There are some things in our lives that we use every single day, but don't pay much attention to. From the controls in our cars to the interface on our dishwasher, we take these things as fixed points that will never improve. Over the last decade though, we've seen the rise of the over-the-air software update, which can drastically improve the way we interact with these objects. It started with laptops, started happening with smartphones and now it's happening once again with Sky's + box, as the company have unveiled a suite of changes which should make using their service much easier.
The new updates come after a significant amount of public pressure on the number for Sky from landline to improve the guide with just a few basic features, which would make using the service less of a chore and move it closer to a delight. Those features have now been implemented, and include improvements to the Planner to simplify navigation and make it more intuitive for first time users. Your most recent recordings and downloads are now at the top of the first page, rather than the bottom, making it faster to see what you want to see. Upcoming recordings have now been moved to a new 'Scheduled' tab within the interface, thus avoiding the clutter that existed in the old interface. Also in that 'scheduled' tab is Smart Series Links, which not only record the current series, but also remember to record all further seasons of the series when they return to TV. Customers that love bingeing on Sky Box Sets can now delete whole series from their Planner in one go using the yellow ‘Delete All’ button. That means once you’ve finally caught up with all the episodes of Game of Thrones, you can delete the entire series ready for the next one.
Other new features include Sky Movies and Sky Store trailers, which allow customers to watch full screen theatrical trailers for hundreds of movies from Sky Movies and Sky Store, so customers can better choose their evenings entertainment. Also new are better accessibility settings for partially sighted customers, designed alongside the RNIB. These new features give customers the options to increase colour contrast and add bold lettering to the menus, for easier reading.
Parental controls have also been boosted, with a new 'Family' setting which hides all adult channels and pin protects all pre-watershed playback of on-demand content and movies with a 12 rating and above, which is sure to please parents of young children. Finally, there's improvements to the Eco Mode, which has been extended by a half and now automatically switches off the Sky+HD box from 2:45 to 5:45am.
Luke Bradley-Jones, Brand Director, TV Products, comments: “We know the Planner is crucial in helping customers organise their TV viewing so we’ve made some neat changes. Now when you record the latest season of Game of Thrones, you’ll find the most recent episodes right at the top of your Planner. And that’s not all, there are even more improvements coming later this year, including a simple but very clever feature that lets customers go back to the start of a film on Sky Movies if they’ve missed the beginning.”
The new software is rolling out to customers and will be available to over 8.5 million homes with compatible Sky+HD boxes by the end of June. To download the update in the fastest way possible, make sure your box is hooked up to your broadband connection.
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