Fixing Connectivity Issues with Sky Q
Sky Q offers an incredibly impressive television platform, especially when equipped with multiroom capabilities. Using Wi-Fi, it is able to distribute content throughout your home from box to box, and it can even act as a mesh Wi-Fi system that eliminates dead spots in your home.
However, getting the system set up can be a bit finicky, especially if you choose to use a different broadband provider than Sky. If you have encountered some issues with your system cutting out, we can help guide you through fixing those problems.
To get the most out of your Sky Q Mini and tablet streaming devices, we will guide you through the necessary steps. While you may not need to do this with everything configured correctly, we will also show you how to set up your Sky Q boxes properly using Ethernet.
Before diving into the details, it is important to understand how the system operates. Based on our experience and research, most of the issues stem from changes made to the system that disrupt the behavior of the Sky Q mesh network. Tweaking things in the wrong way can cause issues or result in bypassing the streaming mesh network. We will explain why these issues occur and, in later sections, show you how to properly configure your Sky Q system. Please read on for the full story or jump to the section that interests you using the links below.
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How Sky Q's networking works
Sky Q uses a 5GHz mesh network for video streaming to Sky Q Mini boxes. In this system, every Sky Q device, such as the main box, mini boxes, and boosters, act as boosters to ensure the most efficient and fastest data transmission. For example, your Sky Q Mini box in the bedroom may send its signal to a Sky Q Booster, which then sends it to the main box.
While mesh networks are typically slower than traditional networks, they add reliability and boost overall coverage. In Sky Q, the latter points are the most crucial, as you only require enough bandwidth to stream HD and reliability is more important than speed. The functionality of mesh networks depends on whether you have Sky broadband and a Sky Q hub or a regular broadband connection. However, please note that advice recommending the disconnection of the 2.4GHz network should be treated with caution.
- Should you disable the Sky Q 2.4GHz band?
You don't have Sky broadband
If you do not have a Sky broadband or a Sky Q hub, your system will operate a bit differently. Your Sky Q Silver box will connect to your router via 2.4GHz to ensure compatibility with all systems. This means that the download speed to your Sky Q box will be limited by the quality of your wireless network. Additionally, all Sky Q Mini boxes will also connect to your 2.4GHz network, which may seem odd. After all, aren't they supposed to be 802.11ac 5GHz devices?
Yes, that's correct. However, what you may not see is a hidden 5GHz Sky mesh network running in the background used for streaming. Your 2.4GHz network connection to the router is backed up, allowing your boxes to continue streaming if there is a 5GHz issue. However, all streaming should take place over 5GHz in a properly functioning system.
Problems arise when making changes to this robust system. One of the most common ones is that people believe their Mini boxes are connected to a 2.4GHz network. They reset the boxes only to discover they are unable to find their existing 5GHz network. This is normal because your existing 5GHz network does not have the Quality of Service (QoS) or mesh networking abilities that Sky Q requires, resulting in the creation of a hidden network.
One problematic mistake is connecting Mini boxes directly to the 2.4GHz network without considering other options. This approach limits the Mini to the 2.4GHz network only, resulting in unreliable streaming and interference issues.
Another issue arises when someone decides to connect their primary Sky box via Ethernet, causing interference with the mesh network. If Ethernet is used for the main box, the entire system must be properly reconfigured. This disables 2.4GHz network connectivity, forcing the rest of the system to rely on the 5GHz band.
If you have Sky broadband and the Sky Q Hub, your router becomes part of the mesh network, allowing your Mini boxes to act as Wi-Fi hotspots, which improves the network's coverage. In this setup, both 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks share the same name.
A common mistake is dividing wireless networks using the option in the Sky Q Hub networking settings. This approach allows users to select the 5GHz network, which provides considerably faster internet speeds but has limited range. However, this can cause problems, breaking down the mesh network and forcing Sky Q Mini boxes to connect via the 2.4GHz network. The default settings must be used for a stable system.
If you connect your main box via Ethernet, all Mini boxes and Boosters must reconnect to the network, allowing the mesh network to be rebuilt.
