Today, Sky announced a new TV service that will sit alongside their current TV services, Sky+ and NowTV. They call it Sky Q and this will be their premium TV offering that promises to give more flexibility on how you watch your favourite TV shows and movies. At the announcement this morning, they gave an insight into what we can expect from this new service and showcased a new range of hardware to complement it.
The idea behind Sky Q is to enable the customer to view their TV content without constraints, allowing you to record multiple programmes at once, view them back in other rooms on other boxes or mobile devices and it also allows you to seamlessly move between the boxes. You can start watching a programme on one device, pause it and then continue to watch it back from the same point in another room on another box.
To achieve all this, you need to have the new hardware and their new set top box, the Sky Q Silver is their premium set top box that brings this all together.
It is physically half the size of the current Sky+ boxes and has 2TB of storage. Sky’s competitor, Virgin Media offers two channel recording while watching a third which was ahead in the game but finally, Sky have responded and surpassed this with their new offering that allows you to record four channels while watching a fifth. It is also Ultra HD ready and programmes in this format are due to start broadcasting later in 2016. It comes with a newly designed remote which sees a dramatic change in the size, look and feel from the original Sky+ remote. It comes with a touch pad built in and it will also support voice actions in the future.
Sky Q Mini is a box that compliments the Sky Q Silver box and is made for other rooms in your home such as bedrooms, studies etc. It doesn’t need to physically connect to a satellite dish as it connects to your other Sky Q boxes using wireless technology. This gives you great flexibility to move the device to different rooms as and when you need to without the need to route satellite cables to all the rooms in your home.
Sky Q Hub is a device that brings all the Q boxes together. It uses Powerline Ethernet technology and Wi-Fi to give the best connectivity and it has the ability to turn all your Q boxes into Wi-Fi hotspots for your network, giving your home better Wi-Fi coverage for all your devices.
All the Sky Q boxes come with a brand new TV guide and home page. Apps like YouTube and Vevo are also available for the first time on the Sky platform. Not only that, they also allow you to stream your photos from social media and also stream your music to your TV’s sound system using Bluetooth and it also support Apple AirPlay.
Of course there will be a Sky Q app to allow you to sync your recorded programmes or watch live programmes like you can with the current Sky Go app and no doubt this app or another will provide features seen in the current Sky+ app.
There is no firm release date for Sky Q just yet, but Sky are saying it will be available in the UK and Ireland from early 2016. Pricing will be announced nearer to the official launch.
This could well be the ultimate way to watch TV while bringing in social media and other streaming services, it gives you true flexibility on how you consume your media, so we’re looking forward to seeing more on this nearer the product launch.
Links: Sky Q overview – Sky.com; Images courtesy of Sky.