BSkyB has announced details of its new service that will bring together TV, broadband and telephony services for DTT viewers. It builds on the success of its broadband offer to DTH satellite subscribers that is capable of reaching 70% of the UK through Sky’s unbundled telecoms network.
Despite the announcement, the actual launch of the service is dependent on the autumn consultation by Ofcom on Sky’s proposals for an MPEG-4 service over the DTT platform, and potentially the pay-TV review. In addition to the DTT network, Sky is looking to also make the TV elements of the package available to PC users through built in DTT tuners.
Subscribers will be able to choose one or more of the services in any combination. The television package will include access to Sky Sports 1, Sky Movies, Sky One, a children’s channel and a factual channel. The initial service will consist of three streams using the current MPEG-2 compression standard. Subject to Ofcom’s approval Sky will then introduce a fourth stream carrying Sky News – the 24 hour news channel is currently part of Sky’s contribution to Freeview that also includes entertainment channel Sky Three and Sky Sports News.
The new receiver is being manufactured by Sagem, although Sky intends to open production to other companies, and with the broadcaster promising to leave the specifications largely to the manufacturers there is the possibility of both PVRs and compatibility with other services such as Setanta.