Posts Tagged ‘Sky’

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SkyPlayer in Windows Media Center – Now Active!

November 23, 2009

skyplayer1 In Windows Media Center, on Windows 7, there has been a Sky Player icon which lead to a page saying that the service would be coming soon. Since then, SkyPlayer has been released on the Xbox 360 and can be accessed at no extra cost for those who have a Sky Multiroom subscription and for non-Sky customers who are willing to pay a large subscription cost to access a limited range of channels when compared to a dedicated Sky subscription (which requires a satellite dish and box).

Having checked this magical icon in Windows Media Player, the functionality of SkyPlayer has been enabled and provides the same experience as on the Xbox 360 but without the party features.

Sky limit the number of computers that can access SkyPlayer to four systems and one Xbox 360. At present, my main device is my Xbox 360 and this lets me watch the movie channels and Sky1 from the console, but not from Sky Player on Windows Media Center. Customers are allowed one change of their devices a month so this has to be thought out. A hindrance to this is that trying to watch Sky1 or a Sky Screen/movie channel on a device that isn’t currently the main device, in a month when you haven’t used up your changes, may cause that device to become the main one, leaving you wondering why you can access the premium channels on the previous device. I have yet to fully test this and may be saved by being restricted to changing the main device via the Sky.com account pages.

If you don’t have a main device specified, ie a PC, Xbox 360 or Windows Media Center, the device you first use to access the channels, will be registered as your main system and that will be it for that month. You will have to wait until the next calendar month to be able to change this.

Check out the screenshots below which show the same features as available to the Xbox 360 version:

 

Sky Player Installation Sky Player Installation

Sky Player in Windows Media Centre Sky Player in Windows Media Centre

Sky Player in Windows Media Centre Sky Player in Windows Media Centre

Sky Player in Windows Media Centre Sky Player in Windows Media Centre

Sky Player in Windows Media Centre Sky Player in Windows Media Centre

Sky Player in Windows Media Centre Sky Player in Windows Media Centre

Sky Player in Windows Media Centre

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What’s Expected from the Big 3 at E3?

May 28, 2009

Rumours - Fleetwood Mac Taking place next week is E3, a yearly even where games, consoles, services and related paraphernalia are revealed. In the run up to every E3 is a huge amount of speculation as to what may be announced, this year is no different.

So what announcements are expected from the big three: Microsoft and Nintendo and Sony? Here’s a rumour roundup.

 

Microsoft – Motion Camera
There has been a lot by way of rumour flying around regarding Microsoft’s recent purchase of 3DV Systems, an Israeli company, who had their motion sensing technology on show at CES last year. The rumour being that full body motion sensing technology purchased by Microsoft could come to the Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 already has a USB camera available for it. The 3DV System camera would be a duplication of the standard Microsoft camera and could be a potential replacement, with the phasing out of the original camera altogether.

Sources: CNET, ARS Technica

 

Microsoft – ZuneHD/Zune Video
A few days ago, information about the existence of a new model of the Zune portable audio and video player had surfaced, the ZuneHD. Not long after the web lit up with the story, a Microsoft blog confirmed the device. Being so close to E3 and also Microsoft’s saying that Zune isn’t just a single device but an eco-system, leads to a potential connection between the ZuneHD and the Xbox 360. The Microsoft console already has a Netflix movie arrangement  in the US, and a marketplace where films and TV shows can be rented, and purchased for the latter. It is only natural for this to extend onto a device such as the Zune and that is what has also been speculated. No word on the Zune coming to the UK, or anywhere else for that matter, although the Guardian reports that Zune Video will be coming to the Xbox 360 in Europe, confirming the Zune eco-system within the home.

Sources: CNET, Engadget, Joystiq

 

Microsoft – Sky Player on Xbox 360
For those in the UK and possibly anywhere else BSkyB operate their online TV access service, Sky Player, this will be a long awaited feature that adds to the Xbox 360’s abilities where Netflix and similar services are unavailable. According to the Telegraph, an announcement may be made tomorrow so there might not be any mention of this at E3.

The UK has had BTVision which can be accessed via the Xbox 360 but my understanding of that is that the stream comes from the BTVision box, much like connecting your PC to the console. Another limitation is that the BT implementation was available those who have a BTVision box and are subscribers to BT’s broadband service. Granted, users will now have to be subscribers to Sky to receive the service but hopefully the implementation will be through the web to the Xbox dashboard, instead of using the Xbox as a media extender for the Sky box.

Sources: Telegraph

 

Nintendo – Not Much Leaked

Shop and distributor inventories are often a good source of releases due in the near future and in this case, it has come up trumps again. This time Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus, a sequel to the already popular Wii Fit will be coming to the Wii. Another confirmation is that Wii Fit Plus has been trademarked by Nintendo, along with a trademark for Art Academy.

David Gibson, analyst at Macquarie Research has the above plus the expectation of a new Mario or Zelda title for the Wii.

Sources: Kotaku, Kotaku, Joystiq

 

Sony – PSP Go

If the pictures are anything to go by, the PSP as we know it will be similar but will have taken on a slide out keyboard form factor. If the speculation is anything to go by, the poorly performing UMD format will be given the boot with the slot removed from the PSP Go. Also a preference for a new or smaller flash memory has been heard of. The previous PSP-3000 will still be available to buy and isn’t being replaced by the Go.

Sources: Ars Technica, Joystiq

 

Sony – PS3 Slim

Believe it or not, a hardware change is rumoured for the PS3. Labelled the PS3 Slim, it is expected to be thinner (duh) and the pictures that are on Engaget of the supposed console show that the panels are reduced in height and if put together will significantly reduce the height of the device. No word on feature changes as of yet.

Sources: Engadget, Ars Technica

 

Sony –  PSP Download-Rental Service

Having received a survey from TNS, it was quite obvious from the first sentence what might be coming to the PSP, “You are now going to see a series of different possible rental download services which could be developed by PlayStation.”

Further down on the survey briefing a glossary is given for the questions in the survey which explicitly mention the PSP e.g. “Games per month – the number of PSP games you would have access to (ie be able to download and play) each month.”

For a rough idea for the sort of plans they are seeking views on please see one of the questions below:

PSP Game Rental Survey Question

 

Sources: Joystiq, Joystiq

Of course there are many more things expected but these are some of the biggies. Also, Joystiq has a Microsoft and Sony bingo cards for their E3 conferences…I’ll be playing along!