Media & Services > TV & Broadband Blog

Sky pushes HD and Anytime

by User Not Found | 5月 05, 2007

I was one of the first customers to sign up to Sky's pioneering DVR service, Sky+, back in 2001, as I previously blogged. Sky's excellent customer records have now allowed it to remind me of this fact by sending me a letter inviting me to spend more money with them. Specifically they are inviting early Sky+ adopters to upgrade to Sky HD and Sky Anytime, the new "push download" DVR service. The clincher in the Sky letter is that "Sky Anytime ... is unfortunately not available on your current Sky+ box". I can apparently choose to pay Sky either £149 for a new HD box, or £79 for a SD box that will be compatible with Sky Anytime. Both would come with free installation. Given that I have not yet invested in an HDTV display, the HD option doesn't seem sensible. So why would Sky Anytime tempt me to spend £79 on a new box? Sky has told me nothing about what content Sky Anytime will offer, and I remain to be convinced that push downloads are an adequate competitive solution to true VOD for non-VOD platforms like satellite or terrestrial. So I will pass on their invitation on this occasion. If I had been ready to upgrade to HD, I suppose the £149 might have been tempting. But judging from friends' experience of the Sky HD service, I remain sceptical. One near-neighbour has just become what must be one of the first Sky customers to churn from HD back to SD. After being caught up in the initial wave of HD hype and a new flat panel TV purchase, he decided the £70 a month for the various Sky sports, movies, extra box and HD options was simply excessive. So there is at least one Sky HD box owner not receiving HD channels right now. Sky has just reported its highest churn rate in many years - it seems that even new services like HD and Anytime are not enough to keep every customer happy, and free-to-air services like Freeview are becoming ever more attractive compared to the higher ARPUs demanded by pay TV providers.
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