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Sky+HD2TB-wi-fi.jpgSky have announced that both of their Sky+HD box models on offer to customers in the UK will now come with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as standard. Whether you're signing up for the entry-level Sky+HD box or the capacious 2TB model, you'll no longer have to snake a wire around to the back of the box in order to access on-demand content.

"Record levels of On Demand viewing show that Sky customers love the flexibility the service offers," said Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky's Brand Director of TV Products.

"When people connect their Sky+HD box to broadband they get instant access to the UK's biggest Catch Up TV service and an extensive On Demand library of TV Box Sets and exclusive movies - and we're seeing a growing demand.

"We want even more people to enjoy these benefits, so we're making it easier to get connected by launching our best ever Sky+HD box with built-in Wi-Fi and offering existing customers a free On Demand connector."

Owners of older Sky+ boxes who are also looking to get in on the Wi-Fi streaming action can head over to sky.com/connector, where the company are offering an On Demand wireless plug-in add-on for free.

now-tv-review-top.jpgSky have today announced that they will be offering their full suite of Sky Sports programming through their Now TV online streaming service, allowing sports fans to watch key fixtures without the need for a Sky sports subscription or installation of a satellite dish.

Costing £9.99 for 24 hours access to all six Sky Sports channels, it's priced a bit on the steep side (particularly considering a month's worth of Sky Sports through Sky TV's regular subscriptions costs £21), though it's a nice option if you only want to watch the odd sporting event with a few mates around once in a blue moon.

It's pretty simple to get on with too, seeing as you don't even have to sign up for the standard £15 a month Now TV movie pass that the service usually requires. Add to that the fact that Now TV works across laptop and desktop computers, iOS and Android devices and the Xbox 360 gaming console and it's quite a flexible offering. Still no PS3 app though.

Plenty of top-notch sporting events coming to Sky Sports over the next few months too, with the Now TV offering giving access to all live Premier League and Champions League football matches broadcast on Sky Sports, as well as all 19 F1 Grand Prix, all 10 Ashes Test matches, three of the four major golfing tournaments and exclusive coverage of the ATP Tennis tournament.

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REVIEW: Now TV movie streaming service

4oD added to Sky's On Demand platform

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sky-4od-top.jpgSky have announced the arrival of Channel 4's 4oD service as part of Sky TV's On Demand hub.

Landing on Monday, Sky subscribers with their boxes hooked up to the internet will be able at access on demand content from Channel 4 and More 4, with E4 and Film 4 content set to launch a little later.

As well as recently televised shows, the 4oD service also offers top-notch archival content, including great comedy shows like Peep Show, Brass Eye and The Inbetweeners.

"The way people enjoy TV is changing as customers embrace technology to take control over their viewing. We know customers have busier lives than ever, which is why we've created the most comprehensive catch-up service in the UK," said Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky's Director of TV Products.

"Offering great TV from Channel 4 on demand on Sky+ and on Sky Go at no extra charge is all part of our continued commitment to offer our customers the best combination of content and innovation."

Sarah Rose, Channel 4's Director of Commercial & Business Development, added:

"The launch of our successful VOD service, 4oD, on the Sky on demand and Sky Go platforms this month will extend the reach of our content to enable even more viewers to enjoy our wide range of programmes. And through the recent arrival of More4 HD and much anticipated launch of Film4 HD in September, we're delighted to complete the roll out of our HD portfolio."

The the free app should go live on Monday, so check back in your Sky On Demand portal then to view the new content.

sky-plus-ipad-remote.jpgSky have introduced a massive update to their Sky+ app for iPad, allowing you to turn your tablet into a remote control for your Sky box.

You can now use the app to change channels, play recorded shows, pause and rewind live TV and manage your planner and library of recordings with touch and gesture controls. The TV guide gets a new look too, with an emphasis on search as well as browsing functionality.

"The Sky+ app has proved hugely popular, with millions of Sky customers embracing the convenience of being able to set recordings of their favourite shows while they are on the move," said Luke Bradley Jones, Brand Director, TV Products.

"We're now taking the Sky+ experience one step further, handing our customers even more control over their planner - not to mention being able to use the app to change channel and play, pause and rewind their favourite TV.

