Darwin and OpenTV

The Sky+, Sky+ HD boxes (and their varients from providers in other countries) all run a software called XTV. There are two major versions of this software; an older OpenTV-based system (used by standard definition Sky+ in the UK) and an new-linux based one (originally code-named 'Darwin') which is used by the Sky+ HD boxes.

ExPVR fully supports hard drives from Darwin systems and can both read them and write them. However, ExPVR is only able to read OpenTV disks (it cannot write them).

In summary you can perform the following types of copies:

  • OpenTV -> Darwin
  • Darwin -> Darwin
But you cannot do:
  • OpenTV -> OpenTV
  • Darwin -> OpenTV

Model Numbers

You will be able to find out which model of Sky+ device you have by looking at the sticker on the rear panel of your box.

Sky (UK)

PVR ModelComments
Sky+ HD (Darwin):
  • Pace TDS850NB
  • Samsung HDSKY
  • Amstrad DRX780
  • Sky DRX890 (all models)
  • Sky DRX895
All models are fully supported and tested
Sky+ HD (OpenTV):
  • Thompson DSI8215

Sky+ SD (OpenTV):
  • Pace BSKYB3000
  • Pace BSKYB3100
  • Amstrad DRX-180
  • Thompson DSI6210
  • Pace TDS470N
  • Pace TD570N
  • Amstrad DRX-280
  • Thompson DSI8210

ExPVR has support for copying from these boxes (either to a Darwin Sky+ HD box or your computer). Copies to legacy OpenTV devices are not supported.

Note: After a recent Sky software update, the DRX890 Sky+ HD no longer seems to support recordings originating from Sky+ SD (non-darwin) devices. I am currently investigating a solution, but in the mean time, copies from legacy devices to the DRX890 are not supported.

Sky Italia

PVR ModelComments

My Sky HD (Darwin)

Our users have used ExPVR with various Sky Italia PVRs (both darwin and legacy) and have reported success.

My Sky (OpenTV)

Foxtel (Australia)

PVR ModelComments

Foxtel iQHD (Darwin)

Our users have used ExPVR with some Foxtel iQ and iQHD PVRs and have reported success.

Foxtel iQ (OpenTV)

KabelBW (Germany)

PVR ModelComments

Humax iHD-PVR C (OpenTV)

There is experimental support for copying recorings from this device, including extracting recordings for PC viewing.

Sky Deutschland (Germany)

PVR ModelComments

Sky+ (Darwin*)

Sky Deutschland use a slightly different hard disk layout to other providers and disks from these devices are not yet fully supported. Please see the post on our forums for more details.


This application should work with other XTV-Based PVRs with similar firmware. The best way to find out is to try the free version. There is no risk in trying this application as it makes no modifications to the source disk.

If you do try another box please send me an email telling whether or not it works! I can then either add it to this list or add support.