Sky launches next generation Sky Q entertainment system

18 Nov 2015  |  David Pidgeon 
Sky launches next generation Sky Q entertainment system

Sky has today unveiled its latest generation set-top box, called Sky Q.

The new entertainment system will allow up to four simultaneous downloads of TV shows - whilst watching a fifth - and can "supercharge" the broadband for stronger signals around the home.

Sky Q also includes hubs and apps that combine satellite and internet TV viewing and will allow viewers to watch content across a range of screens with the ability to download shows and watch outside the home.

"We wanted to re-imagine TV so that it's flexible and seamless across different screens and to put a huge choice of entertainment at their fingertips," said Sky's chief executive, Jeremy Darroch.

Sky has yet to confirm the pricing, but said the new system will be available in the UK and Ireland in early 2016.

Commenting on the announcement, Strategy Analytics' David Mercer said Sky customers watch 20% of programmes on connected devices and Sky Q is "squarely targeted" at the most demanding of this on-demand generation.

"Premium customers are the best bet for increasing revenue, as many people are looking to reduce TV bills - indeed ARPUs across the industry are fairly stagnant," he said. "Sky Q, alongside Now TV's 'buffet' model, means Sky now covers consumers at opposite ends of this spectrum."

If SkyQ is priced at £13 a month, it would take its TV subscription alone through the landmark £100, as it is possible to spend £87 a month today, although Mercer suspects it is likely to be near £10 per month.

"Either way, Sky will be banking on the appeal of the new user interface, a tactic that's helped pay TV companies overseas increase premium subscriptions," he said.

Updates include:

- Sky Q Silver has 2TB of storage with ability to record four shows while watching a fifth

- The new Sky Q hub "supercharges" broadband by turning all your Sky Q boxes into Wi-Fi hotspots for a stronger signal and better coverage throughout the home.

- Voice search for the new Sky Q touch remote

- The new Sky Q box is Ultra HD ready, and Sky will be launching services later in 2016

- Ability to watch TV anywhere in the home

- A Sky Q mobile app is "on the horizon"

- A single click on the remote opens up the sidebar which has apps you can use while you are watching any channel

- Ability to browse all live matches

- 'My Q' brings together shows viewers have not yet finished watching, the latest episodes of favourite show and recommendations

Sky has also announced the launch of the Sky Q Mini, a 'plug and play' wireless box that you can connect to any room in your house.

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