Don’t want that annoying satellite dish on the outside of your house? Sky could have the solution This article contains affiliate links, we may receive a commission on all sales we generate from it. Learn more
Sky has confirmed plans for an event on October 7th. An invitation to the upcoming press conference appeals to customers “something magical”. Longtime readers will know that Express.co.uk has exclusively revealed that Sky is currently testing a brand new set-top box that will bring the Sky Q experience into your home without a satellite dish. Could the new Sky Box finally be unveiled at this new event – and be it available for customers to order?
According to a source speaking to Express.co.uk, which is participating in one of the tests of the new keyless service, the experience with the new Sky Q set-top box is almost indistinguishable from the standard satellite dish. powered option. We were told that the new box is faster to navigate than NOW (formerly NOW TV) streaming boxes or HDMI dongles.
However, quickly switching between live channels can result in some low resolution images – pixelated in some cases – as the box tries to buffer the incoming video. According to our source, who has broadband download speeds between 250-350Mbps, this is a hardware limitation … not the internet speed in your home.
Of course, this momentary pixelation is a slight gradation compared to the Sky Q-Box, which immediately switches between high-definition channels without any loss of quality. This is because there is no need for buffering if the video is transmitted over satellite. Sky Q viewers can also preview another channel in the lower third of the screen to see if the commercial has ended or the show they want has started without interrupting another live broadcast. This is possible due to the sheer number of tuners housed in the Sky Q-Box. It’s not clear if this feature will be possible on the new box as it would require more broadband bandwidth.
In terms of the user interface, our source tells us that Sky Q fans should expect a menu near the Sky Go app, which is available for iOS and Android.
Sky has sent out invitations to its next media event, at which it teased a “magical” announcement
Sky Go can hardly be distinguished from the Sky Q’s on-screen menu – the recording page, for example, contains the same grid of graphics with titles listed below. Tapping on a series loads a similar landing page known to Sky Q viewers, with individual episodes listed under the show’s high-resolution artwork, along with a description of what to expect from your next episode .
However, the smartphone and tablet app can also be very different. For example, while the TV Guide is visually similar, it lacks a small feed of the channel you’re watching. As a result, viewers are forced to stop watching their current show, game or movie to search the TV guide, which is not a great experience. Since we’ve already learned that Sky’s new set-top box allows viewers to switch between channels without returning to the TV guide – a limitation when watching on Sky Go – there may be other differences too, like adding a small preview of a single channel.
Our source tells us that the new Sky Q dish-free box has a menu similar to the Sky Go app shown above
There is a special browse tab in the Sky Go app where viewers can choose between on-demand shows from different channels. This doesn’t exist on Sky Q. Instead, there’s an on-demand menu that brings together box sets from Sky, shows from popular terrestrial channels, and Netflix.
A Catch Up TV menu brings together programs such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub and other catch-up services. From all of these individual menus, Sky summarizes suggestions on the main homepage when you switch on the Sky Q, with recommendations based on your viewing history on the box.
It is unclear whether the new broadband Sky-Box will also have AI-based recommendations.
According to our source, viewers can pay extra to stream in Ultra HD quality
The idea of doing without a satellite dish is not a new idea. In fact, when the Sky Q first unveiled in 2017, then-CEO Jeremy Darroch said that streaming the entire Sky experience over a fiber broadband connection would enable more than six million homes across Europe, including two million in the UK alone ‘Don’t own – or don’t want to own – a satellite dish to access the critically acclaimed service. But in the four years since the launch event, we haven’t heard about the satellite-free version of Sky Q.
That changed in August when Sky launched a new set-top box called the Sky Q IP Box in Germany. With a minimum broadband speed of 6Mbps, viewers can now access a number of the same terrestrial channels, on-demand box sets and streaming apps found on the standard Sky Q box, which is both on a satellite dish as well as being dependent on a Wi-Fi connection bring live and catch-up services together in one menu. For comparison, Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbit / s to watch in high definition picture quality.
According to our source, the set-top box currently being tested in the UK appears to have more features than the Sky Q IP box launched in Germany. In Germany, for example, Sky says that broadcasts over an internet connection will only be available in HD picture quality … although Sky Germany Director Proposition & Product Max Ehrhardt has confirmed in interviews that the hardware is powerful enough to support 4K streams . We have been told that the dishless service will be launched in the UK with support for Ultra HD quality. The pixel-packed format costs an additional £ 5 per month, our source has confirmed. A screenshot of a sample pricing structure confirms the £ 5 Ultra HD upgrade.
To watch Sky Q in Ultra HD using the satellite dish, you’ll have to spend an additional £ 11 a month, although this will also improve the picture quality of your Netflix subscription and allow you to watch on up to four devices at the same time. and bundles more channels.
… that is a departure from the satellite dish-less box that Sky launched in Germany at the beginning of the year
In another departure from what we saw from Sky in Germany, our source tells us that the new Sky IP Box will include 1,000 hours of cloud recording. Viewers can use features like Series Link that were previously part of Sky Q and Sky + HD. In Germany, Sky appears to be pushing users to rely on catch-up services available on the set-top box rather than offering the option to record. This “cloud recording” also enables Sky IP viewers to pause and rewind live television – which is also missing in the German counterpart.
After our first report, the broadband blog ISPreview confirmed with its own sources that Sky is working on technical tests for a new Sky Q-Box. However, the sources concluded that “no major customer testing is ongoing” and therefore “actual product availability is not imminent”. Our source will finish their process later this month. This is not an indication that a launch date is fast approaching. It is entirely possible that this is a very early trial with a small number of beta testers.
If so, what will Sky announce at its “magical” press conference next month?
Either way, Express.co.uk will have all the gossip from the Sky launch event plus more details on the upcoming broadband Sky Box as we learn more. As always, it’s worth noting that while we’re fairly confident that the information from our source is accurate, nothing will be confirmed until there’s an announcement from Sky.
This article contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission on any sales of any product or service we write about. This article was written completely independently, more details can be found here.