Sky announces Sky Glass smart TV range – satellite channels without dish

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At a glitzy event in London, attended by Tech Digest, Sky announced the launch of Sky Glass – an Ultra HD  smart TV that can connect to a wide range of streaming services, including all the Sky channels, of course. 

Billed as a carbon-neutral TV, which uses up to 50% less energy than a conventional TV, Sky Glass will be available with a monthly subscription from £13 a month. It is believed the TVs are manufactured in conjunction with Korean firm LG. 

Available in a range of five colours, the ‘industrial designed’ 4K TVs – which are designed in conjunction with design agency Map Project Office – also come with customisable fascias and a TV remote that glows in the dark. Three sizes are available including 43inch, 55inch and 65inch screen sizes. Also on board are six spatially optimised speakers, including an active sub-woofer, with 360 degree Dolby Atmos sound. 

In addition to a remote, control is provided via voice so you can turn the TV on by saying ‘Hello Sky’ or say ‘Hello Sky X Box’ and it will take you to the X Box input rather than you having to find the right HDMI. A built-in TV guide can be used to access Live TV services or downloaded apps.

There’s also a playlist option so you can find favourite content more easily without having to go through individual apps.

Matt Powell, Editor at BroadbandGenie.co.uk
 
“Sky Glass represents Sky’s first major step away from the satellite TV service it has operated since the 1980s. Eliminating the dish as a requirement could encourage many more homes to sign up to Sky TV. The major challenge for Sky will be convincing customers to purchase a Glass unit, when many will already own a large 4K-ready and internet-connected TV.
“Moving to streaming also relies on the viewer having broadband that’s up to the job. The UK’s current broadband infrastructure will allow the majority of the UK to enjoy at least the entry-level HD option. But for streaming in 4K, a fast fibre connection will be required, and depending on the size of the home and number of users, it may be necessary to upgrade to a quicker speed to get a high-quality buffer-free experience.”

Subscription options

In addition to the subscription, costing £13 (43inch), £17 (55inch) and £21 (65inch) a month, the TVs will also be available to buy with programming from £26 a month (Sky Ultimate TV) – in other words from £39 a month. 

Alternatively, you can buy the TVs outright. The 43inch TV is £649, the 55 inch is £849 and the 65inch is £1049. Sky Glass TV will be available from many retailers, including new Sky Glass shops – one in the Westfield shopping centre in West London. 

Expected in 2022, Sky announced it will launch video calling in conjunction with Zoom and a ‘watch together’ feature. Sky also unveiled gesture-controlled video games for the family and home workouts for keeping fit. 

Dana Strong, Group Chief Executive, Sky. Image: Sky

Speaking at the launch, Dana Strong, Group Chief Executive, Sky (pictured above) said:

“Sky Glass is the streaming TV with Sky inside, providing the total integration of hardware, software and content. Built on over 30 years of understanding what our customers want, this is a TV that only Sky could make. We believe this is the smartest TV available, and that customers will love it.”

Adds Ernest Doku, tech expert at Uswitch.com:

“For people watching TV in the 1990s, the idea of being able to pause and rewind programmes would have seemed like wizardry. But it’s about time that Sky sprinkled some magic dust over the out-dated satellite dish.

“Instead of embracing streaming in the same way as Netflix and Disney+, Sky is incorporating its channels and other content into a QLED Smart TV called Sky Glass. This all-in-one solution finally does away with the set-top box and dish, which historically have put off many potential customers.

“Sky claims the Glass is the world’s first carbon-neutral TV. And while details are thin on the ground, that would be an applaudable achievement. However, encouraging consumers to get rid of working televisions in order to get Sky’s version could generate a lot of unnecessary electronic waste.”


Key features include:

  • Buy your TV like you buy your mobile phone with flexible payments
  • Cutting-edge design available in five colours and three sizes
  • Ultra HD and Quantum Dot technology producing over 1 billion colours
  • 360° Dolby Atmos sound with powerful built-in speakers and sub-woofer
  • Talk to your TV: just say “Hello Sky” to find what to watch
  • The world’s first TV to be certified as a CarbonNeutral product

 

Chris Price
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