BSkyB is introducing an innovative new feature to its Sky HD and Sky+ boxes that has been designed to reduce the energy consumption of its subscribers. Auto Standby will put the receivers into standby when no remote control commands have been detected for a period of two hours. The feature will only work between the hours of 23.00 and 04.00, so not to interrupt primetime viewing, though arguably could make for additional interruptions to overnight cricket coverage from Australia. If the receiver has not been used a warning message will appear on-screen for three minutes. Should no further keystrokes be detected the boxes will the go into the standby mode.
Auto Standby is being downloaded to set-top boxes in phases over the next few months. In recent years Sky has been able to reduce the power consumption on its standard digiboxes by 50% and the intention is to rollout Auto Standby to all customers by the middle of 2008. (JC)