Sky has unveiled its highly-anticipated integrated TV product that combines the Sky TV experience direct into the set, in the process disposing of a spaghetti junction of cable, and the satellite dish that has characterised the service for over 30 years.
“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,” said Dana Strong, Group Chief Executive.
Visually the display comes from the Apple school of design with a range of five colours (Ocean blue, Ceramic white, Racing green, Dusky pink, or Anthracite black) in three display sizes, based on Europe’s most popular sizes, 43, 55 and 65 inch. Ultra HD and Quantum Dot technology between them produce over 1 billion colours. According to Sky’s chief product officer, Fraser Stirling, this means the darks will be darker and the lights lighter, as the TV adjusts to the content and its surroundings.
There are six speakers that support 360° Dolby Atmos sound with powerful built-in speakers and sub-woofer.
The UI is an enhancement on the Sky Q look and feel with additional tricks to enhance the product. Voice control is integrated into the set itself as well as the remote, which lights up to highlight individual buttons. Streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix are fully integrated into the guide and if your favourite show happens to appear in series on two different platforms the software will piece them both together. A playlist function neatly gets around not being able to directly record from streaming services.
Certified as carbon neutral, the integration of set-top box and sound bar into the receiving reduces the energy. There is also a reduction in price with the 43-inch display coming in at £649 and 55 and 65-inch models at £849 and £1,049 giving an approximate 30% saving.
Sky will also lease you the TV at £13/17/21 per month, in a throwback to the days of Radio Rentals, which is embraced by those who already purchase their model phones in much the same way. While Sky says it will constantly update the software inside the box, customers will also be able to upgrade the model as new variants appear.
Multiroom viewing is made possible through the Sky Puck, a version of Comcast’s recently released Global TV Streaming Device.
Wrapping up the presentation, Comcast chairman and chief executive Brian Roberts said when he saw an early prototype at an executive retreat he knew it was “something very special”.
“There have been moments in television that have been more than transformative and this will be one of those,” he said.
Sky Glass will be available in the UK from 18 October and will launch in Sky’s other European markets during 2022.