Sky Q review: While it’s not the latest box within the lineup, Sky Q remains to be one of the best selection This text comprises affiliate links, we may receive a commission on any sales we generate from it. Learn more
Sky Q: 60-Second Review
Sky Q is the whole package – it offers access to one of the best live satellite channels, lots of of on-demand TV shows from Sky, Peacock and HBO Max, exclusive sports fixtures and blockbuster movies in addition to streaming platforms like Paramount+, Disney+, Prime Video, and Netflix all from a single menu. The whole lot you possibly can possibly want to observe is a few clicks on the distant away (or a voice command, when you cannot be bothered to retrieve the distant from the back of the sofa).
The harddisk inside Sky Q can store movies, matches, and TV shows for years to return (something we bemoaned in our Sky Glass review, since this is not possible with the most recent hardware from Sky) and you possibly can watch a dizzying amount of content in 4K Ultra HD picture quality. Catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, All4 and ITV Hub are all seamlessly integrated into the software, so you possibly can revisit favourite episodes of entire series ahead of the return of a preferred show.
Within the years since its initial release, Sky has rigorously refined the Sky Q experience with an countless stream of updates. The result’s one of the crucial fully-featured and refined telly experiences on the planet. Higher yet, those updates show no sign of slowing down, despite the launch of the newer and shinier Sky Glass.
With years of refinement under its belt, recent functionality rolling out on a regular basis, and up to date price drops – there is no doubt that Sky Q is considered one of the best Sky deals around. Highly really helpful.
Sky Q review
A lot has modified with Sky Q because it first launched six years ago. And with more updates on the horizon, Sky continues to tweak and improve its award-winning set-top box. We’ll test the most recent features as they arrive and update this review with any changes. Optimistically, Sky will correct a few of the niggles we still have with Sky Q. After all, if an update makes the experience worse …we’ll change this Sky Q review to reflect that too.
Design And Q Mini
With Sky Q, it’s clear the R&D teams got a totally blank slate. Out of the box, Sky Q makes its predecessor, Sky+HD, look laughably outdated.
Sky Q is a contemporary set-top box with a sexy backlit logo emblazoned on the front, that shares more in common with streaming dongles like Roku, Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV 4K than the VHS stylings of Sky+HD.
Sky has packed an almost-excessive 12 TV tuners into the box so you possibly can record five channels while watching a sixth. An option within the settings means that you can record six channels, while watching a seventh live …although, between the myriad catch-up and on-demand platforms that feed directly into Sky Q, we’ve never actually recorded that many shows concurrently.
Still, should the issue arise, it’s nice to know you’ll never miss a show.
Sky Q includes support for Netflix in 4K Ultra HD and HDR straight out of the box
While you’re not recording half a dozen shows in the identical time slot, these tuners will be used for picture-in-picture, so you possibly can see a live preview of what’s on-air within the lower third of your screen as you cycle through channels (incredibly useful if you desire to channel-hop between industrial breaks).
When it launched, there have been 4 variations on the Sky Q box all with different harddisk capacities, capabilities, and subtitles like “Sky Q Silver”. Thankfully, Sky has replaced the entire confusion with a one-size-fits-all option with Ultra HD picture quality, Dolby Atmos support, and 1TB of storage.
That’s enough to record 150 hours in High Definition. After all, you’ll give you the chance to store more on the box when you record in standard definition, and also you’ll struggle to get into triple figures if all the things is in 4K Ultra HD. Busy households might must rigorously juggle the variety of boxsets and flicks stored on the hard-drive, but unlike Sky Glass, Sky Q viewers will give you the chance to permanently hold onto a show, clip, sports fixture or movie for so long as they keep the set-top box – even when the show leaves the BBC iPlayer catalogue, or a change in broadcasting rights means it’s not included with Sky Cinema.
Unlike multi-room set-ups for Sky+HD customers, where each room records shows and flicks to its own dedicated set-top box, the Sky Q hooked-up to the satellite dish handles all the household’s recordings. The whole lot is recorded onto the 1TB harddisk, then beamed across the house over an ethernet connection or Wi-Fi network to the Sky Q Mini boxes.
And because the Sky Q Mini boxes work wirelessly, there is no need for an engineer to start out drilling holes and running cables around your property. You’ll be able to watch live television channels, stream from Netflix, Disney+, and other supported streaming platforms, schedule recordings, and more. The one problem with the Q Mini boxes is the shortage of support for 4K Ultra HD. As such, you would possibly come across movies or shows in your recordings that you simply’re unable to observe in one other room without re-downloading in a lower quality.
