Combining the best of broadcast and broadband, Sky+HD to deliver even more choice, control and flexibility
Sky Anytime+, Sky’s new internet delivered video-on-demand (VoD) service, is to begin rolling-out to millions of Sky+HD homes. Launching to customers from Tuesday, Sky+HD set-top boxes will be able to connect to the Sky Broadband network to access a comprehensive on-demand service, providing even more choice and control to complement Sky+ and the existing Sky Anytime ‘push’ VoD service.
Once connected, customers will have the opportunity to access an updating library of content which they can ‘pull’ to their TVs to watch whenever they like. With thousands of hours of great TV to choose from, customers can access over 600 films, popular entertainment and drama ‘box-sets’ (including iconic series from HBO), documentaries, the arts and much more besides. As well as offering content from Sky Movies, Sky Sports, Sky Arts and Sky 1, the service – which comes at no extra charge for subscribers – will also offer a wide range of programming from third party channels, with the on-demand library continuing to build over the coming months.
The Sky Anytime+ interface is an extension of the existing Sky+HD electronic programme guide (EPG). The use of thumbnail images, editorialised listings and helpful search tools means that content discovery is intuitive and straightforward. Sky Anytime+ works on a progressive download basis which means content becomes available to view before it has fully downloaded. For most customers this means content is ready to watch in less than a minute.
The confirmation of the launch of Sky Anytime+ comes as Sky reveals its latest trading update for the 3 months ending the 30th September 2010. During the quarter Sky added 96,000 new TV customers, taking its total customer base to 9,956,000. The quarter also saw continued growth in the other products and services Sky offers, particularly Sky Broadband and Sky+HD.
In just four years almost 30% of Sky customers have signed up to Sky Broadband with 2,802,000 now taking the service. With its fastest growth in more than two years, Sky remains the UK’s fastest growing ISP. During the quarter, Sky also extended its High Definition (HD) leadership, with over 3,154,000 homes now able to access Sky’s 50 HD channels. Sky also launched Europe’s first residential 3D TV channel, Sky 3D.
The increasing appetite for HD and the growing reach of Sky’s broadband network illustrate how consumers benefit from the combination of Sky’s digital satellite and broadband technology to bring entertainment and communication services to people’s homes.
Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s Deputy MD of Marketing, comments: “Sky Anytime+ demonstrates the benefit of being able to use the best combination of distribution platforms in delivering what our customers want. Through Sky Broadband customers can now explore a rich library of programming to watch on-demand through their TVs. Meanwhile satellite continues to satisfy the increasing demand for high bandwidth services like HD and 3D, and Sky+ continues to help customers define their own schedules from the best of the week’s TV.
“We’re introducing Sky Anytime+ against the backdrop of another really strong quarter for Sky Broadband with our fastest growth in over two years. Customers are responding to our mix of high quality, great value broadband products. At the same time we continue to increase the number of our TV customers, with millions now opting to take our state-of-the-art Sky+HD box.”
Sky Anytime+ will be rolled out to all Sky+HD boxes beginning from 26th October 2010. The majority of Sky’s HD boxes will be ready to receive the service by the end of the year with the remaining boxes to follow in a phased roll out through the first part of 2011.
This is the reason why some Sky HD boxes, including Samsungs, have updated their software in the last few weeks.
The software has been rolled out, that is in preparation for the Sky Anytime+ service, adding network / router details into the system set up menu.