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Sky Player to offer online access to pay TV

Subscription digital TV channels without the TV
Sky digital TV

Sky is the satellite alternative

Sky has announced an online subscription service allowing consumers to view Sky shows online, without having to sign up to a satellite TV contract.

The Sky Player has already been available to Sky TV subscribers since its launch in 2006, and claims to be Europe’s largest legal movie download service.

The BBC’s free iPlayer has proved popular in introducing the British public to the idea of on-demand TV and radio programmes via broadband, and the Sky Player will be offering a similar service, albeit at a price.

According to Sky the new Sky Player will allows subscribers to view channels such as Sky 1 and Sky Sports on their PC or Mac. These channels are currently only available on subscription digital TV services.

Sky-high costs for premium channels

Which? broadband expert Ceri Stanaway said: ‘It will be interesting to see how Sky prices its new online services, since the cost of Sky subscriptions – particularly premium channels like sports – have historically put some people off signing up to its traditional TV services.’

‘If you do sign up, keep a close eye on your broadband usage – TV over broadband is a notoriously data-heavy internet feature, and unless you’ve got a high or unlimited broadband download cap you could find yourself paying through the nose for exceeding your usage limits.’

Which? has advice on choosing a digital TV service including information on Freesat from Sky. Which? reviews of broadband services let you choose a package with an unlimited monthly download quota.

Digital TV options to suit your lifestyle

Sky’s plans were announced in a speech by Mike Darcey, Sky’s Chief Operating Officer, at the Media Guardian Changing Broadcast conference in London. He commented: ‘While the laptop won’t replace the TV experience for most people, we’re creating more choices to allow customers to choose the option that suits their lifestyle.’

There are predicted to be a number of online subscription packages when the service launches in the next few months, but details such as pricing and channel line-up have yet to be confirmed.

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