EPG v8 / R-Series EPGs
INTRODUCED: APRIL 2009 (OpenTV 1.3), DISCONTINUED: OCTOBER 2010 (OpenTV 1.3)
INTRODUCED: OCTOBER 2010 (R-Series)
AVAILABILITY: COMMON (ON THOMSON DSI8215)
By 2007, Sky's EPG was dated, with the same basic system being in use for almost nine years at the time. Compared to the newly formed Virgin Media service, Sky's EPG was starting to lag behind in features. Sky were planning to add a pull-based VOD service (Anytime+) for a while, and realised that the current EPG just could not work with the amount of content that would be available on it. Still based off of the same OpenTV 1.x core that the older EPGs utilised, Sky released a complete redesign of the Sky EPG for all Sky+HD units in 2009.
EPG v8 Versions
Sky+8.3.2 was the largest redesign of the Sky software at the time, first released to Thomson DSI8215 boxes. This is the final software release for the Thomson box.
Soon after, the Pace, Amstrad and Samsung HD units also joined in on the update, with them recieving the 8.4.0 update.
In October 2010, Sky took a major new direction in their EPG development, by switching out the OpenTV-based middleware used since 1998 for open-source Unix-based firmware to add support for network connections and Sky Anytime+ pull VOD. Due to technical limitations, the Thomson DSI8215 missed out on the move to Unix.
Early Unix-based firmwares were largely similar in visual appearance to the previous OpenTV 1.32 based firmwares, with the notable addition of networking capabilities, and Sky's pull-VOD Anytime+.
This release is largely similar in visual appearance to R004, however, notably 'Anytime+' was renamed to 'On Demand'. Compared to R003, this firmware bought a significant improvement in visual clarity, and added an extra two channels to the EPG listing pages.
The gap between R006 and R010 bought major changes for the Sky+HD platform, including introducing enhanced searching, Dolby Digital over HDMI and a new visual scheme for the EPG as a whole, including the Sky+ homepage introduced in R009.
The main R011 update was introduced in 2015, however for the Sky DRX595, several stability updates were rolled out, the last being in 2017. Notable features of this update include additional accessibility improvements, such as high contrast.