When I first heard about this service from the UK Digital Satellite Television provider Sky, I was very excited by the prospect. Downloading full length films through your PC on demand and then streaming them to my Xbox 360 using Windows Media Center Edition gave me goosebumps, however after having a go I am far from impressed.
Firstly logging in. Using the Xbox 360 requires the use of the Windows Media Center remote control, which is fiddly for entering the username and password. Entering the information in once is fine, but the system doesn’t remember on subsequent visits which makes life very tedious.
Using Windows Media Video Compression which I really like, although the resolution choice of 540×432 is far too low and the bit-rate of 860kbps is just silly for movie content. I would hope for at least 1.5mbps and then maybe it would be spot on.
I do have Sky+, which is a 40gb Digital TV recorder which is quite frankly superb, but Sky by Broadband really needs extra effort to convince anyone seriously to use it. I expected a lot better and instead I was left with a very lack lustre effort. On the bright side though, with some better bit-rates for the movie content and software improvements, it could still turn into a very useful way of viewing movies.