Sky started to install its new Sky Q service and kit in customers homes at the end of March and, by all accounts, it has gone down very well indeed.

However, all things can be improved over time, especially technology and entertainment equipment and Sky Q is no exception.

That's why, from today, 21 July, Sky is rolling out a feature update to Sky Q boxes, to add new functionality and to tweak the user experience a touch to make the service even better than before.

Pocket-lint was invited to see some of the main changes, so here are the highlights to expect when your Sky Q box receives the first major software update since launch.

SkySky Sports Ultra HD [menu]

The headline feature that the update brings is for Sky Q Silver boxes only. As they have had the correct HDMI configuration to output Ultra HD video, they will be the only devices to get 4K UHD content.

The content will arrive on 13 August, to coincide with the first Sky broadcast of the new Premier League season. Hull versus reigning champs Leicester City will be the first live 4K presentation for Sky Q customers to enjoy.

It will be followed by a further 123 matches throughout the season, Formula One coverage from the start of its next season, and other sporting events when available.

In addition, Sky will host over 70 4K movies before the end of 2016, including The Revenant, The Martian and Spectre. And there will be several box sets available on demand too.

All Ultra HD movies and TV shows will be streamed or downloaded over the internet, while live broadcasts will be received and played by one of the Silver box's digital TV tuners.

Your box can be set to output 2160p (4K) video after the summer update is installed and ahead of the content launch. It will also choose to output with 8-bit or 10-bit colour depending on your TV, but it will not output 4K video with HDR at present.

SkyAuto Download Next Episode - Billions

There are several tweaks to help you continue to watch a TV series you enjoy.

While you are watching a show that is available on demand, either as catch up or as part of a box set, the Sky Q box will automatically download the next episode and place it in your library, so you can carry on straight away. It will even autoplay the next episode as you end the last, in a similar way to other apps, including BBC iPlayer and Netflix.

If you don't want the next episode to start automatically, you can just press stop and come back to it at a later date.

In addition, the next episodes in a series that are yet to be shown on live TV are easier to find. They appear in the mini guide at the bottom of the screen if you pull it up while watching the current episode. From there you can choose to record it. Simple.


If you are trying to scan forward or backwards through a film or TV show in order to find a specific moment or scene, you can now either swipe to zip through quickly to the time you want, or you can use quick swipes on the touch remote to jump forward in one minute intervals. Each jump will also show you a still of that moment on screen, so you can see when you reach the section you were looking for.

SkyTop Picks

Previously, Sky's Top Picks section features on demand content, but upcoming live programming will also start to appear in that curated menu area. You can then set it to record, or jump straight into the live broadcast if it is on already.

Additionally, sports content will be clearer in the menu system, with a new Sports Homepage, with live content appearing alongside supplementary and catch-up options.

With the ability to access clips through different online services, either now or as part of additional apps later, you can now set a PIN to prevent 18+ content from being viewed when the Family Friendly setting is on.

The Sky Q summer update is rolling out now. A number of additional software updates are planned, including improvements to home connectivity.