Sky’s move to go satellite-free with SkyQ next year marks the dawn of a new era for over-the-top (OTT) mechanisms bringing to an end any debates about how TV is delivered . This shift to online broadcasting will target viewers who, over the last 25 years, did not want or could not have a satellite installed.
The company expects to open its market to more than 2 million homes in the UK and 6 million more across Europe. At the same time it also aims to cut customers’ defections to rivals like BT.
At present, due to the lack of concrete details on the press release, nobody can tell when the new service will available or how it will work. There are, however, those who have cast some doubts about it.
Speed, location and price seem to be at the core of them.
Stuff’s writer Tom Watson believes that SkyQ is “undoubtedly going to require the sort of monstrous internet connection that only comes from optical broadband”, undeniably installed by the company, if you want 4K football, Formula 1, films, multiple boxes and the ability to record several channels at once.
Bearing in mind that optical broadband is not fully available across the country, that Sky is not the market leader provider and also that only 80% of its customers have access to the Fibre Max package, there are reasons to think that Sky’s hopes are a little bit influenced by high spirits.
New price hikes of up to £19.08 over the course of a year imposed by no other reason than the vague “ongoing investment in our screen line up, technology and customer services” will be another factor to consider before choosing this TV package, which everybody agrees to name the best.
On the positive side, however, experts have pointed out that moving to online broadcasting was the normal and right thing to do since SkyQ “partly works through a broadband connection anyway, with boxes requiring internet to stream catch-up and on demand content, even populate the content and metadata rich menu systems.”
As such, a version of the box which also streams live videos sounds really feasible.
Another reason behind going fully online is the high number of viewers given by Now TV to Sky over the years.
Although Sky does not want to tell how many of its 11 million UK households are Now TV subscribers they are quite happy to affirm that the “streaming service accounts for the majority of the growth of the business”
This is something rather remarkable because there are only a limited number of channels available on Now TV as opposed to the 270 that SkyQ offers. So the much greater packet content will easily attract many more customers.