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posted by martyb on Friday January 26 2018, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-all-in-the-cloud-now dept.

The British-based broadcaster Sky (with operations in the EU and elsewhere) has decided it doesn't need to keep attaching satellite dishes to the walls of its customers' homes.

The BBC reports:

The pay TV company already offers some programming online on its Sky Go and Now TV* services and through Sky boxes.

Sky said offering the option was a "major development" that would let it enter new markets.

It hopes that making its hundreds of channels more widely available will increase both revenue and profits.

Italy will be its first market to get all Sky channels online, followed by Austria, with the UK expected to follow later this year or in 2019.

Sky is not proposing to stop broadcasting by satellite. The move will allow customers who cannot have a dish or do not want one to get Sky, a spokesperson said. A Sky box will still be required.

The company's move is a response to greater competition from the likes of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon.

*Now TV is an internet-based, subscriptionless pay-TV service. Established 5 years ago, it's wholly owned by Sky.


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  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Friday January 26 2018, @11:18AM (8 children)

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Friday January 26 2018, @11:18AM (#628209) Homepage
    I grew up with terrestrial OTA telly, but never bought into the new-fangled 'satellite' craze in the 80s. Or ever. Looks like it will pass me by.

    The only question that matters to me is which delivery mechanism makes the most practical sense. An individual cable to each subscriber doesn't make so much sense for a broadcast medium, so, if you're prepared to ignore costs and only look at benefits, OTA does seem to be the better fit as a solution to the problem of bulk delivery.
    --
    Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Friday January 26 2018, @11:28AM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Friday January 26 2018, @11:28AM (#628215) Journal

      Without satellite we wouldn't have had "Captain Midnight" [wikipedia.org].

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by kazzie on Friday January 26 2018, @12:07PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @12:07PM (#628223)

      OTA is great for broadcasting content at a set time. Time-shifting by recording selected programming for future viewing also works with OTA. What's broken the model is the modern tendency to disregard the TV Guide and see what's available to stream on-demand. (I'm guilty of this too.) Given that Sky now offer so much of their content on-demand through the internet, it's a small step for them to take.

      It's a shame, as OTA seems so much more efficient (bandwidth-wise) than shoving everyone's television through the interweb tubes. (IMHO)

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by ledow on Friday January 26 2018, @01:56PM (1 child)

      by ledow (5567) on Friday January 26 2018, @01:56PM (#628255) Homepage

      Depends.

      If you are already having to run individual cables to every household anyway, then utilising those cables rather than having to use "more" cables or satellite dishes or having broadcast infrastructure doesn't make much sense. Effectively you're spending twice to do one job.

      And given that almost everyone has broadband, and on that broadband you can in theory happily deliver video-on-demand, broadcast-TV, telephone service, internet service, etc. then it makes more sense to start dialling down the broadcast stuff and investing more in getting those lines up to scratch (which has multiple benefits).

      When you consider that people don't just want TV at home any more, it also makes much more sense to focus on Internet which applies everywhere rather than things stuck to the side of a house that is empty for a vast portion of the day.

      In the same way, in business, everything is now going IP - VoIP telephones internally and SIP trunks externally, CCTVoIP, access control over IP, etc.

      I work in a school... the maintenance guys no longer bother with a "radio". They all have smartphones with 4G and they stream their favourite music station if they are doing a job. It would cost pence to get a radio and keep it running, but their smartphone is also a torch, a reference tool, an ordering mechanism, a job organiser, a site-contact-radio, etc. etc. etc.

      Rather than launch things 10 km up (or whatever it is) that can only send the same signal to all of Europe, and which need fixed infrastructure at every client end that you have to install, Sky are also an ISP... so just get those same engineers on the ground to install an Internet line and save those satellite operation costs while also providing many more services, and much more targeted service. It just makes sense.

      To be honest, I don't understand why it's not the law to do certain things when building new houses or digging up existing streets. Put in a utility tubing with multiple levels. Sewage. Water. Gas. Electricity. Broadband (preferably fibre). Couple of spares for "future expansion". You can use it to do everything from controlling traffic lights, to providing residential broadband, TV and telephony and back it all over IP. Hell, we're already talking about smart meters for water, gas and electricity that need to use broadband too. If you treat it as a utility, stick it in every street, you could cable up anything from a streetlight to a mobile phone mast to a new office block all off the same wires. And it would give you an ideal amount of routing... literally the more redundant and connected your streets were, the more routes both the power and the data could take if there's a cabling fault and still provide service unnoticed.

