UK broadband networks have another large scale streaming service to contend with after Sky flicked the switch on making its Anytime+ service available to all of its customers who subscribe to an HD package, regardless of their ISP. Sky estimates that this will bring the Anytime+ service into an additional five million homes.
Sky’s Anytime+ service provides a selection of movies and TV content over an Ethernet connected Sky HD set-top box rather than via its traditional satellite delivery mechanism. Up till this week it was available only to its customers in the UK who had Sky’s own broadband service, but the service will now run over rival networks from the likes of Virgin Media, O2, TalkTalk and Orange.
Sky announced these plans back in January, when it also said it would be offering optical fibre as well as ADSL2+ connections to its broadband customers.
The move to open Anytime+ to all networks means that the BBC has agreed the service to carry its iPlayer service, which is paid for via a national licence fee.
In addition to Anytime+, Sky also announced the name for its à la carte internet service which will be called Now TV. This will enable non Sky subscribers to access a limited range of Sky content via broadband connected devices. The move signals Sky’s increasing reliance on broadband to deliver content rather than over its traditional satellite model, with which it launched its service on 1992.