Sky is ready to go beyond set-top boxes and satellite dishes, according to the latest rumors. The British broadcaster will be holding a big kick-off event in central London tomorrow, teasing it with the slogan “Something Magical Is Coming”. And rumors suggest we might see something completely new from Sky.
That’s because the company is widely acclaimed for introducing its very first smart TV. Sources speaking to internet-obsessed ISPreview blog claim that Sky’s R&D teams were working on a new 4K QLED TV that comes with an integrated sound system and a lightweight set-top box that viewers can use the same experience as Sky Q can enjoy. .. but without having to drill a satellite dish in the side of your house. This means that residents of apartment buildings without a Sky Q-compatible communal bowl can for the first time enjoy the upgraded Sky experience, which was launched in February 2016.
Of course, this isn’t the first time Sky has experimented with hardware beyond its standard set-top box. Back in 2018, the company announced the Sky Soundbox, which was developed in collaboration with the French high-end audio brand Devialet to improve the sound quality when watching movies and sports on Sky Q. The chunky soundbar was sold to Sky Q subscribers at a discounted price and could be controlled with the same Sky Q voice remote that is used for the set-top box.
Unfortunately, that brilliant speaker from Devialet won’t appear in the new QLED TV called Sky Glass.
However, sources claim that Sky Glass comes with a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar in the design. Leaked images reveal a sizable chin beneath the vivid display that houses the speaker. Sky Q supports Dolby Atmos, so it makes sense for Sky to choose this ultimate audio standard when developing their own TVs. Unlike competing TVs from Samsung, Sony, and Hisense, Sky Glass comes with all the Smarts that are designed to stream Sky TV channels, watch on-demand box sets and blockbusters from Sky Cinema, and watch Sky Sports sharp 4K HDR are required.
As with the rumored new set-top box believed to be based on the hardware already revealed last month by Sky’s U.S. parent company Comcast, viewers don’t have to rely on a satellite dish drilled into the wall, to see the latest live channels and content on demand. Instead, Sky Glass comes with a new device called a “puck” that allows viewers to stream the Sky Q experience. If you don’t want to tune in – or have a contract with Virgin Media – you can probably leave the “puck” unplugged.
Sources speaking with Express.co.uk previously announced that Sky requires a minimum broadband speed of 6Mbps to stream its terrestrial channels. For comparison, Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbit / s to watch in high definition picture quality.
In terms of size, sources speaking to ISPreview claim that Sky Glass will be available in 43-, 55-, and 65-inch display sizes. Pricing remains unclear, but some sources have suggested the 43-inch model will start at around £ 650. For comparison, Samsung is selling its 43-inch QLED TV – which has 4K and HDR support, but no sound system included – for £ 629. If the reports are correct, it suggests that Sky compares to its competitors no premium is charged.
That would make sense. After all, most 4K Smart TVs come with a number of content providers pre-installed. Samsung TVs offer a wide range of free advertising-supported content through the Samsung TV Plus service, as well as applications for Disney +, Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV + and many more. The Roku-branded televisions incorporate the same technology that powers its hugely popular streaming dongles, including its own free-to-air Roku channel and Sky’s no-contract NOW service.
It is possible that Sky Glass will be sold as a premium QLED TV that happens to have the smarts to sign up for a Sky Q-like experience over your broadband. For those looking to switch to a new TV – and tempted to catch up on some of the exclusive shows, channels, and sporting events only available on Sky – this could be a brilliant option.
For those who don’t know all the acronyms like the back of their hand, QLED stands for Quantum Light-Emitting Diode, sometimes called Quantum Dot Display. In short, QLED works like the standard LED TV – that is, there is a backlight made up of hundreds or thousands of LEDs that illuminate each pixel. However, QLED improves on the standard LED by using nanoparticles – called quantum dots – to increase the brightness and color of these individual pixels.
As a result, everything that appears on the screen should be more vibrant, colorful, and very pleasing to the eye. While gloomy scenes in shows and movies displayed on an LED panel can have a slight gray tinge compared to the deeper blacks of QLED and the pitch black colors of what is currently the most expensive television technology on the market, OLED.
Yes, while the names sound pretty similar, the thing to remember is that QLED is not the same as OLED. While QLED is an improvement (in quality and price) over LED, OLED is even more expensive. As you’d expect, it’s even more powerful when it comes to creating vibrant colors and deep blacks. This is because OLED or Organic Light-Emitting Diode panels do not depend on uniform backlighting. Instead, each individual pixel is an LED that can be turned on and off to create color or total darkness.
As with Sky Q, you can pause a recorded show on one screen and record it in another room using Sky Glass or another Sky branded set-top box. Recordings can be downloaded and taken with you via the Sky Go app on tablets, iPhone and Android. It is unclear whether Sky Glass and the new set-top box will replace Sky Q’s existing set-top box for streaming only. Either way, it won’t take long. Express.co.uk will be in the audience tomorrow for the Something Magical event, so stay tuned for the biggest announcements.