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Speed up your On Demand downloads

Here is some information and advice on getting the best speed from your On Demand service.

Get the best connection – use an Ethernet cable

For the best On Demand experience, we recommend using an Ethernet cable to connect your broadband router directly to your Sky+ box. This overcomes any interference issues associated with wireless connections and gives you the fastest possible download speeds.

Check and improve your wireless signal strength

For wireless setups, your On Demand connection may slow down if your router's signal strength is low. To check your wireless signal strength:

  1. Using your Sky remote, press the services button.
  2. Press the left/right arrow buttons to highlight Settings.
  3. Press the select button twice to highlight Picture.
  4. Press the left/right arrow buttons to highlight Network.
  5. Look at the signal strength bar.

If the signal strength is low, you may be able to improve your On Demand experience by taking steps:

  • Make sure any sources of interference are removed, either by moving them or your wireless router. These may include cordless telephones, fax machines, microwaves, mobile phones, central heating and anything that can use wireless signals, e.g. doorbells, motion sensors.
  • Adjust the wireless router's location to avoid physical objects that block signals, particularly metal or water-based materials.
  • Put the wireless router high up on a shelf and away from other electrical appliances.
  • Avoid placing the wireless router near windows, in order to reduce signal interference from outside.
  • Change the router's wireless channel to avoid interference from your neighbours' networks.

Stop using other internet devices while On Demand downloads are in progress

Browsing the web, streaming video and playing online games can all reduce the download speed of On Demand, because each device takes a share of the available bandwidth. If you can, reduce other internet activity while On Demand downloads are in progress. Alternatively, pause your On Demand downloads until a quieter time.

Consider the speed of your broadband connection

On Demand works best with a broadband line speed of more than 2Mbps. The faster your broadband, the faster your downloads.

Need to pause your On Demand downloads?

You can pause and resume On Demand downloads whenever you want, helping you to avoid any potential slow-downs. This can also be useful if your broadband provider imposes usage caps or speed restrictions at certain times of day. Here's how to pause all downloads.

  1. Using your Sky remote, press the tv guide button.
  2. Press the green button to go to the Planner.
  3. Press the left/right arrow buttons to highlight Downloads.
  4. Press the blue button to pause all downloads.
  5. Resume On Demand downloads at a time that suits you by returning to this screen and pressing the blue button again.

How large is an On Demand download?

If your broadband connection is slow or limited by usage caps, it's important to know the size of each programme you wish to download. Select the programme you wish to download and press the i button on your Sky remote to see its size.

Here are some typical file sizes for programmes available through On Demand. HD programmes are far larger than those in SD (Standard Definition).

  • Sports (in SD) 50 minutes 450MB

  • Movie (in SD) 90 minutes 915MB

  • Movie (in HD) 90 minutes 3,000MB

Note that downloads through On Demand will contribute towards any usage caps imposed by your broadband provider. For a broadband service with no usage caps, we recommend Sky Broadband Unlimited.