10 years of Sky+ - the EPGs

Sky+ - a decade on
Sky+ - a decade on

Ten years ago, Sky decided that it was about time it brought a key new bit of kit to its satellite offering, and it could be suggested that the introduction of Sky+ was one of the most pivotal moments in the satellite giant's history.

Sky had established itself as a major force in television through its football and film coverage, but the company was keen to appeal to more and more homes and the decision was taken to introduce its own version of a PVR to the UK.

Now PVRs were nothing new, indeed a partnership with US company TiVo was ended shortly before Sky+ arrived, but as Britain was slowly educated on the way it could pause and rewind live television, set whole series to record at the touch of a button and not have to worry about changing discs or tapes, it became a phenomenon.

Now, to Sky Plus something is a common saying, and the likes of Freeview and Freesat have both leaped on the humble + sign to denote their own PVR offerings.

Here we take a look at the way the episode guide has evolved (very little) in the product's lifetime.

The early years: 2001-2005

Sky+ original home screen

The launch version of the EPG was a simple blue offering, offering a route into the television grid, but with the addition of a personal planner where you could see what you had recorded.

Sky epg 2003

Sky+ dual recordings

Sky+ planner

2005 brought a minor change - with the colours getting a small refresh

2005 sky+

It's surprising just how little Sky had to tweak the UI; the company had introduced a major new technology to the mass market, and, largely got it just right.

But big changes were afoot - and it was technology changes, rather than complaints, that prompted a move to a whole new look and feel.

The HD years

In May 2006, Sky began broadcasting in HD for the first time, but uptake was not quick enough to force a change of EPG, so we were stuck with the now ageing old look for just under another three years.

Then in March 2009, Sky began to roll out the first major change to its Sky+ EPG since its launch, and it saw a complete overhaul.

Sky+ hd

Finally, a mini TV was offered in the menu, and a middle ribbon for getting major options. For convenience the green button remained the planner shortcut and the push Anytime service was on the red button.

Sky tv

Sky tv guide 2009


After 9 years of very little change, we then got a second key change in as many years, as Sky finally rolled in their extended IPTV fed Anytime+ feature.

The on-demand programming was given a whole new look, with a much more graphical offering to make it easier to work your way through the content.


Sky anytime movies

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.