Sky Q is one of the crucial finely honed experiences available on the market and a real one-stop-shop for all the things you desire to watch
Since all the things is played back from the first Sky Q box, you possibly can start watching in a single room, pause the motion, and pick-up from the precise spot from one other box. It’s been just a few years since Sky Q debuted, but this feature still appears like magic. Starting a movie within the front room, but ending the ultimate 20 minutes with a cuppa in bed stays an outstanding luxury.
Even when you don’t add any Sky Q Mini boxes to your package, you’ll give you the chance to make use of the Sky Go app to resume recordings with an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet, or laptop from anywhere. You’ll be able to even download recordings onto the app for the morning commute or a long-haul flight.
For the reason that Q Mini boxes depend on a solid web connection to beam live channels, recorded shows and flicks to other rooms in the home – you’ll must make sure that you might have a powerful Wi-Fi connection in every room. We tested Sky Q with a mesh network, and that works a treat. Nonetheless, those with a single Wi-Fi router from their web provider – especially in an older house with internal brick partitions – might struggle to observe in every room.
Sky Q still relies on satellite, so you’ll have to give you the chance to affix the dish outside your property
Latest Voice Distant
During its lifespan, Sky Q has cycled through plenty of different handheld remote control designs. The primary generation arrived with a touchpad as an alternative of the normal directional arrows. Swipes and taps contained in the concave touchpad replaced button presses and the outcomes were …mixed.
The touchpad felt modern and was quieter than the stream of clicks that typically accompany navigating across the menu. Nonetheless, it was just a little too sensitive – if the distant slid between the cushions in your sofa, you’d often discover everyone on-screen sprinting Benny Hill-style because of an accidental touch sending the show into fast-forward.
For those who join for Sky Q today, you won’t take delivery of this distant. The most recent generation swaps the voice search button from the side of the distant to a distinguished position above the Record button – showing how necessary the feature has turn out to be to Sky Q viewers. There isn’t any touchpad to be found, as an alternative, you’ll must click directional buttons to maneuver across the menus.
With Sky Q, the satellite company didn’t just redesign the box – it reworked the handheld remote control too
The present Sky Q distant will feel familiar to Sky+ HD viewers, but without being stuck prior to now. While Sky Glass’ distant has a more minimalist appearance, for our money, the Sky Q distant stays a greater design. With dedicated fast-forward buttons, a lovely concave shape that’s comfortable within the hand, and the flexibility to emit a chime to make it easier to seek out when it’s misplaced down the back of the sofa …this is an excellent distant.
And in contrast to Sky+ HD, the Sky Q distant connects to the box over Bluetooth, you possibly can hide your Sky Q set-top box in a cupboard or tuck it behind the tv with none connectivity problems.
Nonetheless, the Sky Q distant isn’t perfect. Even though it supports voice search – allowing you to avoid the trouble of typing out show titles and actors’ names using the alphanumeric keypad – that is fairly limited. Sky has coded just a few classic movie quotes, so you possibly can say “show me the cash!” to load the listing for Jerry Maguire, which is fun. And you possibly can navigate to channels by saying the names, nonetheless, it could be great to see this idea taken much, much further.
It will be sensible if Sky Q viewers could ask “What time does Inside No. 9 start this week?” only to get the reply – in addition to a prompt to set a reminder for the most recent episode. The handheld remote control still runs on AA batteries, which is one other disappointment. Competitors, just like the Apple TV, use a chargeable distant that will be topped up with a USB charging cable while Samsung ships just a few distant controls that never should be recharged. One among these relies on solar energy and one other uses your Wi-Fi network to maintain the battery topped up. It will be great to see either of those replace the age-old AA batteries within the Sky Q distant.
That said, this is not something that Sky rectified with its follow-up to Sky Q, dubbed Sky Glass. That is something that we criticised in our Sky Glass review.
Sky Q brings together on-demand and live shows from Sky TV channels, streaming platforms, and more
What’s On Screen
Sky Q didn’t only introduce recent hardware, but it surely also completely revamped the software experience too. Except for the trademark blue color, there’s little or no in common between Sky Q and the older Sky+ HD software.
