XBox 360 Sky Player floored by demand ?
It looks as if the XBox 360 and the new Sky Player that runs on the platform has attracted too much interest in its first week of existence. This has lead to Sky adding the message "Following an unpredicted technical issue at launch on Tuesday, the Sky Player on Xbox 360 service was suspended." on the Sky Player page. This highlights the problems of offering TV over a broadband infrastructure, i.e. it is not just the issue of contention but getting scaling of servers and other facilities ready. The suggestions are that the problem arose due to unexpectedly high demand for the service.
Greg Howson on The Guardian Games Blog has written about his experience of the new service, with the summary being when it worked it was impressive. From watching the publicity material it seems the avatar mode where people using the XBox 360 can join each other in a 'theatre' to watch a programme may prove popular for the football fans out there, though surely most people will simply go around to their mates house.
The price of the service looks confusing at the moment, with a dozen lines of fairly small print text setting out the various offers. Basically if you have Sky Broadband Unlimited or Sky TV Multiroom then the Live TV channels are free. If you have Sky TV but no Multiroom subscription you pay £9.75 a month for the basic channels. Non-Sky customers pay £15 a month. The offer running at present is that the Multiroom rate is reduced to 2/3rd's if you sign up for a three month subscription. Various packages are available with the bill rising to £50 a month if you take sports, movies and ESPN - a basic movies package costs £24 a month. Don't forget to add the monthly cost of the XBox Live Gold subscription.
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