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205 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1081722 6-Jul-2014 08:31
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NonprayingMantis:
DickDastardly:
nigelj:
richms: They could drop the duplicate SD and HD versions and get the SD stuff off dirty old MPEG2 and have room for heaps more channels. But that would mean writing off a whole lot of STB's that are still earning money for them so I dont think it will happen soon.


Actually from what I've heard both Foxtel (I may be particularly mistaken on Foxtel) and Sky UK which most of the NZ hardware/software feels like it gets proved on as I understand now basically give out crippled (read: locked) versions of the MySKY-equiv decoders to everyone and simply unlock the PVR features/UI when people pony up for the STB fee.

In fact, looking at Sky UK's website now, that may not be the case anymore even, the current offer is even better and appears to be:

1x Sky+ Box (http://www.sky.com/products/kit/sky-plus-hd-box/) with built in wifi (I think I saw something about ~300-400GB) for free (based on the offer page http://www.sky.com/shop/) or 49 GBP (100 NZD) one-off upgrade fee to the 2TB Sky+ Box, both also 3D ready - they already have limited 3D broadcasts etc.
1x free HD & 3D Multiroom box (http://www.sky.com/products/kit/sky-hd-box/)

I think Sky would be able to earn more and justify extra charges etc if they had a looksie at what Uncle Murdoch was doing.  (i.e. more attractive/simpler offering, less alienation)


(Side note, apparently Sky UK boxes are owned by the account holder, which results in the likes of.... http://www.skyprotect.com/ maybe not all bad here....)


You see...this is the kind of thing that really annoys me and coming from the UK and experiencing the FAR superior Sky service i have actual experience of this.

We in NZ are begging/pleading/crying out/desperate for one or two more HD channels here in NZ....

However, In the UK, Sky are offering over 50 HD channels, an 3D channel and an amazing EPG with on demand service.

Yes we are only a county of 4 million or so people and yes, Sky have a relative monopoly on pay per viewing - but it goes to show how effective competition is.  In the UK there is Virgin Media offering HD cable TV with internet that downloads at 100mb, Sky are feeling threatened and actually thinking about improving their service.

The most significant thing that should affect us in NZ is that Vodafone expand their TV service, directly challenging Sky's stranglehold on the market.

More and more of us are getting cable in our areas, and if Vodafone ramp up their TV offering, Sky will naturally pick up their game and start listening to their customers.  I actually think its only a matter of time until Sky aren't sitting so happy on the top of the pay per view market and instead offer its customers a quality HD and catch up service.

Remember the Sky promises.....new channels...new services....?  Really?  Come on Sky NZ either get bought out by Foxtel or let Mr Murdoch in the UK provide us with a quality service...




you do know that Vodafone's TV service is just rebranded Sky, right?  other than one or two meaningless niche things, all the content is identical. The reason for that is that Vodafone are buying it from Sky.


Yep - i know Vodafone content is bought from Sky.  My point was that Vodafone should look at the UK Virgin Media business model, where even though they buy most of the content from Sky UK, people are tempted by their bundle packs.....phone, broadband and a set top box.  Vodafone NZ should go it alone and actually be a meaningful threat to Sky NZ.  With Virgin Media in the UK, the EPG and stuff is Virgin Media specific, and their catch up service is far more advanced than even Sky's.  Sky UK are threatened by these comparable set top boxes offered by Virgin and consequently Sky provide meaningful services and updated to their service in an attempt retain/attract new customers (like offering phone and broadband themselves).  All Virgin services are provided through fibre which is unaffected by rain fade/inclement weather and fibre roll out is pretty advanced.  Fibre is rolling out here at a rate of knots too....




I don't want no sugar in it - thank you very much

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  Reply # 1081961 6-Jul-2014 18:40
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Sky probably consider themselves to be between a rock and a hard place.

I won't consider the business case because I have no idea what the numbers would look like, however from a technical perspective the issue is satellite capacity.

For comparison's sake, Sky UK have access to 3 co-located satellites, all with higher capacity than Optus D1. It is a bit difficult to get exact details, but this should give you a rough idea:

 

  • Astra 2A = 28 Ku transponders
  • Astra 2E = 60 Ku transponders
  • Astra 2F = 48 Ku transponders [Europe beam]
Foxtel? Again hard to know exactly what transponders they've leased but:

 

  • Optus C1 = 24 Ku transponders, 12 (???) for Foxtel
  • Optus D3 = 24 Ku transponders [Aus beam], 16 (???) for Foxtel

Here in NZ? Just one satellite (Optus D1) with 16 Ku transponders *in total*. If my maths is correct Sky has leases on 7 of them.

