After all the leaks and rumors, Sky UK (Comcast) finally unveiled its new Sky Glass product this morning, which we can confirm is essentially a Sky branded TV that streams its content through your home broadband ISP and your WiFi 6 connection (i.e. no satellite dish and no decoder required).
Until now, anyone who wanted to access all Sky TV channels usually had to install a satellite dish. Alternatively, Sky also operates the somewhat scaled-down, Roku-based NOW TV streaming service, but this one has fewer features (for example, it still hasn’t introduced 4K or HDR video quality) and a selection. more restrictive content.
However, Sky has long been developing a full TV via a broadband platform (here), but so far they have only launched such a solution in Italy (Sky via Fiber), Austria (Sky X) and, more recently, Germany (Sky Q IP box). But in the last couple of months we’ve also received leaks regarding a new Sky over IP (SoIP) which would provide the same type of service, but for UK customers.
Just as we disclosed a week ago (here), the flagship is called Sky Glass, which is a “Quantum dot”HDR-compatible 4K QLED TV that also integrates Sky TV services via broadband (Internet streaming) and 360 ° Dolby Atmos® sound via six speakers, plus a subwoofer. Sky Glass is also the first television in the world to be certified carbon neutral.
You also get integrated voice control, as well as the usual Sky remote control. Additionally, Sky said their televisions have a “unique mounting bracket… so that it fits elegantly on the wall. Or on an elegant support in matching colors. The one you prefer.Sky Glass TVs also include 3 x HDMI v2.1 ports, Bluetooth 5.0, 1 x USB C (for power only), 1 x AC power port, and 1 x TV antenna port (you will not have one) need).
It should be added that the Sky Glass, in particular its streaming solution, was built on the same technology as that used by Comcast in the United States. Sky is also planning to launch a “High quality 4K smart camera that works perfectly with Sky Glass“at some point in 2022.
REMARK: You will need a minimum broadband download speed of 10 Mbps to use Sky Glass (HD Streaming), reaching 25 Mbps for 4K and 35 Mbps for two Sky Glass 4K systems.
Sky Glass prices start from £ 13 per month and that includes their base 43 ″ TV on a 48 month interest-free loan (or £ 26 over 24 months, and you can also pay £ 649 up front instead. monthly fee). Sky Glass is available in multiple colors, and you can also get it in a medium (55 ″) and large (65 ″) size at an additional cost. We understand that customers will also need to take the Sky Ultimate TV service at £ 26 per month (31 day contract). All of this comes with a full 2 year warranty and free delivery service that includes unboxing and removing the packaging.
In addition to Glass, Sky will also offer a Whole Home pack, which includes Pucks Sky Stream (boxes) that can work with your existing televisions (addition of Sky TV via streaming for a multi-room solution). But these will attract an initial cost of £ 50, as well as a monthly subscription of £ 10 and, oddly enough, they require a slightly faster minimum download speed of 15 Mbps (10 Mbps on Sky Glass). Sky apps will also expand access to tablets and smartphones, etc. Sky Stream Pucks also include 1 HDMI v2.1 port, 1 100 Mbps Ethernet (LAN) port and 1 AC power port.
Naturally, customers will also benefit from the usual content integrations with TV apps and third-party subscription services, such as BBC iPlayer, Netflix, Disney Plus, ITV Hub, All4, Spotify, Peloton, PlayWorks and more. This is all due to the UK launch from October 18, 2021.
Sky Group CEO Dana Strong said:
“Sky Glass is streaming TV with Sky inside, offering full integration of hardware, software and content. Built on over 30 years of understanding what our customers want, this is a TV only Sky can make. We believe this is the smartest TV available and customers will love it. “
The challenge for Sky will be to sell this type of product to consumers, many of whom will already have a large 4K-capable, internet-connected TV in their homes and might not be particularly drawn to the idea of a Sky-specific model (we think that these could be based on LG hardware).
Meanwhile, consumers who were hoping to see a product that would allow them to access Sky’s full range of pay-TV services over high-speed, may or may not come away a little disappointed. We are currently trying to confirm whether Sky Stream Pucks will ever be purchasable as a separate product from Sky Glass, but at this time that may not be possible.
The other question mark is whether customers will also need to have a Sky Broadband ISP connection for this to work, or whether they will be able to use it with other (different) ISPs. We are still trying to get that confirmation.
At the moment, the closest to this ideal (accessing Sky TV via broadband from any ISP) is the NOW TV platform, the more restrictive.
Sky informs us that Sky Glass was designed as a platform that can be deployed by other telecommunications and subscription TV operators, so that they can also bring the Sky Glass experience to their customers. Sky announced today that Foxtel Group, the Australian subscription television company, will be its first Sky Glass syndication partner.
Sky Glass will be launched in the Australian market as part of Foxtel Group’s future roadmap for its Foxtel brand and will contain both Foxtel content and third-party content. This is the first of many such collaborations Sky has planned.
UPDATE 10:51 a.m.
At first glance, anyone who wants to access Sky’s HDR video and Dolby Atmos compatible audio content will also have to add an additional £ 5 per month to the aforementioned prices.
However, the good news is that you will be able to take Sky Glass through other broadband ISPs.
Some bad news, Sky Stream Pucks will only be available alongside Sky Glass, so the wait continues for Sky to produce a true antenna-less TV via a broadband product, which hopefully doesn’t shy away from itself. not by connecting to a high-end TV. that you might not want.