Sky Plus readies itself for rivals’ services

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BSkyB is launching a series of changes to its Sky Plus service including allowing users to set their boxes remotely. The changes will be introduced later this year.

It is also offering a range of on-demand programming available through the personal video recorder (PVR) ahead of new services launching from BT Vision and Freeview PVR and the imminent rebrand of cable service NTL:Telewest to Virgin Media.

The news comes as Sky Plus reaches 2 million subscribers for the first time. The number of Sky Plus boxes grew by more than 50% in 2006, with Sky having previously stated its intention of 25% penetration by 2010.

Later this year subscribers will be able to use the internet to set a recording away from home by logging on to www.sky.com. The on-demand service, which will include a catch-up service of selected programmes, will be available to more than 1 million Sky Plus and Sky High Definition customers.

The satellite operator has also published research from its Sky View panel, which shows that on average, 12.2% of viewing was time-shifted through Sky Plus boxes in the period between February and December last year.

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