Windows 7 users here in Ireland can get a richer experience of Sky’s online content service now that it has teamed up with Microsoft to give Sky Player Windows Media Center integration.
While anyone on a PC or Mac (and Sky Player subscription) can access the service through their web browser, this Media Center integration looks more like a rich TV-on-demand entertainment experience.
"We’re delighted the Irish public can now take advantage of the full capabilities we deliver in Windows 7. With Windows Media Center we are continuing to deliver on how people are choosing to view their entertainment," said Ronald Dockery, client manager, Microsoft Ireland.
"Teaming up with Sky was a no-brainer, delivering rich content through the power and ease of Windows Media Center gives people the best possible selection and viewing experience right at their PC," he added.
So what you can expect to get from the new service through Windows 7 and Media Centre is a search for shows using keywords, the ability to browse programme galleries or scroll through the familiar Sky on-screen guide, touch-enabled interface and it works with any Windows Media Center-enabled remote control.
Also, if you’re a current Sky TV customer, this is another way for you to view your favourite shows or alternatively if you’re not subscribed to Sky TV there is a wide range of live TV channels and on-demand content right through Media Center through a few different monthly subscriptions, which starts at €15 per month.
A large part of this Sky Player integration was developed right here in Dublin through Microsoft’s European Development Centre (EDC) TV and the Microsoft Ireland EDC TV team was responsible for the development, test and programme management of the Sky Player on Windows Media Center project.
"We deployed a full featured team including developers, testers and program management which drove the project from requirements management all the way to beta testing and launch. This demonstrates again the value of having a core development team based in Europe," said Renaud Bordelet, group manager, E&D Division of Windows TV Group, Microsoft Ireland.
By Marie Boran
Photo: Renaud Bordelet (group manager, E&D Division of Windows TV Group, Microsoft Ireland), Ronald Dockery (client manager, Microsoft Ireland) and Mark Deering (director, Sky Ireland).