Sky technology boosts profits

Despite being one of the toughest economic years in living memory BSkyB continue to deliver good results. First quarter results published this week have prompted a 50% rise in share price.

People are cutting back on their luxury spends, less retail splurge, staycations, no more nights out etc and putting money into home entertainment, benefits that can be shared with the whole family. Competitive nay aggressive pricing and one of the industry leading Direct Mail campaigns of the year have seen an extra 94,000 people take up the offer of a dish and digibox combo.

People are staring to want and understand High Definition. The BBC Natural History’s eye candy, premier sports and and influx of high resolution US dramas, mixed with local content make the technology a more and more viable commercial proposition. Even though Ofcom may require the selling on of content at wholesale prices in the future for now it’s a nice little earner.

The ace in the hole is Sky’s work developing practical 3D television. Almost under the radar they’ve been beavering away perfecting an economic version of a technology that once was the exclusive province of poor sequels and schlock horror. Developed in tandem with Sky HD it extends its capabilities considerably, yes you still have to wear glasses but they’re in phase rather than green and red. Slightly Jarvis Cocker-esque they’re either geek or chiq. Thankfully not to heavy but over prescription glasses (yes I confess I’ve had a sneak peak at some test footage) they can be taxing after a while.

I’d like the content to be available in both 2D and 3D formats in one picture, so you can slip the glasses on for the extra effect. Not every programme needs to be in 3D, I don’t need to be attacked by Huw Edwards’ ties or feel that I’m falling onto the weather map. There are things that they’ve already started exploiting in HD (sports/nature) that can benefit from 3D and enhance the viewing experience. Whether footballers and sharks can be persuaded to dive towards the camera on cue remains to be seen.

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