When I switched to using Sky+ my first impression of the EPG was that it was a little basic looking compared to the excellent Windows Media Center EPG design. Today Sky have started rolling out a new look EPG for the Sky+ HD boxes that is going to improve the UI.

The new start page splits content down by channels, recorded tv, on demand and rentals reflecting the rise in on demand content, the EPG has been updated to show 8 channels at once rather than 6, you will be able to browse through their recordings by genre and all delivered in HD. They look like much needed upgrades and have started rolling out today  and the rollout will be completed later this year.

Details from Sky:


With all of this in mind, today we’re beginning to roll out a new-look Sky Guide for customers with Sky+HD boxes. It’s a phased roll-out which will last throughout this year, starting with ten of thousands of boxes from today and expanding to millions more before the end of 2012.

One of the key changes that customers will notice over the next few months is that the design of the pages reflects the increasing popularity of on-demand viewing, following the success of our internet delivered video on-demand service Sky Anytime+, which as of last month is now available to 5 million homes with a Sky+HD box through any internet connection.

Integrating our on-demand and other options into the landing page for a particular genre gives our customers a snapshot of all the different viewing options available to them, helping them make the most of the choice of high quality content available through a Sky subscription.

Sky Movies customers, for instance, can chose between viewing movies live, watching movies that they’ve previously recorded to their Sky+ planner or on on demand through Sky Anytime+ and renting a film through the Sky Store. There is also a search function available on the page, which allows Sky Movies customers to search for a particular film they may have in mind.

                      EPG 1

Other changes include a larger number of channels available per page, increasing from six to eight channels, making it easier to Sky customers to browse through content.

                      EPG 2

Meanwhile, in the Sky+ Planner, customers will have the option to browse through their recordings by genre, so that where previously recorded programmes were displayed chronologically, they are now collected together so that customers can browse through shows belonging to the same genre.

                      EPG 3

And, on top of this, the whole Sky Guide will also be available in pinpoint HD, delivering sharp graphics consistent with the stunning quality of our HD channels.

The launch of the new Sky Guide also marks the first time that we’ve involved Sky subscribers in the development process, having invited a selection of our customers to test the design over the last few months. This approach has proved to be a big success, since testing the functionality and features with such a highly-engaged group has identified a number of improvements that have since been incorporated into the new look. We’re very grateful for the invaluable feedback.

What was also noticeable was how much these customers enjoyed playing a part in helping building this new product, and it’s certainly something that we will be looking to repeat with other software trials.

As I say, these developments are being introduced over the coming months, so customers with Sky+HD boxes shouldn’t expect to see them immediately – but please be assured they will appear sometime before the end of the year.

For more info, please visit www.sky.com/skyguide.

One thought on “Sky rolling out new EPG to Sky+ HD boxes”
  1. who still watches sky on their sky box? the only advantage is Sky Anytime, but i’ve recorded so much into Windows Media Center over the last 2 years i could start my own Anytime service! Dreambox ftw!!

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