Question SKY+ Playback & Recording on 2nd hand Amstrad 890

Davengk

Standard Member
I have acquired a second hand Amstrad 890 Sky+ box which works well until I try to record or playback any FTA channels when it displays the message "Playback and recording are not available".

I'm trying to determine if it is normal for these features to be inhibited until a valid subscriber card has been inserted and the system registered with Sky or if there is some fault on the box.

I have removed and tested the HDD and confirmed that it is working OK when connected to a PC so wonder if the record/playback capability has been disabled by Sky. I'm not interest in viewing or recording any channels other than the UK FTA channels - I already subscribe to Sky - do I have to take out a second subscription in order to receive these channels on my 'spare' Sky box?

TIA - Dave.
 

grahamlthompson

In memoriam
You need a card and some sort of subscription to record using a Sky box. As a subscriber you may (or may not) be able to get a Freesat From Sky card (around £10.00/month to record FTA/FTV channels). Would be cheaper to replace it with a freesat+ box. Over a 12 month period will cost about £145.00 to run than a freesat+ box. (£120 in recording costs, the rest being reflected in your electricity bill).
 

Davengk

Standard Member
Many thanks for that speedy and informative response. Is there any way I can confirm that the spare Sky+ box is 100% functional without having to register it with Sky?
 

Broadz

Distinguished Member
Many thanks for that speedy and informative response. Is there any way I can confirm that the spare Sky+ box is 100% functional without having to register it with Sky?

Move the Sky card from your other Sky box (the one that has the subscription card in it) to the Sky+ box, try recording a FTA channel.
 

Davengk

Standard Member
Many thanks - I did that, the second-hand box worked fine with my existing viewing card inserted and I could then record and playback FTV programmes.
When I tried to record Sky Sports (to which I do subscribe) the box wouldn't let me record but told me that I needed to pair it with my viewing card.
Since the box was already connected to the Internet I was able to complete the pairing with a couple of clicks, and recording and playback of our Sky paid-for channels was then possible. I am now a happy bunny.
 

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