Sky has shown off its latest video-on-demand service, Sky Anytime+, which the broadcaster says will launch later this year.
The service will allow Sky TV and broadband customers access to a library of content over an internet connection to watch on their TVs. Sky states that Movies, Sport, Art programmes, Sky1 programmes and content from third party channels will be available.
New Sky EPG for Sky Anytime+
The content can be selected through a newly-designed electronic programme guide (EPG) and is downloaded to the user’s Sky+ box. The progressive downloading means that a typical 1.3GB film should be available to start watching on your TV after a minute over a 2Mps or faster connection, or after 40 minutes on a 1Mbps connection.
Find out how well the Sky+ box fared in our Sky and Sky HD box reviews
The new EPG has thumbnail images of the content and has a new menu for downloading content. Several programmes can be queued to download, and the queuing order can be re-prioritised. All downloads can be paused, if the user wants to free up broadband bandwidth so the downloads don’t slow down other broadband activities, and then resumed.
Once the content has been downloaded it will be saved on the customer’s Sky+ box until deleted.
Wireless or hard-lined internet connection
Sky explains that the box can be connected to the internet by an ethernet cable or by a wireless adaptor, which can be set up by a Sky engineer or by the user.
You must be a Sky TV and Sky Broadband customer to access Sky Anytime+.
Downloading TV and films via a broadband connection will quickly eat into your monthly broadband usage allowance due to the large amount of data being downloaded. Because of this, Sky recommends its top-level Sky Unlimited broadband package.
See how well Sky Broadband packages compares with other ISPs in the Which? broadband reviews
Downloaded content will be in standard definition, however Sky suggests that HD, and even 3D content, could be available at a later date. Likewise, Sky says that while this service will only be available to Sky Broadband customers at the time of launch, the broadcaster may work with other ISPs in the future.
Which? digital TV and broadband expert Ceri Stanaway says: ‘Until now, Sky’s rival Virgin Media has been ahead of Sky’s game when it comes to video-on-demand on your TV set.
‘With its new Sky Anytime+ service, Sky has clearly decided it’s time to address the imbalance and attract customers who value the ability to watch TV according to their own schedule rather than that of the broadcasters.’
For more information on Sky Anytime+ listen to our interview with Kathryn Downward, Sky’s head of TV services in the Which? Tech weekly podcast next week, on Thursday 10th June.
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