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Sky+ Boxes and the USB Socket
One of our most frequently asked questions, so we've given it its own page... how do I use the USB sockets on a Sky+ or Sky+HD set-top box. Read on!
Sky Box USB Sockets?
Yes - sure enough - look on the back of your Sky+ or Sky+HD box, and you should see a free USB slot. These also one hidden under the flap on the front panel.
Here's a photo of one, on the back of a Thomson-made Sky+HD box:
Here's the USB socket on the back of a Amstrad DRX890 Sky+HD box:
Q. Can I use these USB slots to copy files from my Sky+ box?
A. No. no supported. For the alternatives, see our Copying from Sky+ page
Q. Can I use the USB slots to play back files from a USB stick or connected drive?
A. No. Not supported
Q. Can I connect a webcam or printer to my Sky+ box via USB?
A. No. Not supported
Q. So what can I do with the USB sockets?
A. At this time, nothing. The Sky boxes have two USB sockets, and Sky tell us that the USB sockets are "Reserved for Future Use". Sky may have plans for the USB socket, but as yet, there appears to be nothing that can be done with the USB sockets.
There is one exception - Apparently, as the sockets are powered, you could possibly use the socket to charge up a device that's charged via a USB socket. Not supported by Sky, and nothing we'd like to recommend, but it may possible! You do so at your own risk, and we can't see the point.
Need to copy programmes from your Sky+ Box?
Your options are as follows:
- Connect a DVD recorder to a SCART socket and copy over the recordings to DVD, or
- Get a video capture card for your PC or Mac, then connect your Sky+HD box to the computer and record the box output with suitable capture software. You could consider using a Dazzle USB device on your PC to record from a connected Sky box. Dazzle device are available from Maplin.co.uk or Dabs.com.
Need to play video clips from USB on your TV?
As we outline above, this can't be done with the Sky USB sockets. Instead, consider a device like the WD Live HD Media Player. Plug in a USB stick or external drive, and this little black box will play back HD video on your TV
On our other pages:
- Satellite TV in the UK - General information on services in the UK
- Copy recordings from a Sky+ box - How to copy recordings to DVD or a PC
- Free Satellite TV - A summary of what's available for free
- Subscription-free TV - What can you get for free
- UK Satellite TV forum - Talk about satellite TV in the UK