"Today's update marks a major step forward in using mobile apps to make the Sky TV experience even better. And it's just the start, as we'll be following it up with a series of further enhancements later this year."

Sky have also confirmed that second-screen sharing functionality will be coming to the app later in the year, as well as integration with the social TV viewing app Zeebox.

sky-anytime+-thumb.jpgSky Anytime+, the broadcaster's video-on-demand offering that opens up a massive catalogue of shows and movies to be streamed whenever a viewer chooses, is now available to users connecting to the internet over a far broader range of ISPs.

Initially, Sky Anytime+ was only available to Sky subscribers who also chose Sky Broadband as their internet service provider, but now more than 5 million homes will be able to enjoy the service, regardless of their provider.

"It's great to be able to bring our on demand service Sky Anytime+ to even more customers, helping them to get more out of their Sky subscription," said Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky's Director of TV Products.

"We already know how popular Sky Anytime+ is and how the flexibility of the service gives customers more choice and control over how they watch an amazing range of content. We've seen strong demand for it to date which we hope to increase now that the service is available with any broadband provider."

For more info on how to access the service, head over to Sky's FAQ page.

Sky+ HD box.jpgSky are updating their Anytime+ service, announcing that they've signed a deal that will see the BBC's iPlayer and the ITV Player VOD platforms be added to their own video-on-demand portal.

Sky have also announced that, for the first time, the Sky Anytime+ platform (which allows Sky subscribers to access a massive catalogue of video content from across Sky's portfoloio of channels copared to the regular, curated Anytime service) will be rolled out to all  Sky+HD subscribers with a broadband internet connection, regardless of the internet service provider they use.

Previously, Sky Anytime+ was only available to Sky Broadband subscribers.

"We want customers to get the best out of their Sky subscription and Anytime+ is a great way to give them more control and choice over how they enjoy TV," said Jeremy Darroch, Sky's Chief Executive.

"We already know how popular Sky+ is and how it puts customers back in charge of their TV viewing.  Anytime+ builds on that control and it's no wonder we've seen such strong demand for it. 
 
"Sky Anytime+ will go from strength to strength in 2012 and we are delighted that the addition of the BBC iPlayer and ITV Player will allow customers to also enjoy the best of terrestrial TV, whenever they want. We're also delighted to be able to widen access to the service so that millions more Sky customers can enjoy the added flexibility it offers."

No word on when the roll-out will begin, but Sky state that the service will soon be available to over 5 million Sky+HD subscribers, building on the 1.2 million Sky Broadband users who already have access to Anytime+.

Sky_Movies_app_1_resize.jpg

Today sees the launch of a free Sky Movies app on iTunes for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. This App will allow existing Sky customers to quickly access and find movies from their portable devices.

The App follows in the footsteps of Sky Go and Sky+ Apps linked to the customer's Sky TV package providing up to date information on all Sky Movies and Box Offices releases, including future releases via thumbnails or full page views. Another extra feature will be the inclusion of providing information on movies currently being aired in cinemas.

All films featured in the Sky Movies packages include a review and the options to remote record the movies to your Sky+ HD box to watch at your convenience or watch it on demand with full Sky Go integration. Offering Top Picks of the day, movie trailers and reviews of the latest films on the services, Sky is hoping to give customers more value for their subscriptions.

Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies spoke about giving more to customers:

"We are really pleased to be able to add the Sky Movies app to our already strong offering of iPad and iPhone apps. Combined with the Sky+ and Sky Go apps customers now have even more ways to discover and enjoy the films they want to watch, either at home or on the move. We continually strive to give our customers the best possible movie service and this is just one additional feature out of many we have planned for Sky movies over the coming months."

With such a large client base it is only logical that Sky begin to reach out to their customers on-the-go, not just in their front rooms. The strongest feature in this app for me would be the ability to now watch films on the move with Sky Go with the App switching over to allow you to watch it straight from your mobile device.

Sky have also confirmed that an Android version will be available early next year but with no confirmed release date.

rooney-tv.jpg

Potentially huge news today as the European Court of Justice has ruled in favour of a pub landlady from Portsmouth who has been showing live football from foreign channels in her establishment, rather than subscribing to Sky.

