Technology

Sky changes EPG to enhance viewer experience

MUMBAI: UK pay TV service operator Sky said that it has made changes to its Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) in order to make it even easier for customers to discover and enjoy the best in pay television.


Taking effect from the 1 February, the changes represent one of the biggest updates to the channel line up for over a decade, and include: a High Definition (HD) ‘channel swap‘ for Sky + HD subscribers; the relocation of a range of leading pay TV channels on Sky‘s EPG; and the launch of a major new channel.
 
The revised UK channel line-up will help make great TV - including the best of pay, in HD - even easier to find, which will deliver increased benefits to customers and broadcasters alike, in terms of channel accessibility and programme discovery.


The changes from the 1 February include:


* For Sky + HD subscribers, 40 channels in Sky‘s HD pack will ‘swap‘ positions in the EPG with their Standard Definition (SD) counterparts. So, for example, HD subscribers will find Sky 1 HD at #106, with Sky 1 moving to #170. This change reflects the increasing demand from those customers to watch their favourite TV in HD. Those customers not subscribing to Sky + HD will be unaffected by this change.


* MTV, Comedy Central, Universal, Syfy and FX (and their associated HD simulcast channels*) will move to new, higher profile channel slots:


* Living will rebrand as Sky Living. 
 
Sky commercial director Rob Webster commented, "We want our customers to be able to discover and enjoy the content they are most passionate about. 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.”


In all the cases above, the new channel number highlighted refers to either the SD channel or, for Sky‘s HD subscribers, its HD simulcast. In those Sky homes that do not subscribe to Sky‘s HD service (even if they have a Sky + HD box), there will be no change to the location of SD channels.



As result of the reshuffle, a further 12 Sky channels - including Livingit, Living Loves, Sky 2, Sky 3, Challenge and all associated +1s - will also relocate.


A customer‘s scheduled Sky + recordings - including Series Link - and ‘Favourites‘ settings will not be affected by the planned EPG changes.


Not all channels have taken part in the HD channel swap. Following a consultation with all HD channels on the platform, some channels, including the main terrestrial networks, have indicated that they would not be in a position to take part in the swap as they do not necessarily carry identical content on their SD and HD channels (for example, some of their HD channels do not carry local news). Other HD channels are dedicated channels with no SD simulcast with which to swap.
 

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