Sky Deutschland launches Sky Plus, plans to expand HD offer

German pay-TV operator Sky Deutschland plans to expand its line-up of HD services this year as part of its efforts to drive take-up of pay-TV services. Sky also launched a new DVR service based on NDS’s XTV technology this week.

New CEO Brian Sullivan told the ANGA Cable congress this morning in Cologne that Sky Deutschland planned to launch three new HD channels in August. “HD is the first key differentiator,” said Sullivan. He said that it was important for Sky to deliver true HD services rather than upconverted standard definition TV.

Sullivan said it was “unlikely” that Sky would launch any further SD services without a complementary HD version of the channel also being available.

Sky has also launched a new Sky Plus DVR service based on NDS’s technology. The operator’s existing DVR services were based on retail platforms.

“DVRs are a game changer in terms of customer satisfaction,” said Sullivan. A cable version of the Sky Plus service will be launched within a few months.

The new service will allow Sky Deutschland to provide its own Flash-based DVR EPG using NDS middleware and XTV software.