The ECJ said that national laws which prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services.

What this means is that pubs across the UK can bin their Sky subs and now get their Prem footage from Greek TV stations at a tenth of the cost. But it isn't just pubs who can benefit. Football fans can also take this route and save a few quid too.

Ultimately it is very difficult to say at this point how the ruling will affect the English game. It could force Sky to lower its subscription costs and thereby pay less to the clubs. They would then have less money to pay players and it might mean that the gap between the super rich billionaire-owned clubs and everyone else starts to become huge. Anyway we'll see.

If you are considering ditching Sky, be warned though, tuning into Greek (or any other type of foreign TV) isn't exactly plug and play. But if you do fancy giving it a whirl here's how you do it. It's relatively inexpensive to set up, and offers many matches not available on Sky Sports, particularly 3pm Saturday kick-offs.

It's a moderately complex process, but this beginners guide will point you in the right direction for viewing football via foreign sports channels, and offer some links to where to find more info should you want to delve a little deeper into international satellite TV.


What You Will Need:

systemsat.jpg

A satellite dish - This is used to pick up the broadcast signal and pipe it into a set-top box. You need one at least 78cm in diameter, but a bit bigger than that, around 100cm, is probably optimal for residential use. Signals from European channels tend to be weaker than UK ones, hence the need for a larger dish.

Dishes can be manually pointed at the orbiting broadcast satellites, or you can purchase a motorised one that does the hard work for you, particularly useful if you plan on accessing channels from multiple satellite sources (more on that later). We'd recommend the
110cm Hi-Gain Satellite Dish from System Sat (£60, Amazon seller) or the 80cm Satgear Anthracite Satellite Dish (£31.95, Amazon seller).

technomate.jpeg


A satellite receiver
- These are designed to pick up European channels, perfect for getting Premier League matches, as well as La Liga, Serie A football and other European competitions. There are plenty of receivers to choose from, but a quick search around the web shows Technomate branded ones such as the TM-3000D (£53.75, Amazon seller) to be well recommended.

A universal LNB and cable - The LNB (Low Noise Block-downconverter) sits on an arm pointing at the dish, and is used to focus the satellite signal, converting it a lower frequency which your receiver can take via coaxial cable.

A viewing card or Cam - These are used like a Sky Viewing card, and are needed to de-scramble encrypted signals. Different cards and Cams provide access to different channels, and are also needed If you're looking to access Pay-TV channels.Spend a bit of time researching the channels you're after before buying a card or Cam, but one good place to pick them up is www.pulsat.com. They also provide receivers too.

How To Set It Up:

Setting up a satellite dish can be a potentially frustrating process, though the actual steps aren't necessarily that complex to carry out. Either way, if you're not particularly comfortable with installing equipment (or are afraid of heights if you're planning on wall mounting your dish on an outer wall), you're probably best off getting a professional to come around and install it. Megasat offer a UK wide installation service, but for a comprehensive list of engineers check out the Confederation of Aerial Industries trade lobby website.

Alternatively, there's the good-old-fashioned DIY method. Thankfully you don't necessarily have to wall mount a dish, so long as you've got a bit of open ground in your garden that can house it and point between East and West without being obscured by trees or towerblocks. Either way however, wall mounting is preferable, even if merely not to clutter your finely-mowed lawn.

hotbird.jpg

From here you need to point the dish towards one of the satellites throwing out the appropriate footy channels. The best for receiving Premiership Football on are Hispasat, Astra 1 and Hotbird. A great list of channels and kick-off times can be found on Liveonsat.com, which also handily shows which satellites you'll need to be pointing your dish at to view the appropriate channels. Many matches will be broadcast on free-to-air channels, though some will require a viewing card, as mentioned earlier.

If you've nabbed yourself a nifty motorised satellite dish, it can be programmed to automatically point at numerous orbiting satellites. It's a process that can take some hours to fine tune, but it saves a lot of manual faffing about.

