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Sky available online in 2012, no dish required

You'll be able to get full Sky packages without a bowl on the side of your house with a new online service launching in 2012.

Sky is ditching the dish. For the first time, you'll be able to get full Sky packages without a bowl on the side of your house with a new online service launching in the next six months.

Up until now, Sky's online services, such as Sky Go, have acted as catch-up or on-demand add-ons for customers who already have a dish. But while it will continue to beam your TV via satellites, you'll be able to subscribe directly to Sky Sports, Sky Movies and the rest without sending a man up a ladder on the side of your house.

Sky has clearly seen the writing on the wall in terms of opening up TV across as many platforms as possible. BBC iPlayer's record viewing figures show just how popular online and mobile viewing is, Netflix has just lobbed a hand grenade into the online streaming market, and Sky Go gets up to 3 million viewers during big Premier League games. So it's definitely time for Sky to catch that wave of people who want premium programming but don't want a dish.

Just today, Sky also announced that Sky Go lands on Android phones and tablets in February. Android owners will soon be able to watch Sky 1, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1. 

Sky is bringing BBC iPlayer to Sky Anytime+ this year, and offers Sky Anytime on Virgin Media. And it's gone all-in for apps such as Sky remote control and Sky News.

The new online service hasn't been named and there's no details of pricing, but Sky has confirmed it will offer pay as you go options, or you can pay on a month-by-month basis whenever you feel like it. And the service will ditch the dish very soon, launching in the first half of 2012.

Is this the biggest development in Sky's history since it nailed up its first dish to the side of someone's house, back in 1990? Are you tempted by Sky without the dish? Dish in the comments or on our dishy Facebook page.