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This is a discussion on Sky Q within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; Perhaps many of you will have already read much about this new product from Sky. Perhaps not. Over the past ...
- 21-11-15, 02:26 PM #1
Perhaps many of you will have already read much about this new product from Sky. Perhaps not. Over the past few days there has been a huge buzz going on about the new product range from Sky. I am sure that this will continue over the next few months across the forums and a lot of discussion in anticipation of the launch next year.
So what is it all about?
Basically there are five new products, a new application for your tablets and the promise of Sky launching a series of UHD channels next year. There has been no mention of the rumoured cloud service for storing your TV recordings and no mention of any new broadband products which were also in the rumour mill.
Perhaps these will come at a later date but not today.
The new products will complement Sky's existing products (NowTV, Sky+ HD & Sky Go). They will be pegged as a premium product.
So what are the new products?
- Sky Q
- Sky Q Silver
- Sky Q Mini
- Sky Q touch remote
- Sky Q Hub
Both the Sky Q and Sky Q Silver are your main box that will be connected to the satellite dish. The Sky Q will allow you to record 3 channels and watch a 4th. The Sky Q Silver will allow you to record 4 channels and watch a 5th.
The Sky Q will plug into a HD or UHD TV and has a 1TB hard drive. 700GB is available for your recordings. The remainder is reserved. However it will only show content up to HD. This means that you should be able to record around 150 hours of content.
The Sky Q Silver can also be connected to both a HD or UHD TV and has a 2TB hard drive (1.7TB for your recordings). It will also support 4K UHD broadcasts once Sky launches their UHD channels and updates the STB firmware to fully support this new format.
The Sky Q Mini is essentially your multi-screen box. It doesn't have a hard drive and it doesn't connect to the satellite dish. Instead the Sky Q Mini streams content from either the Sky Q or Sky Q Silver boxes. You can use it to record content on the main box and any recordings can be viewed on either box.
The Sky Q Mini can connect to either a HD or UHD TV. It will show content up to 1080p or HD.
The LNB will need to be changed for a new one. The dish will still be pointing at the same group of satellites though. The new LNB may not compatible with Freesat boxes and TVs. This could be important if, like myself, you have a TV that has a built-in Freesat tuner or if you use a Freesat STB.
The specific details regarding compatibility are yet to be fully confirmed.
Each new TV box in the Sky Q range supports TosLink or optical S/PDIF Digital sound for those of us who have surround sound systems or some soundbars. Dolby Digital sound (i.e. 5.1) is also supported over the HDMI cable, great for those who have a TV that supports ARC (Audio Return Channel).
Perhaps important for those who have an old TV, but the new Sky boxes do not have and legacy connections such as Coaxial sound, phono sockets or a Scart socket. There is also no fitting for a UHF feed, so if you wish to watch something on a TV in another room, you will need to think about the Sky Q Mini.
You can connect one Sky Q Mini to the Sky Q box. The Sky Q Silver supports 2 Sky Q Mini boxes.
All these three boxes are controlled by a new remote control. The Sky Q touch remote.
This remote connects to the box via Bluetooth, not infrared. At the moment only the keys/buttons work, but next year Sky intends to add voice control too. The Sky Q touch remote has a microphone built-in and I'm sure that we'll hear more on this at a later date.
In addition Sky announced details of their new Sky Q Hub.
This supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands that so many Sky customers on the forums have been missing. It also supports the 'Powerline AV1.1' specification and will share it's Internet with the Sky Q, Sky Q Silver and Sky Mini boxes via your electrical wiring. They can then share your Internet as a WiFi Hot Spot. This means that not only would you be able to have the ability to watch TV content in say your bedroom or kitchen, but also your Sky Q Mini can provide WiFi access where your Sky Q Hub might not be able to reach.
As many people have found, WiFi doesn't always reach the whole home from where the router is located. Many people in larger homes have had to install one or more Wireless extenders and this has caused problems.
At this time we can't say just what speed the WiFi works at. The Sky Q Hub and each Sky Q box appears to have the same WiFi specifications, so it is safe to say that both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands are supported.
It may also be important to note that the new Sky Q Hub supports ADSL through to VDSL2, just like the Sky Hub SR102.
Sky Q App
This new application means that it will now be possible to watch the recorded content on your Sky Q or Sky Q silver box or stream live TV to your tablet. You can also put content that you have recorded on the tablet and take it with you when you are away from your home.
Sky plan to include support for the Sky Q app on smart phones sometime in 2016. It won't be available at the initial commercial launch.
In addition to being able to watch Sky TV, Sky has teamed up with both Vevo and YouTube. Both have applications on the new Sky Q range of boxes. This means that you will be able to view their content on your TVs too, even if they aren't smart TVs.
In addition you can also stream music from your smart phone or tablet to the your Sky Q box and listen to any tracks you may have. Any art work will also be displayed on the TV when using 'Airplay'.
Sadly neither Netflix nor Amazon Prime were included. Perhaps this is something that may be added at a later date or does Sky consider them as something that would compete directly with their services and not wish to include them?
Anyone with a smart TV will also be aware of the many different apps which are now available. Some of these will be included at launch. Perhaps more will be added at a later date, but for now we don't know.
Those apps mentioned at the press launch included Vogue, GoPro, Wired, Jukin Media, GQ, Whistle Sorts, Vanity Fair and Red Bull. This list might be subject to change.
