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Advanced wireless products specialist AirTies Wireless Networks has confirmed that its Mesh technology has been chosen by Sky to enable the Sky Q, its next-generation home entertainment system, which will be available in early 2016. Sky Q is a family of advanced products, connecting wirelessly to create a new ecosystem that makes it easier than ever for customers to access all their favourite TV. Sky Q’s Fluid Viewing will enable customers to watch on up to five screens simultaneously, while recording four other channels, pause on one screen and carry on viewing on another, watch shows from their box, whether live, recorded or on demand, anywhere around the home, and for the first time, to take their recordings with them on their tablet.
The AirTies Mesh solution is part of Sky Q’s next generation of Internet Routers, TV set-top boxes (STBs) and accessory devices, and is a key contributor to Sky’s ‘fluid viewing’ vision by delivering a superior Wi-Fi and video experience throughout the home.
“As Europe’s leading entertainment provider, ensuring that our customers enjoy the best TV experience possible is our top priority. Working with AirTies has helped us create an amazing new customer experience across screens with Fluid Viewing, as well as take the Sky experience to the next level by enabling Sky Broadband customers to turn all their Sky Q boxes into smart hotspots,” said Andrew Olson, Director of New Products, Sky.
With a single open Wi-Fi network delivering video content from broadcast, OTT, broadband, as well as locally stored content, customers can access any video and the Internet anywhere in the home. As mobile devices move throughout the home, AirTies Mesh software maps the home network, monitoring the shifting demands for broadband and TV streams from a multitude of devices. It decides in near real-time which path to send data packets through to optimise performance. AirTies Mesh can improve connection speed for Sky customers, while also enabling a simplified and improved user experience.
“AirTies has supplied Sky with Wi-Fi devices for several years and we’re extremely proud to have been selected for this visionary project. Once again, Sky is leading the way by introducing a next generation home entertainment system,” said Philippe Alcaras, CEO AirTies Wireless Networks. “This major new step in Sky’s strategy validates our long-held view that having multiple access points smartly linked together is the way forward for optimum home network performance.” According to Alcaras, a flawless home network is becoming the real ‘must-have’ for Premium Content Providers.
According to AirTies, compared with the typical Wi-Fi configuration based on a single access point, the new modular approach to video and Internet distribution adopted by Sky is a major breakthrough. Hard-to-reach areas see improvement by the simple addition of another Sky device. In addition, AirTies addresses the ‘Bad Apple’ Wi-Fi performance problem, whereby the slowest performing device degrades overall performance for all other devices in the home. To ensure video quality around the house even in UK’s thick stone walled homes the AirTies system utilises power-line (PLC) as additional mesh links between the smart APs.
AirTies also annonced the general avaiability of its Hybrid Mesh home networking software, designed to enable operator devices to become smart Access Points utilising the best of Wi-Fi, PLC, MoCA and Ethernet for next-generation in-home video distribution and ISP services.
“Hybrid Mesh enables the next-generation of video distribution in the home,” noted Bülent Çelebi Executive Chairman and co-Founder of AirTies. “Today we consume HD video – soon to become ultra HD – on mobile devices in addition to multiple TVs. Hybrid Mesh enables 10 premium video streams simultaneously from multiple sources including live broadcast, recorded on PVR, OTT from the internet or from a local NAS server.”