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Sky+ offers remote recording via mobile or web

by Bob Crabtree on 6 July 2006, 14:39

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Owners of Sky+ and SkyHD PVR boxes can now set up remote timed recordings by mobile phone - and a web-based option from PCs is promised a little later in summer.

The Sky+ Remote Record service works with ordinary mobiles, acting on short text message sent to a special number. Users of fancier phones with mobile internet capabilities (2.5G, 3G or GPRS - including some BlackBerry models) can do the same or they can download an application - Sky by mobile 1 - that makes the whole business interactive.

The application brings up Sky’s seven-day TV guide on the phone. The on-phone guide is similar to the one viewers use every day on their TV sets, making it easy to browse listings and view programme details while out and about - and then choose what to have recorded back home.

Sky says that there is no charge to use this part of the service other than the phone operator’s data charge for using 2.5G, 3G or GPRS services. Although Sky's announcement doesn't say so, the company has confirmed that there is no charge for sending recording requests to the Sky+ boxes. It also told HEXUS that the web-based PC service is completely free.

skyguide_at_bus_stopClick for larger image

To use the remote-recording service requires an active Sky+ subscription. Free registration is required so that your details can be linked to a particular Sky+ box. Up to eight mobiles can be registered on one box but each phone can only be registered on a single box.

skyguide on nokiaClick for larger image

There are different ways to register - one for each of the three remote-recording services.

* SMS registration

Press ‘Interactive’ on your Sky+ remote, select Sky Active and then go to My Sky. Select Remote Record and you’ll be directed to the Remote Record registration page. Fill out the details that link your mobile phone with your Sky+ box (up to eight phones can be registered per box).

Recording-request text messages are sent to Sky's remote record number - 61759 - and take this a format: The Simpsons. Sky 1. 11/06. 18:30.

Sky automatically searches the TV listings when it receives a request and, if a match is found, sends a message to the customers Sky+ box. The customer's mobile is then sent a text confirming the recording request. This costs 25p and is said to be the only text that Sky itself will charge for.

* Sky by mobile (2.5G, 3G or GPRS) registration

If you subscribe to Sky Sports 1 and 2 and / or Sky Movies 1 and 2 or you are a Sky Bet customer, registration is a two-step process. First register for Sky by mobile, so you can view the Sky TV guide on your mobile phone. Then register your mobile for Remote Record on Sky Active, as above.

Registering for Sky by mobile requires:

+ A compatible handset with internet access via 2.5G, 3G or GPRS

+ A Sky subscription - that might be Sky Sports 1 & 2 and or Sky Movies 1 & 2. Sky Bet customers are also eligible

+ A Sky digital account - needed to download the Sky by mobile app. Up to seven additional users in the household can download the app

Go to the Sky mobile site. Sky says that the site explain what you need to do but not precisely what that entails.

* Online remote recording registration

First register for the service on Sky Active as above. Then visit to set recordings using the online TV guide

Remote record and BlackBerry

Sky says that BlackBerry owners can send recording request by text or with the Sky by mobile application. The text version of Remote Record is said to work with all SMS-enabled BlackBerry devices even if telephony is not enabled through the e-mail / SMS interface. If the BlackBerry is not being used as a mobile phone, you can check the number assigned to it by entering *#100# and pressing send.

Registration for Sky Active is required and downloading of the Sky by mobile app if wanting to use the on-screen TV guide. BlackBerry models currently supported by the Sky by mobile app are the 7100v, 7100x, 7230, 7730, 7290 and 8700.

In case you were wondering, the remote service offers no way of remotely cancelling a remote-recording request - this has to be done on the Sky+ box itself.

Seems like a rather nice feature for Sky to be offering to its SD and HD PVR subscribers. But are there catches we've not considered? Share your thoughts in the

HEXUS.links - discussion thread about this article
Sky mobile - home page
Sky - home page

HEXUS Forums :: 13 Comments

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Fantastic - finally exactly what I have been hoping for - shame they didn't launch it before the World Cup :)
Nice idea. I can then tell the Sky+ box downstairs to record the midnight freeviews from upstairs in my bedroom from my N80 :D
Fantastic - finally exactly what I have been hoping for - shame they didn't launch it before the World Cup :)

What I didn't say in the piece - I thought it was a given (but may have been wrong) - is that you can receive the Sky listings on your phone or BlackBerry even when you are abroad, and can, of course, send recording requests from abroad, too.

I don't know how much extra this would cost compared to doing it all in the UK but it looks ideal for live-alone Sky+ subscribers who travel a lot - I'd reckon they'll have plenty of time on their hands while travelling to browse the programme guide and more time than they'd have when their at home.

Of course, whether such travellers would ever have time to watch all the recordings when they do get home is quite another matter.
Sound like my life :)
An unhappy coincidence. Nothing more. Cough!