Sky’s New 80 Hour PVR

BSkyB have announced a new version of their popular Sky+ PVR with new features and a greatly increased capacity.

The Sky+ 160 will offer approximately 80 hours of TV programme storage (four times the current capacity) and will be available from October. The new unit is manufactured by Thomson and also includes a USB port, though Sky say they have no current plans that incorporate it. There are many things it could be used for – including transferring content, gaming and even video conferencing.

All Sky+ boxes will receive a software upgrades that will allow subscribers to make digital recordings of scheduled interactive programmes on all digital satellite channels. Users will be able to record up to two video streams broadcast alongside an interactive application. BSkyB are promoting this service as the first of its kind, and will be available both for Sky’s interactive services and those from other broadcasters.

Other enhancements include new sorting options in the Sky+ EPG, online parental controls, customisable aspect ratios for second TVs and easier radio recording.

Brian Sullivan, Director of New Product Development and Sales at Sky said “Sky+ is transforming the way we watch TV. The next stage of that revolution will be the forthcoming launches of Sky+ 160, and the software upgrade to all Sky+ boxes, providing even more flexibility, choice and control for our growing customer base. Feedback from Sky+ owners since it first launched in 2001 has been amazing and we are constantly working to make the product the best TV experience available anywhere. After listening to customers we are delivering this new interactive recording and sorting functionality as well as the option for an average of 80 hours storage space with Sky+ 160. Once again Sky is leading the way in digital TV, putting viewers in control of their TV schedules.”


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?