Taking inspiration from Fire TV and Netflix, the teams at Sky have created a slick, modern user interface with high-resolution artwork on your favourite shows and movies in all places. If there’s an event that everyone seems to be talking about – just like the Euros 2020 final, or Platinum Jubillee – Sky will take over the important menu with bespoke imagery in addition to shortcuts to live coverage and supplementary content, including documentaries, boxsets from streaming services, and viral videos from the web.
If nothing noteworthy is happening, Sky Q will suggest live and on-demand shows based in your tastes. These include recommendations from Disney+, Apple TV+ and Netflix, so that you won’t should open up individual apps to search out recent shows and flicks exclusive to those streaming platforms.
Between the lots of of channels included with Sky, the five hundred or so on-demand boxsets in its catalogue, the regular sports fixtures, recent film releases, and must-binge series on streaming services …it’s easy to spend more time on the lookout for something to placed on than watching telly. Sky Q does a stellar job at addressing the paralysis of selection.
That is something that a few of the richest technology corporations on the planet try to resolve too. Boxes just like the Apple TV, Fire TV and Chromecast with Google TV all make recommendations based in your viewing habits and convey together shows from siloed streaming platforms. But Sky Q has one incredible advantage – its ability to mix live television into the combination too.
Sky Go enables you to take recordings out of your Sky Q on the road with an iPhone, iPad, or Android device
The TV Guide remains to be a vital a part of the redesigned Sky Q menu, so you possibly can browse the schedule to set reminders or record shows. If there are two events that you desire to watch live – Sky Q enables you to split the screen to observe two sports fixtures concurrently.
Sky Q also ships with a series of apps, which will be loaded side-by-side as you watch television too. Nonetheless, these are much less successful than the flexibility to juggle between two football matches. For starters, the apps are incredibly slow to load, leaving you watching a loading icon long after you possibly can’ve pulled your smartphone out of your pocket to ask the query, or hopped over a news channel to envision the headlines. There’s no third-party support either, so that you won’t give you the chance to scroll through a Twitter timeline on-screen.
Price and Availability
Sky Q has been available for six years. During that point, Sky has streamlined the lineup – reducing the selection between two set-top boxes to a single one-size-fits-all model. It has also removed Sky+ HD from the lineup, making Sky Q the default option for all recent customers. That is had the very positive effect of lowering prices.
Because it stands, Sky Q is out there straight away, with prices ranging from just £26 a month. Sky also offers bundles without its exclusive channels, like Sky Atlantic, for many who need to use the Sky Q hardware to upgrade their Freeview experience. This low-cost option is bundled with a broadband plan for £31 a month.
As at all times, there are plenty of different customisation and bundles available with the Sky Q hardware, so you possibly can add Sky Sports, BT Sport, Sky Cinema, 4K Ultra HD picture quality, super-speedy broadband, and more. We have rounded up a few of the latest deals and discounts below…
Sky Q review: Final Verdict
Short on time? Here it’s: Sky Q is an incredibly powerful set-top box with access to one of the best live television, sports fixtures, blockbusters, and must-binge boxsets from Netflix – all accessible from a single menu. Coupled with the most recent round of discounts (especially compared with the newer and pricier Sky Glass), Sky Q is one of the best Sky TV deal you will find. In other words, when you’re on the lookout for the last word upgrade on your television – that is it.
Sky Q review – at a look
What We Loved
- Great Menu Design with AI-Powered Recommendations
- Series Link Is A Life-Saver For Forgetful Telly Fans
- Seamless Mix Of On-Demand And Live Content
- Sky Atlantic Still Has An Immense Selection Of Must-See Shows
- Ability To Pause In One Room And Resume In One other
- Take Recordings With You Using The Sky Go App
- Dolby Atmos and 4K Ultra HD For Movies, Shows and Sports
- Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video, and Netflix Apps Included
- Spotify and Apple AirPlay Preinstalled
What We Didn’t Love
- Needs A Satellite Dish Drilled Into Your Wall
- Distant Still Relies On AAs
- No ITV Hub App Available
When Sky Q launched in early 2016, it was missing plenty of core features. For instance, while the R&D teams had included a microphone on the distant, the software that enabled voice search wouldn’t be ready for an additional 12 months after launch. Sky Q also shipped and not using a Netflix app and no word on whether it could ever be supported on the box. It will definitely arrived in November 2018, unlocking lots of more boxsets and flicks.
