I heard one half of an interesting story today from a local contact who will be involved in signing up early adopters for the new SKY HD box. You could say that the penny dropped, in that I then realised how this could be linked to another recent newspaper story I read. Perhaps I am adding two and two and making five but here goes anyway. First part of the plan is for SKY to agree to give away free v1 and v2 SKY+ boxes (Here is a summary of a recent newspaper story) "Sky is mulling a plan to offer Sky+ free to all new and existing customers, according to a report in The Independent. The move, which could cost the company as much as £1 billion over the next three years, is seen as a way of increasing subscriber numbers further towards the 10 million target set for 2010. The Sky+ service currently costs £99 for the PVR set-top box and, depending on the package taken, a subscription of £10 per month. "Getting to 10 million homes is more difficult when cable becomes more of a competitive threat," industry analyst Paul Richards told the newspaper. "Sky+ is a superb product. Giving it away would cut the churn rate and be a big plus for adding new customers." He added: "Having 10 million Sky+ homes [in 2010] is obviously more valuable than 3 million with Sky+. It is a case of short-term pain for long-term gain." The other part of the cunning plan (using the info from my contact) is that SKY have decided that for a single £100 upgrade fee, they will take simply your old SKY+ box off you and give you a brand new HD box. They will then refurbish and distribute the old SKY+ boxes back into the secondary market as suggested by the article. Clearly, the loss leader of selling a limited number of HD boxes to a very small (and wealthy !) percentage of the population would be way more than offset by signing up huge numbers of completely new subscribers attracted by a free Sky+ box. How true this is I don't know, as lots and lots of speculation everywhere at this stage, but does make a lot of sense ! So don't go selling that SKY+ box on ebay just yet, you might just need it ! Cheers all.