Sky’s new ‘On-Demand Box’ combines cable TV and streaming

By Crista Quintos

Cable operator Sky unveiled on Thursday, Oct. 18, its new On-Demand Box (ODB) which offers HD cable TV and streaming from Netflix, YouTube, and its own online streaming service for subscribers.

The first of its kind, the Sky said the On-Demand Box adapts to the new needs of its users by putting effort into the entertainment needs of all subscribers. The box works by turning any television into a smart TV that gives its users access to the Web using Sky’s integrated applications.

“Online viewing is gaining ground in the Philippines given the growing Internet penetration over the past three years. However, research shows that Filipinos still enjoy watching content on TV, whether it be for legacy delivery of TV programs from cable boxes or steamed via the Internet. It is still an enjoyable family bonding activity. The new Sky On-Demand box simplifies this viewing experience of Filipinos by enabling content preferences to be accessible on TV just using one device,” said Claudia Suarez, Sky business unit head of consumer product group.

Besides access to cable and online streaming services, Sky also provides easy access to a subscriber’s account information, including payment details and updates. Additionally, the Sky On-Demand Box also has a built-in TV guide along with a picture-in-picture (PIP) function.

The PIP function enables its users to monitor a different channel on a smaller screen, while watching another channel on the TV. This feature lets subscribers mirror the television, and also lets them watch two different shows at the same time.

Users can also record multiple shows that they want to catch up on based on the time of the showing, the multi-function personal video recorder (PVR) gives subscribers the opportunity to record video of TV shows and movies when they are away from home.

The Sky Box also has a mobile application that is available on both iOS and Android that allows its users to have their phone in place of a remote control. The application also gives its users access to the mirroring screen mode, as well as access to the same cable and streaming that’s on the television.

In addition to these features, the application also gives users a private listening mode which allows users to plug earphones into their phone and watch on their television if they don’t want the sound of the television on, but still want to catch up on their favorite shows.

The Sky On-Demand Box is initially available in Metro Manila, but the company is looking to expand the service nationwide in the next few months or so. New users and subscribers can purchase the box for a one-time fee as low as P1,999.

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