On demand TV

February 22nd, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Tom Pullar-Strecker at Stuff reports:

Television is considering creating a new type of set-top box that would do away with at least some scheduled television channels and instead let people watch programmes whenever they chose.

The move could make traditional television listings largely redundant. Chief executive John Fellet said an example of a channel that could benefit from the change would be the Discovery Channel, which features programmes such as Man vs. Wild, starring Bear Grylls.

Instead of broadcasting programmes at a certain time via satellite, viewers would select programmes from a “pool” and they would be streamed to their television over ultrafast broadband.

The set-top boxes would be integrated with social media, so they could recommend programmes based on people’s past tastes or what their friends were watching.

Sky could make programmes available at any time as it had already bought the rights, Fellet said. “Going to a `pool’ concept, which can only really happen with UFB, is an easy decision.”

This is no doubt the future. I like the idea of using social media to recommend programmes.

If Sky were really smart they would look at incorporating video-conferencing software into their set-top boxes, so that people can video-conference by simply pushing a button on their Sky Remote. If they manage that, they’ll have customers for life. Imagine if you can do a six way video-conference through your TV by merely pushing the “V” button and then a short-cut key per individual you want to link in.

Even better, think if you can split the screen between TV and video-conference so you and some friends can remotely watch the same show and discuss it as you view it – as if you were in the same room.

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18 Responses to “On demand TV”

  1. unaha-closp (1,111 comments) says:

    If we were really smart we’d buy the programs direct from the production teams and not have to pay Sky for the privilege of having them as a pointless middleman.

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  2. Longknives (4,409 comments) says:

    “Even better, think if you can split the screen between TV and video-conference so you and some friends can remotely watch the same show and discuss it as you view it – as if you were in the same room.”

    Not if you’re watching Baywatch….

    [DPF: LOL]

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  3. Chris2 (754 comments) says:

    Sky are a bit late. Ever since the VCR was bought by homeowners 30 years ago they have been “time-shifting” – recording and watching programmes when it suits them, not the TV stations.

    Today I have a 1 Terrabyte Set Top Box (STB) that records everything we are interested in without ever having to watch live TV. The STB also allows us to totally skip all the ads.

    Now if Sky want to stream their programming I think they should develop their own broadband network and not sponge off the taxpayer-funded new fibre network that is being built.

    Why should everyone elses internet browsing be slowed down to a crawl by Sky viewers up and down the country using all the bandwidth by streaming the latest celebrity cooking programme?

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  4. Jimbob (640 comments) says:

    First of all we need UFB, I wouldn’t hold my breath for this happening anytime soon.
    Can anybody guess how long we will have to wait?

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  5. Brian Smaller (3,983 comments) says:

    Even better, think if you can split the screen between TV and video-conference so you and some friends can remotely watch the same show and discuss it as you view it – as if you were in the same room.

    Why in hell would you ever want to do that?

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  6. Brad (75 comments) says:

    Flag, I’d far prefer access to Netflix and websites of it’s ilk when we (eventually) get UFB

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  7. Manolo (13,327 comments) says:

    Neither want it nor need it. I have a life to live. :-)

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  8. Pete George (22,754 comments) says:

    The thing that annoys me most about Sky is channel packaging – there’s some things I’d prefer but I won’t pay extra for them, and much of what I’m forced to have I hardly or never watch.

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  9. virtualmark (1,472 comments) says:

    Sky Television is considering creating a new type of set-top box

    If you want to know what Sky is going to release in the next 12 months just go have a look at what Sky is offering in the UK … http://www.sky.com/products/kit/ . Murdoch’s various Sky networks use their own, Murdoch controlled, set top boxes. Sky NZ just follows the corporate instructions. So surely Sky NZ will soon roll out the new Sky+ set-top box, with support for video on demand.

    Wanna bet they call it “Sky Anytime”?

    Personally, I’d like Sky NZ to offer the multi-room decoder you can get in the UK.

    DPF, the video conferencing idea is probably a bit beyond Sky. It’s a service that needs a lot of back-end stuff a traditional cable network wouldn’t have. But I wouldn’t mind betting it’s one of the key features in any Apple HDTV box. Just look at Apple’s Facetime app on the iPad, iPhone & Mac.

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  10. adze (1,856 comments) says:

    I agree direct content streaming is the future, but I’d prefer not to have to go through Sky if I’m going to pay for it. Freeview for me until then.
    Chris, the whole point of UFBB is for everyone be able to leverage off it. Why pay for a duplicate infrastructure?

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  11. Ed Snack (1,733 comments) says:

    Sounds like a massively productive use of time and (still) relatively expensive bandwidth. We taxpayers should spring for potentially billions of $ just so dilettantes can “group” (while sitting alone) watch trashy TV !?!

    And this is what passes for “bold and visionary” today is it ?

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  12. annie (537 comments) says:

    Sky TV over broadband totally sucks, we tried it. It’s too slow and the resolution poor.

    They’d need to design any system to allow hi-res downloads to be stored on the decoder and watched with something of a delay, it’ll never be a satisfactory viewing experience if it’s viewed as streamed content.

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  13. insider (1,000 comments) says:

    There will still be a demand for broadcast or at least preprogrammed schedules. We didn’t stop listening to ZM or the Breeze with the arrival of records, CDs and Ipods. I don’t want to go off and programme my own viewing every time. I want a range of scheduled programmes presented to me.

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  14. dime (9,368 comments) says:

    i already have this system.. well i did til dotcom got busted !

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  15. KevinH (1,131 comments) says:

    @unaha-closep
    Right on, just visit their site, pay and view.Simple, no middleman.
    As for video conferencing options, as a business app it would be popular, but the market is in social networking, friends, families all networked and in touch at the click of button.

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  16. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    Almost getting close to what the net’s been doing for ten years.

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  17. Richard29 (377 comments) says:

    “If Sky were really smart they would look at incorporating video-conferencing software into their set-top boxes, so that people can video-conference by simply pushing a button on their Sky Remote.”

    It’s called Skype TV and it comes standard with a bunch of top of the line TVs:
    http://www.sony.co.nz/microsite/internet_tv/sony-internet-tv.html#/skype-ready

    Skype is the global standard and free. Why would I pay Sky for a Sky user only service?

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  18. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Yep skype can do that.

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