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Sky HD to be released Feb 2006.

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by Rob20, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Rob20

    Rob20
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    According to the latest What Video and Tv, (issue 300), Sky is to launch it's high definition service, (to be know as Sky HD), in Febuary 2006. However, we'll have the opportunity to see what all the fuss is about when selected AV specialist shops, (and Comet), get early demo Sky HD units in December. A minimum of 6 channels has been stated, but no mention on the final monthly payment of cost of the box, size of the HDD etc. I would assume £15 per months additional cost, (£10 min), with the box copsting £400 and coming with a min 400GB HDD.
     
  2. beasty54

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    Even £10 a month its too much if there is only 6 channels, wonder if that £10 extra will include the sky+ functions
     
  3. miketrim

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    £400 :eek: no thanks, even though i have HDTV i'll wait a while
     
  4. NicolasB

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    160GB is far more likely.
     
  5. RecordablDVDfan

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    Sky having the monopoly like this should just not be allowed, license to print money etc. They've been able to get far too big and greedy. We need and deserve a FTA service from the main 5 channels with ANY MPEG4 box available to be used...never mind sky with their US imports
     
  6. Starburst

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    It's hardly SKY's fault if the big 4 terrestrial broadcasters are not meeting the demands of a public who want HD.

    It has always been the case that SKY has prospered due to the apathy and indifference of the traditional broadcasters be it in the early days when they ignored satellite distribution or sat on the collective backsides happy to price fix footy and then were surprised when SKY stepped in with a better offer.
    The rest is more or less history:)

    In the US the FTA broadcasters pretty much lead the way in HD (thanks to regulation which forced the issue). Over here in the UK where HD is not on any regulatory bodies agenda we have the BBC who will be probably be offering some sort of HD next year (for political reasons) and the three commercial companies showing no interest due to the costs and the lack of any significant return (at least until the market is bigger).

    It would be shocking if the BBC did not use mpeg4 and broadcast FTA therefore any mpeg4 HD receiver will be suitable for their broadcasts and anyother FTA offering from whatever satellite you are pointing at.
    Standalone receivers are already appearing on the market but are certainly not cheap (but not that expensive for new technology) but at the end of the day someone has to jump into the game and as usual SKY are willing to put their money were their mouth is and take a risk.
     
  7. Kazman

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    I'm hoping they use a similar model as they do with Sky+, get the full package and there is no charge for HD. The take up of Sky+ was very poor at the begining, I think Sky have learnt their lesson from that debacle.

    If it is £400 and an extra £15 a month, I'm certainly not going to jump on the first bandwagon, and will wait until it comes into line with the Sky+ model.

    Sky need to be careful, they don't want to price themselves into a flop.

    The thing is though, the first batch of HD boxes will have component output as well as HDCP protected HDMI, and it would be a crying shame if we missed out on the component outputs due to their pricing policy :(.
     
  8. Nick_UK

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    Ever heard of BSB ? They were the government subsidised alternative to Sky. They were losing money hand over fist, and Sky bought them out and became BSkyB. At the time, Sky were losing money too, but the investors had confidence in the company, and the confidence paid off in the end, but Sky wasn't making a profit for a long time. There's no monopoly - if you want to start a satellite TV service, feel free - just get the necessary licences, and off you go ! :D
     
  9. Starburst

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    The take up was modest, not sure if "poor" is accurate especially since every singel install was generating £120 per year extra for SKY:)
    The marketing incentive (free SKY+ sub for certain content) only kicked in two years after the SKY+ launched which shows it was hardly a knee jerk reaction to slow sales:)

    I suppose it will depend if SKY see HD as a slow burner which will provide the rewards a few years down the line or they expect it to be a gold mine from the word go. Given the assumed content and the lack of third party support I expect SKY to milk the early adoptors until such time as the FTA market appears and shows sign of maturing.

    You may miss out on component but by the time the second generation SKY+ HD (no HD component) hopefully no one will have bought a non HD Ready panel for well over a year and there is certainly no reason not to buy a HD Ready panel now or in the last 6 months.
     
  10. ParmMann

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    I am really looking forward to the HD services, and I don't mind paying up to £400 for the new HD box.

    However, my monthly payments to Sky are currently £52 a month, and I wouldn't sign up for anything that costs more than that each month.
    I'm hoping it'll be a one off charge, and no extra per month when subscribing to the top package.
     
  11. Kazman

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    Agreed, wouldn't mind paying £400 for the box if there wasn't an increase in the cost of subscription.
     
  12. DanDT

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    FOURHUNDEREDFLIPPINGPOUNDS?!

