Sky TV subscribers will know that barely five minutes passes without the broadcaster forcibly reminding you of its online service.
Fortunately, Sky has good reason to be boastful.
Sky Player offers both live and on-demand shows to subscribers of its satellite TV packages, while new customers can pay for online-only access.
Sky has good reason to be boastful
Channels are restricted to those of your Sky package, but the back catalogue of shows, sports and movies is considerable and well organised.
The Sky Player is brilliant if you’re stuck at work during a key event such as the recent Ryder Cup, which ran into Monday. But it often fails to cope with demand for such high-profile events.
The live TV service is smoothly presented with a slick TV-style electronic programme guide (EPG) to flick through, but it doesn’t work with the Google Chrome browser.
Live streams are rate-adaptive, depending on the speed of your connection, but you can override the auto-selected speed if you want to boost or reduce quality.
At the top end, streams of 1.8Mbits/sec are detailed on a laptop, and sufficient to watch comfortably on a 38in TV, although they’re no match for the BBC iPlayer’s HD output.
Sky also offers a desktop player, so you can download and watch programmes on a laptop when away from home.
Annoyingly, this forgets where you left off if you have to stop watching a show halfway through. Windows 7 users can also take advantage of Sky Player via Windows Media Center, completing an assured and feature-rich service.
Internet TV software reviewed:
4 on Demand
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