Look and feel
So how does it all look and feel?
Quite simply very very different from the Sky+ HD range. The EPG is a new modern graphically driven product.
You can continue to watch whatever you have been watching as you search for something else. When looking at the 'Now & Next' banner you can see the live pictures on the other channels.
During the demonstrations the movement between the different pages was always smooth and prompt.
Many of the new features which have become available on the Sky+ HD STBs are there, such as on-line search, On Demand and CUTV.
For those of you who are unaware, UHD TV is the newer clearer video standard. It is already possible to watch some content via YouTube and Netflix, but if like me you don't have a UHD TV you can see just how much of a difference it can make by seeing it at many cinemas.
Whilst there are many cinemas which don't have 4K screens, many others across the country do.
There are 2 standards (4K and 8K) and from what has been said in the press to date, I would suggest that they are going to be enough. As the Sky Q Silver is 4K UHD compatible, it is unlikely that Sky will broadcast anything greater than this at this time. Perhaps with a later box they may start broadcasting 8K content but unlikely for now.
There will be Sports, Movies, Entertainment and more in UHD. Whether this will be on a single channel, much like now closed Sky 3D channel, or multiple channels, we don't currently know.
Prices and Launch
At this time there is no information available as to how much extra this will all cost and when it will become available. All that was said is that it will be early next year.
There are many other questions to be answered, such as what are those USB sockets for on the back of the Sky Q box?. I'm sure that the boards will be updated with these and many other answers in due course.
The Sky Q product range have a lot of potential for future development. Whilst much is still 'under wraps' it is safe to say that Sky do intend to add more to them.
The new remote has a microphone so that Voice Search can be added later in 2016. The Sky Q app will initially only work on your tablets but support for your Smart Phones will be added in 2016.
There are a few videos on YouTube already. Below is a link to a playlist I have created. It will be added to as more becomes available.
Last edited by Scubbie; 21-11-15 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Corrected a couple of typos
- 21-11-15, 11:43 PM #2
Re: Sky Q
Dreading the price as it feels like 2007/8 all over again. Need new TVs, boxes and dish.
- 21-11-15, 11:46 PM #3
Re: Sky Q
Well the good thing is that you can go out and get a 4K UHD TV now in time for Christmas.
As for the cost of Sky Q, that remains to be stated. However it's only the LNB which will need to be changed, unless you have an old dish.
- 22-11-15, 12:04 AM #4
Re: Sky Q
Though my big fear once this is available to order... Will they slowly degrade what is left of the HD channels like the SD days. Lowering it and lowering over 6 months to a year and on to sell the latest service.
I remember how dire football became on Standard Definition. Players were so blurry and the movement caused macroblocking.
- 22-11-15, 10:17 AM #5
Re: Sky Q
Whilst the companies are always trying to get people onto the latest technology, I believe that there will always be a lot of people who won't be upgrading to 4K TVs just yet.
There was a huge amount of hype getting people to buy both HD TVs (some were HD Ready too) and Freeview as there was the big digital switch over.
On this occasion this is not the case.
Broadcasters such as Netflix, BT Sport and Sky are going to have an uphill struggle to get everyone to replace those relatively new and clean looking TVs for a new 4K UHD TV.
Many Sky customers will have recently spent a few hundred pounds on a ne HD TV. Perhaps they've also purchased additional TVs for the bedroom, children or kitchen. This may discourage them from thinking of upgrading to a new 4K UHD TV for the present time.
It would IMHO be a bad decision to start reducing the bit rate for HD transmission just to persuade people to make the switch. Considering that the Sky Q & Sky Q Mini are also only able to work at up to HD too, it would be like kicking themselves between the legs.
Perhaps what is more concerning is the current practise of a lot of material coming from the US. They are still making popular series in 720p and expecting those of us who watch in 1080 to not notice. Just think what will happen when more people start noticing it on their 4K TVs.
- 22-11-15, 11:39 AM #6
Re: Sky Q
While I am sure there will be more than a few people that will head for the shops to
purchase a new 4K television in time for Xmas or maybe wait for the Boxing Day sales.
when this SkyQ launches in the New Year I am sure it will be beyond the reach of many
families already on a tight budget : It is well known that a few small moves in the mortgage
rate & many will struggle to make ends meet : This I am sure will mean many will have to
reduce their monthly spend on services like Sky / netflix & the like........
I hope that Sky place the pricing within a band that will allow at least some of this new technology to reach most if not all households without breaking the Bank........
Just a Thought...........Maybe a Dream really
- 22-11-15, 12:42 PM #7
Re: Sky Q
Mr Darroch want's your Lucre... not a little bit... ALL OF IT!!
Last edited by marjohn56; 22-11-15 at 01:21 PM.-----------------------------------------------------------
To every rule there is an exception, and vice versa
- 22-11-15, 01:16 PM #8
Re: Sky Q
Yes and he's targeting those who can't spell his name.
- 22-11-15, 01:22 PM #9
Re: Sky Q-----------------------------------------------------------
To every rule there is an exception, and vice versa
- 22-11-15, 01:27 PM #10
Re: Sky Q
so this new sky hub, am I going to be able to call sky up when its released and pay x amount to have this delivered to replace my crappy SR102? and then have to pay x amount on buying a switch as this hub I pay x amount for only has 2 ports?