How to get Sky Anytime+
Now that Sky has opened up their Anytime+ service for anyone with an Internet connection, many more people want to make use of this free service.There are a few things to do first and a few items that you will need in order to get access to this free service.
Before we go any further, remember that this service will download content through your Internet connection and this will eat into any monthly allowance you may have and will affect the speed that any other computers can access the Internet at whilst you are downloading anything.
Currently there is no option to schedule the downloads at particular times, so if you want to make use of any unlimited access after midnight, for example, you will have to be awake at that time to start the download.
What do you need?
- A Sky+ HD STB with a valid Sky subscription (there is one model which cannot and will never receive Anytime+: Thomson – check the back of the STB to see which you have if you are unsure)
- An Internet connection with a router
- A method to connect the Sky+ HD STB to the router
- Ensure that UPnP is enabled on your router
One of the first things that you can do is to visit the Sky website and log in to your account. Visit your ‘My Sky’ page and select the box/button to add the Anytime+ service. A signal will be sent over the Satellites to your STB to enable the service. This may take anything from a few minutes to a couple of days.
Whilst you are waiting for this to be enabled, it is now alright to connect your Sky+ HD STB to your router.
The simplest method would be to use an Ethernet cable to connect the two together. Plug one end into the port marked ‘Ethernet’, in green, on the back of the Sky+ HD STB and the other to a port on your router.
The Sky+ HD STB will display a message that is has detected a network connection.
Once the signal has been received to enable Anytime+ you should be able to navigate to ‘Anytime’ on you STB. If all is well you will see a different appearance to how it used to be. Now you will have some pictures and the ‘Anytime’ content has been renamed ‘Showcase’.
...but what else can happen or may be required?
Firstly let’s look at connecting the Sky+ HD STB to your router. I mentioned the simplest method, but this isn’t suitable for everyone. The Sky+ HD STB does not have WiFi built in, but there are a variety of other options available.
- Sky can provide a Media WiFi Bridge for around £60. They have provided this FOC to some people under some conditions in the past
- There are various universal Media WiFi Bridges available for less. The Netgear WNCE2001 is one such device
- HomePlugs or PowerLine Adaptors can be used
- WiFi Extender
If your TV, Blu-Ray, Home Theatre or any other device beside you TV requires a connection, you may wish to consider connecting one of the above to a Network Switch as well. This could provide multiple devices via the same link to your router.
Rather than go into much more detail here please feel free to read the document linked below on extending your home network:
Extending your Home Network
What if it doesn’t all work?
First could you check the network connection? To do this, using your remote control, press 6 to highlight the ‘Network’ settings. Ideally this should show the following:
- Local Connection – OK
- Service Connection – OK
- IP Address – 192.168.0.2 (these will vary according to your network)
- DHCP – ON
If the Local Connection is down, check the network connection between your Sky+ HD STB and the router. One easy way to do this is to use a Laptop and plug the same cable that you plugged into the Sky+ HD STB. Ideally it should be able to connect to your router & from there the Internet.
If the Service Connection is down, but everything is fine, then there could one of three things wrong:
- Your connection is too busy for the Sky+ HD STB to connect to the Sky Servers
- The signal to enable the service on your STB hasn’t been received yet
- Your router needs to have UPnP enabled
If you are unable to get an IP Address or the DHCP is OFF, double check the settings on any WiFi device that connects between your STB and the router. If you have customised your settings (see below) then DHCP will show as ‘Off’.
Some people have found it useful to power-cycle the Sky+ STB fully before it managed to connect to the Sky servers. To do this completely, you first need to switch off the Sky+ HD STB by using the remote control. The green power LED will now turn orange.
Next press and hold the on/off button on top of the Sky+ HD STB until the LED goes red. The STB will go completely silent now as the internal hard drive and fan stops working.
Give the STB about 15 seconds, then press the button on your remote control. The Sky+ HD STB will take a few minutes to restart, but there is no harm in pressing the button several times to ensure that it is starting up again.
Give it a few more minutes to allow the STB to contact the router and to contact the Sky servers.
Customising your settings
You can customise the network settings for your own LAN is you wish. To do this navigate to the ‘Network’ settings page as described above and press the Green button on your remote control. You will now need to put in the following information using your remote control:
- IP Address
- Gateway Router
The actual details will vary between different routers; more so now as Sky have opened it up to all UK ISPs. In the interests of keeping this tutorial simple, I will refer to the default settings for the Sky routers. You will need to check your router to see what settings are available to be used. If you are unsure, use the ‘ipconfig’ command (available in M$ Windows) to help you to see what your computer has assigned.
As an example though, someone could use the following settings on a Sky router left at its default settings:
- IP Address – 192.168.0.230
- Subnet – 255.255.255.0
- Gateway Router – 192.168.0.1
- DNS – 188.8.131.52
The IP Address needs to be unique to each device connected on your home network. I’ve chosen to end it with the number 230 as it won’t conflict with other guides available on this forum, but any number from 2 to 254 would be fine with a Sky router.
The ‘Subnet’ is normally always 255.255.255.0 on home networks. There isn’t much point for most people to change this.
The ‘Gateway Router’ is the IP Address of your router. Sky uses the default setting of 192.168.0.1 on all their routers. Other ISPs can use this same figure, but many use other numbers.
The ‘DNS’ can be set to your ISP’s DNS servers or a public DNS server. In the example above I have selected Google’s Public DNS Server, but others are available. Please see the link below for a list of many DNS Servers for the UK:
When you have done this, press the button on your remote to save the settings. DHCP will now show as ‘OFF’. The ‘Service Connection’ may initially show as ‘Fail’, if this happens, come out of the menu and navigate back to it to check.