Sky unveils next-gen set-top-box to offer mix of live and on-demand TV

Sky Q -Sky unveiled its latest next-generation home entertainment system called Sky Q which offers live, recorded and on-demand entertainment. Sky says the service opens up a whole new way of watching TV.

The service, which will be launched in early 2016, is the company’s latest offering to compete with the likes of the increasingly popular TV services Netflix and Amazon Video.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive, commented: “Sky Q is a brilliant new way for customers to experience TV on their terms.

“We wanted to re-imagine TV so that it’s flexible and seamless across different screens and to put a huge choice of entertainment at their fingertips. We think customers are going to love Sky Q and the great news is that it will get even better with much more to come in the future.”

Sky Q can be watched on multiple devices at the same time, allowing users to watch programmes on up to five screens and record up to four other channels – with saved programmes available to watch at a later date.

The service will also provide users with a wide range of entertainment on the big screen including YouTube, Vevo and other web services. There will be the ability for users to browse their Facebook photos and stream music wirelessly using Bluetooth or Apple’s AirPlay.

According to a news release by Sky, the new service offers what it calls “Fluid Viewing”.

Sky said: “Key benefits of ‘Fluid Viewing’ include the flexibility to pause what you’re viewing on your TV screen and pick up in another room on a TV or tablet. And for the first time we’re bringing the number one requested feature from customers, so you can take your recordings with you wherever you are. You can watch different programmes simultaneously on up to five screens around the home while recording four other channels – a first in the UK and Ireland.”

Sky Q will be powered by a new range of Sky’s most advanced products, including:

  • Sky Q Silver and Sky Q – two boxes for the main TV set, featuring up to 12 tuners and up to 2TB of storage.
  • Sky Q Mini – a plug and play box giving wireless access to Sky Q in other rooms in the home.
  • Sky Q Hub – features built in Powerline networking technology using in-home electrical wiring as well as Wi-Fi to communicate with Sky Q boxes.
  • Sky Q app – a new app for tablets that lets users take recordings with them and watch live and on demand content on the go.

sky q silver living room

David Mercer, principal analyst at research firm Strategy Analytics, was quoted by the BBC as saying:

“Sky customers watch 20% of programmes on connected devices and Sky Q is squarely targeted at the most demanding of this on-demand generation,”

“One of the biggest complaints from consumers is the speed at which they can find things on regular TV and this user interface makes things quicker and easier.”

However, he added that the additional cost may be an issue:

”If this is another £10 on top of a premium package it could push bills close to £100 a month.”