back to article Sky's mobile movies move leaves Apple, Amazon gasping

It has been five years since Apple unveiled its TV tuner – and it increasingly looks like Cupertino missed the boat. Sky this week added on-demand movies to its Sky Go service, which means anyone already on the platform can view shows from the couch on a mobile or a tablet. Sky’s 11 live linear channels are also available for …

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Lets wait until apple change their terms and conditions to remove Sky Go from the app store. I'm sure it wont take Apple long.

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Anonymous Coward

Don't hold your breath waiting.

Kindle, Netflix, Hulu et al apps would have to go first, but they're still around.

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app

then surely some sort of bastardised html5 (once someone sorts encryption out - shudder). would be the meal of the day?

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£20 a month?

On top of any existing Sky subscription, I'm guessing?

All for brief entertainment breaks between adverts.

The license fee really is the best bargain in entertainment.

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Anonymous Coward

Not an additional £20

Sky Go is included in the regular subscriptions. Those who wish can subscribe from £20 per month without getting a satellite dish & sky box

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£20/month is the cheapest stock Sky sub

There is no additional charge for watching sky go.

My flat only has the 1 satellite feed, and the landlord is not keen on upgrading the entire block, so I can't get/use Sky+ (2 feeds required) or SkyHD (4 feeds), so there was no way I would take a 'proper' sky equipment+12 month sub, so I used to subscribe to Sky Player.

Sky Player was also free to use (in addition to your sub), you could use it on up to 5 computers and 1 Xbox and you could watch sport or movie channels on it. You could also access the sports channels on your iDevice, for an additional £6/month. The quality on maximum was almost HD, and looked really nice blew up to 42".

Then came Sky Go, which 'unifies' all this. You no longer have to pay £6/month per device, but instead you are now limited to 2 devices in total. Yep, 2 devices, across laptop, home pc, phone, tablet and console. Pick 2. Want more? Tough shit, pick 2.

This riled me a bit, but I still didn't cancel. I still want to watch cricket (I know, I know..). Tuned in bright and early for an India vs England ODI, and fuck me, 'This content is not available to be streamed' - Sky hadn't even bought the streaming rights to the damn content, despite advertising it to me in never ending "Check out what's on Sky Go!" spam emails.

At that point, I cancelled. Fuck them.

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Anonymous Coward

... is bliss

Bad guess. Shame you haven't got access to the Internet and so can't check your facts before posting rubbish.

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Happy

No extra costs - I'm not lying!

I've got Sky Go on my iPad and regularly watch the sports channels. I'll point out that I don't subscribe to the movie package, and would never intend to, but that additional functionality at no extra cost to those who currently enjoy it is great and should be applauded

Is the license fee I pay each year good value when I only watch Top Gear and MotD on terrestrial tele? Whether it is a bargain or not is all a point of perspective...

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If you already subscribe to the channels then Sky Go is free (so if you have movies and sport on your TV then you have the relevant programming on Sky Go). As is Anytime+. For the time being anyway.

As has been said though, Android version please!

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On top of any existing Sky subscription, I'm guessing?

You guessed wrong no extra cost for sky customers unless you want to watch something not included in your current sky subscription.

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Anonymous Coward

Free for existing subscribers

Surely you could have checked in the time it took to post this.

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"All for brief entertainment breaks between adverts" I with you on that.

Most of the brief entertainment breaks are full of utter shite too.

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"...Sky+ (2 feeds required) or SkyHD (4 feeds)..."

Er, no. HD is actually one feed, if you take the non-PVR box. The "standard" HD box is Sky+ (PVR) and uses 2. No idea where you're getting the requirement for 4 from, it's cobblers. They do tend to fit a four connector LNB on installation, but two connections remain unused unless you have two or more boxes connected.

The PVR boxes will also work on one feed, but won't allow you to watch something live while recording something else at the same time.

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I guess that changed then. Original Sky HD boxes used dual LNB feeds for each channel, as this used DVB-S and MPEG2 encoding at the time, which required both feeds at once for some channels (I have photos).

They also seem to have re-done the boxes in the 6 months since I last looked - no SD boxes, everyone gets a Sky+ HD box, and you no longer have to pay for Sky+, only for HD - presumably you would get FTA HD without paying extra.

