TalkTalk takes on Sky with TV player upgrade - Telegraph
TalkTalk has revamped its TV player to better promote on-demand content and offer new search and recommendation features

TalkTalk has revamped its TV player, bringing together on-demand films and entertainment from its movie rental service, TalkTalk Box Office, with existing YouView catch-up content and live channels.

TalkTalk pay-TV customers can now rent the latest blockbusters from £4 for 48 hours from within the TV player. New films are added every week, and latest hits currently available include Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave.

As well as adding new content, TalkTalk has added new features to its TV player. These include improved search, which allows users to find films by searching by title, actor, director or keyword, 'watchlist', which lets users save films and shows to watch at another time, and 'more like this', which allows users to find similar programmes to their favourite shows.

They can also press the green button to play every episode in a series back to back, find their favourite shows and movies in the 'most popular' section, or return to the exact point where they stopped watching a programme in the 'currently watching' section.

"Our all-new TalkTalk Player offers more of the best TV and movies at a cost viewers can control," said Tristia Harrison, managing director for consumer at TalkTalk. "We've made our on-demand movies, kids and Sky entertainment library bigger than ever and the TalkTalk Player is faster, and smarter, making it easier to find shows and films you want to watch."

Roll out of the new TV player begins today, with the service becoming available to all one million TalkTalk TV homes by 17 June. To access the new player, customers must connect their YouView box to their router and ensure it is either 'on' or on ‘standby’.

The news comes after Sky updated its electronic programme guide in March, to give on-demand content equal prominence with live TV. Sky customers can now browse live channels, catch up on something recently aired, binge on a box set, watch a movie or browse recordings in their Planner from a single screen.

They can also search by title, actor, event, channel, sport or keyword, and the company plans to update its Sky+HD boxes later this year to provide recommendations based on Sky+ Planner recordings and downloads.

Meanwhile, the BBC upgraded its iPlayer earlier this year to provide a 'personalised experience' closer to that of Netflix, offering curated collections of programming and suggesting shows users might like to watch.

A new emphasis on original content means that there are now dramas, documentaries and comedy exclusive to iPlayer. Youth channel BBC Three is also to be dropped from TV schedules and will move entirely onto the internet.