Sky Player on XBL
Well the launch of Sky Player on XBL was a complete disaster! I logged in straight away on the day of launch and downloaded the app only to be greeted with various network errors whenever I tried to use it. I had a look on-line and there were hundreds of stories from people in the same situation. It turned out to be a problem at the Sky end, they massively underestimated how many people would be checking this out the minute it launched and as a result it took down all their servers!
The deal is this: If you’re already a Sky subscriber then whatever package you pay for you can stream for free as long as you have Multiroom or Broadband Unlimited. Current Sky subscribers can pay an additional £9.75 per month to stream for free if they don’t have either Multiroom or Broadband Unlimited. If you’re not a current Sky subscriber you can pay £15 per month to have access to the basic package. On top of this there are options to rent some programmes for £0.98 per programme. That seemed fairly reasonable to me, though I certainly wouldn’t want to pay for a series like that. It’s more suited to one off documentaries. Films would’ve been good, but maybe Microsoft thought it would be in direct competition with their revamped Zune HD Marketplace.
You don’t use MS points to buy any of the programmes either, you need to sign up for a SKY iD and create an on-line payment account. This links in to your 360 so you don’t have to sign in every time (although there is a security feature to enable that).
You can only use Sky Player on one console per account. It’s linked to the actual machine not your xbox account. I believe you can change this on the web-page for your Sky account if you need to (new console/replaced console, etc.) but I think that’s limited to one change per month.
Watching the sample channel now (Sky News) and even on High Quality I have to say it looks horrible Certainly nowhere near as crisp as Freeview. I’m also disappointed with the programmes I could purchase as PAYG. Hardly anything on Sky One at all. There were a couple of History documentaries that looked interesting, but they also looked quite old so would probably end up on freeview very soon if they hadn’t already. Not as impressed with this as I’d hoped, but in fairness it is the first time they’ve tried it and if they have the technical side working now maybe this will open the door for more. I would love to see a browser on the 360 (even Internet Explorer) just so more opportunities become available for us. iPlayer on the 360 would be great.
There are some voucher codes to make it a little cheaper to check out the features, these are the ones I know of:
One month free Sky Player Multiroom for Sky TV customers: XBOX1MONTHFREE
Three months Sky Player TV for the price of 2 for non-Sky TV customers: XBOX3FOR2
As above but from the Sky site: SKY3FOR2