When streaming to tablets, you are not technically part of the mesh network; instead, you use your regular network connection. Any issues that arise here depend on the quality and speed of your network connection.
If you don't have Sky broadband, you won't have a Sky Q Hub. The default installation option is to connect the primary Sky box to your existing 2.4GHz network for internet access. Additional Sky Q Mini boxes connect to the 2.4GHz network and a hidden 5GHz mesh network.
To ensure the primary Sky Q box is connected correctly, go to Settings, Network, Setup, and check the Status box. If the name of your home network appears, the Sky Q box is set up correctly. If not, click Reset, select Confirm, choose the non-Sky broadband option, select your network from the list, and enter your network's password on the on-screen keyboard. Let your box connect to the network.
2. Sky Q Booster: Amplify Your Mesh Network Signal
The Sky Q Booster is designed to expand your mesh network coverage throughout your home, and should be kept in the place where the Sky technician installed it. If you've made any modifications to your network, it's possible that your Booster is not functioning correctly. To address this issue, press and hold the reset button on the back until the power light begins to flash.
Wait for the wireless light to turn a solid green. Proceed to your Sky Q box and press and hold the WPS button located on the far right until it begins to flash amber (roughly two seconds). Return to the Booster, press and hold its WPS button (also located on the far right) until it flashes amber. After a brief pause, the Sky Q Booster's 'Connected' light will turn a solid green, indicating that the Booster is linked to the network.
3. Sky Q Mini box: Verifying Your Connection
It's slightly more challenging to determine if your Sky Q Mini box is linked to the mesh network, since examining the network settings will only show that it's connected to your home's 2.4GHz network. The simplest solution is to navigate to Settings, Network, Setup, and choose the Reset option followed by Confirmation.
After your box restarts, press the Home button on the remote, then proceed to the primary Sky Q box (or Sky Q Booster) and press and hold the WPS button located on the far right, until it turns orange. Your Sky Q Mini box will then connect to the network, obtain an IP address, and then start up and connect to your primary box. Allow the signal some time to stabilize; the Mini box might default to the 2.4GHz network initially before switching to the 5GHz network for a more dependable connection. Repeat these procedures for each Mini box on the network.
How to Address Sky Q Issues if You Use Sky Broadband
If you have a Sky internet connection, you'll have a Sky Q Hub as well. To ensure that everything is operational, you can't split the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks on the Hub, and all of your devices must be connected using WPS to construct the wireless mesh network correctly. Follow these instructions:
1. Merge the Networks on the Hub
Both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks must have the same name. If you've updated the network names, you'll need to revert that decision. Log in to your Hub's home page, then go to the Wi-Fi settings. Check that your 5GHz network has the same name as the 2.4GHz network, toggling between the 2.4GHz and 5GHz tabs, and save the settings.
2. Configure Your Main Box
Establishing a proper connection between your main Sky Q box and the Hub is essential. To ensure that there is no issue with the connection, go to the Settings option on your display screen, click on Network and then select Setup followed by Reset and Confirm. This initiates the process of configuring the main box. You need to press the WPS or Wi-Fi Protected Setup buttons on your router and Sky Q box. First, press and hold the router’s WPS button for a couple of seconds, and then click on the Sky Q box's WPS button (far right) for a few seconds to establish a strong connection between the two.
3. Install the Sky Q Booster
If you have made any network changes, your Sky Q Booster may not function correctly, causing connectivity problems. To resolve this issue, long-press the reset button located at the back of the booster until the power LED begins to flash. Once the wireless LED turns green, hold down the far right WPS button on your Sky Q box until it glows amber. Next, press and hold the WPS button situated on the booster until it flashes amber. When the connected LED prompts, your Sky Q Booster is ready for use. Ensure that the booster is placed where the technician placed it.
4. Configure Your Mini Boxes
If you have modified any settings, resetting your Mini box's wireless configuration and reconnecting it to the network is necessary. Go to Settings > Setup > Network and select Reset followed by Confirm. Press the Select button on reboot. On the nearest Sky Q device, hold the far-right WPS button until the Amber light flashes. Your Sky Q Mini box should detect the network and connect. If you have an additional Sky Q Mini box, repeat this procedure. Please wait for them to settle down, as they may initially connect to the 2.4GHz network until the 5GHz network is established.
