Sky have done a lot over recent years to keep up with technology from recording shows to downloading and now they have gone one step more. In order to keep up with competition such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, Sky have released a new product called Sky Q. They have called it “the biggest reimagining of Sky in our history” which are pretty big words.
What is it?
Sky Q won’t change the content that you watch as there are no new and exclusive channels but it will change how you watch. It is an improved blend of live and on-demand content, challenging Netflix and Amazon Prime. Sky Q challenges these rivals with a new UI and 4K content support along with advanced on-demand options and improved cross-device and offline viewing. It will also include additional ‘Mini’ set-top boxes and tablet apps which will let households enjoy both live and on-demand viewing across three TVs and two tablets simultaneously. If that wasn’t enough the ‘Sky Q Sync’ feature will allow you take most of your recordings out of the house for viewing on the go.
Recording shows has changed too. Ever been frustrated with recording clashes? The service lets you watch and record multiple shows, across multiple devices simultaneously. On the main Sky Q box you can record four live broadcasts while you watch a fifth. That’s not including the content that you can view on the tablets or ‘Minis’ around the house too.
The many differnet ways of watching will be in unison too. If you are watching something in the living room and pause it you can pick up where you left off on another device.
How does it Look?
The Sky Q UI features an image-led interface. With a list of options such as Recordings and TV Guide on the left of the screen, the right-hand side has lots of pictures attracting you to different content. This is different from the current text heavy interface and it is the same across all platforms. 4K is becoming a huge deal and Sky Q will have this ready for users to enjoy.
Has the Hardware Changed Too?
There’s a new box which is roughly half of the size of the existing Sky+ box which has 12 tuners and 2TB of internal storage. That’s five times more space than today’s standard HD box! Say goodbye to the outside dish too as the new service features a connected set-top box that syncs to your new home system. The remote has changed too with new touch controls and an integrated mic for voice searches. This is only for the main box though as the Mini boxes will come with a different remote.
How Much Will it Cost?
Okay so here’s the sting in the tail. Your monthly Sky bill will go up if you sign up to Sky Q. The subscription will apparently set viewers back £12 more a month than the Sky+ HD package. Sky Q prices will start at £42 per month with a £99 install charge. This cost is just the basic model. The next model up called the Sky Q silver bundle which adds more storage and 4K support (amongst other things) will be £54 per month and installation. If you then select movies, sports etc. then your monthly bill will keep going up.
There is a positive here however. Apparently, the more you add the more you will save. If you are on a Sky+ HD package that has everything it will cost you £87 a month. If you get the full Sky Q package it will cost £88.50 so there’s only £1.50 difference, if you can afford that!
When Will it be Released?
Sky Q will be here sooner than you think. Tomorrow (9th February) will see the release of the new product but it won’t be installed in homes until “the end of the month”.