Sky TV viewers with older boxes have lost 14 channels in major shake-up

sky plus hd box pictured with a remote control resting against it with the error screen that sky viewers need to check ahead of the deadline

Sky+ and Sky+ HD owners can upgrade to the newer Sky Q box at no cost to avoid the switch-off of all Sky TV channels confirmed to be coming to older hardware in August 2024

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 04/06/2024

- 09:45

Updated: 04/06/2024

- 14:36

Sky has confirmed to GB News that Sky+ viewers can upgrade to Sky Q at no additional cost

  • From May 29, some 14 channels vanished from Sky+ boxes nationwide
  • This is followed by all SD channels from Sky TV being pulled in August
  • If you pay extra for these channels, your subscription will be cancelled
  • You can upgrade your Sky+ box at no additional cost
  • Sky says the cost of your monthly TV subscription will not change

All products are independently selected by our experts. To help us provide free impartial advice, we will earn an affiliate commission if you buy something. Click here to learn more

Sky TV will kickstart the process of shutting down Standard Definition (SD) quality channels for Sky+ boxes this week, with the final deadline for anyone watching on these ageing boxes still looming this summer.

The first casualties of the ongoing transition from SD to HD-only broadcasts from Sky TV will be 14 channels, including all Sky Sports, MUTV, and all Sky Cinema channels. Sky TV will automatically cancel your subscription to Sky Cinema and Sky Sports if you're watching on a device that no longer supports these live channels, so you won't need to worry about being overcharged when the switch-off takes place on May 29, 2024.

If you fail to upgrade to Sky Q or another set-top box compatible with HD broadcasts, Sky TV will automatically cancel your television package or credit your account. Sky+ boxes will still be able to tune-in to SD quality channels that still broadcast in that quality... although that list is getting smaller by the day.

two people watching television with a Sky Q remote

Sky Q launched back in 2016, with the broadcaster halting new sales of Sky+ HD to customers later that same year


The shake-up from Sky TV is part of a larger industry trend to move away from Standard Definition (720p) to an improved picture quality than most viewers now expect, either High Definition (1080p) or 4K UHD (2160p), which are only available on newer hardware, like Sky Q, Sky Stream, and Sky Glass.

For Sky+ viewers, the writing has been on the wall for some time now, with all Sky Sports Red Button content for Golf and F1 stripped out of these older set-top boxes at the end of last year.

And while those with Sky Glass TVs and Sky Stream, both powered by Sky's custom EntertainmentOS system, have enjoyed 300 software updates in the last year alone with a slew of new features, Sky+ hasn't enjoyed the same treatment.

The full list of channels vanishing from Sky+ boxes on May 29 is:

  • Sky Cinema Premiere SD
  • Sky Cinema Greats SD
  • Sky Cinema Family SD
  • Sky Cinema Action SD
  • Sky Sports Box Office SD
  • Sky Sports Main Event SD
  • Sky Sports Premier League SD
  • Sky Sports Football SD
  • Sky Sports Cricket SD
  • Sky Sports Golf SD
  • Sky Sports F1 SD
  • Sky Sports Action SD
  • Sky Sports Arena SD

The first batch of 14 channels to leave Sky+ viewers is nothing compared to what's coming later this summer — if you haven't upgraded to a newer boxby August, you'll lose access to every Sky TV channel.

This represents a pretty dramatic shake-up from the satellite broadcaster. As such, we can only assume that very few customers are still tuning into SD-quality broadcasts with Sky TV. Ahead of the announcement of its latest blockbuster EntertainmentOS update, the UK broadcaster confirmed that 90% of all new customers signing up with Sky TV were taking out a broadbrand-powered product, like Sky Stream and Sky Glass, which both offer HD quality as standard at no extra cost.

The roadmap was announced by the satellite broadcaster back in March, just a couple of months after its move to ditch access to BBC and ITV channels from the set-top boxes. It's the latest push to remove Standard Definition (SD) broadcasts from older hardware and follows similar decisions from Freesat and Freeview.

"We’re changing how we deliver our TV services. This means if you have an SD box, you'll need to upgrade to continue watching Sky channels," the telly company confirmed in a new post on its online Help pages.

From August, those who are still persisting with an older Sky+ box will lose access to all Sky channels.

Your Sky+ box will still work and you could, technically, continue to enjoy channels that aren't provided by Sky or BBC on the hardware ...but that really doesn't seem like value for money when you're paying a monthly subscription to Sky TV.

However, there is some good news. Sky+ owners are eligible to switch to a new set-top box at no cost.

Sky confirmed to GB News that all Sky+ and Sky+ HD customers can upgrade to Sky Q for free by calling the Sky Customer Service helpline on0333 759 5121.

Sky says it will not change the cost of your Sky TV package (or the selection of channels) when you switch to a newer box ahead of the deadline. Without this scheme, switching to newer hardware can incur extra costs.

Sky has provided instructions to work out whether your Sky+ box will be impacted by the switch-off in May and August this year. First up, it suggests heading to Channel 101 on your Sky remote. If BBC One HD appears as normal, you're watching on a set-top box that is not affected by the latest shake-up.


However, if you see BBC One broadcast in Standard Definition (SD) then you will be impacted. Likewise, if you see a warning screen from the BBC that reads "This service is now closed," you'll also be affected.

sky tv menu with the model number of the hardward

Following the instructions from Sky will launch the above screen on your Sky+ box, which reveals the model number of the box


Another way to check is to press the Services button on your Sky remote, then press the 4 and 5 numbers on the keypad. This will load up a little-known menu that shows the version number of your box.

If the number matches any of the below, then you will lose access to Sky Cinema and Sky Sports within the next eight weeks.

The affected boxes are:


  • 4F01 to 4F08 (Amstrad)
  • 4E01 to 4E05 (Grundig)
  • 9F01 to 9F08 and 9F0A (Pace)
  • 0F01 to 0F05 (Panasonic)
  • 4E06 to 4E08 (Thomson)


  • 4F2001 to 4F2006 (Amstrad)
  • 4F2101 to 4F2118 and 9F2101 to 9F2137 (Amstrad or Pace)
  • 9F2001 to 9F2024, PVR2, 9F2201 to 9F2235, 9F2301 to 9F2339 (Pace)
  • 4E2101 to 4E2141 (Thomson)

You may like