Sky Player brings live and on-demand telly to Windows 7 and Xbox Live

The Sky's the limit for Windows 7 users, as Sky Player brings live and on-demand telly to Windows Media Centre and Xbox Live

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
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.
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Richard Trenholm

Microsoft has signed a deal with Sky to bring live and on-demand telly to Windows 7. Sky Player, Sky's online TV service, will be integrated into Windows Media Center.

The deal follows on the heels of Sky Player's arrival on Xbox Live, which will be officially launched on 27 October.

Sky Player

The interface allows you to search and scroll through programmes and also view the Sky Player guide. We had a play and it seemed slick and responsive, with decent start-up times for on-demand content. Channels include Sky Sports, Sky Movies, Sky News, The History Channel, National Geographic, the BBC, G.O.L.D, Eden, MTV One, ESPN, Sky1, Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. High-definition content is available with BBC HD, but not ITV because of format issues.

Sky Player

If you already have Sky Multiroom or Sky Broadband Unlimited subscriptions, all you need is a Windows 7 PC and a TV tuner and you're good to go. Adding up to eight TV tuners means you'll be able to watch or record up to eight channels simultaneously. Sky customers who don't use Sky Broadband Unlimited or Sky Multiroom can watch live channels by signing up for an online Sky Player multiroom subscription at £5 per month.

If you don't already have a Sky TV subscription, you'll need to get yourself a Base Entertainment Pack, which starts at £15. You then bolt on Sky Sports channels, ESPN and movie channels for an additional cost. This will give you access to on-demand content from the channels you subscribe to.