is their call screening system which makes it hard to get through to someone in the first place.

  24. Avatar David says:

    Well done Sky thank you long time customers 50 pound to upgrade your equipment that is not HDR. Also the customers who have been paying the top tier subscription for the longest time. No renewing my contract only time you even interested in customer service.

  25. Avatar Nik says:

    I have SKYQ Boradband etc, can’t fault the tv service to be honest, you just have to negotiate a better price when re-contracting. 4K and HDR is fine but I have 4K turned off tbh as it makes the quality of non 4k channels worse.
    Broadband however is another kettle of fish. I just re-contracted to Sky Superfast, what a mistake. I had Sky fibre unlimited pro before and got 55mbps download on it. After going on superfast which is supposed to be up to 80mbps I got capped at 40mbps. Even though the superfast product is up to 80mbps they still provision on 40/10 and 80/20 lines if your guaranteed handback speed is less than 35mbps. I rang them and argued but they won’t budge and put me back on an 80/20 profile. Only option was to leave or batter them for a better price. My Street cab is full so can’t leave but I did manage to get £7 off a month and no cancellation fees if I want to move when my cab has been upgraded. Still furious mind you that they lie about speed tiers. They tried to tell me it was capacity issues in my area, they don’t have caps on speed…my router syncs at exactly 40000kbps and SNR is 10.1db

    1. Avatar Granola says:

      I had the same, what I don’t know is why do they do it. Recontracted and put on 40/10 profile, lost some connection speed, what is in it for Sky ?

  26. Avatar LeslieCharlton says:

    I had sky from day I. For years and years.but your all right.the are.pricing them out.of business I left last year
    And do not regret it.is now have amazon and netFlix.and it’s still cheaper then I was paying sky.

    1. Avatar Spurple says:

      Wouldn’t touch The Sun with a 10 foot pole. LOL.

    2. Avatar Art Fish says:

      Those that didn’t get the April price increase are getting it applied in the next month beginning “A”. Not show stopping news for an annual increase being applied.

  27. Avatar MartinConf says:

    The big question for me is, do new customers have to pay the extra £50?

  28. Avatar Pauric mcginley says:

    What happens if I bought the sky Q 2tb box inc 1tb mini box

  29. Avatar Neville says:

    If I have to pay for upgrade I will be leaving to.have Netflix 4k and a android tv so won’t be missing much

    1. Avatar Craig says:

      You would be better off with a Firestick from Amazon, I heard those Android boxes, don’t get many software updates. The Firestick, allows you to have BBC iPlayer, Netflix, etc.

  30. Avatar Susan Lang says:

    I have been a Sky customer for 19 years. last year i was told i would receive a refund because I had to wait for a repair. Never happened. I was told i have not been recieving the correct package and yet paying for it. contacted Sky no reply. including informing them if a damaged window.
    this year I purchased an iPad would not connect sky came and replaced wires cables etc they were horrified at my lack of power. It takes me 2 days to down load an App. I still don’t have enough power but paying for it.
    I would like to say all the engineers have been as helpful as they can and so have the call centre staff even if their advise is incorrect after days on the phone i feel deeply saddened by the whole experience.

  31. Avatar Soon2sayByeSky says:

    Cabin fever has led me to (1) buy a 4k OLED TV (2) realise I don’t miss SKY sports as much as I thought I would (3) love watching movies in 4k on Netflix, Prime & Rakuten (4) going to cancel SKY and BT Sports when contracts end.
    I bought a 3D TV circa 2012 based on SKY pushing that technology but withdrew it except for download movies. 4k is awesome and SKY has so little 4K content I cannot justify paying the subscription.

  32. Avatar Mike Carline says:

    In my experience with over many years this is how SKY rewards its long standing customers, with a kick in the teeth.

    1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

      Appears Sky and Virgin Media operate the very same business model.

  33. Avatar Mekerz86 says:

    Thankfully I’m out of contract in Jan and I won’t ever be touching Sky again. There’s absolutely zero value in the service for me and since being locked into a contract, my prices have increased substantially to the point that I’m paying significantly more for my broadband vs what else is on the market.

    After Game of Thrones ended, the only series on Sky that I enjoyed was Brassic. I honestly get more enjoyment from Netflix and YouTube and hand on heart can say I’ve not touched my Sky remote over lockdown.

    Also, how can the cost of sports be defended? We now have Amazon, BT and Sky bidding for Premier League, i.e. an increase in competition which usually means better prices for consumers. Not here though, the greed in football means the games are packaged up so that consumers end up having to subscribe to more services. Look at how Sky lost European football to BT, yet you’re not paying Sky less.

    1. Avatar Craig says:

      If you want to continue to watch Brassic you could always get NowTV and then cancel when not needed.

  34. Avatar Andrew Nesbitt says:

    I’ve been with sky for 10 years and have had Q for the last 3 years and I must say I have never had an issue, Normally when I renew my contract I just have a sensible conversation with them on price and they always bend over backwards to help me out, The problem is people want all these extra premium services for free and that ain’t gonna happen, I’ve been paying Netflix £12 a month for donkeys years and now through sky it’s only 6 quid, I hope they work something out with prime soon aswel, Good work sky and keep it up

  35. Avatar Nigel greenall says:

    Money pinching bastards

  36. Avatar Love Broadband says:

    Why is NowTV only 720p ?

    Come on, almost everybody has a 1080p telly these days?

    What are they playing at offering the WORST definition picture in the entire TV industry?

    I don’t know why anyone would want to bother with NowTV at SD low resolution? Bizarre.

  37. Avatar Wally1 says:

    On Sky HDR Forum today (4th) is a post (Sky Employee) saying
    that customers with non HDR Sky Q boxes who have registered
    an interest on Sky site should be contacted this month (Aug)
    about obtaining an HDR box.

  38. Avatar Wally1 says:

    It is now the 28th Sept and I and others are still waiting to hear from
    Sky that we can have a HDR Sky Q box. The team handling this operation
    cannot be contacted. The Sky Customer Service people are not involved,
    I have tried to get help from them but without success.
    The only information we have is via the Sky Q HDR Forum. From there we gather:-

    1. They have had a problem with some requests and are working one by one with them. We do not know how many are involved.
    2. Some of our initial requests do not seem to have registered but we don’t know which. Therefore we don’t know what we should do to proceed.
    3. Some applicants are being sent V2 boxes and not the latest V3 box as promised
    on the Sky website. Although this gives HDR it is not the “latest box”.

    With Sky for 20+ years and prepared to pay the £50 fee.

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