SKY's new EPG

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by jimcarney, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. jimcarney

    jimcarney
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    Sky has already announced with some fanfare that as part of the improvement of security for families, which is being rolled out at the moment, there will be a reshuffle of the EPG to create more headings and so more control. There will be fewer oddities, like the betting channels mixed into the entertainment section, too.

    Sky’s solution is to split the TV Guide EPG headings into two pages:



    On the first page you have the mainstream headings adding lifestyle and culture and splitting out documentaries, while on the second page you have radio, shopping, religion and international along with the new betting & dating and specialist channels.
    [​IMG]



    Interestingly access to the Sky+ planner is now via the “green” button rather than pressing “0” so we will all have to remember that change: instead of TV Guide “0” it will be TV Guide “green”. The question I want to ask is that "green" was not used previously when you are watching a programme will "green" bring up the Sky+ Planner directly? Another interesting addition is the blue button which now brings up an EPG of just your favourite channels; this feature will be limited to 50 channels.

    [​IMG]

    Renumbering of channels will not take place until this new EPG rolls out to all users but the category that a channel lives in might change. It is expected that eventually the channels will be renumbered in their new categories. For now (and until everyone has this software I suspect) the EPG will split the channels in an order by category. So the gaming and dating section might look like (see below) but when the final roll out of the channels takes place then the channels will be renumbered, in some fashion.
    [​IMG]


    There is a feeling at Sky that priorities have evolved since James Murdoch took over and there is more focus on ensuring that families can have a secure environment for their children where parents can control what their children have access to. The last round of updates has added the ability to control access to adult channels via PINs, for example, and there are now more sophisticated controls on programming that is marked with a rating. In addition the PIN control can be extended to any channel in the EPG including ones that are FTA. Given this, it seems likely that Sky will ask broadcasters to include more content ratings for their programming to allow more PIN control.

    One of the things that has recently been discussed on the forums about the introduction of a true FreeSat offering from the BBC and ITV is the ability to purchase any digital receiver to receive these channels. I suspect one of Sky’s pitches to consumers is going to be that with their version of FreeSat you get more control over your childrens' viewing because you can PIN-protect channels you don’t approve of; with a standard receiver you are at the mercy of a particular manufacturer's EPG software. The reality is that there are a great many channels available FTA which might be considered by some to be unsuitable for children. Now I know that many people will tell you that you can easily remove the channels from most FTA receivers but that won’t be how it is promoted.
    [​IMG]
    This new EPG, named EPG v4, is expected to roll out to all Sky customers over the next few months. Sky has said in the past that they hope to have the EPG upgrade in place this autumn. Time will tell but at first view the changes look like a positive step forward as part of the extension of the EPG which will see the radio channels move to 4 digit numbers to free up space in the EPG for re-ordering the current TV channels to make more sense. This is going to be the biggest reshuffle in channel numbering probably since the launch of Sky Digital.
     
  2. ad47uk

    ad47uk
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    Putting channels in different catagories I can undertsand and I also think is a good idea, but changing the channel numbers is not a great idea. I have remembered the nukmber for all the main channels I use and a couple of the radio stations. Now I got to remember tham all again.
     

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