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New Sky EPG 2012 – Should you let your customers loose on your betas?

New Sky EPG 2012 – Should you let your customers loose on your betas?

You’ve planned your new digital strategy to the nth degree, set your developers away on their task and they return with a beta. How comfortable would you be in letting the public loose on your ‘work in progress’? Are you ready to follow BSkyB’s lead?

Sky+HD’s new TV guide now boasts an 8-channel HD view and makes use of a richer colour palette.

Anytime+ brings a wealth of downloadable content to
subscribers who connect their box to broadband.

The new Sky+HD EPG makes better use of genres and content types to organise content.

It’s a brave company who exposes their pre-release software to the general public so kudos to BSkyB – they’ve long tested new set-top box software with willing employees and, in recent years, through their internet support forums have opened up the ‘testing’ (albeit a little further down the line) to a much larger ‘opt-in’ group.

Following a post on Sky’s community forums a week ago, today willing participants received an over-the-air download of the latest beta software – Picasso – and are urged to feedback their comments via a closed forum.

The update itself, though largely cosmetic, is mooted to pave the way for further service improvements later in the year.

Benefits include a speed boost when browsing TV guide data and “quick links” to different types of content. There’s also greater use made of programme genres to aid navigation and clearer flagging of content included in your subscription as opposed to rentals. Sky have provided testers with a list of known issues and state their aim is to garner “honest, constructive feedback”.

Would your organisation and your development team be quite so brave? Are you ready to let the public peek behind the curtain? Is their feedback worth the potential pain? It’s certainly worth thinking about when you next embark on a big project…

Addendum – It’s now been some weeks since we first got our hands on the trial software and Sky have recently updated the software yet again – read our updated post on the 2012 Sky EPG for more details.

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