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Sky+HD 4K Ultra HD upgrade to counter Apple TV threat

Sky+HD is in line for an upgrade to 4K Ultra HD with recordings stored online to take on Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

The UK entertainment giant has set up a special unit, dubbed Project Ethan, to devise a new system that will make it easier for subscribers to access programmes on any device, according to reports by the Sunday Telegraph

The new devices would record to cloud storage instead of using a local hard disc, allowing viewers to pause on the TV and finish watching on a phone or tablet.

Sky said: “Innovation is at the heart of our business. We are always looking at ways to enhance our service to customers, as with the launch of our new EPG home page this month.”

The plan’s former name, Project 2016, suggests it could launch in the next couple of years, up against products like Apple TV, Roku, Google’s Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV.

 

The new product would almost certainly support 4K Ultra HD, which quadruples the amount of detail compared to today’s Full HD TV, and is already available on a small number of Netflix series.

Sky has run trials of 4K production and satellite broadcasts from live football matches, but broadcasters are still working on a 4K standard which would work across all platforms, even though the first 4K TVs were launched last year.

Project Ethan is lead by Andrew Olson, Sky’s director of product development, who’s also on the board of Canadian semiconductor company VIXS, which makes chips for 4K set-top boxes.

Sky has switched its focus from cutting edge TV tech like 3D to instant-access on demand services with Sky On Demand and Sky Go, but will be keen to protect its reputation as Europe’s leading innovator in TV technology.

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