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    Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

    This is a discussion on Sky accelerates new set-top box launch within the Sky Rumour Mill forums, part of the Sky news and announcements category; Sky accelerates new set-top box launch - Telegraph Advanced multiscreen and online recording features due in spring as BT prepares ...

    1. #1
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      Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      Sky accelerates new set-top box launch - Telegraph
      Advanced multiscreen and online recording features due in spring as BT prepares ultra-high definition technology for Champions League coverage

      Sky is expected to bring forward the launch of its next generation set-top box to this spring to help counter the threat from BT’s exclusive deal to show European football.

      New hardware and services will be offered as an incentive for households to sign up to new pay-TV and broadband contracts before BT’s monopoly on Champions League matches kicks in next season, industry sources said. Sky is also likely to charge more for the premium service.

      The set-top box will be capable of showing ultra-high definition 4K pictures, four times as sharp as current high definition broadcasts.

      It is understood that Sky’s pitch to customers will focus on other advanced features, however, such as “multiscreen” viewing on smartphones and tablets, and the ability to store recorded programmes online for access anywhere.

      The focus on portability and user-friendliness has been prepared with penetration of 4K screens very low, in spite of prices coming down rapidly. Sky has had mixed experiences introducing new broadcast technology: high definition was for years a major source of growth, but consumers rejected 3D.

      The set-top box has been developed as part of a major overhaul by Sky. The company originally intended to introduce the update next year, but it has accelerated in an effort to maintain its reputation for technology leadership among “early adopter” consumers.
      The tighter schedule will help Sky meet the stronger football challenge from BT.

      In contrast to Sky’s wait-and-see attitude to 4K, it is understood that BT aims to introduce the technology on BT Sport within months. It is also poised to launch a new set-top box and mount a major marketing push in spring.

      BT will begin trials of ultra-high definition streaming via the internet by May so the system is ready to carry high-profile Champions League clashes in the autumn, sources said. The pictures will require a superfast connection so BT will use its launch to encourage customers to upgrade their broadband contract.

      Virgin Media, the cable operator, is also currently running trials of 4K.

      Sky’s decision to bring forward its launch underscores how it has been forced to act defensively as BT threatens its pay-TV stronghold.

      Last week Sky announced a wholesale deal with O2 to complete its “quad play” of pay-TV, broadband, home phone and mobile services. After years of shunning the mobile market, its move was seen by analysts as necessary in the face of BT’s £12.5bn acquisition of EE.

      A Sky spokesman said: “Innovation is at the very heart of Sky’s business. We have a proven track record of leadership in the industry as we continually strive to find new ways to enhance the customer experience”.

      BT declined to comment.
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    4. #2
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      '“Innovation is at the very heart of Sky’s business. We have a proven track record of leadership in the industry as we continually strive to find new ways to enhance the customer experience”.

      LOL, I presume the person that wrote that hasn't used a Sky broadband router then!!

    5. #3
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      Quote Originally Posted by James_Mitchell View Post
      '“Innovation is at the very heart of Sky’s business. We have a proven track record of leadership in the industry as we continually strive to find new ways to enhance the customer experience”.

      It's a classic "PR speak" quote isn't it?! I could say the more or less the same about my own business...
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    6. #4
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      Hello All
      I assume that with new 'Set Top' boxes about to be launched later this year with extra
      services on offer that this will be at an enhanced cost to customers !! or will it be another
      package change I understand that a new Hub is due sometime soon as well or is this just
      a rumour ? whatever you can be sure of one thing the customer will have to pay more.

      Just a Thought.............

    7. #5
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      I would hope that a new Sky router/hub will be available soon.

      Currently the team are keeping this very tight lipped so we have no confirmed news.

      The 4K STB from Sky has been under development for a couple of years now and should be really popular when it is launched.

      I've just been looking at the WD drives available for the AV market and they now go up to 4TB, which would be very much needed for a 4K STB IMHO. Of course 6TB drives are now available for the other markets, but anyone familiar with the different specs will know that you need an AV drive in the STB, not desktop. These drives are expensive though, so cloud storage might help to reduce the costs.

      For me a big drawback of having the cloud storage would be the availability of a fast internet connection and the possibility of sharing it with others who are also craving the speed. Whilst someone may have a great connection now, they might easily wish to move to a new build home which has only an ADSL connection at 5mb or less.

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    8. #6
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      Not really bothered with 4K, well I would have to buy a new TV for that, so maybe hold of that for a few years. HD is just good enough.
      But, I for one am really looking forward to the cloud storage/streaming (at last it really looks like a reality) and multiscreen on many devices, is great.

      Is 4k another 3d waiting to happen? Many have only just upgraded to HD and larger TVs, its going to be a slow transition.
      But, 4k may become the premium sub on sky and the HD sub dropped.

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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      So with 4k, will we see the HD surcharge dropped (or incorporated I should probably say).

    10. #8
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      Hello All
      I do not think Sky would be silly enough to drop HD in favour of 4K at present maybe
      this could happen in the future who know's !! but not that many people have a 4K tv
      even though the prices are falling !! What I would prefer to see is all programmes shown
      in HD as Standard across all platforms by all broadcasters with no premium but this is
      only a wish on my part.................

      However HD / 4K would not help some of the truly poor programmes that are on all
      channels at various times : just enhance how bad they really are !!

      Just a Thought...............

    11. #9
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      I predict that, when Sky launches a 4K service, the HD "surcharge" will continue - until the bitter end, whenever that may be.

      They don't normally give anything away for free - well not without a struggle on the part of the customer anyway!

      What was the last thing in the Sky price list that went DOWN in price? (That can include a reduction to £0.00 !) I'm always suspiciously eyeing those items shown on the Sky Bill as "Yours at no extra cost" and thinking "yes but I wonder for how much longer will they be so?"

      And I don't think they're likely to give up any lucrative income stream until it suits them to do so - and offhand I can't think of a scenario that would suit them to do so in the case of the HD "surcharge".

      Or am I just a jaded old cynic? Don't answer that...
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      Re: Sky accelerates new set-top box launch

      Remember, the Sky+ functionality used to be an additional cost. Don't get me wrong, they won't do something to reduce revenue but simply restructure the packages that means the surcharge is automatically incorporated in a cleverly marketed way.

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