Sky Q Launches in the UK – UPDATED

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Update: Since the launch of Sky Q, the company have been inundated with calls to the Sky customer service number from existing customers looking to upgrade to Sky Q. As a result, Sky have moved to make Sky Q standard for all new customers, as well as slashing the cost of upgrading for customers on Sky+. They’ve also launched their 4K service with lots of on-demand content and hundreds of Sky Sports Premier League matches broadcast in the high resolution format. What follows is the original Sky Q launch article, originally published in February, 2016:

It seems like a very long time has passed since Sky started sending out cryptic invitations to their launch event, almost five months, in fact. In that time, we’ve gone from rumours to reality, and now, on the 9th of February, the first Sky Q orders will be taken and –hopefully- installed very soon indeed. It’s been a long road for the product, which had been developed under the secretive codename ‘Project Ethan’ for a number of years, but just what is the product Sky are calling ‘the most anticipated TV tech launch of 2016?’ about? Let us explain.

Sky Q is the new flagship TV product from the company formally known as BskyB. Intended to offer the most comprehensive, bleeding edge TV watching experience, it effectively pushed Sky+ down the pecking order and becomes the new, top tier product. In an effort to make it all worthwhile, Sky have loaded Q with plenty of exciting new features. Alongside an entirely new box which is over 50% smaller and lighter, they’ve managed to squeeze in support for 4K content (that’ll be coming soon), up to five tuners for recording four programmes whilst watching a fifth, innovative streaming options and support for more boxes around the home. Indeed, they’ve even fitted the box with Powerline technology, so you can use your home wiring network to send electricity around your home. The real changes, however, come in the form of software.

Since the launch of Sky+, the software on our TV tech has remained remarkably similar. You can scroll through long lists of channels and choose what to watch. On Sky Q, things are moving forward a little bit. Helped by a touchscreen remote control, users can swipe between specially selected, recommended or chronological content, as well as access programmes from digital services like Amazon, Red Bull and YouTube. Also on the software side there’s things like the ability to broadcast anything from your Sky Q box onto your tablet, even whilst you’re on the go. That means that anything you can do in your living room, you can do on the go, including accessing programming or films that you’ve already recorded.

The real stumbling blocks will come when it comes to its price though. Sky have moved to simplify their packages for Sky Q. 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. The real expense, comes in the boxes themselves though.

If you aren’t taking Sky Sports, Movies or Broadband, the basic Sky Q box costs £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.

That means, all in, a customer taking out the very cheapest Sky Q package would pay £1,104 over an 18 month contract. Of course, that’s all without adding what some would call essentials like Sky Sports. With all that being said though, there are some perks to the high cost. For example, as a Sky Q customer, you’ll get access to a 24 hour premium contact service number to replace the regular Sky helpline, and all repairs and servicing callouts are free.

So, with Sky Q rolling out across the country, will you be upgrading? Let us know in the comments!

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