Sky+HD Subscribers To Get New EPG With HD & SD Channel Numbers Swapped


Subscribers to the Sky+HD service will receive an EPG (electronic programme guide) update on their Sky HD box come 1st of February next year, which will make it easier for them to access high-definition channels. For the most part, Sky aims to achieve this by doing a swap-over between the current HD channel numbers and the more established (and familiar) three-digit codes for standard-definition channels.

When Sky HD was first introduced back in 2006, the new high-def channels were assigned higher three-digit numbers which were then alien to longstanding Sky customers. As a result, some Sky HD subscribers inadvertently ended up watching an SD channel on their HDTV sets even when the HD equivalent was available, simply because they entered the SD three-digit code they had memorised over time on their Sky remote. Even those who realised from the picture quality on screen that they were watching the SD version would have to suffer the inconvenience of having to enter the EPG again to switch to the desired HD channel.

Taking on board feedback from frustrated Sky+HD subscribers, from 1 February 2011 onwards the digital satellite TV broadcaster will start screening most HD channels on their existing SD channel numbers (and vice versa), though some channels with regional variations may still opt out of the swap. Here are the provisional new numbers for selected HD channels on Sky following the EPG update:

  • 106: Sky 1 HD
  • 107: Sky Atlantic HD
  • 108: Sky Living HD
  • 126: Comedy Central HD
  • 129: SyFy HD
  • 130: Universal HD
  • 137: E4 HD
  • 164: FX HD
  • 301: Sky Movies Premiere HD
  • 302: Sky Movies Showcase HD
  • 303: Sky Movies Comedy HD
  • 304: Sky Movies Action HD
  • 305: Sky Movies Family HD
  • 306: Sky Movies Crime & Thriller HD
  • 307: Sky Movies Drama & Romance HD
  • 308: Sky Movies Sci-fi & Horror HD
  • 309: Sky Movies Modern Greats HD
  • 310: Sky Movies Indie HD
  • 311: Sky Movies Classics HD
  • 401: Sky Sports HD1
  • 402: Sky Sports HD2
  • 403: Sky Sports HD3
  • 404: Sky Sports HD4
  • 405: Sky Sports News HD
  • 501: Sky News HD
  • 520: Discovery HD
  • 526: National Geographic HD
  • 528: Nat Geo Wild HD

Hilary Perchard, product management director at British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), hoped that by making high-def channels easier to find (since they would take up higher positions within the revamped EPG compared to their SD counterparts), HD viewing figures would go up. He also reassured Sky+HD subscribers that their recordings or series links would not be lost, and non-Sky-HD customers that their EPG channel list would remain the same.

At present, to enable easier access to HD content, Sky provides a separate “HD” tab within its Sky HD EPG menu, and highlights the programmes which are broadcast in native high definition.