How will the Sky Player sit alongside the likes of the Zune Video service?

Xbox spokesman: "They will both be on the box, but will sit alongside each other. It will be very obvious what is the Sky player and the branding is clear."

Jerry Johnson: "I think it comes down to choice. When a user turns on the box the thing they will see is Sky and that resonates with them; they understand what that means in terms of the breadth of content and the quality of content."

Adrian Pilkington: "The Sky brand is about aggregating the best possible content around. Sky is in the best position to bring the best content possible and we've got to be confident with that."

Xbox interactive features on premiership football

Will Sky Player be exclusive to Xbox?

Almost certainly not in the long term, but it's likely to be some time before it hits the likes of the PS3.

Stephen Nuttall: "So we – Microsoft and Sky – are very focused on making this an enormous success this autumn and working together to deliver a great project.

"To be honest we're kind of neutral about how people access our content and don't feel we should proscribe how people should be watching Sky. Our job is just to give people options."

So what is this social aspect we keep seeing advertised?

Sky Player on Xbox is boosted by the arrival of a virtual front room in which you can watch streaming television with up to seven of your Xbox friends (if they have subscriptions).

Sky player - avatar room

You can flick in and out of the full screen, communicate via the Xbox headsets, type messages and - amusingly - get your avatars to emote.

The service is available on any of the live channels.

"I admit I was initially sceptical, but now I've been completely sold," said Parry. "The way it was explained to me was that this is established behaviour in the Xbox community.

"Historically television has been a communal experience, but over time, with more televisions per household and things like that, it has become atomised. Things like this bring it back together again."

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Liked this? Then check out Interview: How Sky 3D is drawing closer

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