SKY -- In my corner of the world, Sky satellite dishes outnumber Chorus MMDS antenna nearly three to one. Sky Ireland has shifted programming habits in several ways. It offers diverse programming to Irish viewers and it allows its Sky+ customers the opportunity to time-shift programming elements.
Sky+ subscribers can effectively create their own TV channel within the onscreen electronic programme guide (EPG). Datamonitor estimates thaat by 2007, up to a quarter of all homes in the UK will have some kind of PVR. Forrester estimates that half of US television viewers will have video-on-dmand services or PVRs by then. It also believes that by then, 28% of programmes will be watched at a different time to when they are broadcast.
Since I attended the roll-out of Sky+ in Ireland, BSkyB has more than doubled its subscriptions to Sky+. Now more than 250,000 subscribers use the service in Britain. In the same period, Tivo increased its subscriber base by a third.
PVRs are about the same price point as DVD Recorders. I like how various components can talk to a television through the Broadband Box. It is already possible to deliver real-time video services across a broadband network. You can easily record from the broadband box to a DVD-R or to a generic PVR. I am trying to find out if you can record to the Sky+ directly from a Broadband Box. That would make the Sky+ service much more versatile.
PVR owners manifest interesting patterns of behaviour.
- PVR users graze for programmes they ike and store them for later viewing.
- They bookmark favs and record every episode with a single button. This lets you watch all episodes of 24 in a single sitting.
- Sports fans compress games and blow through advertisements. Sophisticated advertisements are warped on fast-forward.
¹Sean Dodson -- "Tailored television" in The Guardian Online, February 26, 2004.
Watch for new PVRs from Samsung, Toshiba, Amstrad, Humax, and even the Nokia MediaStation.