BSkyB creates interactive menu for Sky Active portal

BSkyB tomorrow relaunches its interactive television service, Sky Active, with a radically overhauled interface, created by the in-house design and development team.

The Sky Active portal, which also gains a refreshed marque, will feature richer, high quality graphics, full-motion video and Internet-style link-based navigation.

According to Gerry O’Sullivan, operations and design director of Sky Interactive, a greater command of the technology has allowed the 20-strong design team more creative freedom.

‘Tricks at the broadcasting and development stage have allowed us to use much richer media in the same bandwidth,’ he explains. ‘From a design point of view, interactivity has so far been quite unsophisticated in terms of using motion, branding and broadcast quality graphics.’

Sky Active commands a weekly reach of around one million viewers, featuring services such as e-mail, SMS messaging, games, shopping and betting.

The overhaul comes almost exactly five years after Sky launched the UK’s first interactive TV service and a spokesman claims that the latest version will herald a new direction in interactive design.

O’Sullivan says the system is a move towards the broadcast quality that viewers instinctively expect from television. ‘The audience has been experiencing full branding designs on television, but not through interactivity. People want a TV channel that they can interact with, rather than a list. We wanted to achieve the personality and engagement that you get with broadcast television.’

Sky Active is available in more than seven million homes which subscribe to Sky Digital.

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