Sky Q may be the current darling of the satellite broadcaster’s line-up, but that isn’t stopping Sky+ getting updates. In fact, Sky revealed today that it is slightly refreshing the look of the Sky Guide for users using the older Sky box.
With the new update Sky is placing an increased focus on On Demand content, with the company attempting to combat the likes of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video with software that makes it easier to binge watch. On Sky Q this is achieved by bringing ‘Top Picks’, a curated section of On Demand content, front and centre – and that’s exactly what users on the Sky+ platform can also now enjoy.
Top Picks will be located at the bottom of the Sky+ homepage and will serve content from the broadcaster’s line-up of premium channels, such as Sky Atlantic and Sky Movies. The thought is that the new location for Top Picks will enable Sky+ users to find hit shows and movies that they absolutely should be watching.
Binge-watching is a phenomenon that started with Netflix, but is now made even easier to do on the Sky+ platform. Sky customers watching an On Demand series or Sky Box Set can automatically have the Sky+ box download the next episode as soon as it becomes available, or while you’re half way through the previous episode.
Download Next will be a feature that will be enabled by default but Sky says that customers who would prefer to manually select when to download episodes will be able to turn off the feature in the Sky+ Customise menu.
This binge-watching-friendly update doesn’t stop there though, as Sky is also rolling out a new feature dubbed ‘Continue Watching’. This feature allows customers to pick up right from where they left off – nothing all that exciting and something that has been available for recorded shows and films for a while. What is new is a dedicated tab at the top of the planner.
Other updates to Sky+ being introduced with this update are as follows:
• A newly designed Services Homepage to help customers to customise the Sky Guide. Press the Services button on the remote control and customers will find Accessibility, Parental Control & PIN, Radio, Settings Options, Get Sky Products, My Account and Help menus
• Viewing progress bar: A new blue bar will appear across recordings in the Planner highlighting how much of a programme has been watched
• The Radio section can now be found in the new Radio tab in the TV Guide
• Search is now located at the top of the Homepage where customers can search for any of their favourite shows
Luke Bradley-Jones, director of TV and content products comments: “We know that customers are watching even more TV, and with every update to Sky+ we’re making it even better. Since the Homepage was launched on demand viewing has increased by 209%. That’s why we’re introducing Top Picks, a brand new Homepage section, telling our customers about even more fantastic shows, both live and On Demand, recommended by our TV experts.”
Sky’s binge-watching update is already beginning to roll out to customers across the UK, but the release is being staggered. Sky expects that everyone will be able to enjoy the new Sky+ update by the end of August 2016.