Sky has launched a new online service which enables people in the UK and Ireland to subscribe to packages of TV channels to watch live on their PC and Mac, without the need to subscribe to an existing TV-based service.
The service, called Sky Player TV will initially offer channels from Sky, including Sky Sports and Sky News, as well as other leading channel brands such as Disney Channel, National Geographic and British Eurosport. Further channels, both from Sky and other third parties, will launch in the New Year.
To access Sky Player TV, non- Sky TV customers will require a monthly subscription to the Base Entertainment Pack which will initially offer access to Disney Channel, British Eurosport, National Geographic Channel, Sky News and Sky Sports News. Customers who want to watch Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Sky Sports Extra will be able to add these channels to their Base Entertainment Pack for an additional cost. In addition to the live channels, customers will also have access to a selection of on-demand programmes from the channels they subscribe to.
Later this month MTV One, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr will be added to the Base Entertainment Pack.
All Sky TV customers will continue to have access to Sky Player’s on-demand content in line with the channels they are able to access through their core Sky TV subscription. Customers with a Sky Multiroom or a Sky Broadband Max subscription are additionally able to access live channels for no extra charge.
Griff Parry, Director of On-demand, BSkyB, comments: “We believe in giving customers the control and flexibility to access the best in live entertainment and on demand content to fit with their lifestyles. Sky Player TV gives customers access to enjoy up to nine different live channels from today with more coming in the New Year”.
The video player was developed with the support of Microsoft with its Silverlight and PlayReady technologies. The use of this technology also enabled Sky to create the online Sky Guide within Sky Player TV. The Sky Guide has advanced search and navigation features giving intuitive ‘click and drag’ access to listings making it easier for Sky Player TV customers to choose the programmes and channels they want to watch.
The launch of Sky Player TV sees a number of other new enhancements to the service including Mac compatibility for live streaming and some on-demand content. According to Sky, live TV channels will be available in a choice of quality levels to suit a customer’s broadband connection, the highest of which offers an equivalent viewing experience to standard definition on a TV-based service.
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