Green Sky

Soon after my recent grovellings around on the floor and messing around with what seemed like 223 cables behind several back-to-wall cabinets to commission our new TV (Telly Tales), something odd happened. Whilst skipping through the TV’s various inputs and landing on the Sky decoder input, a window popped up on the screen saying something along the lines that our Sky digibox was about to go into standby. Curious, we thought, in unison; we don’t recall having seen that before. We pressed “back up”, as advised, and thought little more of it.

On Saturday we were off out to a friends engagement party but there was a film that I wanted to record (Witness – Harrison Ford who, incidentally, has not cracked a smile since Star Wars) so I tried setting it to record. Off we went to the engagement party.

We returned in the wee small hours of the morning and, upon entering the lounge to turn the lights off before crashing out, I couldn’t help but notice an ominous red light on the Sky digibox. The blasted thing had gone into standby when it was supposed to be feeding the ever-morose-looking Harrison Ford into the VCR. Bother!

Upon a little investigation it seems that Sky, in its infinite wisdom, has issued a software upgrade that puts the digiboxes into standby after four hours of inactivity during the day and a mere two hours of inactivity overnight. “Inactivity” = not pressing a button on the Sky controller. This, Sky claims, is in an effort to become greener by saving a few amps and, thus, the planet. This wonderful software upgrade caused me to miss the smiling face of Harrison Ford. How will I live? How, in fact, will I ever record anything again if I need to remain present to press the odd button every now and then on the Sky controller?

Fear not. Further Internet rummaging and footling about in the Sky menu system revealed, under “Services”, a new “Auto Standby” setting which defaults to ON. I imagine the geniuses at Sky think that we mere mortals might keep leaping in and out of “Services => Auto Standby” switching it between ON and OFF whenever we want to record something. Well, will we? Of course not. Setting a VCR to record is already complicated enough and fraught with danger; the last thing that process needs is the added complexity of an additional step. We will, of course, leap into “Services => Auto Standby” once and set it to OFF, which is where we came in. I guess that’s it for the planet, then?

If Sky really wants to be green, stop Rupert bloody Murdoch swanning around the world in his private jet.

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