sky+hdSky has confirmed rumours that it will launch an advanced on-screen guide for Sky HD and newer Sky+ boxes in 2008.
The key elements will be new top-level and genre menus, a “mini TV” viewer and an advanced programme search engine.

The news was announced to broadcasters this week, and may pave the way for Sky to beat the current limit on the number of channels its guide can hold.
It’s the first change the Sky Guide’s basic structure since it was launched in 1999. A Sky spokesman said: “Sky’s HD set top boxes, and some new Sky+ set top boxes, have more processing power than digiboxes and older models of Sky+.
“Sky now plans to replace the EPG software used by these more capable set top boxes. The new EPG software will have a different look and feel, and some different functionality.”

The current four top-level menus will be replaced with 10, which users can scroll through from left to right – and though you won’t able to see them all at once, you’ll be able to jump to them using number shortcuts.
The new top-level menus will be: TV Guide, Planner, Anytime, Box Office, Interactive, Search, Parental Control, Options and Settings.
Selecting TV Guide will access a horizontal-scrolling list of genre tabs, which then give access to the main channel listings.

Users can also choose to have a mini TV displayed in the upper right corner at one-eighth size, which will change if they select a different channel on the EPG.
With mini TV, you’ll be able to see six channels per page, without it you’ll be able to see 12 channels, with the two-hour display and browsing controls maintained from the current guide.
However on radio and interactive menus there will be 12 or 24 items per page (with or without mini TV), so you can scroll through much faster.

When you make a recording, the series link option will be automatically offered if it’s available, and a new search form will let you enter up to 10 letters or choose from a particular programme genre or sub-genre.
Search results will also cover a full seven days, and will list multiple showings (like The Simpsons) as one result, which you can then select to see more details – unless they’re on different channels.
Finally, the Search & Scan banner will offer synopsis information for any programme you browse to, not just the current programme, and it will show the start time of the programme you’re watching.

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By Expat