(Pocket-lint) - Sky Glass is a device and service from Sky that launches on 18 October 2021.
Unlike the company's flagship product, Sky Q, which requires a satellite dish and separate Sky Q box that you connect to your TV, Sky Glass combines everything into a single internet-connected television.
Here is everything you need to know about Sky Glass, including what it is, what it offers, how much it costs and how it is different from Sky Q.
What is Sky Glass?
Sky Glass is a TV that has Sky's services built into it. Sky calls it "the smarter TV" and with it, you can stream every channel, show and app over Wi-Fi.
There's no need for a satellite dish, no need for a separate box, and no need for a separate TV either. Instead, Sky Glass is designed as the entire package, merging your various viewing sources like live TV, Netflix, and other streaming platforms into one seamless interface.
The TV is carbon neutral and it features squared edges and an aluminium build, with a colour-matched stand. It also features a Vesa wall mount integrated into the TV design. There are five colour options available: Anthracite Black, Ocean Blue, Racing Green, Dusky pink, Ceramic White. All come with a colour coordinated remote.
What are the Sky Glass TV specifications?
The Sky Glass TV comes in three size options - 43-inches, 55-inches and 65-inches.
There's a Quantum Dot LED panel running the show with a zoned full-array backlight. It offers a 4K Ultra HD resolution and supports Dolby Vision, as well as HDR 10 and HLG HDR formats. You get a 60Hz refresh rate.
There are three HDMI 2.1 ports, with eARC and CEC supported. One USB C socket is also included for powering devices (like the yet-to-be-released camera accessory coming in 2022), plus an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi 6. There's also a DVB-T/T2 digital TV tuner for backup if you lose internet connectivity.
Sky revealed to Pocket-lint that it makes the TV itself, but TPV (the parent company of TP Vision and the Philips TV brand in Europe) makes the LED panel. TPV supplies many panels to TV manufacturers around the world, so this is not unusual.
In addition, Sky confirmed that it will regularly update the TV hardware every two years, with customers having the ability to "swap" to the latest model. The company is also promising to update the software with new feautures each year, much like Apple and Google does with iOS and Android respectively. According to the company's CEO, there is a product roadmap mapped out until 2025 already.
In terms of audio, Sky Glass has six speakers built in, offering a 3.1.2 channel arrangement with three outwards-firing speakers up to 215W, a central subwoofer and two upwards-firing speakers. It supports 360-degree Dolby Atmos.
There are also a number of "viewing modes" that the company has worked on with Sky's own in-house production teams to optimise the picture depending on the content.
How much does Sky Glass cost?
Sky Glass can be bought separately, on a 0 per cent finance agreement through Sky, though a Sky subscription package is required too.
The 43-inch Sky Glass TV model costs £649 on its own - or from £13 a month for 48 months. The 55-inch model costs £849 on its own - or £17 a month for 48 months. And the 65-inch model costs £1049 on its own - or £21 a month for 48 months. They all come with a two-year warranty and there is a 24-month option too.
In terms of full Sky Glass subscription costs, you're looking at a minimum of £39 a month - which includes the £13 a month for the TV and £26 a month for the Sky Ultimate TV package. This price gives you the 43-inch Sky Glass TV with Netflix and Sky Entertainment. If you wanted the 55-inch model, for example, this monthly cost would be £43 a month, while the 55-inch model would be £47 a month. This is for 48 months.
For £62 a month, you could get the Sky Glass 43-inch TV with Sky Sports, Sky Kids, Sky Entertainment, Netflix and Sky Cinema. This would increase to £66 a month for the 55-inch model and £70 a month for the 65-inch model. Again, this is for 48 months.
Meanwhile, £70 a month gets you the Sky Glass 43-inch TV with Sky Sports, BT Sport, Netflix and Sky Entertainment. This will increase to £74 a month for the 55-inch model and £78 a month for the 65-inch model, for 48 months.
A £10 upfront fee applies to all Sky Glass subscriptions, and you'll also need to keep in mind that you will need broadband (you need 11Mbps minimum).
Multi-room through the Sky Stream Puck (£50 each) is also available but costs an additional £10 a month.
What about multi-room with Sky Glass?
The Sky Stream Puck is a separate box that is available alongside Sky Glass. A little like the Sky Q mini box, the Sky Stream Puck is a second streaming box, which allows for Sky multi-room, as briefly mentioned above.
The box is slightly smaller than an Apple TV, measuring 108 x 18 x 108mm. It has one HDMI 2.1 port, Ethernet and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity.
Up to six Sky Stream Pucks can be wirelessly connected to the Sky Glass TV and, unlike the Sky Q Mini boxes, aren't a lesser experience. They offer the same interface, 4K streaming, but you do lose out on features like Glance which is built into Sky Glass.
That means if you have another TV in the bedroom - or five bedrooms - for example, the Sky Stream Puck will enable you to have Sky services on those TVs if you have Sky Glass downstairs.
For the service to work effectively, Sky recommends you need a minimum of 30Mbps connection speed.
Alternatively, you could opt for the small Sky Glass TV in a bedroom and put a puck downstairs in the living room, allowing for Sky services without a Sky box on your current big TV or projector.
What do you need for Sky Glass?
As Sky Glass is intended to be a full package - box, satillite dish and TV in one - you need a lot less than what you need for Sky Q.
You do still need an active internet connection though. This doesn't need to be through Sky, but a minimum speed of 11mbps is required for one Sky Glass, and a minimum of 30mbps for multi-room.
How is Sky Glass different from Sky Q?
Sky Q requires a satellite dish, a separate Sky Q box and a TV to plug the Sky Q box into, while Sky Glass has everything in one product. The content available across both platforms is the same, though the interfaces are different.
Both offer multi-room functionality through either the Sky Q mini box or Sky Stream Puck, respectively.
It's worth noting that the Sky Glass experience, and the accompanying "Pucks" are completely reliant on broadband, so if you lose your internet connection you will lose the ability to watch the vast majority of Sky services (a digital TV tuner is included so you can at least continue to watch something).
Can you still "record" shows?
The Series Link feature that Sky customers have been using for a long time is now effectively dead on Sky Glass. The new system opts for something called Playlists instead.
With Sky Glass you simply add something to your Playlist (think of it like Watch list on Netflix) that allows you to access content regardless of where it comes from - Sky or one of its streaming partners.
With content seemingly constantly switching between services, or starting on one service and then being moved to another, this should make life a lot easier.
What's Sky Glass Glance?
Sky doesn't like the idea that when your TV is off it's a big square rectangle in your house. The answer is a motion dectector in the TV that will allow it to spring into life with suggestions on what to watch.
At the moment, it's focused on entertainment recommendations, but Sky has promised that it will showcase artwork, weather, news, sport, and potentially other things in the future.
When will Sky Glass be available?
Sky Glass is available from 18 October 2021 in the UK.
Are there any more features coming to Sky Glass?
Sky has said the Sky Glass service will improve in 2022 with the launch of a 4K smart camera that will unlock a range of services for the whole family.
It claims it will transform how we chat, play games, workout and share entertainment at home. It's also confirmed that there will be a major software update each year and a major hardware update every two years.
What's happening to the Sky Go app?
Sky Go will receive an update shortly to fall in line with the new Sky Glass experience, although it will continue to work with Sky Q.