Updates by Email

Sign up for our free TV & Radio Newsletter

Radio and Telly Facebook Page Radio and Telly on Twitter Radio and Telly RSS Feed FrequencyCast Podcast on iTunes


Listen to the FrequencyCast Podcast





YouView from BT


. .

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:

Sky Box USB Slot

Here’s the USB socket on the back of a Amstrad DRX890 Sky+HD box:

Sky Box USB Slot

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.

Dazzle Video Creator Platinum
A Dazzle Video Capture Device

 

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

WD TV HD - Unit and Box

WD TV HD Media Player is available from:

A network-enabled version, the WD HD TV Live (with Ethernet and support for a Wi-fi USB stick) is available from Play.com, and Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

On our other pages:

8 Responses to "Sky+ Boxes and the USB Socket"

  1. Murey Says:

    Fu*king sky+, i bought this shit only for this function, and now i read that it wouldnt work out, nice :) Fuuuuuu

  2. rammblings101 Says:

    Re: “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.”

    A Chromecast dongle needs to be powered via USB but also needs to be plugged into a USB socket itself. Many TV’s do not have a space USB socket so use the spare one on the Sky+ HD box. Simples!!

  3. Ritchie H Says:

    I’d like to see the power switched on – there IS a point for some users.

    For example, my Google Chromecast. If I could power the Chromecast from my Skybox, I could do away with a plug socket for it (I currently have to use a 230v USB plug).

    Also, USB is 5v. If I have to use a transformer for the Chromecast, I’m stepping 230v down to 5v which means a lot of electricity is lost as heat.

    Finally – I use my Samsung phone for Play Music. If I could plug the phone into the USB I could keep it charging whilst playing music through my entertainment system (my TV doesn’t have a USB port).

  4. Lewis Spence Says:

    The Sky USB does have a use and it’s to plug a sky wifi dongle in to connect the sky box to your sky wifi router.

  5. Tony pointom Says:

    Can I plug Amazon firestick into sky USB port as my TV dont have USB connection ?

  6. John Says:

    Pity Sky cannot use the USB ports to at least transfer to a new sky box when received as otherwise needs everything stored to be copied in real time to DVD disks. If you could connect two boxes using USB would be brilliant.

  7. John Says:

    I would like to see the USB ports used to transfer from one sky box to another saving time to copy in real time to DVD’s

  8. Jim Heffernan Says:

    How can you record anything on dvd if the skybox has only one start connection?

Leave a Reply