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How Sky Anytime can take over your life

I've got my all-time favourite film, Lawrence of Arabia, waiting for me in glorious high definition this weekend, thanks to the tech marvel of Sky Anytime

I've got my all-time favourite film, Lawrence of Arabia, waiting for me in glorious high definition this weekend, thanks to the techie bods at Sky.

When Sky isn't being taken to the high court for daring to pull Lost from Virgin Media's cable channels, it's been busy adding new functions to its HD service.

Called Sky Anytime, it's a way to get you watching TV that might pass you by in the blizzard of shows contained in the electronic programme guide.

Some people have described it as video-on-demand, but it isn’t really. What happens is that the Sky HD box record shows overnight from a line-up chosen by Sky, ready for you to watch when you've got time. Nothing you've personally taped gets wiped to make way for these programmes -- the Anytime recordings don't use up any of the space you normally use for your shows.

This is because Sky split the 320GB hard disk inside its HD box into two sections when it first sold it -- a 160GB part you can use to record normal TV on and another bit of the same size for the Anytime stuff.

You get a cross-section of some of the best stuff on Sky from the movies, documentary and entertainment channels, including loads of lovely HD content that you might of missed.

Some of the programmes look great, like the Lawrence film, some not so great, like That's So Raven, but it'll do until Sky launches its proper video-on-demand service. When that happens, hopefully it will add an option to turn Anytime off, so you can use the full 320GB on the hard disk for personal recordings.

But what I really need now is more time to watch all the great telly my Sky box is discovering for me.