(Pocket-lint) - Sky is continuing to release HDR content for its Sky Q box, with several shows and series now available. 

There are some major caveats to watch them though: you need a compatible Sky Q box for starters - not all Sky Q boxes can output HDR. You can find a compatibility list below.

You'll also need to be a Sky Q UHD or Experience subscriber (unless you only want to watch Disney+ in HDR).

You will need a TV compatible with the hybrid log gamma (HLG) version of HDR too - most modern HDR TVs support it, although some older sets might not.

That's a fair few boxes to tick (pardon the pun), but if you have the right kit, here's how to watch HDR content on Sky Q.

How to watch Sky Q in 4K HDR

A system software update arrived earlier this year that will have enabled you to watch HDR content on your compatible Sky Q box (see below).

But if the software update wasn't installed automatically for some reason, you can still force the install.

  • Simply head to "Settings" on the menu page (left-hand side).
  • Click on "System Info".
  • Click on the "Update" button next to "Software version".

If you don't have the latest software already, it will download and install. It might take some time though, so go make yourself a cup of tea - or two.

To access one of the available shows, you are currently best to use search or voice search to find them by name:

  • A Discovery of Witches (from September)
  • Brassic 2 (from late September)
  • Britannia II
  • Bulletproof 2
  • Cobra
  • Gangs of Lemur Island
  • Malawi: Wildlife Rescue
  • Pridelands: Wilderness reborn
  • Save Me Too
  • Wild Tales From The Farm

Download the UHD (4K) version of each show, which will not list that it is also available in HDR but, if your Sky Q box and TV are compatible, it will automatically switch to the HLG HDR picture mode when you play it.

Is my Sky Q box compatible with HDR?

If HDR is not playing on your compatible TV, it could mean that your Sky Q box itself is not supported.

To check if it is head to Settings > System Info > Hardware version and check the model number.

If it is one of the following, it is HDR compatible:

  • 32B1xx - Sky Q 2TB
  • 32B203 or 32B204 - Sky Q 1TB
  • 32B205 or 32B206 - Sky Q 1TB/2TB

However, if the model number starts with the following, it does not support HDR:

  • 32B0xx - Sky Q 2TB
  • 32C0xx - Sky Q 1TB
  • 32C1xx - Sky Q 1TB

Sky Q Mini boxes are not compatible.

If your Sky Q 1TB or 2TB box is not compatible, you can upgrade it for a one-off £50 set up fee. Check out our handy guide on how that works: How to upgrade your Sky Q box for a HDR-compatible model and what you need to consider.

When will HDR sports and movies be available on Sky Q?

In future, Sky will add other programming in HDR.

Around Christmas time, Sky Cinema will include some blockbuster movies in 4K HDR.

Finally, Sky plans to enable HDR (HLG) for BBC iPlayer playback in time for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, to show live events in the format.

Pocket-lint has also been told that the Sky Q Netflix app will get HDR playback in the "coming months", while Disney+ is now available in HDR on the platform.


Writing by Rik Henderson.