Arts & Leisure

SkyCable launches multi-screen capability on VOD service

Posted on December 01, 2015

LOCAL CABLE SERVICE provider, SKY Cable Corp., has introduced multi-screen capabilities to its existing video-on-demand (VOD) service, exclusive to its subscribers.

Initially launched in February of this year, the service functioned as an update to its digibox service where subscribers can -- upon coming home -- watch the shows they might have missed that day (or those they want to see again) on their television sets by connecting to an internet connection with at least 3 mbps speed.

Now, subscribers can use their mobile devices to watch live TV shows (depending on their subscription plan) and select local and foreign films, though they do need to connect to a SKY Broadband internet connection or SKY Mobi (wireless internet service).

If not connected to a SKY Broadband connection, a user can only access select channels such as ABS-CBN and other channels in its network.

The films can also only be accessed by subscribing to the Premium Pack at P199/month.

“What spurred Sky [Cable Corp.] to get into this business is the realization that we also sell broadband, and because of the growth of the internet and the changing behavior of people, management realized that this is one space that Sky has to be in, in terms of platform for our content,” Jerome Y. Almirante, SkyCable vice-president for digital and Over-the-Top business, told the press during a conference on Nov. 23 at the ABS-CBN building in Quezon City.

Joevel Rivera, vice-president and head for business development of SKY Cable Corp., told BusinessWorld before the program that they will be offering HD versions of some programs on Sky on demand eight hours after first airing on TV, while standard definition versions of the episode can be viewed on Sky on Demand up to four hours after first airing on television. It is to be noted that he said not all of the shows will have HD versions.

He added that since SkyCable is the cable and broadband arm of ABS-CBN, the service’s library will be offering many of the films and series from the local TV network’s library such as late action star Fernando Poe, Jr.’s films.

“We focus on quality over quantity,” Mr. Rivera remarked when describing the content of the company’s growing library, which, according to a press release, contains the most recent episodes of series such as How to Get Away with Murder, X Factor UK, and Blacklist among others. The film library includes titles such as Star Trek, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and How to Train Your Dragon, among others.

Existing subscribers will have to upgrade their current digibox to a SKY on Demand box (with a one-time fee) and download the application on their devices from the Google Play Store or the Apple App store.

Currently, the service can only be accessed using a single mobile device and on a TV set which has the upgraded digibox. One cannot view a show on a tablet and phone, one will be logged out.

“[The update] will help our cable and broadband business, and help us prepare for the future... The growth of the Internet changed how people view content, and most of them would like to view them on different devices,” Mr. Almirante said. -- Zsarlene B. Chua