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Sky+ gets new look planner and TV guide

Sky has redesigned the onscreen Sky+ TV guide to make it easier to sort shows and find what you want to watch.

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Richard Trenholm
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
Richard Trenholm
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Your Sky+ is getting a new look. Sky has redesigned the onscreen TV guide to make it easier to sort shows and find what you want to watch.

The spruced-up electronic programme guide -- that's EPG if you're in a hurry, and like rhyming -- will appear on your Sky+ box during the course of this year. Small aesthetic changes include high-definition graphics, slightly different colours and fonts, and translucent banners.

You also get an update to the full-screen guide, with the number of channels on each page increased to eight from six. Programmes are now divided into what Sky is calling genres -- entertainment, movies, sports, news, documentaries, kids or music -- although I'd argue they're categories, not genres. I'd love a proper genre search on my telly -- like the one you get on Netflix, for example -- so when I'm in the mood for a Western I can rope one pronto.

But I digress. The categories then have a landing page of shortcuts to different types of viewing. You can see shows of your selected type on now in the regular channels, or shows that can be rented on demand from Sky Anytime and Sky Anytime+. And you can search for specific shows across the TV guide, on demand and the planner within that genre.

Another handy option is to see what you've recorded split up by category. So instead of a long list you see just the movies, sport or kids' stuff you have taped.

The new face of Sky will land on your Sky+HD boxes by the end of the year, unless you have a Thomson box. The update will start with Sky+HD 890 and 895 boxes this month, arriving on Sky+HD 780 boxes and boxes made by Pace and Samsung after that.

What do you think of Sky's new look? Are there any features you'd like to borrow from other TV systems? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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