Sky Player on Xbox 360 goes live today, so we thought we’d answer all those burning questions you might have with the biggest five things you need to know about the new service.
If you’re a Sky subscriber, you’ll be able to hop straight on board – new customers can sign up from £15
Current Sky subscribers will be able to access on demand content such as movies and sports immediately, as long as they currently subscribe to those options in their Sky package. This is handy as it allows you to have Sky in another room such as a bedroom or office – or even another house – completely for free.
However, the sting in the tail to this is that if you are a current Sky subscriber and were hoping to stream live TV in another room through your Xbox, you're going to need to sign up for either Sky Multiroom at £9.75 a month, or the Broadband Unlimited package. (Thanks mccleld)
If you aren’t a Sky subscriber, you will have to sign up to get access to content, with packages starting from £15 per month, depending on your options. The good news here is that you don’t have to have a dish, so there are no installation fees or restrictions for listed properties where dishes are not allowed.
All Xbox 360 users will be able to access Sky News for free.
Packages are as follows:
Entertainment pack (£15.00)
G.O.L.D, Sky Real Lives, Sky Arts 1, MTV One, Sky Sports News, Eurosport, ESPN Classic, Sky News, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, History Channel, Eden, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Nick Jr.
Sports pack (£34)
All of above channels + Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Extra.
Movies pack (£32)
All entertainment pack channels + Sky Movies Screen 1 and 2.
Sports and movies (£41)
Entertainment pack + sports + movies.
You’ll need to be an Xbox Live Gold Member to get most of it - but Sky News is free
Currently only those gamers signed up on the Xbox Live Gold Membership, costing £39.99 RRP, will be able to access the the majority of Sky Player's content. However Sky News will be free for all members, Gold Membership or Sky subscription aside.
This aside, if you’re not already a member and you choose to sign up, you’ll get access to all the other content Gold Membership offers you, including multiplayer gaming, video chat capability and access to the Xbox Live Video Store.
An internet connection of at least 2MB is recommended
In order to stream live TV and watch movies, Sky recommends you have a minimum internet connection of 2MB, although something higher would be better.
You are able to set your quality settings depending on your connection, so you can scale it up or down as necessary.
You’ll be able to watch with friends using Xbox Party Mode
If you’re watching a live sports match or TV programme and your friends are online, you can invite their avatars to join yours in a virtual loft-style apartment to watch along with you.
You’ll then be able to chat in real time using your Xbox headset about the programme, and even clap and cheer when there’s something you like.
Sky Player doesn’t stop with the Xbox 360
Sky Player has been running online for a while now, and any one Sky Player account can have up to four PCs attached to it as well as your console (although only one can be used to download content to watch later - the other three can watch live streamed TV only).
This means that once you're signed up, you can access your Sky Player content on your laptop while away from home – and even better, if you are already a Sky TV subscriber (rather than a Sky Player subscriber), your console and PCs don’t have to be at the same house as your subscription.
We also heard last week that Sky Player was to be integrated in to Windows Media Player in Windows 7, so Sky Player really is going to be everywhere within the next few months.
If the Sky Player on Xbox 360 sounds like it’s for you, head over and sign yourself up at www.sky.com/xbox360.