Sky Q Has a Problem
There are a number of compelling reasons to sign up for Sky Q. There’s the promise of 4K support later in the year, up to five tuners for recording four channels whilst watching a fifth, the cool new remote, access to streaming TV services and many, many more. Perhaps the biggest selling point though is their so-called Fluid Viewing technology. It allows users to pause their content on one screen and continue viewing it wherever they are, either on a tablet or on other TV in their home. It’s that ‘TV anywhere’ promise which has been drawing early sales, and it’s exactly the feature that Sky have been promoting on their big new advertising campaign.
However, early users of the new service are saying that for some things, it doesn’t work as promised. For BT Sport and pay-per-view pornography channels, customers are limited to viewing their programming through the main Sky Q box alone. That means no Champions League football in the kitchen whilst you cook and no adult programming in the… Well, I’m sure you can guess. Needless to say, this has gotten a number of customers upset, and calls to the Sky contact number have shot up.
Now Sky have confirmed that some third-party channels are limited to playback on the main Sky Q box, however, this can’t be fixed via a software update. This issue is a quirk of the new set up. Here’s how Sky explained it to USwitch: “”The reason for this is because if you take our Sky Q silver bundle with additional mini boxes, the mini boxes do not have viewing cards – only the main box has a viewing card. We are in agreement with BT that if you have BT Sports through your Sky box, you register your viewing card for the subscription, which is why it is only available on your main Sky box. However, if you bought a box from BT, you would be able to view BT Sports through their box in another room,” it said.
That’ll come as little comfort to those new Sky Q customers, who are paying large amounts of money to be on the very cutting edge of TV technology. A large part of the contention comes from the fact that they’re now being told that there’s a limit to the freedom they’re paying for. At the time of writing, the thread where the issue is addressed has received over 50 replies and is racking up the views. However, in that thread, Sky do state that this is the case “for the time being”, suggesting that deals are being worked out to enable the feature.
Meanwhile, Sky are keeping a lid on how many of the subscriptions they’ve sold so far. Their new advertising campaign should help, but the pricing might slow things down a little. There’s now just one package, and it features over 300 channels, 3D on demand, over 50 HD channels and access to all of Sky’s box sets on demand. It costs £42 a month for the Sky Q basic box and £54 a month with the Sky Q Silver box. For new customers, the monthly cost starts at £42. Sky Movies can be added for an extra £17 a month and Sports added for £25.50 a month However, the real cost is in the boxes themselves.
If you aren’t taking Sky Sports, Sky Movies or Sky Broadband the cost of the base Sky Q box is £249, whilst the Sky Q Silver box costs £299. A Sky Q Silver Box and Sky Q Mini box is also £299. Those costs fall to £99, £149, and £99 respectively if you take out one of the aforementioned services, but remain high nonetheless. There’s also the £99 set up cost to take into account.
All in all, for a customer taking out the basic Sky Q package for the minimum 18 month contract, they’d pay a £99 installation fee, £249 for a Sky Q box and £42 a month. All in all, that comes to £1,104, and that’s without adding things like Sky Sports or Movies in to the mix. So, for that, you’d certainly hope that you’re getting all the features you were promised.