Sky Digibox - the new look

The new style of Digibox.
This image is a screenshot taken from a PDF document that I was sent - scaled down a little to better fit an average 800x600 display. I notice the date of this document. My birthday. Cool!

The document is a brief overview that is mostly devoid of any useful information. I can tell you:

Thoughts? Well, it seems companies are more and more looking to make their hardware look good instead of looking boring. Let's face it, the Pace BSkyB 2500B looks like the Pace MSS200 and like any number of late-90's video recorders. There's a width (about 14 inches) and a colour (dark grey, sometimes 'graphite fleck' effect) and loads of people designed hardware to fit into this scheme.
Enter the new millennium, where DVDs players are tiny flat silver things and the Sky Digibox looks sexy. Yes, I'm sorry, call me a sucker or a sell-out, but I actually really like this design. I especially like the idea of the variable-brightness Sky logo - it exudes style in a way not unlike the soothing pulsating of the Wanadoo Livebox.

If nothing else, Sky has certainly come up with an innovative solution to those people that shove the Digibox into a cabinet and pile VCRs and DVD recorders on top of it (people, please, if you must do this, rig up fans to keep it cool). You can't pile things on top of this unit.
But this brings with it a question - where would you place this Digibox? On top of the pile? It is ironic that we still have the phrase "set top box", given that many TVs these days aren't big enough to sit a baby cactus on, never mind an actual STB!

Sadly the documentation says nothing about the I/O or the processor or additional features contained within this new design, so I cannot comment at all upon the operational aspects. This is probably not within Sky's current mind-set, but wouldn't it be totally cool if it had some sort of card reader (as in CF or SD cards) from which it could play DivX or the like?
If Sky play their cards right, they could evolve the Digibox into an all-in-one digital television centre - catering for DVD media (with an add-on), DTT (integrated), and the expected satellite functionality.
From a personal point of view, I'd drool loads if it had serial or USB that allowed access to the interactive content (news stories, embedded pictures, or even the raw videotext stream) because my computer was a lot more effective at searching for items of interest in teletext that I was; it could do the same thing again for videotext - simply by snarfing the lot, extracting interesting stories (by keywords and history) and reformatting them into OvationPro or HTML for me to scroll through.

Now, scroll back up to the top of the page. Okay, it might look a little bit like something you'd expect to see an alien piloting - but tell me that having that in your living room wouldn't be impressive?
It looks good. And as any car advert will tell you (especially the sweetie in the Renault adverts, mmmmm), looks matter and this looks the part.

PS: If you are wondering about the colour scheme of this page... colours related to the new design Digibox!


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Copyright © 2006 Richard Murray