    What for?? A 160GB Hard drive, some relatively simple circuitry, a remote control and "the promise" of good HD channels in the future? That's what monopolies do to consumers. :nono:
     
  13. Starburst

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    Hundreds of thousands of man hours of R&D by various companies, brand new production lines with low volume production runs all consipire to make the intital prices high.

    Do you remember how much a standard digibox cost retail back in 1998 or the first SKY+ in 2001. Go back a bit further the first DVD recorder was over a grand and the first VCR's would have had little change from £800 when launched.

    There are a couple of mpeg4 HD receivers appearing now and they are around £280 retail with no recording facility/hard drive and the older mpeg2 units again without a hard drive are not much cheaper. That more than anything else proves SKY would not be ripping consumers off with their SKY+ HD at the expected price.

    The public really have short memories or have been conditioned to assume just because you can buy a DVD player for under £50 then everything is over priced and ignore the impact that mass production and a mature technological base can have on prices.
     
  14. Starburst

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    The only way SKY will make money from HD is via the subscription and that at the primary reason SKY are moving into HD at this time.
    Eventually HD may be merged into the single package but like the price of the hardware it is designed to generate revenue from those would consider it a worthwhile product.

    The good thing is that if you wait then the hardware will drop in price plus FTA boxes will enter the UK market and the BBC will sooner rather than later be offering FTA HD.
     
  15. probedb

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    So true. It's ridiculous how many of my friends don't see any reason why they should pay more than £50 for a DVD player these. Even tho you read reviews on Amazon etc and the cheap ones aren't very good.

    £400 is a pretty reasonable intro price for a new product. I paid £600 for my DVD player which didn't even support DTS back then and £500 for a VCR that wasn't even SVHS :) I even paid £700 for a LaserDisc player! Not that I like new technology or anything ;)
     
  16. miketrim

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    Yeah but surely this technology has been used in America for a couple of years now. Surely that will have driven the price down a bit.
     
  17. wyrdness

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    Not to mention the cost of switching to broadcasting in HD. The studios need to re-equipped with the latest (& therefore expensive) HD equipment. All of the sets need to be redesigned - you don't notice cardboard and gaffa tape in standard definition, but you do with HD. Even make-up has to be applied differently, as you can see the brush strokes in HD. This means that a lot of people have to be retrained to work in HD. It's a huge initial expense and has to be recouped. Sky are doing this by launching HD as an expensive high-end product with a price tag to match. Prices will inevitably come down, but it will take time.
     
  18. Stephen Neal

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    Nope - MPEG4 for HD is only just being introduced - and certainly isn't in widespread use in the US or Japan yet. At least one major US satellite broadcaster is moving from HD MPEG2 to HD MPEG4 at around the same time as Sky and Premiere are launching HD MPEG4 services in Europe, and there is reportedly a shortage of the new MPEG4 chipsets to go in the receivers, as they are only just becoming available, now that the standard has been finalised.

    The US HD system is a generation older in broadcast terms, and the current stuff is MPEG2 based, so the cheap-ish stuff available over there isn't really that relevant...

    The advantage of MPEG4 is that you should be able to record more HD on a given capacity hard drive compared to comparable quality MPEG2, as MPEG4 is apparently a bit more efficient.
     
  19. Stephen Neal

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    Yep - though these days it is actually becoming quite difficult to upgrade existing high-end studio facilities without going HD. The top-of-the-line SD kit is being phased out, and instead you have a choice between cheap, mid-to-low-range SD broadcast gear, and high-end HD gear. There seems to be a gap where the high-end HD gear used to live.

    This is partially because it is possible to run most HD gear in SD mode - the cameras will output SD video, and most mixers will cope with SD sources. HD routers are backwards compatible in the main - it is really just VTRs that are HD specific it seems (and some of them are SD as well as HD capable)

    If you are refurbishing an existing high-end SD facility, you really have to seriously consider buying HD, or HD compatible kit, and running it SD these days. (And if you are buying with a 5-8 year capital life, you also have to question whether your future work in that time-scale will only be in SD or include HD)
     
  20. Nick_UK

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    I think a lot of Sky's motivation is that their flagship Sports service now has a lot of competition from other non-Sky channels, and Sky are eager to bring in a service that other companies can't compete in. Sky know that sports fans will pay "over the odds" for stuff, and they also have a lucrative market in the pub trade.
     
  21. Scapegoat

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    In terms of the content of the HD service - so far Sky have indicated that 6 channels will be available I think (movies, sports, sky one + others).

    The BBC and other programmes on no Sky channels are already in HD, so how soon do you think that the BBC et al would start using the Sky HD platform for there stuff?

    The BBC/ITV showing the World Cup in HDef would be great. Also E4 has a lot of US programs that are in HD.

