The Sky Player software has arrived in Windows 7's Media Center, providing live and on-demand television services.

The Sky Player was the surprise accouncement on the Windows 7 launch day. back in October, and has taken over a month to arrive in the Media Center software.

The interface will be instantly familiar to owners of the Xbox 360 console, who've had access to the Sky Player for the past few weeks.

Existing Sky customers can take advantage of the library of on-demand video, allowing them to catch-up on channels that are included in their subscription package. Customers with multiroom or Sky's premium broadband service can also watch live channels through the Windows 7 Media Center.

Non-Sky customers will have to dip into their pockets and choose from one of the myriad subscription schemes if they wish to use the software.

Picture quality

The Windows 7 Sky Player worked smoothly in our brief tests. Streams started within only a couple of seconds on our (admittedly fast) office connection, although the picture quality is sub-TV standard, with fast-moving football suffering particularly badly. There are no HD streaming/downloading options, as with the BBC iPlayer.

Oddly, the picture quality on the live channels, such as Sky News, seemed higher than the on-demand content.

The menus are smartly designed, with content categorised by both genre and channel. As with the regular Media Center, a small in-vision window in the bottom left of the screen shows you what's currently playing.

There is no option to download the programmes in the Sky Player, meaning users will have to be within range of a decent broadband to benefit.

source: pcpro

Harish
www.harishzone.com