There are dozens more examples of nitpicks that Sky has rigorously ironed out with an everyday stream of software updates for Sky Q. And it hasn’t stopped there, the satellite company has added plenty of recent features that were never even mentioned in the course of the glitzy launch event in late 2015. For instance, Sky has increased the variety of recordings possible at the identical time – allowing viewers to record as much as six shows while still watching a seventh channel live. In other words, the Sky Q experience available today is very different.
It’s more open, endlessly fine-honed and streamlined, and because of this, infinitely higher. For those who tried Sky Q in the course of the first 12 months and weren’t impressed, it’s well value a re-examination. And that is despite the arrival of the flashy recent custom-designed QLED TV from the satellite company, which you possibly can examine in our Sky Glass review.
Prime Video, Apple TV+, and Disney+ arrive preinstalled on the updated box – with viewers capable of search across the catalogues with a voice command, so that you’ll never by accident rent a title from the Sky Store that’s included as a part of your monthly Disney+ subscription. You too can bundle your streaming subscriptions into your Sky TV bill to make budgeting easier.
That is considered one of the best strengths of Sky Q – it’s humble enough to know that not all the things you desire to watch is commissioned or broadcast by Sky. As a substitute, it’s designed to make finding exclusive shows, documentaries and movies from Netflix so simple as possible. Likewise for Disney+, Apple TV+ and Prime Video.
And it’s not only about hunting out recent series with the clever voice search or typing with the keypad, Sky Q also proactively recommends boxsets, documentaries, live broadcasts and blockbusters that it thinks will fit your tastes too. The satellite set-top box keeps tabs in your viewing habits and suggests recent shows throughout the day. Unfortunately, there’s no support for individual profiles – unlike the rival box from Virgin Media – so the recommendations will likely be influenced by all the things watched on the box, from horror movies within the small hours to Paw Patrol binges on a Saturday morning.
Sky Q refreshes its AI-powered suggestions multiple times a day, so younger viewers are unlikely to be really helpful the most recent instalment within the Scream franchise before school. Nonetheless, the flexibility to set profiles for every household member – like those available on streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ could be a welcome upgrade. Not least because it could allow viewers to bring their recommendations with them as they move between Sky Q, the diddy Sky Q mini boxes needed for multi-room viewing, and the Sky Go app.
Whatever you choose to observe on Sky Q, you possibly can be confident that it is going to look and sound phenomenal. The nifty satellite box supports 4K Ultra HD picture quality in addition to Dolby Digital and Dolby Atmos sound. These formats can be found in streaming apps like Disney+, live sports coverage, the most recent movies, in addition to on-demand boxsets from HBO and Sky Originals.
For those who’re kitted out with a 4K TV and solid soundbar, Sky Q will enhance your next boxset binge, sports fixture, or movie night with family and friends.
And in fact, Sky Q still packs the entire features that made its predecessor, Sky+ HD, such a runaway hit. With Sky Q, you’ll give you the chance to pause and rewind live television (and in some cases, restart a show or movie when you’ve joined partway through), in addition to set recordings for all the series with a single tap.
The redesigned Sky Q voice distant is an intuitive evolution that may feel familiar for longtime Sky+ HD viewers. But this isn’t simply a repeat, Sky has included some nifty recent functionality like the flexibility to make a chime so a misplaced distant will be found down the back of the sofa in seconds. It will be nice to see the AA batteries replaced with a recharged lithium-ion cell, but that’s not something you’ll find on the newer Sky Glass either.
Despite the arrival of Sky Glass, there are plenty of reasons to select Sky Q over its newer cousin. First off, Sky Q records shows, sports fixtures and flicks onto a physical harddisk, which will likely be there until you choose to delete them. In contrast, Sky Glass is entirely reliant on catch-up services. Sky Q works with any television, whereas Sky Glass is an all-in-one solution designed to switch your existing telly. And eventually, Sky Q relies on a satellite dish on the skin of your home, so that you won’t need the identical Wi-Fi speeds required to stream all terrestrial channels, boxsets and sports with Glass.
Sky Q showed huge promise during early 2016, but within the six years since its release, Sky has systematically addressed every nitpick, added recent functionality, and redesigned menus to streamline the experience. The result’s one of the crucial finely honed experiences available on the market and a real one-stop-shop for all the things you desire to watch. Whether you’re on the lookout for award-winning boxsets, nail-biting sports fixtures, or Hollywood blockbusters… you’ll struggle to seek out a greater solution to tune in than Sky Q.