Today Sky TV is an integral part of many of our lives, and although Sky feels like it has been around for forever we have to remember it was only founded in 1990. Back then, Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting were two separate entities that merged and became known as BSkyB, and today the company is the largest subscription broadcaster in the UK with over 10 million subscribers. In the early days of Sky, customers had a dish placed on their homes and a receiver connected to their main television in the house – today we have small black mesh dishes on our homes, which are much more discrete compared to the grey satellite dish issued back then. The basic system is something Sky still uses today, however lots of things have changed quite dramatically over the last 22 years.
Back in the nineties, SES Astra launched its Astra satellite with 4 transponders, of which Sky became the first customer. Sky was able to use this satellite to enlarge its service with the use of the same satellite dish. Through the nineties, Sky television was building its market share as they offered a great number of channels, then in 1998 Astra launched another satellite, ‘Astra 2A’, which orbited in a different position to the previous Astra satellite, enabling Sky TV to release its all new digital service. This development gave Sky the potential to introduce hundreds of channels, all to the same box via one satellite.
Today we now see live TV that can be paused or recorded as and when we wish and we have access to hundreds of channels from around the world covering all kinds of tastes and interests. In 2011 Sky announced that they going to reshuffle the order in which channels were positioned, giving HD channels and other popular channels a prime spot on the listings. The look of Sky in 2012 is one of pure genius as we have a fully interactive TV service that can offer us a phone line and broadband connection too – Sky have also managed to integrate their services so subscribers to Sky Television, along with Sky Broadband, will have access to Sky’s Anytime service which offers a full library of TV programmes to suit all tastes. Like with anything, these products and services come at a cost, but the basic Sky+ package for £20 a month (plus line rental) offers great value, and while there are no current Sky voucher codes there are always deals and offers to choose from, such as a £25 M&S voucher for example.
Sky is not alone in the digital TV market place as rivals like Virgin TV offer a similar stack of products and services. Virgin’s main difference is that they are a cable network, so the way in which it is delivered to your home is different. Like Sky, Virgin has phone and broadband packages to choose from. Looking back at Sky’s legacy only makes us wonder – What is going to happen in the next 20 years? We have already seen massive developments in 3D TV, so we will have to wait and see what comes next.