Sky Ireland

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For a wider corporate history and profile, see Sky plc.
Sky Ireland
Type Pay TV, Broadband and Phone
Country Ireland
Availability Satellite
Slogan Believe in Better
Broadcast area
Ireland
Parent Sky plc
Official website
www.sky.com/ireland

Sky Ireland is a telecommunications company which serves Ireland.[1][2]

Its corporate headquarters are based in Dublin which were opened by Taoiseach Enda Kenny on 18 January, 2013.[2] Sky Ireland provides customers in Ireland with digital television channels. Sky have launched their broadband in Ireland with packages varying from €40 to €57.50 per month and speeds of up to 100Mbps. Sky's broadband services have no cap and are unlimited.[3]

Sky Ireland is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sky plc.

History[edit]

  • Sky previously operated an Irish version of Sky News.
  • In 1998 Sky Digital launched its digital television services within Ireland.
  • Sky Ireland provides opt-out feeds of key Sky television channels which includes Sky1, Sky Sports, Sky News and Sky Atlantic.
  • As of January 2013: The company has 500 workers that work from its contact centre with a possible increase of 1,000 by year end. BSkyB chief executive Jermey Darroch announced on 18 January, 2013 that Sky Ireland will invest a further €1 billion over the next five years in Ireland.[4]
  • As of September 2013: Sky Ireland now employ 800 people at its Dublin base. Sky Ireland have confirmed they expect to invest €1.25 billion with expansion into the Irish market with Irish specific productions and further expansion of its existing Irish telecommunications company.[5]
  • In October 2013 Sky Ireland Launched the On Demand service to its Irish customers.
  • December 2013 Sky launched Ireland's biggest Catch-up TV Service.

Broadcasting[edit]

Transmission[edit]

When Sky Digital was launched in 1998 the new service used the Astra 2A satellite which was located at the 28.5°E orbital position, unlike the analogue service which was broadcast from 19.2°E. This was subsequently followed by more Astra satellites as well as Eutelsat's Eurobird 1 (now Eutelsat 28A) at 28.5°E), enabled the company to launch a new all-digital service, Sky, with the potential to carry hundreds of television and radio channels.[6] The old position was shared with broadcasters from several European countries, while the new position at 28.5°E came to be used almost exclusively for channels that broadcast to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

New Astra satellites joined the position in 2000 and 2001, and the number of channels available to customers increased accordingly. This trend continued with the launch of Eurobird 1 (now Eutelsat 28A) in 2001. Additionally, some channels occasionally received new numbering — However, in early 2006, the majority of channels received new numbering, with some receiving single digit changes, whilst others received new numbers entirely.

Sky is currently transmitted from the Astra satellites located at 28.2° east (2A/2C/2E/2F) and Eutelsat's Eutelsat 28A satellite at 28.5°E.

Standard definition broadcasts[edit]

Sky's standard definition broadcasts are in DVB-compliant MPEG-2, with the Sky Movies and Sky Box Office channels including optional Dolby Digital soundtracks for recent films, although these are only accessible with a Sky+ box. Sky+ HD material is broadcast using MPEG-4 and most of the HD material uses the DVB-S2 standard. Interactive services and 7-day EPG use the proprietary OpenTV system, with set-top boxes including modems for a return path. Sky News, amongst other channels, provides a pseudo-video on demand interactive service by broadcasting looping video streams.

Digital satellite receivers[edit]

Sky Ireland utilises the VideoGuard pay-TV scrambling system owned by NDS, a Cisco Systems company. There are tight controls over use of VideoGuard decoders; they are not available as stand-alone DVB CAMs (conditional-access modules). BSkyB has design authority over all digital satellite receivers capable of receiving their service. The receivers, though designed and built by different manufacturers, must conform to the same user interface look-and-feel as all the others. This extends to the Personal video recorder (PVR) offering (branded Sky+).

Electronic programme guide[edit]

Technology[edit]

Sky maintains an electronic programme guide (EPG) which provides information about upcoming programmes and a list of channels. Channels available on Sky are assigned a three digit logical channel number which can be entered on a remote control to access the channel and determines in what order channels are listed.

The EPG in Ireland gives priority to Irish channels. All channels are grouped into categories depending on their content. What section of the EPG a channel gets allocated is determined by rules set up by Sky Ireland.

Sky Ireland has no veto over the presence of channels on their EPG. Any channel which can get carriage on a suitable beam of a satellite at 28° East is entitled to access to Sky's EPG for a fee. Third-party channels which opt for encryption receive discounts ranging from reduced price to free EPG entries, free carriage on a Sky leased transponder, or actual payment for being carried. However, even in this case, Sky does not carry any control over the channel's content or carriage issues such as picture quality.

In October 2007, Sky's parent company Sky plc (then BSkyB) announced that they would not accept new applications to launch channel on their EPG, citing "very significant memory constraints" on many of its older digiboxes.[7]

In June 2012, Sky Ireland launched a new EPG for Sky+ HD boxes. The update boasts a new modernised look and improved functionality.

Sky Ireland EPG[edit]

The Sky EPG lists all channels carried on the Sky platform. Many channels are free, others are available only with a subscription.

Sky Ireland Channels[edit]

This list indicates Sky owned channels with an opt-out feed for the Irish market.

Restrictions[edit]

Sky subscribers in Ireland have a different choice of channels compared its other European counterparts. The standard Irish channels RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, TV3, TG4 and 3e are available to all Irish subscribers. Irish channels are also available on satellite using Saorsat.[8] Free to air channels like the ITV and the Channel 5 family of channels, can only be tuned via the Other Channels section.[9]

Sky Ireland Broadband[edit]

In February 2013 BSkyB launched its broadband and telephone product in Ireland, and have made significant headway into the Irish market as one of the few providers offering 'triple play' (Phone, broadband and digital TV)to the public. As Sky Plc Irish offering of broadband and phone is made via the existing telephone network (LLU and non-LLU), it is widely available. In Ireland, Sky Plc operates under the identity of Sky Ireland with its headquarters in Dublin. Sky Ireland as of 26 December 2014 have launched Fiber Broadband of up to 100mbs

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]