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Sky TV Hits Windows 7, iPlayer 's ITV/Ch4 Deal Vetoed

Gordon Kelly


It's a busy week for Microsoft...

As we hit the 'official' global launch for Windows 7 today (the national postal strike brought it to the UK early), Microsoft has brought us one additional surprise for its next generation OS: Sky TV.

A licensing deal sees Windows Media Center in 7 now integrate Sky Player - the broadcaster's online TV service and tie up a double header with the recent Xbox 360 Sky TV agreement. Existing Sky subscribers will be able to log in and get access to programming from over 30 Sky channels via an integrative TV EPG. If you aren't already a Sky subscriber on-demand content is offered for a monthly subscription.

Movies, live action sports, children's shows, music, arts and documentaries are available both to stream and download, though HD options aren't implemented yet. To complement the integration, Windows 7 will also provide a new Windows 7 desktop gadget (read: widget) which can be used as a shortcut to directly browse Sky content, search using keywords and navigate show galleries. A 2Mbit minimum broadband connection is recommended for jitter free viewing.

In related news BBC iPlayer has had its plans to add ITV and Channel 4 content to its database overruled by the BBC Trust. The regulator claimed the addition of ad-supported programming to its own ad-free shows would confuse the public and also undermine the value of the licence fee.

I can understand where the BBC Trust is coming from, then again putting the majority of UK terrestrial TV content all in one (highly popular) place doesn't seem confusing to me and I believe it would have been more beneficial than harmful. Ho+hum.


Microsoft UK Sky Player


October 22, 2009, 8:49 am

Just checked the site and it's not available yet. Well done Sky.

Looking through the content on offer: They have the Sky One stuff like Fringe, Bones, House.. but that's about it for TV. No archives at all. It's more of a catch-up service than proper on-demand. Eg. Nothing shown on that press release video is available on service currently, it gets shuffled off very quickly. Plus way more than half of the content on the "Sky Player" is actually pilfered straight from the BBC iplayer.. no doubt so it doesn't look almost completely empty. How very redundant of them.

They do have a good selection of movies though... if you have the movie channels of course.

The one question I have is, does this still require installing the "sky player" software in-order to get that nice little WMC button to show up? It was only many years ago that I was stupid enough to install that janky "k-service" riddled crap/"spy"ware. If so; no dice Murdoch!


October 22, 2009, 12:21 pm

Can they just let them do it (iplayer intergration with ITV etc). Its going to happen someday so why not make it happen sooner and with the best site format.

Can iplayer please come to the xbox / windows 7 media center


October 22, 2009, 2:23 pm

BBC, useless as ever. It would be awesome to have cross channel content on iPlayer as it works the best on PS3 which I can watch on my big screen TV sitting on my sofa. Wit ITV and 4OD it isn't possible...


October 22, 2009, 4:37 pm

So, what does this count as? http://testtubetelly.channel4....


October 22, 2009, 5:37 pm

@DrDark - Thank you :) That is *so* much better than the terrible 4oD service! Not ideal, but still better.

@other people - http://www.trustedreviews.com/... - iPlayer to other content vendors *should* be on it's way...

@Andrew Violet - Your time would be better spent petitioning MS for a web browser rather than fighting the BBC for xBox software...


October 22, 2009, 7:01 pm

@Cub: No problem :).

Don't forget these either -

{Msn Video} - now has BBC stuff and I thought there was supposed to be C4 but can't see it at the moment: http://player.uk.msn.com/

{TVcatchup} - streams live tv (looks a bit stretched up close though) and supposed to have on-demand stuff further down the line, convenient when I want to watch the end of a movie/episode in bed: http://www.tvcatchup.com/

{Joost} - now a bit smoother and actually featuring a bit of content http://www.joost.com/epg/gb/sh... including some Jackie Chan movies + other martial arts flicks! http://www.joost.com/158008q/t...

I almost feel like cancelling my TV licence...


October 22, 2009, 7:26 pm

either way. MS won't make a browser but bbc have already made apps available for a number of devices.


October 22, 2009, 7:53 pm

And a dedicated Wii Channel coming soon...


October 24, 2009, 3:51 pm

Max Power - BBC "useless as ever"? Do you not understand the difference between the BBC and the BBC Trust?

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