You still require at least two LNB for the PVR boxes to work correctly - I'm guessing you've never tried, because they only sort of work with one LNB, once it tries to download Sky Anytime programming overnight, the box will likely freeze. I've also seen it refuse to start a scheduled recording when you're not watching anything.

Clearly your definition of 'works' is different to mine.

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Single feed option on SkyHD box

@Tom38 Your comments about the Sky+ box and a single feed are correct though there is a secret menu on the SkyHD box which allows the selection of a single feed so things work more nicely.

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Mine didn't

I had one of the very first Sky HD boxes (Mar 2006) and it just used 2 connections - the engineer took out the old Sky+ box and put in the new Sky+ HD box and it worked.

Which box did you get?

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Thing is that Sky actually make very little of the content they show and what they do produce themselves is far from compelling. They're business model is based on tying up exclusive deals for content distribution, be it football, US drama series or films. This model is starting to get a lot of attention from the competition regulators.

Without its exclusives Sky are nothing more than yet another video library so they've got to hope they can keep the gravy train rolling.

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Completely agree. Once Amazon & Apple fully get their products ready it won't take much for them to complete.

If it's a bidding war for exclusive broadcast rights Apple certainly has more cash lying around than Sky.

Anyone know if they are sniffing around the sports rights deals yet?

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FAIL

except...

You are missing out some vital facts from that...

Sky are part of Murdoch's empire, which includes Fox. Who produce movies and TV.

Sky broadcasts over satellite, meaning customers don't need high-speed broadband connections to watch HD films. My broadband speed struggles with standard def streams, let alone 2 HD feeds simultaneously, which the Sky+HD box copes with quite happily.

Sky boxes are everywhere. Millions of people have them. How many people actually have even heard of Apple TC, let alone own one?

The people with the real power in TV are advertisers. If they see a channel going to Apple TV exclusively, they'll drop their spend. They want maximum exposure for their money and when comparing millions of Sky customers and 14 Apple TV owners, you can guess where the money will go. (14 is a guess, it may be less) Sport' governing bodies will not sell rights to a company who cannot give sponsors the exposure they want.

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WTF?

Not sure about this article

First there's no Sky Go on Android, or even a concrete release date while it's been out on iOS for months. So they do seem to care about which device you use.

Then it's very easy for Amazon to control this on their tablet, they simply won't let the app into their app store. Only geeks will sideload it then.

As the article correctly says Apple makes their margins on the hardware itself, so it's doesn't care that much, they're hardly gasping about it. iTunes store is not such a big revenue earner for them, more of a reason to stay within the ecosystem.

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What about Sony

Sony have a foot in both the content and device camps and have started to make some small plays in the merged world of device and media already. If you have a Sony networked TV then you can already get on a "buy on demand" basis access to movies made by Sony Entertainment. I am sure it will not take them long to move in to the subscription model if they see growing demand for such services, although they may have to wait a few years in the UK until we have a broadband network capable of supporting such a model.

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You mean like most urban areas

I've been watching The Iplayer 'HD' feeds for over a year on my freesat box. Don't over egg the broadband speed issue more than you need to.

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Meh

Just to clarify, Sky Go works over 3G for the normal 11 channels (and it's pretty good too!) but requires WiFi for the on-demand service.

There is no extra cost involved, but you can have two Sky Go licences per Sky subscription. Bit of a bummer if you have a PC/Mac, iPhone and iPad as you can't use it on all 3...

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Anonymous Coward

Apple

I very much doubt Apple will pull Sky Go from the store. Having Sky viewable on iOS devices increases the value of owning one which in turn drives sales. Look at how many companies push the fact you can watch iPlayer as a selling point and they make nothing from the Beeb.

Its already been officially confirmed its coming to Droid in the next few months.

As to Amazon not allowing the app on their store, I doubt many folk will care. The Fire appears to be so crippled in so many other ways one more thing missing won't make much difference.

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Why would you care ?

"So long as your no-name phone, tablet or PC can play the stuff you want to watch, and the EPG works, why would you care?"

Personally, I wouldn't have Sky on any device - so that's why I would care. This stems from a long history of them screwing people over, and a number of years spent in part of an company with very close ties with Mr. Murdoch. This is obviously a very personal position, and i'm aware that the industry is not exactly packed full of saints, but as you asked....

