My wifi complacency is broken by Sky TV

Look like an Apple product…doesn’t perform like one though

I’ve become very complacent when it comes to wifi connectivity.

I remember setting up my first wireless network in 2002; it took an entire afternoon. Today, we expect more, we expect a true plug and play experience and, by and large, this is typically the case. At home I run two Apple TV units, two laptops, a desktop, two iPads, an iPhone a BlackBerry and a Playstation. All connect and use my home wireless without fuss. So when I ordered a wireless connector for my Sky HD box (allowing me to access Sky’s new On Demand service) I expected it to be pain free.

I was wrong. It was like 2002 all over again.

The unit (a blatant Apple TV lookalike) suggests a simple process.

“Simply connect the wireless connector to the back of your Sky HD box with the supplied Ethernet cable and plug in the power cable.” The rest, I was assured would happen automatically. No such luck.

The first error was my own fault. By default the Sky controller enters characters as capital letters so my first attempt at entering my network password failed. Fair enough, user error. However, after that first attempt the unit refused to even find / display available networks. Not mine, not my neighbours, nothing.

I reset the unit, restarted the Sky HD box, followed the help pages; nothing. It simply wouldn’t display available networks nor allow me to remove the (incorrect) profile.

Seems I wasn’t the only person suffering from this. However a scan of the Sky user forums suggested a call to Sky’s helpline would be all but useless. This is the cost of our connected lives – nobody wants to take responsibility. Sky would blame my ISP, my ISP would blame my router manufacturer and I’d be left back where I started.

A post by a user on one forum suggested he could make a connection by switching off his router’s security setting. Not an ideal long term solution but I gave it a go. The unit indeed found all available networks; however I then re-enabled security on the router, forcing it to reject the profile it had just found and ask for new security details. Success. A connection…..And nearly 2 hours of my life wasted.

Sky, you can make your hardware look like Apple’s. It doesn’t mean it’ll behave like it though.

I’d also suggest that Sky’s on–line help forums are a dangerous place to be. This user was suffering the same symptoms as myself yet amazingly, without any real diagnosis, the Sky ‘Knowledge Advisor’ advised her to perform a planner rebuild.

Talk about a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

For those not familiar, this is the equivalent of wiping / formating your PC’s harddrive. A planner rebuild wipes all of your recorded content. The ‘Advisor’ made no mention of this. I’d have been furious if a support agent had told me to do this and it didn’t resolve the issue….which, for the example above, it didn’t.

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