      If we were to ever "start again", I can only imagine that we would just cable everything with fibre and back EVERYTHING we could over it via IP.

      And bulk-delivery / broadcast is dying. Barely a small percentage of TV is watched "live" now. It's all time-shifted, catch-up, on-demand, paused-and-resumed. Broadcast isn't suitable for that. Even if you want broadcast, things like DOCSIS, TCP/IP etc. provide for broadcast and multicast streams quite easily without unnecessarily loading the intermediate routes.

      There aren't many technologies where you can say it can run almost everything, from broadcast mass traffic, to tiny real-time traffic, and everything in between and replace dozens or hundreds of previous uses. Everything from burglar alarm communication, telephones, panic buttons, CCTV, etc. etc. etc. all using the same wires/fibres and protocols.

      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @08:26PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @08:26PM (#628491) Journal

        To be honest, I don't understand why it's not the law to do certain things when building new houses or digging up existing streets.

        Around here it is.
        Specifically for new housing subdivisions. There are existing service tubes, and totally spare tubes, and they all get dedicated (ownership transferred) to the city upon subdivision completion.

        Digging up existing streets, to fix problems is different. Who would fix a water leak or broken cable if doing so required rebuilding ALL the infrastructure in the neighborhood. They'd just walk away.

        Complete street rebuilds do require this, but those are rare. Most streets get simple repaving, done by people you don't want anywhere near your circuits.

        --
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    • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday January 26 2018, @04:47PM (1 child)

      by Freeman (732) on Friday January 26 2018, @04:47PM (#628326) Journal

      The only channel I was much interested in was the Sci-Fi channel, they changed it to SyFy when I had Satellite for a short period of time. The vast majority of it was junk, if that was any indicator of the other channels. You hardly missed anything. I got more entertainment watching Hogan's Heroes (Over the Air) during my lunch hour in College.

      --
      "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by FatPhil on Saturday January 27 2018, @12:40AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Saturday January 27 2018, @12:40AM (#628659) Homepage
        I never was familiar with the original channel, but am aware of the latter naming, which seemed utterly trashy. But if punters pay for it, it's good business.
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
    • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 26 2018, @08:19PM (1 child)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @08:19PM (#628484) Journal

      Since you will need an internet connection for your SkyBox, they've successfully externalized a great deal of the cost, and foisted it on the customer. Are they picking up any portion of the customer's internet service? No, I thought not.

      Once the internet becomes the dominant portion of their users, their sat service will quietly disappear.

      --
      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Saturday January 27 2018, @12:38AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Saturday January 27 2018, @12:38AM (#628658) Homepage
        > Since you will need an internet connection for your SkyBox ...

        Narp, what are you gibbering on about? What the fuck is a "skybox", and what the fuck makes you think I have one?
        --
        Life is a precious commodity. A wise investor would get rid of it when it has the highest value.
  • (Score: 4, Touché) by acid andy on Friday January 26 2018, @03:26PM (1 child)

    by acid andy (1683) on Friday January 26 2018, @03:26PM (#628284) Journal

    Shouldn't they change their name to, like, "Ground" or something?

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    • (Score: 3, Funny) by kazzie on Friday January 26 2018, @03:42PM

      by kazzie (5309) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 26 2018, @03:42PM (#628290)

      Only if they're a down-to-earth company.

  • (Score: 2) by wonkey_monkey on Friday January 26 2018, @08:28PM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Friday January 26 2018, @08:28PM (#628494) Homepage

    Satellite Broadcaster Sky to Ditch Satellite Dishes

    Sky is not proposing to stop broadcasting by satellite. The move will allow customers who cannot have a dish or do not want one to get Sky

    It's an additional option. A dish is still going to be the default.

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bob_super on Friday January 26 2018, @10:10PM

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday January 26 2018, @10:10PM (#628582)

    There are many areas in Southern Europe where people have sat dishes so they can catch sats broadcasting to North Africa (probably also true in the US with Latin America broadcasts).
    Obviously, those people are not paying a company in another country for their service, but it will become more obvious once official sat companies finish ditching the dish.

    Also, that's a sign of the need for Net Neutrality. Sky, not being an ISP, would not be able to make such a move in the US.

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