Armchair spectators wanting to upgrade their Sky package to high definition content for the Rugby World Cup will have to wait until well into the tournament as the company does not have enough decoders.

Auckland man James Cook was shocked after being told he would have to wait until at least September 19 after ringing Sky this week for a HDi (high-definition) upgrade.

Mr Cook said his parents had just bought a new television so he suggested they replace their original Sky box with a new decoder so they could enjoy the start of the World Cup, on September 9, in HD.

When he called Sky on his parents' behalf the woman on the line was helpful, even suggesting they keep their old box so they could also enjoy Sky in another room.


"Then she goes, 'I'm just looking at when we can get this done and the next available date is September 19.

"I was just blown away that it would take 22 days, which is essentially just to swap over a box from a standard one to a high definition one. They literally just have to drive up and swap it over."

Mr Cook told the woman the reason his parents wanted to upgrade was so they could enjoy the start of the cup but she was unable to offer any earlier dates.

"I thought I got in with heaps of time ... When they said not even before the start of the Rugby World Cup I thought, 'You are the only one showing the Rugby World Cup, surely you have to be on top of your services' ... it just seems a little bit retarded."

He has spoken out to warn others that it is too late if they are thinking of upgrading in time for the opening match. He is also stunned that a big company such as Sky TV did not plan ahead for what was surely going to be a busier than normal time.

"The Rugby World Cup time becoming a busier period would have been so easy for them to predict, you would think they would be on top of it. I just can't think of another company that if you asked to upgrade and pay more money they would tell you to wait in line. It just doesn't make sense."

In a call to customer services, the Herald was told a standard Sky box could be installed this week but high definition would take longer.

The woman at Sky said there was "a bit of a delay with installations" because the company had "run out of decoders".