Sky UK would try satellite-free broadband TV service


Sky (ISP Sky Broadband), which is owned by Comcast, has reportedly started trials in the UK of its long-awaited alternative TV service, which would allow customers to receive the full range of TV channels using an existing broadband connection to the UK. instead of an ugly satellite. plate.

At present, if you want to receive all TV channels and content from Sky, you need to install a satellite dish. Certainly, some new houses with Fiber to the premises (FTTP) can also receive Sky TV channels on this same fiber, but this usually uses a Integrated fiber receiving system (FIRS) which still includes a central satellite receiver and an antenna network, to serve the entire new site.

The idea of ​​broadcasting broadband television (IPTV) is of course not new. For example, BT and TalkTalk have been doing this through the YouView platform for years, while Sky itself already has the broadband-centric NOW (NOW TV) platform that uses Roku hardware to stream content. channels and content on demand. But NOW TV only offers a smaller selection of popular channels and content.

However, Sky has been developing a full TV platform via a broadband platform for a few years (here), but so far they have only launched such a solution in Italy (Sky via Fiber) and Austria (Sky X). The company recently added Germany to this list also with their new Sky Q IP box hardware, which requires a minimum download speed from the broadband ISP of 6 Mbps (i.e. sufficient for basic HD streaming via a single viewing channel).

The good news is that Sky could finally make progress on such a product for the UK market as well. A report in The Express highlights sources who have informed them that Sky television via broadband service is also being tested with selected customers in the UK and that the launch could be “imminent“, but we recommend taking this with a pinch of salt as it was also pretty imminent in 2017 (they were aiming for a 2018 launch).

We verify with our own sources whether such a product is really “imminent“, but since it’s the weekend, we don’t expect a response until early next week. The obvious advantage of such a service is that it would give Sky TV access to a market larger (eg people who would like good TV service, but don’t want a dish on their property).

Likewise, the current market is much more competitive (Netflix, Disney +, etc.) and Sky must remain in contention as the market evolves around it. The other challenge is that a successful IPTV platform must be up and running with all the appropriate features, such as High Dynamic Range (HDR) and 4K (UltraHD) video quality as standard (competitors already do).

The newspaper suggests that the Sky Q IP Box will support 4K, but you’ll have to pay an additional £ 5 per month or £ 11 if you want this to apply to other content (eg Netflix) at the same time. The British box will also feature 1,000 hours of video “cloud recording“Feature (PVR) for live broadcast channels, which will allow customers to pause and go back”live“TV channels.

However, the standard rental price for all of this should be very similar to that of Sky’s regular satellite TV packages. The operator will have to be careful here, as he risks competing with his own brand NOW TV. As we say, take all of this with a pinch of salt until Sky confirms it, and we hope to get an update from our own sources soon.


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