BSkyB is reportedly planning a major overhaul of its set-top box, with cloud storage and support for 4K content said to be key selling points.
The company wants to address the threat to its business posed by Amazon, Apple, and Google, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
On the new set-top box – which is codenamed Project Ethan – anything recorded would be stored in the cloud rather than on a hard drive. This would give customers much more space to store films and TV shows.
They could then access all their content on smartphones, tablets, or smart TVs in other rooms of the house that aren't connected to the Sky box.
For both recorded and on-demand shows, customers would also be able to pause TV and resume watching on another device.
Sky has also trialled 4K broadcasts – which have four times as many pixels as HD shows – using its existing satellite infrastructure. So it's highly likely the new set-top boxes would be 4K-enabled.
According to sources, the new technology could be ready in two years' time.
Project Ethan is being led by Andrew Olson, BSkyB's director of product development. Olson was previously chief operating officer of Comcast's converged products group, where he oversaw a similar service that's already come to market.
Amazon recently unveiled its Fire TV set-top box, and has been aggressively pushing its Prime Instant Video service (formerly known as LoveFilm). Apple is also thought to be readying an assault on the lounge, with a possible TV set or next-generation version of its Apple TV set-top box waiting in the wings.
Source Sunday Telegraph