Sky Q has kept a number of the promises made when it first announced it – it offers multi-room wireless viewing, you can pause in a room and pick up where you left off on a smartphone or Sky Q minibox and stream in Ultra – sharp Ultra HD HDR picture quality and the ability to record six shows while still watching live television. There is one notable absence, however.
Sky first announced plans to abandon the requirement for a satellite dish in 2017. In the four years since the announcement – and despite a steady stream of other new additions, including the arrival of HDR and a redesigned Sky Q voice remote – the broadcaster has remained silent about the potential to do away with the bowl.
During the initial reveal, then-Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said that streaming the entire Sky Q experience over a fiber broadband connection would enable more than six million households across Europe, including two million in the UK who don’t want to own any – a satellite dish for access to the critically acclaimed service.
As it stands, those without a satellite dish are faced with the choice of either doing without Sky TV channels altogether or switching to NOW (formerly NOW TV) to watch the same programs. While the latter includes access to most of your favorite box sets and live channels – from Sky Atlantic to Sky Sports Premier League – it doesn’t offer the same wealth of channels or features as Sky Q.
But that’s finally changing … but not for those in the UK. At least not now.
Sky this week unveiled a new set-top box – known as the Sky Q IP Box – that brings its most popular live channels, as well as access to streaming services and apps over the internet, into your home. And that’s all you need.
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There’s no need to drill holes in the side of your house to put a satellite dish or ask your landlord to install a communal dish in the apartment block you live in (Sky Q requires a newer dish than the Sky + HD apartments previously equipped alone ). And if you live somewhere without a sufficiently strong satellite signal, you don’t have to do without the complete Sky Q experience.
Despite the confirmed plans to roll out this keyless television option in the UK in 2017, Sky is currently only offering its new Sky Q IP Box to customers in Germany. Express.co.uk reached out to Sky for comment with this story. However, there is clearly nothing yet on a release date for the Sky Q IP Box in the UK.
The current offer via a domestic broadband connection includes more than 80 channels with all Sky channels, more than 50 free TV services as well as thematic offers such as Eurosport, DMAX and Sport1. The vast majority of these programs will be available in HD picture quality, Sky Deutschland Director Proposition & Product Max Ehrhardt confirmed.
Sky Q offers a range of blockbuster films, sports equipment and box sets in Ultra HD (4K), but these are not broadcast via a satellite signal … you need an active internet connection to your set-top box.
Just like the satellite-powered Sky Q Box available in the UK, the brand new Sky Q IP Box available in Germany includes some of the biggest video-on-demand services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney +, YouTube, DAZN, YouTube Kids, and Spotify. So it should offer a very similar experience.
The box can be connected via an ethernet cable or via Wi-Fi. The minimum bandwidth you need to watch Sky Q over your home broadband is 6 Mbps, Sky has confirmed. For comparison, Netflix recommends at least 5 Mbit / s to watch in high definition picture quality.
Sky Q customers in Germany who want to give up the satellite dish in the middle of the contract can switch to the Sky Q IP box, Ehrhardt has confirmed. Subscriptions start at € 12.50 (£ 10.70) per month and include the basic Sky Entertainment package. The minimum contract term is one year. You can then cancel your subscription with one month’s notice. Additional channels and options can be added for an additional monthly fee.
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