Otherwise, it's time to grab your compass, and maybe even a satellite signal strength monitor, and get tweaking your satellite direction. A whole list of satellite positions and the channels they pick up can be grabbed from www.satellitetvlinks.net (to whom we are indebted to for help in researching this post), but the main three we mentioned earlier are positioned at:

Hotbird
: 13 degrees East

Astra 1: 19.2 degrees East

Hispasat
: 30 degress West

Remember, if you haven't grabbed a motorised dish you'll have to manually realign it every time you want to pick up channels from a different orbiting satellite. Alternatively, look into grabbing a dish with multiple LNBs built in and then align each of those individually, or buy a compatible multi-LNB arm and attach it to your dish. Most decent receivers will have a little signal strength icon that will help you fine tune the dish placement to the best possible angle.

freesat-awards.jpgFreesat are allowing TV watchers to pick the winner of their TV Channel of the Year award, with the station with the most votes crowned at an annual awards event to be held on July 12th.

The Viewers Choice award will not only see TV execs and stars walking away with a prize, but also one lucky UK voter, who stands the chance of winning a day at a luxurious spa as well as an Echostar+ digital TV box.

To take part, head on over to www.freesat.co.uk/awards/viewer-s-choice-awards. Voting closes on the 17th of June.

rooney-tv.jpg
Football fans and pub owners alike were crossing their fingers and holding their breath in anticipation, following the news that Karen Murphy (landlady of the Red White and Blue in Southsea) stood on the verge of a landmark ruling that would allow her to legally show Premier League football matches to her punters without a Sky TV subscription.

While on one hand it means that Sky Sports packages may become drastically cheaper in order to stay competitive, it also means that using foreign satellite dishes to pick up free Premiership football may soon become far more mainstream. It's relatively inexpensive to set up, and offers many matches not available on Sky Sports, particularly 3pm Saturday kick-offs.

It's a moderately complex process, but this beginners guide will point you in the right direction for viewing football via foreign sports channels, and offer some links to where to find more info should you want to delve a little deeper into international satellite TV.


What You Will Need:

systemsat.jpg

A satellite dish - This is used to pick up the broadcast signal and pipe it into a set-top box. You need one at least 78cm in diameter, but a bit bigger than that, around 100cm, is probably optimal for residential use. Signals from European channels tend to be weaker than UK ones, hence the need for a larger dish.

Dishes can be manually pointed at the orbiting broadcast satellites, or you can purchase a motorised one that does the hard work for you, particularly useful if you plan on accessing channels from multiple satellite sources (more on that later). We'd recommend the
110cm Hi-Gain Satellite Dish from System Sat (£60, Amazon seller) or the 80cm Satgear Anthracite Satellite Dish (£31.95, Amazon seller).

technomate.jpeg


A satellite receiver
- These are designed to pick up European channels, perfect for getting Premier League matches, as well as La Liga, Serie A football and other European competitions. There are plenty of receivers to choose from, but a quick search around the web shows Technomate branded ones such as the TM-3000D (£53.75, Amazon seller) to be well recommended.

A universal LNB and cable - The LNB (Low Noise Block-downconverter) sits on an arm pointing at the dish, and is used to focus the satellite signal, converting it a lower frequency which your receiver can take via coaxial cable.

A viewing card or Cam - These are used like a Sky Viewing card, and are needed to de-scramble encrypted signals. Different cards and Cams provide access to different channels, and are also needed If you're looking to access Pay-TV channels.Spend a bit of time researching the channels you're after before buying a card or Cam, but one good place to pick them up is www.pulsat.com. They also provide receivers too.

How To Set It Up:

Setting up a satellite dish can be a potentially frustrating process, though the actual steps aren't necessarily that complex to carry out. Either way, if you're not particularly comfortable with installing equipment (or are afraid of heights if you're planning on wall mounting your dish on an outer wall), you're probably best off getting a professional to come around and install it. Megasat offer a UK wide installation service, but for a comprehensive list of engineers check out the Confederation of Aerial Industries trade lobby website.

