Sky have changed almost every TV channel on your Sky box - here's everything you need to know

Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 08:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 1st May 2018, 09:31 am

Customers turning on their Sky+ HD and Sky Q boxes today will notice that things look dramatically different.

The UK broadcaster has reshuffled almost every channel in its TV Guide, and while they say “it will make it easier to find the programmes you love”, the changes are going to cause a lot of confusion in the short term.

Before you throw the remote control out the window in frustration, here’s everything you need to know in order to get to grips with it all.

Firstly, you don’t need to do anything to your Sky box, as the changes below will happen automatically from this morning (May 1).

The changes in a nutshell:

Documentaries channels moving higher in the TV Guide.+1 channels moving into a new section.Duplicated HD/SD channels moving to a new section.Changes to other areas of the TV Guide.

Here’s Sky’s own detailed rundown of all the changes:

Documentaries channels

What's changing?

From today (May 1), the Documentaries channels (such as Nat Geo HD, History HD and Discovery HD) will be listed in the main section of the TV Guide, making them easier to find in the All Channels menu.

The channels will also continue to be listed in the Documentaries menu within TV Guide.

The distinction between the programming on Documentaries channels and general entertainment programming has become less defined as more factual and factual-entertainment programmes are shown on the mainstream channels.

Why have Sky made this change?

As viewing habits and the types of programmes scheduled across all channels change over time, we need to review how we list channels in the TV Guide.

The distinction between the programming on Documentaries channels and general entertainment programming has become less defined as more factual and factual-entertainment programmes are shown on the mainstream channels.

Are Sky removing the Documentaries menu?

No, while the channels will move to the All Channels menu, the Documentaries menu will also remain.

Will my series links and favourites be affected?

No, series links you've set will continue to record as normal and when you select your favourite channels they'll be listed as normal, with their new numbers.

What do I need to do?

Nothing. The updated TV Guide will be automatically sent to your Sky box.

+1 channels

What's changing?

For channels in the Entertainment and Documentaries sections of the TV Guide, we'll be moving the +1s to a new section starting at 201.

To make the +1s even easier to find, we'll align the channel numbers for the main channel and the +1. For example, where Sky One is at 106, Sky One+1 will be at 206.

The changes affect both Sky+ and Sky Q.

Why are Sky changing the +1 channel numbers?

+1 channels provide viewers with a second chance to view their favourite programmes. Over time the channels have become increasingly difficult to find, the changes we're making will make it far easier for viewers to find their favourite +1 channel.

Will there be a +1 menu introduced at the same time?

Yes, in order to make it even easier to find +1 channels we're introducing a new +1 menu in the TV Guide. The +1 menu will list all +1 channels from every genre within TV Guide.

When will these changes appear in the TV Guide listings?

The +1 channels will be moved, and the new +1 menu introduced, on 1 May.

Will my series links and favourites be affected?

No, series links you've set will continue to record as normal, and when you select your favourite channels they'll be listed as normal, with their new numbers.

What do I need to do?

Nothing. The channel changes will be automatically sent to your Sky box. You may want to check the tables below to see which channels are changing in your favourite genres.

Duplicated HD/SD channels

What's changing?

Currently most HD channels in the TV Guide are listed alongside a standard definition version. Our HD Channel Swap feature ensures you always receive the best quality version of a channel at the higher position in the TV Guide - if you have access to the HD version, we give you the HD version first by default.

On 1 May, we'll be moving the second listing of the HD/SD channels to a new section of the TV Guide in the 800s.

Why have Sky made this change?

The TV Guide ensures you receive the best quality version of a channel at the higher position, this leaves a second duplicate channel listing lower in the TV Guide.

The change will arrange these duplicate channel listings into a single area, creating more space in the TV Guide for more variety of content.

There is an HD menu, will there be an SD menu?

No, the channels that will be moved to the 800s are duplicates of channels listed in the main part of the TV Guide, as such there will be no new menu on the TV Guide. The channels will be listed within the relevant genre menu and within All Channels.

I don’t subscribe to HD, will I need to find my channels in the 800s?

No, the HD Channel Swap feature ensures that for viewers without access to an HD channel, the standard definition channel (that is available to view) will remain in the main section of the TV Guide, while the HD channel is moved to the 800s.

Some channels like BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are in standard definition at the top of the TV Guide, will these channels be moved to the 800s?

Where a channel is unable to present HD first due to regionalised programming, we'll continue to present the standard definition version first and list the HD version in the main section of the TV Guide.

In regions where we're able to list the HD versions of these channels at the top of the TV Guide, we'll move the duplicate standard definition channel to the 800s.

Other changes to the TV Guide

What's changing?

In order to create space in the TV Guide, we're moving certain channels in the Movies, Music, Sports, News, Kids and Religion sections.

We'll also be moving the International (foreign language) channels to a new home starting at channel number 701 (currently listed at 780).

Will my series links and favourites be affected?

No, series links you've set will continue to record as normal, and when you select your favourite channels they'll be listed as normal, with their new numbers.

What's happening to ITV Encore?

ITV has decided that the live ITV Encore channel will come to an end this spring. This means from 1 May the live ITV Encore channel will no longer be available on Sky.

The good news is that you’ll still be able to enjoy your favourite ITV Encore box sets, such as Broadchurch and Vera, as they’ll be available on demand.