BSkyB: Hybrid strategy, but DTH core

By Julian Clover
March 8, 2010 14.22 UK

DVB World 2010 – Lisbon: Brian Lenz, BSkyB’s director of product design and TV product development, has revealed that the technical glitches that dogged the launch of the Sky Player on Xbox last October were down to a serious under-estimation of demand.

Lenz told the annual gathering of the DVB Project in Lisbon that putting Sky Player on Xbox had exceeded expectations by 2 or 3. “It nearly crashed our services in the first week we had so many requests. That shows we had pent up demand and what we can do with our content if we put it into new places”.

Giving details of the planned Push VOD service scheduled to launch later in the year, Lenz told delegates hybrid was core to where the satcaster’s strategy goes next. He said several thousand hours would be made available to customers that plugged in their broadband connection to the Ethernet port on the reverse of their Sky+ HD receivers. “Whether you deliver in the cloud or in the box we will continue to make sure that we continue to develop out of the core product.”

Lenz said he did not expect 3D to be a “big bang”, but rather the “long burn” seen with HD. While not ruling out the possibility of delivering 3D through the Sky Player, Lenz said it would stay a DTH product for the immediate future. “Right now over-the-top is primarily an SD play because of the quality, if we get to the point when the quality works well enough to deliver a quality experience then we’re open to do it.”