Alternatively, there's the good-old-fashioned DIY method. Thankfully you don't necessarily have to wall mount a dish, so long as you've got a bit of open ground in your garden that can house it and point between East and West without being obscured by trees or towerblocks. Either way however, wall mounting is preferable, even if merely not to clutter your finely-mowed lawn.

hotbird.jpg

From here you need to point the dish towards one of the satellites throwing out the appropriate footy channels. The best for receiving Premiership Football on are Hispasat, Astra 1 and Hotbird. A great list of channels and kick-off times can be found on Liveonsat.com, which also handily shows which satellites you'll need to be pointing your dish at to view the appropriate channels. Many matches will be broadcast on free-to-air channels, though some will require a viewing card, as mentioned earlier.

If you've nabbed yourself a nifty motorised satellite dish, it can be programmed to automatically point at numerous orbiting satellites. It's a process that can take some hours to fine tune, but it saves a lot of manual faffing about.

Otherwise, it's time to grab your compass, and maybe even a satellite signal strength monitor, and get tweaking your satellite direction. A whole list of satellite positions and the channels they pick up can be grabbed from www.satellitetvlinks.net (to whom we are indebted to for help in researching this post), but the main three we mentioned earlier are positioned at:

Hotbird
: 13 degrees East

Astra 1: 19.2 degrees East

Hispasat
: 30 degress West

Remember, if you haven't grabbed a motorised dish you'll have to manually realign it every time you want to pick up channels from a different orbiting satellite. Alternatively, look into grabbing a dish with multiple LNBs built in and then align each of those individually, or buy a compatible multi-LNB arm and attach it to your dish. Most decent receivers will have a little signal strength icon that will help you fine tune the dish placement to the best possible angle.


Pub+football.jpg
We always love a story about an underdog taking on the big mega-corporations, but they're especially sweet if their actions may well serve to save us all a few quid in the long-run.

As is the case of Karen Murphy vs. Sky TV. She's the pub landlady of the Red, White and Blue in Southsea who got a bit miffed about having to pay £500 a month to Sky to be able to provide her punters with Premier League football matches while having a beer.

Instead, she found herself a cheap Greek set-top box and began picking up the matches from that territory, independent of Sky. This didn't go down too well with Rupert Murdoch's broadcasting empire, who pay a premium alongside ESPN to provide exclusive rights to the games.

Naturally, they took Murphy to court, forcing her to pay £8,000 in fines.

Unperturbed, the landlady took the amtter all the way to the European Court of Justice, with the court prosecutor issuing an opinion in her favour. The European courts state that it is "contrary to European Union Law" to restrict the sale and viewing of sports rights to one country, in effect stating that there's nothing Sky can do to stop Ms Murphy from using the Greek box and opening her showings up to the public.

This opinion isn't a final ruling, but invariably the Courts tend to side with the prosecutor's view.

It's potentially a massive thing that the Red, White and Blue pub has sparked here; if the court's side with Murphy, it sets the precedent that any pub can choose to use an alternative service legally, and by extension, any household too. Sky and ESPN would lose the monopoly over the incredibly lucrative football rights, and would be forced to lower the costs of their sports packages to stay competitve.

The little pub that could may well have just bagged cheap Sky TV for all of us.

Channel 4 HD heading to Freesat

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freesat_logo_l.jpg
Channel 4's high definition programming will be coming to Freesat HD boxes, it has been confirmed today. The channel will launch in April.

That now adds up to 4 HD channels on the Freesat service: BBC 1 HD, BBC HD, ITV 1 HD being the other three, not including BBC iPlayer and the incoming ITV Net Player.

Freesat Managing Director Emma Scott said: "This is fantastic news for Freesat. C4HD is a high quality channel and we're sure it'll prove popular with our discerning viewers.

"The addition of a fourth HD channel makes Freesat an even more attractive offer for savvy TV viewers looking for quality TV without monthly bills."

Sky+ HD box.jpg
Sky's EPG channel line-up is to get a fairly drastic shake-up come the start of February, pushing the growing number of HD channels higher up the list.

40 HD channels (not including the key terrestrial channels) will swap places with their more prominently placed standard definition counterparts. For instance, Sky 1 HD will now reside at channel number 106. The changes will only affect Sky+ HD subscribers; the SD Sky EPG will remain unchanged.

