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.