Back in 2007 we heard a rumour that Sky were working on developing a new server that would record all the families shows and distribute them around the home to a client box in each room. Today the rumour is back, changed slightly, and this time with more details…
According to our source, Sky have recently been surveying people who have their satellite TV service, Sky broadband and also use Sky player and Wifi. Users accepted onto the survey were informed that it was for a new Sky product that was to be launched soon.
The hard disk in the new product is said to be 4 to 5 times the size of current Sky+ HD box (so probably around a terabyte) and is said to need to be connected to a broadband service. Not surprisingly, video on demand is mentioned – presumably delivered via the broadband connection. Various configurations options for the cabling, including a satellite connection to all boxes in the home or a satellite connection to a single box and broadband router. Users were also shown a diagram of a PC connected to the Sky system network which it appears could be used as another client.
Perhaps most interesting of all is this move to IP to distribute video around the home. Users are informed they can either have the house wired up with Cat5 cable or use the system wirelessly – presumably with WiFi. Users suggest that the exisitng Sky multi room subscription would increase from £10 to £45 on the new networked setup, although what would be included in this price is unclear.
Of course we have no way of knowing how much, if any of the above is real or going to make it into a final product. One thing is clear though, if the mightly Sky move to IP distribution for video around the home, it will be the beginning of a new era.