"We want our customers to be able to discover and enjoy the content they are most passionate about," said Roy Webster, Sky's Commercial Director. "That's why we've worked with a range of partner channels to ensure that customers can find their favourite pay TV channels and programming as easily as possible.

"And with high definition viewing now demanded as standard, this has also meant swapping HD channels into the EPG numbers that our customers know best.

"The combination of high quality content, an intuitive, easy-to-use EPG, and innovative services like Sky+HD and Sky Anytime+, means our customers benefit from real choice, control and flexibility of viewing, whether linear or on-demand."

The changes will occur on February 1st.

avatar.jpg
Sky 3D have bagged quite the three-dimensional coup this Christmas, as they've just announced that they will be the first UK TV broadcaster to show Avatar in full 3D.

Screening on Christmas Eve, it'll be the first time many people will have had the chance to see the highest-grossing film of all time in 3D outside of cinema's, as the 3D Blu-ray edition is exclusive to Panasonic customers.

John Cassy, Sky 3D's Channel Director said: "Confirming Avatar in our Christmas line up for Sky 3D is a huge honour and fantastic news for customers.

"We've got an action packed schedule of 3D programmes on the channel over Christmas with everything from big movie blockbusters and all the major Barclays Premier League fixtures, to the history of pterosaurs with Sir David Attenborough's Flying Monsters.

"We hope 3D will bring people together to enjoy a whole new television experience over this festive and special time of year."

Sky's 3D line-up, providing you're on their top tier of service, is looking very healthy indeed now. Other 3D highlights include Alice in Wonderland and A Christmas Carol, while football fans will want to keep an eye out for Premiership crunch-match Chelsea Vs Mancheser Utd on Decmeber 19th.

Virgin Media
Virgin Media have released a few pics of the interface for their new Tivo-powered PVR, and very slick it looks indeed.

The connected TV service will bring together video-on-demand catch up content, as well as apps and games.

Shows, music and films can be searched through text input, with each piece of content categorised by actors as well as the usual show, channel and genre parameters.

Options to series-link recordings of entire seasons will also be included, as well as the ability to grab shows that have already aired and been missed.

Cindy Rose, Executive Director of Digital Entertainment at Virgin Media, said: "Virgin Media's next generation connected TV service, powered by TiVo and combined with our superior broadband, will blow other connected TV products out of the water. It will appeal to anyone and everyone looking for the best of live broadcast TV, catch-up, on-demand and Internet apps and services."

Scroll down for a sneak peak at the service, and expect to hear more news when it launches in December.

flying-monsters-3d.jpgStick me infront of an Attenborough documentary and I go all wide-eyed and awe inspired. Throw some dinosaurs into that heady mix and I, the world's biggest Jurassic Park fan, nearly have a heart attack. Imagine the look on my face when Sky announced that Sir David Attenborough's Flying Monsters 3D would be airing on Christmas Day on their Sky 3D channel!

It will focus on pterosaur species (that is flying dinosaurs for all you budding archeologists out there), and lizard spotters will be able to catch the likes of Dimorphodon, Darwinopterus, Tapejara and Quetzalcoatlus in never-before-seen 3D action.

The one hour show will include "one of the most complicated sequences ever filmed in 3D" according to the press release

"We shot David in a real glider and later superimposed, using CGI, the biggest pterosaur - a Quetzalcoatlus. The idea was to demonstrate the extraordinary scale of the pterosaur, a creature that was longer than a bus and could fly at 75 miles an hour, by setting it beside something from the modern day of the same size that people could relate to," explained producer Anthony Geffen.

"Flying Monsters 3D represents a landmark in our portfolio," notes Jeremy Darroch, CEO of Sky. "It's our first natural history documentary, our first piece of factual content for Sky 3D and for the first time, we're honoured to be working with Sir David Attenborough, one of the greatest storytellers in the industry. Whether it's the level of detail that has gone into the historical research or the technological innovations that have been created in order to make this programme, the sheer scale of Flying Monsters 3D is stunning."

The film will also be released theatrically in IMAX cinemas around the world in 2011 and return to Sky 3D later in the year. Forget the Queen's speech, that's my Christmas Day sorted.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media and TiVo first announced that they would be teaming up last November, and now a year on they have finally announced the first details of their upcoming TiVo-powered HD/3D set top box.

