It’s the next giant leap for television-kind, or so Sky would have us believe. The new platform assures users of a ‘fluid’ multi-room viewing experience designed to match the flexible viewing habits of the modern family. Yet in reality, Sky Q doesn’t quite match up to the hype.
Realistically, the only way to make the most out of Sky Q is to invest in the more expensive Q Silver option. The basic package allows users to access programmes in a similar manner to Netflix — it prompts you to ask if you want to continue watching where you left off, for example — but you won’t be able to start a movie in the living room and finish watching it in the bedroom unless you have the additional Mini box that comes with the upgraded version. The standard edition of Sky Q only supports one television and one tablet device; considering that it comes with a monthly cost of £42, this seems a somewhat paltry return.
That said, the pricier Q Silver option is rather impressive. As well as the expected 350+ channels (including fifty in HD), the platform includes 2TB storage and supports 4K video. Even more impressive is its ability to let you record four shows simultaneously while watching a fifth programme, which should be more than enough for even the most dedicated TV addicts.
Proceed with caution
Unfortunately, one of the best innovations of Sky Q seems destined to be reserved for Sky Broadband users. The devices can act as hot spots, amplifying the Wi-Fi signal throughout the house and strengthening connectivity within the room — as long as Sky is also your internet provider. What is even more frustrating is Sky’s decision to restrict the Q platform to its broadband customers only, meaning that many current users will not be able to upgrade until later in the year, when it will start offering support for viewers regardless of who supplies their broadband.
Sky Q is delivered in a different format to older versions of Sky, which also presents a problem, as standard receiving devices and masts will not support this. In order to work properly, they will need to be reconfigured by a specialist installer.
There is no doubt that Sky Q represents a step up in quality for the home entertainment provider; however, it would be wise to fully investigate the potential ramifications before making the decision to upgrade or purchase the new system. Sky Q is immediately available to order in the UK.
A Sky Q subscription costs £42 per month, with the Sky Q Silver priced at £54 monthly.