Sky HD TV is the latest string to the media behemoth’s considerable bow. And at a tenner per month for existing customers (on top of your usual bill) it’s one of the best deals out there. Even the box looks fantastic – slightly bigger than the old Sky+ unit – and comes with a decent range of connections, although sadly only the HDMI one is encrypted for HD use. Of course, rather than eliciting disappointment, the presence of Ethernet, USB and SATA connections simply make you wonder what Sky have planned for the future.
The HD box arrives fresh with a 160GB hard disk. I would have expected a little more than this, based on the 300 quid price tag (especially when you consider the negligible extra cost of a 250GB disk). The remote is a much sexier, slimmer version, whilst still retaining the user-friendly design of past models.
The real joy in Sky HD is, of course, the picture quality. Stunning, is all I can say. A vast improvement. Colours are vivid, lurching out of the screen at you in awesome 1080i resolution. Any HD-less guests you have over will definitely be suitably impressed.
The only major drawback is the dearth of good programming currently being screened in HD. It’s a little annoying when you’ve shelled out the bucks for HD, only to discover that hardly any of the things you want to watch are available. In time, as more content is generated in HD, this situation will surely change.
Without doubt, the Sky HD package gives you an attractive looking set top box with all the interfaces you will need now and for the future. Picture quality is unparalleled – a huge improvement on CRT. As more channels are added in HD, a move to Sky HD now will serve you well going forward. Setup costs could be cheaper, but the extra tenner per month is definitely well worth it – or it will be when the glory of HD is fully implemented by producers.
For more information about Sky’s products and offers visit http://www.sky.com/shop/.