Sky Glass: 5 Issues Sky Did not Inform You About Its New 4K TV
Sky revealed a lot about Glass on stage … but here are five things it didn’t mention This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on all sales we generate from it. Learn more
If you missed the announcement earlier this week, Sky has developed its own 4K TV with everything it needs to receive its live channels, exclusive films, sporting events and on-demand box sets. This QLED panel, labeled Sky Glass, not only has an integrated Sky Q box, but also a Dolby Atmos-certified sound system and a far-field microphone array for hands-free voice control.
Sky Glass also eliminates the need for a satellite dish. For the first time ever, Sky subscribers can enjoy the same experience as Sky Q – including the ability to pause and rewind live television – with just a Wi-Fi connection. Instead of a spaghetti-like tangle of cables for HDMI inputs, sound bars and satellite dishes, you only need a single cable to your Sky Glass: the power cable. That’s it.
The bespoke TV will be available to UK customers from October 18th, with more countries to be added in the new year.
During the keynote presentation, Sky CEO Dana Strong and her team revealed some of the most exciting features on the company’s first television … but they didn’t reveal everything. Now that the dust has settled, Express.co.uk has all the details about Sky Glass, including five details you didn’t hear from the presentation.
1 / Sky Glass was designed by Sonos veterans
When it came time to design its first foray into smart TVs, Sky turned to East London-based industrial design firm Map Project. While the name may not be known, you will surely have learned about some of her previous work. Map Project has worked with companies such as Sony, Google and Transport for London to design the interiors for the new Elizabeth Line tubes as part of the Crossrail project.
Map Project also worked with the smart audio brand Sonos to create the Sonos Amp, which lets you plug anything from a turntable and stereo system into your Sonos wireless speaker system. The London studio was also hired to design the packaging experience.
Sky didn’t put its logo on the front of the TV to help it blend in with the furniture
2 / Sky Glass knows when you are in the room
Sky has developed a new system called Glance Motion Technology that automatically wakes up the screen when it detects presence in the room. So when you collapse on the sofa after a long day, Sky Glass will automatically wake up the screen and start scrolling through a carousel of recommended shows and movies.
Each recommendation includes the title, channel, and beautiful full-screen graphic. The suggestions are based on your viewing history and are tailored to your television package so you won’t see many recommended Premier League games unless you pay for Sky Sports. When you find something you like, you can pick up the remote control and immediately jump to the list for the box set, blockbuster or sports equipment suggested on the screen.
Sky updates its recommendations six times a day and adapts the suggestions to the time of day. So families can expect to see more recommended kids’ shows in the morning, with bloodthirsty horror movies banned at the end of the day when younger viewers are in bed.
Can’t find the remote control? Don’t worry – Sky Glass will turn on automatically when you enter the room
3 / Sky Glass knows what is connected to your TV
It can be difficult to remember which devices are connected to which HDMI port on the back of your TV. Juggling between inputs until you find what you’re looking for is an everyday part of the television ritual. Sky Glass wants to solve this headache, however.
The 4K QLED television has three HDMI 2.1 ports on the back of the set, which can be used to connect game consoles, Blu-ray players and more. Sky’s engineers made sure that Sky Glass recognizes this input – so you can only request it with your voice. So when you say “PlayStation” or “Xbox” it will switch to the correct HDMI input without you ever having to remember which it is.
Glass is still a TV – so you can connect Blu-ray players and consoles with 3 HDMI ports
4 / You cannot record shows with Sky Glass
Since Sky + launched in 2001, we’ve all got used to recording our favorite shows and movies for later viewing. Sky Q is available with either a 1 TB or 2 TB hard drive to store all your box sets, films and sports equipment. The latter can store around 350 hours of high-definition recordings.
Sky Glass changes that. Although Sky Glass is limited in memory, it is not used to back up endless episodes of your favorite show. In fact, there isn’t even a record button on the remote. Instead, Sky Glass viewers add whatever they want to see at a later time to their playlist. When it’s time to watch an episode, movie, or game … Sky will stream the show from its servers over the internet. That means you don’t have to worry about deleting your favorite movie to make room for a new series.
The redesigned Sky Glass remote doesn’t have the iconic record button
This also means that unlike Sky Q, multiroom devices throughout the house don’t connect to the main set-top box. Instead, they connect to Wi-Fi and stream episodes from the same servers. Likewise, with Sky Go you don’t have to download the recordings stored on the hard drive of your Sky Q-Box to an iPad before you can take them with you … they are available from the same catalog in the cloud. That’s a lot closer to what we’ve seen from Netflix and Prime Video.
Unlike Series Link, which automatically records all new episodes of a show as they air, adding something to your Sky Glass playlist will also look back in time. So if you decide to add Desperate Housewives to your TV, Sky will automatically record new episodes – just like Series Link on Sky Q and Sky + HD – but it will also search its on-demand catalog as well as any streaming services you like pay to merge all episodes. You can then watch previous seasons of services like Disney + and Prime Video before seamlessly switching to newer episodes on Sky.
Sky Glass is available in five colors, with new faceplate colors coming soon
5 / Sky Glass sounds different at night
For the speakers built into Sky Glass, Sky borrowed a clever function from its Sky Soundbox, an all-in-one sound system that was developed together with the French high-end audio brand Devialet. This optional feature, Synchronized Night Mode, is designed to help fans of movies late into the night. While it is tempting to turn up the volume to hear the dialogue, a sudden explosion or crack of gunfire on the screen can be loud enough to wake up younger household members sleeping upstairs. To solve this, night mode automatically increases the dialogue, especially when characters are whispering or the on-screen action is very quiet, and lowers the bass and sound when people start screaming, car engines screeching and the action movie shifts into gear.
It’s not the only night function built into Sky Glass. If you decide to put this all-in-one TV in your bedroom, you might be wondering how the Glance Motion technology described above will work. Turning around in your sleep just to turn on the 55-inch QLED screen and recommend the next installment of Succession doesn’t sound like a formula for a victorious night tip. Fortunately, the team that created Sky Glass thought of that.
After unpacking, Sky Glass automatically deactivates its Glance Motion technology between 10.30pm and 6am. If you’d rather sleep in, you can of course completely disable the feature in the settings menu.