Pushing boundaries

At Sky, we believe in innovating both on and off the screen. It's not just about the choice of programming that customers can watch – it's also about constantly improving the way they can watch it.

That's why, this year, we've made it possible to watch more of our programmes in high definition and added a new dimension to television by bringing 3D into our customers' homes.

And it's why new services like Sky Anytime+ and Sky Go are making it possible for customers to watch what they want, when they want, where they want.

Setting the pace of change

Sky has set the pace of change ever since we revolutionised British television by introducing satellite broadcasting back in 1989. Along the way, we've found that continuous change doesn't just help keep existing customers satisfied, it also creates new reasons for people to join Sky and take more products from us.

One of those reasons has been our digital video recorder, Sky+. For ten years, it has been allowing viewers to take control of their TV experience and, like all the best innovations, it is incredibly simple to use. Today, more than 8 million of our homes use Sky+ to control their viewing – and between them they use Sky+ a billion times a month. If you added all that viewing together and thought of it as a channel in its own right, it would be the most popular channel on the entire Sky platform.

Another reason for our growth is HD. When HD was first introduced, some were sceptical that it would ever take-off. But we saw substantial potential for our customers to enjoy a higher quality viewing experience and for us to establish a new source of growth for our business. That was why we took the decision to invest early and lead the HD revolution.

Today, more than 3.8 million customers have upgraded to our HD service and the technology is widely regarded as a new standard for quality. As demand for HD continues to grow, we've continued to improve our market-leading service by introducing more HD content. There are now more than 50 HD channels available to Sky customers – far more than on any other platform.

Sky Anytime+ opens up a library of TV on demand

Sky Anytime+ opens up a library of TV on demand

Sky+HD offers more than 50 HD channels

Sky+HD offers more than 50 HD channels

A new dimension in television

Following the success of HD, we're now taking a similar approach with 3D. One of the many great things about the Sky+HD box is that it is 3D-ready. And in October, we launched Europe's first 3D channel into customers' homes.

As well as bringing 3D movies like Avatar and the Toy Story trilogy from the big screen to the small screen, we're also producing more of our own 3D content. We've now covered over 120 live sports events in 3D and our technological capability was one reason why UEFA chose Sky Sports as the host broadcaster for the Champions League Final in May 2011. We've also applied our skills in 3D production to the world's first live 3D opera: the ENO's production of Lucrezia Borgia, directed by Mike Figgis. And there was another first this summer as we broadcast the world's first 3D music festival live from the Isle of Wight. This followed on from a spectacular 3D broadcast of Kylie's Aphrodite tour at the O2.

Equally, our commitment to pushing boundaries in 3D opened up the opportunity to work for the first time with Sir David Attenborough, a distinguished broadcaster with a track record of using new technology. Sir David worked with us to produce the natural history documentary, Flying Monsters 3D, which became the first 3D programme to win a BAFTA Television Award. And he has a number of other exciting projects in the pipeline for Sky 3D.

Technical trials for the launch of Sky’s 3D channel

Technical trials for the launch of Sky's 3D channel

Lucrezia Borgia, Sky 3D

Lucrezia Borgia, Sky 3D

Toy Story 3, Sky 3D

Toy Story 3, Sky 3D

Anytime, anywhere

Of course, innovation isn't just about making the picture quality better. People increasingly want to be able to watch their favourite programmes when and where it suits them. And we have to make sure we can meet those expectations.

Following on from the success of Sky+, we've launched Sky Anytime+, our brand new video on demand service allowing customers to access a library of TV on demand at no extra monthly cost, including box sets and movies to watch whenever they like. It takes advantage of Sky's state-of-the-art broadband network, which is well suited to delivering high-bandwidth video services to Sky+HD boxes.

We're also providing more convenience beyond the living room by connecting customers to our content wherever they are. This summer, we launched Sky Go, which allows customers to watch their favourite channels on their laptops, tablets and smartphones. And, following our acquisition this year of the leading public Wi-Fi network, The Cloud, customers will soon be able to enjoy easy access to our content on the move at thousands of hotspots across the UK.

We're also taking advantage of new platforms and devices to offer a different kind of content experience. Sky is a leader in mobile content, with four of our apps featuring in the UK's 20 most popular. Our Sky+ app provides customers with the Sky Electronic Programme Guide in their pocket, allowing them to remotely send Sky+ recording requests to their boxes at home.

Earlier this year, we launched our most ambitious app yet: Sky News for iPad. Designed specifically to make the most of the iPad's functionality, the app gives users a new way to get their news by mixing live and on-demand video with expert analysis and rich interactive graphics. It all makes for unprecedented control and flexibility that allows users to fully immerse themselves in the stories they choose. So far, it has been downloaded 300,000 times.

Sky is now enjoyed on a range of devices

Sky is now enjoyed on a range of devices

Sky is now enjoyed on a range of mobile apps

Sky offers a range of mobile apps

The launch of Sky Go, summer 2011

The launch of Sky Go, summer 2011

Flying Monsters 3D, Sky 3D

Flying Monsters 3D, Sky 3D