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Sky HD demand shows sharp rise

BSkyB has announced that demand for its High Definition service has been higher than expected during Q1 of 2009. In a push to sell its HD service, Sky cut its prices in January; this added more than 243,000 new customers to the service in the first three months of this year. The number of Sky HD households is now in excess of one million.The higher demand for Sky HD has meant that BSkyB has created an extra 750 customer service and installation jobs, with another 250 jobs planned.  As well as lowering its HD service charges, BSkyB also cut the price of its Sky Plus HD boxes to £49, in a bid to capitalise on the estimated 7 million households who have already got High Definition Televisions.The company’s report also shows that its operating profits were up by 13% since the start of its financial year last July, and 15% of its customers now have the whole package including TV, Broadband and telephony. Although the figures are promising for the beginning of the year, chief executive Jeremy Darroch stated that he believes that the rest of the year would be a challenge, adding that: “In this environment, and at a time when people are spending more time at home, we will continue to provide our customers great entertainment and money-saving broadband and telephony.”

BSkyB announce that they will be replacing 90,000 High Definition boxes

BSkyB has announced that 90,000 of its Sky+ HD customers will have their set top boxes replaced due to a manufacturer fault. BSkyB said that the fault is with HD boxes that are manufactured by Pace and involves faulty internal cabling, but it is not a safety risk.About one in ten HD customers will be affected by the fault, which affects the first batch of HD boxes made by Pace; the model numbers are: 9F3001, 9F3002, 9F3003 and 9F3004. Anyone with one of the model numbers shown should contact Sky for a free replacement box; Sky has also said that anyone affected by the fault will be given 3 months free subscription to Sky’s HD pack.The replacement program is expected to take around three months and in a statement Sky said: “The assembly flaw does not involve a faulty component, such as a hard drive, or a software problem”.The broadcaster added that: “Importantly, Pace has confirmed that the assembly flaw does not pose a safety risk”.Sky also said that the HD boxes can still be used as usual, until a Sky engineer comes and replaces it.

Phillips Cinema 21:9 super widescreen TV

Phillips has announced a new TV that could revolutionise the way we watch films in the future. The TV, called the Phillips Cinema has a super widescreen display with a 21:9 aspect ratio; this is the first ever cinema proportioned LCD TV.Combining a massive 56 inch screen and Phillips Ambilight technology, the Phillips Cinema 21:9 is the first TV to deliver a genuine cinematic viewing experience. Televisions that have an aspect ratio of 16:9 either distort the picture to get it to display on the full screen or display the film in a letterbox format.Phillips also say that the Cinema 21:9 will use advanced formatting technology, so that standard 16:9 images from TV broadcasts and games consoles can be adapted to fill the 21:9 screen with no loss of quality.Phillips will be releasing more detailed specifications and pricing at the end of February; the Cinema 21:9 is expected to be available this spring.

Sky tests broadcasting of 3D TV programs

Sky Television has announced that it has made significant steps towards broadcasting 3D TV programs to the British public. Over the last six months Sky have been recording a number of events using special 3D cameras, and has successfully transmitted the recordings to a domestic Television through its High-Definition set-top box.

Sony Play TV – Available on the 19th September

Sony will release their new accessory for the Playstation 3, Play TV on September the 19th in the UK. Play TV is a Freeview box that connects to your Playstation 3 and allows you to watch and record your favourite TV programs onto the PS3’s hard drive.

Ixos HDMI Adapters

Ixos have extended their HDMI range with the introduction of their new HDMI Adapters the XS118 and XS218 adapters. The XS118 and XS218 are ideal for side mounted HDMI inputs and keeps wires out of sight due to its 90 degree angle.

Panasonic TH-42PX80 Plasma TV

The TH-42PX80 is the first of Panasonic’s new 2008 Viera high-definition TV’s to hit the UK market and promises to create a bit of a stir. This 42 inch TV features Panasonic’s Viera V-Real technology that effortlessly provides a superb picture quality.