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217 posts

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Topic # 151956 11-Sep-2014 09:57
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An interesting article on Screenscribe -

"The satcaster has confirmed it’s been able to launch more HD channels by reducing their bandwidth. It’s understood Sky’s sports channels and its upgraded Action and Classics movie channels are beaming out in 1440x1080i rather than the 1920x1080i standard. “Yes, some of our channels have this compression,” Sky spokesperson Kirsty Way says. “I’m sure you are aware that some content comes to us like this. But it does vary across the platform, as is standard practice internationally. “With a finite amount of bandwidth and now a time frame/path to unlock more, we have been able to plan and allocate that bandwidth accordingly.”

The reallocation of bandwidth means Sky can squeeze five channels instead of four on to each of its four DVB-S2 muxes.

One industry source says the only long-term solution is for Sky to shift all muxes on sat to DVB-S2 H.264 (or maybe H.265), but that would require replacement of its set-top boxes. “There are very likely to be more changes before we reach the point of increasing bandwidth availability and we will make announcements at the time,” Way says. Reducing resolution may not be ideal but the upgraded movie channels still look much better than they did previously, with 95% of their schedules HD-ready.

And Sky has announced it’s investing $125 million investment over the next two years in new software and equipment. The long overdue overhaul will allow it to double its satellite bandwidth, enabling internet connections for all decoders, more channels and the ability to broadcast ultra high definition. “We have firm plans for a major upgrade that will significantly enhance the service we provide to our 865,000 customers,” chief executive John Fellet said in a statement. “As well as providing customers with the latest technology, a big upside of this project is that it allows us to double the amount of satellite bandwidth we can access, providing a path to ultra-high definition or 4k and the capacity to add new channels. “By the end of this investment programme, every Sky set-top box will have the ability to be IP connected, providing access to VOD services for all of our customers. “The simplicity of using My Sky and providing on demand services through the same set- top box will be a winning combination for our customers.” Sky will also launch an SVOD service targeted at non-Sky customers this year. The service will feature TV shows, including HBO exclusives, and movies for a flat monthly fee and no contractual obligations.

From March, My Sky decoders will have their operating software upgraded with an HD electronic programme guide (EPG). Improvements will include an enchanced series link and search functionality that will allow shows from a series to ‘Series Stack’ in the planner under one header and access to a “huge library” of on demand content via an ethernet lead, Wi-Fi or power line device and store to watch at their convenience. Content will be downloaded progressively, so subscribers can watch shows while the download completes. Sky says access to VOD content and the upgrade will cost subscribers nothing beyond their connection devices and data usage. Sky also will replace 460,000 non-My Sky decoders from March with a new decoder that is My Sky-capable with features like personal video recording, high definition and access to on demand content."


From reading this there are obviously some key talking points

Bad Points


1) The Short Term sacrifice to HD Channels - showing them at 1440x1080i rather than the 1920x1080i standard.
2) The comment “There are very likely to be more changes before we reach the point of increasing bandwidth availability and we will make announcements at the time,”  - this contradicts the rest of the article where investment and modernisation will improve bandwidth - so a little confising messaging there i feel...?

Good Points

1) Doubling Satellite bandwidth - great idea - is this the new satellite we keep hearing about
2) New Channels and 4k Broadcasting.  Nice idea for new channels - but 4k - ill believe it when i see it - even the UK which is arguably 5r years ahead only broadcast in 3D.
3) HD EPG - Cant Wait - Series Stacks are awesome and enhanced series link (on screen pop up) togther with improved search facilities.

Summary - its been a long time coming - it SEEMS to be here at last with some significant investment - i think Sky are realising the troops are restless and they need to do somthing to retain the customer base!




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

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  Reply # 1126334 11-Sep-2014 10:01
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Can they not just launch IPTV to fibre enabled homes

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1126338 11-Sep-2014 10:04
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About time those dam STB's went IP




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All comment's I make are my own personal opinion and do not in any way, shape or form reflect the views of current or former employers unless specifically stated 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1126362 11-Sep-2014 10:47
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I have a handful of clients that still use analog distribution so they can watch Sky on other TVs in the house. I can only imagine how many people this will affect.
I hope that Sky has a more affordable solution for those people than just offering them the rental of another decoder(s).