Should You Disable 2.4GHz in Sky Q?
In online forums, many suggest that disabling the 2.4GHz mode on the Sky Q Mini boxes benefits the streaming of content. But this is not needed in a well-arranged Sky Q system. All streaming processes should take place over the 5GHz network, and the 2.4GHz network is only for Wi-Fi hotspots, failover and updates. So, any problems related to streaming are unlikely to be connected to the 2.4GHz network. Unless there is a specific reason to do so, it is not necessary to disable the 2.4GHz network. However, in isolated cases where disabling this channel is essential, we will demonstrate how to do so later in the instructions.
Purchase Sky Q from Sky:
If you don't have Sky broadband:
If you're not using Sky broadband, your Sky Q Mini boxes won't use the 2.4GHz connection frequently, hence disabling it is pointless when you have Ethernet connection. You can disable 2.4GHz to check if your 5GHz network is working, but only do so when you experience connectivity problems, and be mindful that disabling it may affect bandwidth and cause streaming issues. If the problem persists, reach out to Sky support directly to assess if you need another Sky Q booster.
If you have Sky broadband:
If you have Sky broadband, your Sky Q Mini boxes will serve as Wi-Fi hotspots, which might be problematic for certain devices when the Mini's Wi-Fi and router's Wi-Fi ping back and forth. Temporarily disabling the 2.4GHz frequency might be helpful to diagnose connectivity issues, but be mindful that it may impact bandwidth and cause streaming problems. Before disabling 2.4GHz, consider the potential consequences.
Disabling 2.4GHz networking:
To disable the 2.4GHz band, enter the hidden engineering menu by pressing Home, 0, 0, 1, Select consecutively. Then, select 2.4GHz and click Select to disable it. Never disable the 5GHz band, as it breaks the mesh network and causes endless problems.
Using Ethernet with Sky Q:
Your Sky Q box and Mini boxes come with Ethernet ports, which are generally faster than wireless. Consider using the Ethernet port when experiencing slow download speeds or when you don't have Sky broadband. It frees up your 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks for other devices.
Discover how to configure Ethernet on your primary Sky Q box in case of major wireless connectivity issues. Note that this process should only be executed by a professional Sky engineer. Here's what you need to do:
1. Establish a connection to your main box by inserting an Ethernet cable on the Sky Q box's tab. Then, link the other end of the cable to your router, either the Sky Q Hub or an alternative. After, proceed to Settings, Setup, Network, Advanced Settings and select the "Connect to your router using a wired connection" button. If you have a Sky Q Hub, you'll be asked if you want to turn your box into a WiFi hotspot. Under normal circumstances, select Yes. However, if you have any doubts, select No. If your router isn't a Sky Q Hub, your box won't have a wireless connection.
2. Reconnect your Boosters - do a quick reset by pressing and holding the reset button at the back of the Sky Q box until the power LED begins to flash. Head to your primary Sky Q box; on the right side, press and hold the WPS button until its amber light flashes. Repeat this same action for each Booster. Once connected, the Booster's light will remain solid green.
3. Reconnect your Mini boxes - go to Settings, Setup, Network, Reset and select Confirm. After your box reboots, press Select. Then, find the nearest Sky Q device - either the primary box or a Booster. Press and hold its WPS button until it begins to flash amber. Return to your Sky Q Mini and let it connect to the network, then subsequently, to your main Sky Q box. At this point, the video should appear on screen, and everything should work as expected. Wait for a few minutes to allow everything to settle down. Usually, the 2.4GHz network is utilized primarily, which could cause some temporary issues, but the 5GHz network is prompted to kick in soon enough. Repeat the same process for all your Sky Q Mini boxes.
If you're not using Sky broadband, a notification will appear on your Mini box when you go to Settings, Setup, Networks, Advanced Settings - stating that the box is connected to a wireless network with a given network name, like SKY0B59. This special network was created by the Sky system and is entirely normal.
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