The HD/3D set top box will launch alongside Virgin Media's new TiVo-powered next generation connected TV service, due to come out later this year. Coupled with their on Demand service, this will give viewers access to over 4,600 hours of TV shows, movies and music videos as well as instantly available catch-up TV from terrestrial broadcasters. As that would take you just under 200 days non-stop to watch, its a good thing they have decided to give consumers an unprecedented 1 TeraByte of storage for recordings. The new box will also have a dedicated internal modem so that you can bring internet services and apps direct to your TV.

There is still no official launch date for the new set top box, but our prediction is it will be out in time for Christmas.

Sky reveal 3D channel programming line up

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sky 3d andy gray.jpgSky have revealed the full range of content headed to their 3D TV channel when it launches this coming October 1st.

From movies to sport and a fair few other titbits in-between, it's looking like quite a healthy line-up so far.

In terms of sport, Sky will be giving a 3D makeover to the Ryder Cup from Celtic Manor, live Premier League football in October and November, rugby internationals featuring England, New Zealand and Australia and the world title boxing match-up between David Haye and Audley Harrison.

Plenty of movies will feature too. Ice Age; Dawn of The Dinosaurs, Monsters vs Aliens, Alice In Wonderland, Fly Me To The Moon, Bolt, Coraline, Cloudy with A Chance Of Meatballs and My Bloody Valentine will all be shown, whilst on-demand films are set to include Toy Story 3, Street Dance UK, Garfield's Pet Force, Step Up 3 and A Christmas Carol.

Other programming will include The Prince's Trust Rock Gala from the Albert Hall, Flying Monsters 3D featuring Sir David Attenborough, 3D Meerkats, and Bugs, narrated by Dame Judi Dench.

John Cassy, Sky 3D's channel director said: "Sky 3D will totally change the way entertainment is viewed in homes across the country. "We see 3D as 'Event TV', an opportunity for people to share an incredible visual experience in their home, watching some of the biggest and best television available including; live sport, movies, entertainment and arts programmes.

"When people gathered round their new television sets to watch the Queens Coronation broadcast in colour, little did they know that in years to come images would eventually be leaping from their television screen with the introduction of 3D. The launch of the channel is the just the beginning, 3D has arrived and will change TV forever."

Sky Player getting Kinect-ed on Xbox 360

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Microsoft Kinect.jpgBoth Microsoft and Sky have confirmed that the Xbox 360's Sky Player will be fully compatible with the forthcoming Kinect Motion controller.

Though little is known on how exactly this will work, it's likely that the motion-sensing unit, which works by tracking body parts and does not require a handheld controller, will use gesture controls to select shows and control their playback. Think Tom Cruise in Minority Report and you're on the right track.

The Kinect-enabled Sky Player is also expected to feature voice-activated controls for play, pause, rewind, fast-forward and stop functions.

Sky Player launched on the Xbox 360 in October 2009. It allows Sky subscribers to stream shows and movies over their Xbox Live web connection, and is the first time Sky has worked alongside a games console.

ITV 2, 3 and 4 HD channels hit Sky

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itv logo.jpgITV have agreed a pay-television deal with broadcasters Sky to bring high definition versions of ITV 2, ITV 3 and ITV 4 to the subscription service.

ITV2 HD will launch in October, just in time for the mega popular X Factor talent show, with ITV 3 HD and ITV 4 HD following soon after.

Adam Crozier, Chief Executive of ITV plc, said: "Building new revenue streams by exploiting our content across multiple platforms is a key part of the ITV Transformation Plan announced today. Pay television has seen continual growth over the last decade and this deal is a great example of how a new, subscription-based launch, can complement ITV's existing free-to-air channels."

Mike Darcey, Sky's Chief Operating Officer, echoed Crozier's sentiments: "The subscription model best rewards those committing to HD and continues to drive its growth. We therefore welcome ITV's move to embrace pay TV to satisfy the demands of millions who now regard anything less than HD as a compromise. This is great news for the one in three Sky homes who have already responded to the increased choice and quality offered by Sky+HD."

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