    If its 6 sky + others then it makes the service more tempting. £400 is expensive when compared to the subsidised stuff from sky at the moment, but if you buy a freeview twin tuner PVR you are looking at £300. An extra £100 for HD version seems fair (and Sky+ and Sky EPG are pretty good).

    Obviously in 2 years time when its free and free installation will be a bit of a bugger, but so what? If you have HD TV you want to use it don't you.

    The subscription charge will be the interesting one. My guess is is will be £10 a month on top of normal package, e.g. full pack £52.50. I would love it to be like + functionality (free if you take premiums) but doubt it.
     
  22. neilmcl

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    The BBC have no intention in broadcasting HD until after switchover. Also not all content on those HD channels of Sky will be in HD anyway.
     
  23. richard plumb

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    I think all the BBC have publically stated is that the switchover would free up spectrum which could be used for a HD DTT service. Nothing about satellite so far.

    The appearance of HD content on their 'imp' application suggests they are at least aware of things.

    I don't expect them at Sky launch for political reasons - the BBC won't want to be seen to be helping promote the service. But they could be a relatively fast follower. The BBC is very aggressive on digital services in comparison to a lot of broadcasters, so i can see them on HD within 12 months of a Sky launch, just to show how it should be done.
     
  24. Hellicopter

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    I think it would be surprising if BBC did not take advantage of their UK rights for the World Cup to show it in HD.
    My bet is the BBC will be on the HD platform by May 2006.

    Alan
     
  25. Nick_UK

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    Just one big problem. The BBC don't own the spectrum - the government do.

    What happened to Band 1 (the part of the spectrum used for 405 line BBC) ? It was sold off to commercial interests for private mobile radio uses.

    What happened to Band 3 (the part of the spectrum used for 405 line ITV) ? Same thing (except a tiny bit used for DAB).

    Now, with mobile phone and private radio operators falling each other to buy up bandwidth, where do you think Bands 4 & 5 will go ? Answers on a postcard please, to Gordon Brown, 11 Downing Street :cool: :suicide:
     
  26. Hellicopter

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    Was referring to the Sky platform,not DTT.Remember we know that the BBC have taken 3 new transponders on 28E.

    Alan
     
  27. neilmcl

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    They might do the odd one-off to showcase what they can do but the BBC has no commercial incentive to provide a full HD service on satellite in the short term. It's only my opinion but I believe if anyone's thinking they're going to see a full all-singing and dancing HD broadcast service next year they've got another thing coming.
     
  28. Stephen Neal

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    I don't know where you get the BBC idea from...

    The public stance is roughly stated as follows :

    All BBC production (with a few exceptions I suspect) to be in HD by 2010.

    No BBC HD DTT services likely before analogue switch off in 2012. This is NOT the same as no BBC HD services before 2012. It is highly likely that the BBC will launch some form of HD service in 2006 - 2007 at the latest IMHO.
    (The BBC R&D Dept have demonstrated HD download using slower-than-realtime trickle download during BBCi video stream downtime etc. but this may not be a goer - as it isn't suitable for live HD broadcasting, which may be a big limitation. Drama would be fine, Wimbledon and the Last Night of the Proms would be a prob!)

    The BBC is increasingly producing shows in HD already (mostly funded by co-production partners who are already HD) - Bleak House (due to start on BBC One soon), Later with Jools, the Proms, Rome (due to start soon), and the forthcoming David Attenborough Natural History series are all being produced in HD already.

    The BBC has also piloted Holby City, a number of different sporting events, and other shows in HD, and has increasing amounts of HD production and post-production kit.

    It is even currently broadcasting an HD test service on Eurobird, even though IBC is over.

    I don't know of a planned HD launch date - but I am nearly 100% certain that it will be well before 2012!
     
  29. Stephen Neal

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    The BBC doesn't NEED a commercial incentive... In the UK the BBC is not a commercial service, other than the BBC Worldwide arm that deals with commerical operations (domestic magazines, books, DVD/CD sales etc.) If it is deemed to be a public service to launch an HD service, and the BBC Governors agree to fund it (suspect this will need some DCMS consultation if it is deemed a new service), then it can launch as a public service.

    The BBC doesn't have to meet commercial requirements when it decides on the services it provides - that is why the BBC could potentially go HD well before ITV... (ITV WOULD need a commercial incentive.)

    Channel Four is more interesting - whilst it is advertising funded, it is still at heart a public service - so again may not have to take a purely commercial stance...

    Of course if you were talking about BBC Prime or BBC America going HD - then that is a different matter.
     
  30. neilmcl

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    What form do you think this will take?
     

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