Sky HD was a breakthrough product for Sky and the UK videophiles who were eager to get their hands (and eyes) on HD movies and sport. For an entire decade, this box and service was right at the top of Sky’s product line.
Over this 10 year period Virgin Media have tried to compete and in some ways surpassed this ageing box with their new TiVo box but Sky HD has still dominated thanks to it’s simplicity and familiarity.
Now the time has come to witness the changing of the guard. Out with the old and in with the shiny new Sky Q box!
So the question is; is it a worthy successor to the UK paid TV throne?
Well if you don’t want to read the full review, the short answer is a resounding yes! Beautiful, ‘Fluid’ onscreen interface makes navigating through the menus an absolute joy. It’s just so fast and responsive, this really is a step up from the old Sky HD box in almost every way. Sure it’ll take a little getting used to after 10 years with the older box but it’s worth getting used to and you’ll enjoy every minute learning your way around the menus and learning to use the new Remote!
Yes, that’s right. Sky have ditched the old and beloved Sky HD remote that is so familiar and has been around for so long it felt like a national treasure! Don’t worry though, the new remote is built for the next decade and I’m sure we’ll be looking back on this one just as fondly in a decades time.
The new trackpad is reminiscent of the new Apple TV remote and allows you to glide through menus effortlessly (although I wish you could invert the scrolling).
There’s a button on the side dedicated to voice search which wasn’t available at launch but has recently been added with a software update (you can be sure Sky will constantly update this box) and it works even better than I expected. You can ask for TV shows, movies etc and your Sky Q box will instantly display your results. You can even say a quote from your favourite movie and sure enough, Sky returns the correct result. Click here to see my YouTube video which will give you a better idea.
Next up the box itself. This is a step up from its predecessor in every way.
• 2TB of storage which is enough space for up to 350 hours of HD recordings!
• Ability to record four channels while watching a fifth (Sky HD supported 2 channels)
• Ability to support simultaneous viewing on two tablets using the Sky Q app
• Ability to support simultaneous viewing on two Sky Q Mini boxes
• Video resolution – upto 4K Ultra HD
That bottom bullet point is the big one in my opinion. Just as Sky HD paved the way for bringing HD movies and TV shows into UK homes, Sky Q is taking this to the next level with crispy 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) movies, sport and TV shows.
As I write this the football season has just finished but I throughly enjoyed watching Premier League games in stunning UHD. It really is a huge step up from the standard HD sport which in itself is a breathtaking step up from the old standard definition of years gone by. The UHD content doesn’t end there though. There’s a surprisingly large selection of 4K movies and TV shows available to download using Sky’s On Demand Platform. You can click here to see my video showing the movies available as of mid April 2017
All in all, Sky have done an amazing job in bringing their paid TV service bang up to date with a more premium offering that is aimed directly at the UK videophiles who are chomping at the bit to get their hands (and eyes) on stunning 4K Ultra High Definition content. From the gorgeous ‘movie poster’ modern UI to the silky smooth navigation, Sky Q screams style and class.
Sky Q will surely be the UK paid TV poster boy for years to come. Here’s the next 10 years!