A satellite change might help get access to a bit more capacity. Of course not even close to the league of Sky UK or even Foxtel. However, realigning the dishes for all of their customers would be a significant cost.

"Optus 10" could be part of a solution... but there are problems. Launch has been delayed at least 6 months, and google tells me more recently they've had to fly the satellite back to base due to technical issues found in pre-launch checks. I also thought I read somewhere that it was going to 164E rather than 160E.

Of course the other possibility is switching to DVB-S2 and h.264 (or even h.265/HEVC) and replacing all their STBs. Again, a costly proposition.

Fibre might be a cheaper option in the long run... but it isn't ready yet.


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1081978 6-Jul-2014 18:51
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It looks like they have taken the cheapest option for the last few years - do nothing. And that is really starting to hurt them among younger people that do not care about sports.




Richard rich.ms



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  Reply # 1082003 6-Jul-2014 19:03
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Of course the other possibility is switching to DVB-S2 and h.264 (or even h.265/HEVC) and replacing all their STBs. Again, a costly proposition.





They are running 4 -S2 tps for the HD content transport on HDi

Sky have 14 on D1 (10 of those -S SD only)

http://www.lyngsat.com/Optus-D1.html

And essentially duplicate a few of those for SD/Non SD http://www.lyngsat.com/packages/Sky-New-Zealand.html

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  Reply # 1082146 7-Jul-2014 02:47
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Do they need all those pay per view channels. Up to three of the same movie playing so people have more choice of when to start watching movie, what a waste.

Rather then having the pop up channels of things that have already been screened multiple times, rather have more HD. If the zone channel is not HD I will have little interest in it, will source the programs else where, where possible, as I do for shows on Prime.

Another idea is channel sharing of the HD channels. Some play the same program three times a day. Certain hours channel a, then other hours channel b.
Everyone that can get the HD channels has the ultimate recorder, so can record what interested in if screening time doesn't suit.

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  Reply # 1084290 8-Jul-2014 18:56
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Oblivian: They are running 4 -S2 tps for the HD content transport on HDi

I'm aware of that. Switching all TPs to S2 and all channels to h.264 would make a difference.

Oblivian: Sky have 14 on D1 (10 of those -S SD only)

I think your counting method is off. AFAIK each of those are half transponders. Note the L (= lower) and U (= upper) on the names - eg. NZ10L. As it says here, D1 only has 8 NZ-only transponders... and both Sky and Freeview are on the NZ beam...
http://www.optus.com.au/network/satellite/fleet/d1/


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1116298 27-Aug-2014 10:18
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According to Screenscribe website, Sky have confimred that The Zone channel will be in HD. Also there will be no additional cost to watch this channel and if you already have the HD ticket there will be no additional cost to watch this channel in HD.   Great news!

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  Reply # 1116360 27-Aug-2014 11:31
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OT but just received an e-mail from Sky saying SM Classics and Action are going HD from 1 September, guess they have managed to find some more bandwidth?

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  Reply # 1116396 27-Aug-2014 12:04
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MarkX: According to Screenscribe website, Sky have confimred that The Zone channel will be in HD. Also there will be no additional cost to watch this channel and if you already have the HD ticket there will be no additional cost to watch this channel in HD.   Great news!


that's good news.  Hopefully they will be making a lot of the content available on demand.  linear is such a pintless waste of time for these kinds of shows.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1116437 27-Aug-2014 12:31
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DjShadow: OT but just received an e-mail from Sky saying SM Classics and Action are going HD from 1 September, guess they have managed to find some more bandwidth?


Come on Sky NZ- keep going and give us HD Discovery and Prime at the very least!!!




I don't want no sugar in it - thank you very much

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1116829 27-Aug-2014 20:23
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DickDastardly:
DjShadow: OT but just received an e-mail from Sky saying SM Classics and Action are going HD from 1 September, guess they have managed to find some more bandwidth?


Come on Sky NZ- keep going and give us HD Discovery and Prime at the very least!!!


HD Prime on Freeview UHF would be most welcome (and FOUR in HD, for that matter...)

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  Reply # 1116844 27-Aug-2014 20:55
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Sky dont care. People pay money to see people run around with an oval ball. The rest of it is just a bonus that they get money for.




Richard rich.ms

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