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20/07/2001

SKY+ PROVIDES DIGITAL ALTERNATIVE TO VIDEOTAPE

BRITISH SKY Broadcasting (BSkyB) have unveiled Sky+, their new fully integrated Personal Television Recorder and Service (iPTR), and announced that the product would go on sale to the general public from early September.
Sky+ combines all the benefits of Sky digital with advanced PTR functions and delivers a whole new level of control to television viewing, including the ability to record one digital satellite programme while watching another, pause live TV and record episodes of favourite series - all without the need for videotapes.
The Sky+ set top box will cost £300 and the Sky+ subscription will cost £10 per month.
Sky’s existing digital subscribers will pay £50 for standard installation of the equipment, and non-Sky customers will pay £100. Sky will also be offering the hardware via a monthly payment plan option.
From early September customers will be able to purchase Sky+ directly from Sky via the same phone number; select electrical retail partners are expected to start selling the product later the same month.
Sky+ uses a hard disk to record from the original broadcast stream, meaning all recordings will be the same digital quality as live viewing, and will offer an average of 20 hours worth of recording space.
The simplicity comes from the incredible ease of use of these features, primarily through full integration of the PTR functionality within Sky Guide, the on-screen electronic programme guide (EPG).
Richard Freudenstein, Sky’s Chief Operating Officer, said: "Sky+ will transform television. It offers the ultimate in choice and control, giving viewers more power than ever before to choose what they want to watch, when and how they want to watch it.”
Freudenstein also confirmed that Sky+ would complement Sky's existing offer of the free digibox and minidish. Sky is investigating options for existing digital satellite viewers to purchase Sky+ but also retain their existing free receiving equipment. (CD)
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