Advanced Television

New look for Sky EPG

March 18, 2014

Sky customers will start to see a brand new Homepage on their Sky+HD boxes in what the satellite broadcaster describes as the most significant shake-up to its electronic programme guide (EPG) since its introduction at the launch of digital TV in 1998.

For the first time ever, On Demand, including Catch Up TV and Sky Store and the Sky+ Planner now sit alongside channel listings as equal options on a new Homepage, so that customers can immediately find the shows they most want to watch, whether live or on demand.

Later in 2014, further updates will be rolling out to millions of Sky+HD boxes in homes across the UK, making it even easier for people to discover great content. One key feature will be a new and smarter approach to recommendations, based on Sky+ Planner recordings and downloads.

The update rolling out effective March 18th means customers can now choose between browsing live channels, catching up on something recently aired, bingeing on a box set, watching a movie or browsing recordings in their Planner – all easily accessible from a single screen.

Sky says that with an average 1 million searches per day, a supercharged search box now takes centre-stage on the homepage. “Search by title, actor, event, channel, sport or any key word, and expect the most recent and on-trend suggestions across all live and on demand content, thanks to technology that collates results based on real-time searches across the nation,” says Sky.

The new TV Homepage reflects how millions of Sky customers are taking control over their viewing like never before, says Sky. The combination of the UK’s widest choice of Catch Up TV channels as well as more box sets such as Game of Thrones, The Wire, 24 and An Idiot Abroad has led to millions of people connecting their Sky+HD boxes to the Internet, making Sky+ the UK’s biggest connected TV platform, it notes.

The new icons on the homepage will include:

  • TV Guide: customers can browse the best choice of TV channels available on Sky anywhere in the UK
  • Planner: customers’ own library where all their recorded or downloaded shows can be found
  • Catch Up TV: catch up using the UK’s biggest Catch Up TV service, with shows from 60 of the most popular channels
  • TV Box Sets: more of the latest and greatest box sets than any other subscription service
  • New Series: search all of the latest series premièring across Pay TV and terrestrial channels, brought to you in one place
  • Best of On Demand: expert picks of the best shows and movies to watch right now including See It First episode previews
  • Sky Movies On Demand: hundreds of movies, including the latest premières added every Friday
  • Sky Store: rent the latest blockbuster or classic favourite from just 99p
  • Search: instantly find a show, sport or movie with just the first part of the title, actor, event, channel, or even key word

The Sky+ app is also being refreshed, mirroring the changes taking place on the Sky+HD box. This includes the new Homepage plus a new highlights carousel. And responding to customer demand a new feature has been added, which lets customers use the Sky+ app to turn their Sky+HD box on and off from their mobile or tablet.

Luke Bradley-Jones, Brand Director, TV Products, said that with so much fantastic TV on offer, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what to watch. “Our new Homepage means it’s now much easier to quickly find what you want, when you want to watch it – whether that’s the big Premier League clash or catching up on Game of Thrones,” he advised.

“The new home page is a really important innovation, putting Sky+ at the heart of the connected home. And there’s even more to come, with a smart new approach to recommendations coming later this year.”

The software update with the new Homepage will be available to all 8 million customers with compatible Sky+HD boxes by the end of May 2014. To make the most of the new Homepage, Sky customers should connect their Sky+HD box to their home broadband.


Categories: App, Articles, Broadcast, Content, DTH/Satellite, IPG, Middleware, Pay TV, Search/Recommendation