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Sky latest broadcaster to offer Live TV streaming
Friday 05 December 2008 10:09:19 by Andrew Ferguson

A new live TV streaming service from Sky removes the need for a satellite dish to watch a number of channels. Existing Sky customers with a Sky Multi-room or a Sky Broadband Max subscription will have free access to the Live TV channels in addition to the existing Video on Demand, but non-Sky customers can take out a subscription that will let them view up to 9 channels.

The basic entertainment pack is £7.50 per month initially rising to £15 per month at the end of January 2009, and comprises of National Geographic, British Eurosport, Disney Channel, Sky Sports News, Sky News and coming soon MTV One, Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. For £22 a month you can add Sky Sports 1 or 2, and Sky Sports 3, or Sky Sports 1, 2 & 3 and Sky Sports xtra for £30 a month.

The live content can be viewed in a web browser on both a PC and Mac with three viewing quality levels so you can pick what works best with your connection, or balance the amount of bandwidth used against a monthly allowance. Apparently the highest quality approaches that of a standard definition TV broadcast, but we are unable to comment on that claim and the amount of bandwidth it uses since it seems those with just Sky HD are left out in the cold.

There is a restriction of one computer per household that can view the channels at any one time, and programmes may be 'blacked out' until rights clearance allows them to be shown online.

Comments

Posted by adslmax over 8 years ago
Go away sky, I am not paying it online live streaming with those greedy fat bosses to pay extra without sky multiroom or sky max broadband. What a con and rip off. I am glad to cancel skyworld with sky plus box.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
What no movie channels???????
I wouldnt have an interest in anything else sky tv offers, especially at the prices they are hoping for....... Any word on the codec format used or quality of these streams also???
Cant see it working, another white elephant doomed to fail due to price and the quality not being there.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
Given I have just Sky HD then I cannot sign up to the free service to tell you what bit rates are used.

Website is based around MS Silverlight technology
Posted by herdwick over 8 years ago
"Existing Sky customers with a Sky Multi-room or a Sky Broadband Max subscription will have *free* access to the Live TV channels"

inclusive access, not free, shirley ?
Posted by gayboy-ds over 8 years ago
I read somewhere it is 1.8 Mbs.

Silverlight is silverlight, it is like flash, doesn't need a media player like WMP or QT.

I wonder how this would fit in with Tiscali TV.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Quote"Website is based around MS Silverlight technology"

Ewww if its like most silver light stuff ive seen its going to be video only suitable in a small window or a laptop size screen at best.

Oh and if its silverlight video it certainly wont be encoded at 1.8Mbs that would just be plain stupid to use a format like silverlight at that rate which is only capable of framerates lower than even old horrid WMV format and probably at a lower resoultion.

Pfft good luck to them trying to get 15 quid a month for what sounds like quality no better than iplayer stuff.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
If laptop screen resolution then that is pretty good as 1920x1200 is easily possible these days.

Perhaps its better when people actually talk about actual experience rather than pre-conceived views.
Posted by Craig4646 over 8 years ago
I've just been trying the live player on my Mac at the moment and its pretty good in my opinion. If you dont enlarge to the full screen mode I would say the picture is very crisp; just like digital TV. But still in full screen mode the picture is still very good.

Though I will be honest if my parents didnt have multi-room I wouldnt even think about paying the prices sky is asking for.... And I am a bit shocked that Sky One isnt on the list....
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
Can someone post a link to the service please? Or is it the same Sky player service but with more channels?
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
Actually I've just found it - I thought I was looking for a new website. Found it now and as we have Sky+HD Multiroom we don't need to pay extra - I've got to say that I'm really impressed with the quality of the video and that's on a full screen on 19" PC screen.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
the pricing seems strange, more expensive than the equivelent down a sat feed.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Checked it out at a friends today, rubbish is my opinion, full screen looks a complete mess barely on par with iplayer, even on a tiny 15inch screen you couldnt watch this for a few hours.... Unless you want eye cancer, god knows how they will get away charging upto £30 for it.
Why cant services like this, especially when you pay through the nose offer a choice of streams (much like the video section on this site)???
Posted by mediaguy over 8 years ago
Bit rate is 256Kb/s with very little buffering (on 24Mb/s internet myself) so the connection can falter quite easily.

I bought it myself, but will not be paying for it for a second month.

It says some programs are blacked out and refers you to a help page that doesn't mention it and blacked out programs are not listed in the TV guide. WWE is one of the programs that is blacked out and pretty much the reason I bought it.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 8 years ago
http://www.lovefilm.com (now without what may have been a referral link) was suggested as a place downloading films.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ I used to use lovefilm now and again until they seemed to employ some demented fool or computer system that cant bill people correctly. I even know of someone which got billed for their so called special offers like first month free or first xxx amount of rentals free, a shame as before they had the cash for 1 minute tv ads they were pretty good
Posted by CaptainW over 8 years ago
Funny how some people are just never happy - I think that the resolution looked great - I can't agree with you I'm afraid Carpterburn - we're used to watching HD and even then the broadcast watching Sky news is excellent - perhaps you should goto specsavers lol.

Seriously - I reckon the picture is really good!
Posted by shaggy197 over 8 years ago
Quality is great. Real nice extra goody with sky broadband. Its inevitable that new channels will come, hopefully skyone, and some movies but I am more than happy with sports.
Posted by coddy over 8 years ago
Seems a decent service to me. Thanks for the heads up. It'd be great to watch live footy abroad. Will this work in an internet cafe using my laptop?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"perhaps you should goto specsavers lol."

If my eyes get as bad as yours not being able to see much difference between a 256k bitrate low resolution video file and HD id be rushing to the hospital and skipping the opticians.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"hanks for the heads up. It'd be great to watch live footy abroad."

LOL might wanna read the terms and faq on their service first
Posted by kev445 over 8 years ago
I believe it is atleast a 2 Mbit stream on highest quality, which would match or better most freeview channels, with the better compression taken into account.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"I believe it is atleast a 2 Mbit stream on highest quality, which would match or better most freeview channels, with the better compression taken into account."

The resolution codec and compression methods are totally different the two can not be compared, as an example a 1024k (1Mb) xvid compressed stream of say dvd content will look much better than a 1024k Mpeg-1 compressed file. a 1024kbps x264 file would look better than both the xvid and mpeg-1..... Its not just bitrate that makes a good picture, its a combination of codec, bitrate and resolution.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
If you dont believe me grab some encoding apps, a handful of codecs download a HD trailer from apple trailers and compress the material to the same bitrates in each codec, you will notice alot of difference.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
does anyone here know if this service would be compatible with a D-LINK DSM520?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I imagine it will work on any router.
Posted by t0m5k1 over 8 years ago
the dlink dsm 520 is a network aware media player! not a router
Posted by jove71 over 8 years ago
I totally agree with the above, up to £30 for an online service is absolutely ridiculous. What’s the point, I may as well get a dish and watch it on the big screen. Which 'soon to be unemployed' person from Sky Marketing thought of that? £7.00 a month for non sky memebers, for subscription to Live Sky Sports/News 1,2,3 only (forget the movie channel crap. Now that’s a tempting offer! Come on Sky, use your noggin, you'd have subscriptions coming out of your clothe ears!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"the dlink dsm 520 is a network aware media player! not a router"

Oh in that case then probably not, unless it can handle formats like silverlight, flash and other odd ball (normally) web only type formsts. May stand a chance if they start broadcasting it in WMV, MOV, MPG or AVI formats.
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