Sky Q Review Roundup – UPDATED
Update: Since this post was originally published, Sky have made Sky Q the default box powering their TV service for all new customers, or customers upgrading. That’s fantastic news for new customers on Sky contact, who no longer have to pay extra for Sky Q. Sky have also flipped the switch on 4K broadcasts since this review roundup was first published, so customers with 4K TVs can watch live sport and drama in Ultra-HD at no extra charge, if they’ve already got a HD subscription.
Sky Q has been in the hands of customers and reviewers for over a week now, which is plenty of time to get your first impressions together. Gently, we’ve seen more and more outlets publish reviews of the young system. So, what do the critics think of the box which has taken the Sky contact line by storm? Let’s find out.
Remarkably, even though we’ve played with the Sky Q system a fair bit and certainly waxed lyrical about it already, we feel we’ve only touched the surface of what the new TV setup is capable of.
We’ll find out more when we’ve lived with it for a while, but it is off to a promising start. Being able to watch our recordings remotely is a feature we’ve been waiting for years for, although with the massive amount of on demand content available, both on and offline, we wonder how much use the hard drives will get over time.
What Sky has done though is create a device that suits all tastes and needs, with a strong multi-room focus with a modern outlook on household entertainment desires.
And with pricing being within affordable levels rather than otherworldly, you have to say that Sky Q has all the potential of being the best TV service we’ve had yet.
Sky Q appears to be the next-gen version of Sky that we’ve all been waiting for. It puts content first, and all of it on an equal footing whether it’s live, recorded or on-demand. It’s far quicker and easier to get to, often because it’s delivered to your eyeballs and doesn’t need to be hunted down, and it can be watched anywhere in the house or even taken with you.
It’s an all-round shinier, more pleasant and enticing portal for telly, too, and I suspect one of Sky Q’s biggest strengths over Sky HD will simply be how much nicer it is to live with.
Sky Q doesn’t only feel like an upgrade to the Sky experience in order to keep ahead of traditional rivals, but also an effort to learn from and take on the new streaming-video upstarts.
Even so, much of this benefit relies on you wanting to consume more, and in more ways. Live on your own? Might not sound so ground-breaking. Don’t own a tablet? You might not get the full benefit. Happy with one room for all your TV viewing? Sky Q may not get your juices flowing.
But for everyone else, it’s easy to see Sky Q as something approaching the TV of the future. While multi-room video home installations have been around for some time, this is more affordable than a custom install and more advanced and better integrated than simply adding an extra box too.
If the past few years have been all about perfecting multi-room music, this might just be the start of bringing truly multi-room – and beyond – TV to the mainstream.
Having had some time with the Sky Q platform, it’s hard not to be excited. It finally sees premium subscription television brought bang up to date with how people actually watch television today. It’s all about multi-screen viewing.
The new Sky Q interface is slick and attractive and makes finding programmes and films to watch much simpler than before. You’ll get more out of Sky Q if you subscribe to more premium channels, such as the film and sports channels, which is what Sky aims for you to do. You’ll also need to have additional boxes around the home to unlock the platform’s full potential.
Over time, Sky may well reduce the initial and ongoing costs of Sky Q. It might eventually phase out the Sky HD+ box, forcing new customers to adopt the new system, but for now, I think this next-generation TV tech is a little too expensive.
That’s a shame, as the flexibility to record so many programmes at once, take your recordings anywhere and watch on multiple boxes around the home is a huge step forward, and really sets Sky Q apart from the competition.