I'll save Sky some money... implement these ideas :)
I've always had a stack of ideas for Sky's digibox and if they implemented just some of them it would greatly increase the functionality of the box and also probably their market share. Unfortunately this will only work if they open up their software a little, which is unlikely ever to happen…
For starters their EPG is probably the best I've ever used but as previously mentioned reliability must be greatly improved.
Sky should use the new Sky+ box planned for 2008 to make a killer application. This must include at a minimum the following:
1) Media Extender technology to allow Ethernet streaming of content from PC’s to HDTV, i.e. Apple TV, etc
2) Streaming of content from Digibox to multiple PC’s (local or Internet based), i.e. TiVo
3) Learning of users viewing habits with automatic record, i.e. TiVo (already mentioned)
4) Remote control API access so you can easily record programs, change channel with confirmation, etc. This feature has been missing for far too long…
5) Built in media server with full playback functionality for all common formats with easy file upload from PC, MP3 player, etc via USB or Ethernet
6) eSATA support so the internal HDD space can be easily upgraded (I think the HD box has this already?)
7) Minimum of three tuners
8) Built in HD Freeview support (probably never happen but Sky is currently a shareholder in Freeview) – This would be a forth tuner. Some channels are free on Freeview but not on Sky, etc
9) ADSL router functionality so you can surf the net via your PC
10) Proper VoD via ADSL2+ (already mentioned)
11) Web surfing via HDTV screen with optional Bluetooth mouse and keyboard
12) Built in DVD-RW functionality to backup your programs to playable DVD's (plus easy DVD playback). Make it HD-DVD and BluRay compatible for extra wow factor ;)
The list goes on… This of course would require a more powerful CPU and additional memory, which in turn would speed up the Interactive services. These are just far too slow to load at the moment. Sky please please fully cache these programs locally on the box when you have more memory available!
PS: Of course none of this will happen as Sky won't ever have the balls to upset Hollywood and its love of DRM!