Speaking of people that aren't saints either - Virgin Media also has their Media Player which is available on iPhone, Android and viewable (supported) on a number of platforms/browsers. That can stream Sky content as well, should you have a subscription. Requires their XL TV package - unsure of the relative merits of the two (Sky and Virgin) financially or otherwise, but i'm just pointing out it's not a one horse race.

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FAIL

Just to clarify a point - the AppleTV is not and never has been a 'tv tuner'. If it's anything, it's a rather minimalist 'content relay device' between a Mac/'the cloud' and your TV.

Jon

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What Sky has done is make the hardware as invisible as possible. - Unless it runs Android

it played along nicely with whatever hardware people want to use: Unless they run Android

So long as your no-name phone ... can play the stuff you want to watch... why would you care? - Because my no name phone runs Android ... it can't... that's why

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Anonymous Coward

Calm down, it's coming in "the next few months". Meanwhile you can enjoy a nice selection of dodgy streams and more importantly all those Flash porn websites.

Haha, eat that Babestation.

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FAIL

My wide and I tried watching a program on Sky Go recently and it was piss poor. Quality was less than standard definition and it was really jerky. A quick check of their forums confirmed that I was not the only one suffering these problems. Yet my PC has more than enough clout to run full HD video (we use it daily to watch/record Freesat HD) and iPlayer never has any problems.

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Joke

> My wide and I ...

Really, is that any way to talk about your better half?

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Wide?

Big girl?

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Anonymous Coward

Sky...

I live on the ground floor of a block of flats and have nowhere to put a satellite dish. This doesn't stop Sky from constantly spamming me with offers to switch over to them. My letterbox might as well have "Please place Sky spam here" written on it!

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Forget about the VM player

The VM player is a sick joke.

1. No streaming over Wifi - 3G only

2. XL customers only - no options for those on lower tariffs.

3. The player costs £1.75 per hour *on top* of your subscription

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Apple TV lacks everything

Apple TV here in the UK is only usefull for streaming from your Itunes or IOS device. The rental is a rip off, its also limited. In the states the have netflix.

As an Ipad one owner i cant watch SKY n my Ipad and on the apple TV. But ipad 2 customers can and Apple will be missing out on all those potential rentals that SKY are now giving away for free* (if you are a sky subscriber)

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Lost my custom months back

"Where it couldn’t do this, it played along nicely with whatever hardware people want to use: laptops, phones or tablets."

I used to subscribe to sky player, the forerunner to the sky go service. One nice thing about sky player was that it was integrated into Windows Media Centre. When sky go launched the media centre plugin was withdrawn. I cancelled my subscription. So I guess it's any hardware you want as long as it's on the list of hardware sky want to support.

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The latest Sky Go Apps

Work a treat on both my iPhone and the house's iPad. There's no additional cost, which is good, because we already pay quite enough for Sky's services. I'm looking forward to seeing if it works when I'm out of the country.

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It won't work out of country without a proxy, which is kind of stupid as your Sky subscription clearly denotes your 'region', so it is just nonsense applying geographical IP restrictions on top of that.

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Meh

Requires Silverlight

MEH

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Anonymous Coward

Good idea, implementation lacking

I really really wanted Sky Go to be good, however, when the web service requires silverlight and you have to wait for Sky to come out with an app for the mobile device of your choosing then that already limits the number of people that can use the service in the first place.

If it were HTML5 based I'd reconsider it.

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WTF?

who ?

OK I know who Apple and Amazon are, who is Sky ?

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Devil

@Nicho

The spawn of satan is who they are.

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Good article

Nice to read something positive about content and the way it is delivered. Well written and thought provoking, even if some trolls didn't like it.

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Good so far,but...

Just read the comment about it being unavailable outside the UK despite your subscription - shame as I was hoping to use it when I leave the country for 2 weeks this coming weekend.

The small fact that the iPad version refuses to work through HDMI or Apple TV also sucks.

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Anonymous Coward

who redux

OK it seems that this Sky lot are limited to the UK so can someone please explain why this would leave Apple and Amazon, both global powerhouses, gasping ?

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