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Sky Releases Video On Demand Service

Satcaster and Triple Player BSkyB has told technology website, Pocket-lint (opens in new tab), that it will be launching a video on demand service in the last few months of 2010,. called Sky Anytime Plus.

The service will be available to Sky HD customers and will allow them to get access to more than 500 movies and "over 1000" hours of extra TV programmes. The catch though is that they will need to be Sky broadband subscribers as well.

The content will be deliverable via an over the air firmware update later in 2010. Sky's head of TV services, Kathryn Downward, said: "We hope to offer support for other internet service providers in the future, but at launch the service will only be available to Sky Broadband customers. "All movie houses are expected to be on board and we are talking to the [UK] terrestrial channels as well."

Virgin Media is currently the biggest VOD player in the market with its Virgin on demand service which offers more than 500 films. Weirdly enough though (possibly because of bandwidth constraints), the content will be in standard definition rather than HD.

Movies will start playing after up to 60 seconds wait with a full length movie taking up to 40 minutes to download. Ms Downward has also confirmed that Sky is talking to terrestrial channels which suddenly makes things more interesting.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.