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  Reply # 1126376 11-Sep-2014 10:56
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I would like to see the network port enabled, but equality, I'd like to see a Wifi enabled console or an adaptor  (either supporting multi-channel 2.4/5Ghz).

Interesting to see the market pressure/QOS issue.

Would also really like to see Sky NZ provide a SkyGO service on the Apple TV.




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  Reply # 1126456 11-Sep-2014 12:29
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TwoSeven: Would also really like to see Sky NZ provide a SkyGO service on the Apple TV.
My PS3 has got 1080p output but my AppleTV2 only does 720p. The PS3 also has TV1 on Demand and Quikflix already as services, so I would like to think Sky might consider competing there sooner rather than later.




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  Reply # 1126482 11-Sep-2014 12:57
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kiwifidget:
TwoSeven: Would also really like to see Sky NZ provide a SkyGO service on the Apple TV.
My PS3 has got 1080p output but my AppleTV2 only does 720p. The PS3 also has TV1 on Demand and Quikflix already as services, so I would like to think Sky might consider competing there sooner rather than later.


The AppleTV3 has 1080P and there are thousands of them out there. ATV apps are a great way to get content to the big screen, but they need to be invited by Apple to create one apparently (from the Lightbox thread).

PS and Xbox apps are a great idea too.

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  Reply # 1126782 11-Sep-2014 21:03
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So... Sky is going to start shipping Foxtel boxes.  Got it.

I'm sure everyone's looking forward to the mandatory annual "we're raising our prices because stuff" letter in the post because of this :/

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1126788 11-Sep-2014 21:09
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Maybe skytv will start rebroadcasting foxtel it be much more cheaper for them in the long run




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1126990 12-Sep-2014 08:48
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TwoSeven: 

Would also really like to see Sky NZ provide a SkyGO service on the Apple TV.


Yeah but add it to the US iTunes store also so I don't have to change stores to watch Netflix ;-) 

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1127055 12-Sep-2014 10:21
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Finally something decent to come from SkyTV! was wondering what was up with the 1440x1080i channels. Hopefully we can use the ethernet ports on mysky for like a catch-up or on demand service from Sky. would be great.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1127622 13-Sep-2014 00:28
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Are the sports channels also going 1440x1080 or just movies?




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1127624 13-Sep-2014 01:31
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DickDastardly: An interesting article on Screenscribe -
Good Points

1) Doubling Satellite bandwidth - great idea - is this the new satellite we keep hearing about


I would guess Sky whilst talking about upgrading decoders etc... are talking about making a move to DVB-S2 MPEG4 video on all their leased transponders rather than purchasing new capacity.

Only a handful of their transponders are DVB-S2 that I know of. The rest are DVB-S MPEG2 standard def.

I do see they've played with a Sky testcard on D3. I'm not sure if that's their backup capacity incase D1 failed or possibly new capacity they're toying with.

However, they can save bandwidth by replacing their SD MPEG2 channels to MPEG4. That would be the more logical route if they're saying they're replacing older decoders and making some upgrades.

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  Reply # 1127625 13-Sep-2014 01:33
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rlevis: Are the sports channels also going 1440x1080 or just movies?


sky sport 1 from what i've seen is 1440x1080i has been for a few weeks now




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1127627 13-Sep-2014 01:47
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Does the My-Sky support MPEG-4 but not the older decoders?  




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  Reply # 1127643 13-Sep-2014 08:31
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l43a2:
rlevis: Are the sports channels also going 1440x1080 or just movies?


sky sport 1 from what i've seen is 1440x1080i has been for a few weeks now


Can you notice the difference?

I guess with their market position they can do this without loosing any customers, hopefully they will reduce the HD ticket cost accordingly.

On the up side by the time I ever consider SKY they might actually have the bandwidth and STBs to provide something decent.

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