Sky has unveiled its “next-generation home entertainment system” which the broadcaster promises will open up new ways of watching TV.
For the first time shows can be watched live, on demand or recorded on the Sky box around the home on another TV or tablet. Recordings can also be saved to a tablet to watch offline later, and live TV can be paused on one TV and resumed on another in the home.
An all-new TV guide will include a new search function and is controlled with a brand new remote which includes a touchpad. Voice activation will also come to the service later.
New services will be available on Sky Q, including Facebook, Vevo, YouTube and content from other partners.
This new experience is enabled with several new products. Sky Q Silver and Sky Q are powerful boxes which sit below the main TV and include up to 2TB of storage and up to 12 tuners – replacing any existing Sky+ or Sky+ HD boxes. Sky Q Mini is a smaller wireless box which provides access to the Sky Q box in other rooms without connecting to the satellite dish.
Sky Q Hub has built-in wifi and Powerline technology to communicate with the Sky Q devices. The hub also turns connected boxes into wifi hotspots, improving wireless coverage for Sky Broadband customers. Finally the Sky Q app for tablets lets viewers use Sky Q at home, take recordings away when offline and watch live and on-demand content on the go.
The new boxes will also be ready for the launch of Sky’s Ultra High Definition service in 2016.
“Sky Q is a brilliant new way for customers to experience TV on their terms,” said Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive, of the launch.
“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. We think customers are going to love Sky Q and the great news is that it will get even better with much more to come in the future.”
Sky Q will be available in early 2016 in the UK and Ireland with pricing announced closer to launch. It will join Sky’s existing products, such as Sky+ and NOWTV, rather than replacing any existing options.