Sky is planning to further reduce the number of standard definition only set top boxes as part of an efficiency drive.
The move, outlined in the company’s latest annual report, will enable Sky to move forward in utilsing newer broadcast technologies, including the more efficient DVB-S2 and MPEG4. A similar move has already been completed in Germany, where the pay TV’s channels have moved to an all MPEG4 environment.
Details of how it wants to achieve this efficiency measure have not been disclosed.
The move to reduce the number of SD digiboxes in use can also be a sign that Sky want to reduce piracy, particularly cardsharing. Currently SKY HD channels are not available on cardsharing systems due to increase encryption and security. Should Sky want to, they could ask all premium customers (ie Sky Sports and Sky Movies customers) to move to HD digboxes, and so these `premium channels can be “hard coded” like their HD counterparts.