What does Sky TV on Xbox mean to a MidLife Gamer?

4 06 2009


by Matthew Moore

Sky TV is soon to be attached to the Xbox Live service, we all know this!
Some might wonder what type of person is going to embrace, or even care about such features of their games console.

Running a gaming website and associated podcast, I think its safe to assume that I’m as hardcore a gamer as they come, but I’m also a grown man who wants more from his console.

When I first moved into my current house I had the opportunity to take up with Sky for the first time, until then I always had basic cable (before the Virgin Media takeover).  It was great to finally get the chance to make use of the Sky recording system.

Bit of history for you, I used to work for NTL Communications who were one of the larger cable companies, supplying Digital TV and Cable Internet (which on released was seriously epic) to the UK.  The trouble with NTL though was that although  they had the ability to pump so much down their super fat pipes compared to Sky’s satellite service, they were always behind with their digital box.

The move then to Sky was a relief, allowing me to start series linking and recording channels while watching something on a different channel.

Then Virgin Media took over the likes of NTL and Telewest and threw some serious money at the service.  Next thing I hear is that Virgin Media viewers (ex NTL viewers) were taking full advantage of those size 16 pipes and had access a library of On Demand television.  Even series upon series of the likes of Father Ted and Peep Show were available at the click of a button.
In the end I decided to cancel my account with Sky, I just wasn’t watching enough live TV and as I didn’t have access to Video on Demand I reverted to my Apple TV, which means that I spent a small fortune on TV series on iTunes.

With the announcement of Sky coming to the Xbox Live, I wonder what this means to an ex Sky subscriber, who even still has the dish attached and the box in a cupboard

1) I already have a Sky account in my name somewhere, maybe i will be able to reactivate and attach this to my Xbox Live account

2) I’ll now get the ability to stream 20 channels, which means on the odd occasion I’ll be able to catch certain programs live.

3) I’ll also have access to a number of On Demand programs whenever I like, which will save me a fortune.  I won’t have to browse the iTunes store on my Apple TV from my sofa until I find something I’m willing to drop £1.50 on to watch.  I’ll just find something I don’t hate and throw it on (after all, we’re usually at the end of the night and ready to fall sleep by this time).

4) With this account I’ll be able to watch this on ANY Xbox 360 which is online in my name – for example

i) I may even be able to login to an XBox at a friends house and access these services (in the same way I’m able to access my paid for content on a friends box if logged in to my gamertag)

ii) I’ll be able to watch this on any of the xbox’s in the house.  In the past I was always restricted to my living room for my television needs.  Now that I can access live channels and on demand content from ANY Xbox in my house with only the need of power and a network connection (television goes without saying). I would be able to make television happen in the bedroom or any room much easier than I ever would before.
To summarise for me.  I think its a good idea, it still may not sign up straight away, but it sounds like it COULD work for me, so it MAY worth for others.
Also I’m a massive fan of innovation, so all of the services which have been shown off at E3 this year, although I might not see a direct use on it in my life – you never know how many lifestyles out there they could work for….

Viva la innovation!!




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