Monday, November 23, 2009

Sky on demand - on my PC!

One of the things that came as a surprise in Windows 7 was the announcement that it would include a Sky player as part of Media Center - and more excitingly Sky subscribers - such as myself, would be able to access content for free.

Disappointingly, the Sky Player wasn't initially available, but it is now!

This evening, after reading about it in my PC Pro RSS feed, I opened up Media Center and got the update. The player requires you it install Microsoft's Silverlight, a web application framework (no I don't understand it either).

After the update and Silverlight install which took all of about 3 minutes, I logged in to Sky (I already had a registration), and bingo! Live Sky TV on my PC.

I was expecting a few random crappy channels, but no - Sky News, Sky Sports News, Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Sports Extra, ESPN, British Eurosprt, Gold, MTV, some kids channels including Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel (please God don't tell my daughter).

Amazing. I tested it out on Sky Sports 1 which is showing the Preston v Newcastle game. Full screen I got some initial buffering messages. The picture quality wasn't bad, but you can choose from High, Medium and Low. I eventually settled for low, and re-sized the pic to about a 5 inch x 3 inch box, and it was highly watchable. The High quality setting suffers from very occasional buffering but the quality is superb, although the buffering did settle after a while. Here you can see it running top right of my screen, with Blogger and Tweetdeck also running.

For info, my broadband connection isn't very fast - I'm supposed to get up to 8meg, but in all the time I've had this I scratch around just over 2meg.

I'm well chuffed with this - especially as it ain't going to cost me any more than my normal Sky sub. If you're not a Sky subscriber, you can still access this, but it'll cost you - £15 a month I think, but better check.

Once I whack this on my other W7 PC, We'll be able to watch Sky on 4 different device in the house. Overkill? Maybe, but very cool.....

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