New Sky+ box's mystery USB sockets

Satellite TV

Today we took delivery of the new Sky+, which regular readers will know has a 160 Gigabyte hard disk rather than the 40 Gig of its predecessor. In theory then we should be able to store at least forty football matches and still have enough space left over to save the odd episode of Green Wing.* Brilliant!

Cosmetically the unit is the same as the old one with two key differences. One it has a big 160 plastered all over the facia, handy for rubbing it in when fellow Tech Digest scribes who still only have the 40 Gig version, pop round.

More importantly it now comes with a pair of USB sockets – one on the rear and one on the front. Hazarding a guess, we reckon that these are in place to enable viewer to port programmes from the hard drive on to personal video players. Knowing Sky there will all manner of encryption to negotiate first, but expect to see a Sky badged PVR (made by Pace) that is compatible not just with normal telly, but also with Sky’s pay per view movies and sports sometime next year.

Incidentally, the USBs, which will apparently let users port digital music to iPod etc, have not yet been switched on (!?). We’ll find out for sure later when the installation man** has gone.

* For our US readers that the cool new UK comedy that you’ll all be name-dropping very shortly

** Installation man has now left and no they don’t work. Sky did say that the front one is for connection to a PVP type device which it may or may not launch one day, while the rear one might be for those who never leave their sofa and fancy upping the 160 Gig storage by adding an external hard disk.

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