Sky Q review: the next generation TV box
SKY Q, boldly hailed as "the next generation" TV box, offers some of the most advanced smart viewing services in the UK.
The Sky Q box includes more tuners than any other, can host Ultra HD media and stream content to multiple devices.
In our Sky Q review we will assess Sky's premium TV proposition, including offers, technology, packages and prices. We'll also show the extras and add-ons and look at whether existing Sky customers should seriously consider upgrading.
Sky Q 1TB is now the standard box provided with all Sky TV bundles. So customers who sign up for this special offer for new customer who sign up online.
Sky TV Latest Offers
Sky Q boxes
There are three Sky Q boxes available with Sky TV:
|Sky Q 1TB||Sky Q 2TB||Sky Q Mini|
|Used for||Main Sky TV box||Optional main Sky TV box||Additional boxes for Sky Q Multiscreen|
|Record TV||3 shows (watch a 4th live)||6 shows (watch a 7th live)||N/a|
|Watch in||High Definition||Ultra HD||Dependent on main box|
|Storage||500 hours of SD TV||1000 hours of SD TV||Stream content from main box only|
|Multiscreen||Up to 2 TVs and 1 tablet
(at the same time)
|Up to 3 TVs and 2 tablets
(at the same time)
|Price||£20 setup||£199 setup
(or £65 with Multiscreen)
|£12/mth for Multiscreen plus £50 setup with first box free,
then £99 per box
Sky Q 1TB box
The Sky Q 1TB box is now the default box for Sky TV customers. This box has eight tuners, four of which are used for watching and recording up to four channels at once.
The fifth tuner streams content to tablets using the Sky Q app, while the sixth and seventh tuners allow the device to stream to two Sky Q Mini boxes for multiscreen viewing, covered below.
The eighth tuner provides channel previews in the mini guides and keep the box up to date.
The box has a 1TB hard drive, but it is not wholly devoted to storing user recordings. Sky say 700GB, or 500 hours of standard definition content can be stored on the device.
Sky Q 2TB box
The Sky Q 2TB box offers access to Sky's Ultra HD content, including a mix of entertainment, sport and movies. Find more details on HD and UHD offerings below.
The Sky Q 2TB box also offers 12 tuners; seven for live viewing and recording, and five for stream to up to three Sky Q Mini boxes and up to two tablet devices simultaneously.
Just like the 1TB box one tuner is reserved for previewing content and updating the box.
1.7TB of the box's 2TB drive can be used to store user recordings, approximately 1,000 hours' worth.
Sky Q Mini box
Sky Q Mini boxes are used for multi room viewing. Mini boxes don't have any tuners of their own but stream content from a 1TB or 2TB box.
Sky Q Mini boxes mean users can pause broadcasts or recordings in one room and then continue to watch in a different room.
There is an added benefit for those who also have Sky Broadband as the Sky Q Mini functions as a wi-fi hotspot, boosting wireless signal from the main broadband router.
Sky Q Hub
Another advantage for Sky Broadband customers is the Sky Q Hub router.
The Sky Q Hub is more streamlined than the standard Sky Hub, its 5GHz dual broadband wireless has been upgraded to support the 802.11ac protocol and it can offer connection of up to 1GB.
The Q Hub does have fewer Ethernet ports - two rather than four - but it also transforms every Q TV box into a wi-fi hotspot.
It - and the other Sky Q boxes - have also been developed to support Powerline technology, which uses the home's electrical wiring to allow devices to communicate with each other without cables trailing between them.
This feature isn't fully available yet - but when it is, it should make streaming via Sky Q and going online everywhere in the house even smoother.
Sky touch remote and voice search
The Sky 2TB box is a voice command device, meaning that users can control playback and recording using their voice by pressing a button on the touch remote.
The touch remote also comes with a neat location feature. If the remote can't be found users can use the Sky Q box to make the remote beep for 30 seconds, in an attempt to help them locate it.
How much does Sky Q cost?
The Sky Q 1TB is now the standard box for new Sky TV customers.
Find out more about each of these Sky bundles, including extra channels, in our full Sky TV review.
Sky Q 1TB box prices:
Compare more Sky TV packages.
Customers who prefer the 2TB box, which is Ultra HD compatible and offers more storage, just have a larger set-up fee.
Sky Q 2TB box prices:
However, customers who are looking at upgrading to the Sky Q 2TB box may also want to consider Sky Q Multiscreen - which while it carries it's own additional costs, brings the setup cost of the 2TB box down to just £65 and makes the most of all those extra tuners.
Sky Q Multiscreen
Sky Q's multiroom capabilities are achievable with the addition of Sky Q Mini boxes.
Sky Q Multiscreen costs £12 per month including one Sky Q Mini box. Additional boxes can be added for £99 each.
As mentioned, customers who take the Sky Q 2TB box with Multiscreen have the upfront price discounted from £199 to £65.
|Monthly price||Set-up cost (one off charge)|
|First additional box||Second mini box||Third mini box||Fourth mini box|
|Sky Q Multiscreen||£12||£0||+ £99||+ £99||+ £99|
Sky Go allows all Sky TV customers to stream content on a range of devices, including mobile phones and desktop computers where mobile data or broadband connections are available.
Sky Q 1TB customers are able to stream content to one other device and 2TB customers can stream to two other devices, but can upgrade to Sky Go Extra for £5 per month to stream or download content to more.
Sky Multiscreen customers get Sky Go Extra free of charge, which can be accessed using the Sky Q app.
Multiscreen customers can register four mobiles or tablets at a time, allowing them to watch downloads of on demand content on all those devices simultaneously.
Compare Sky Q Multiscreen with competing Virgin and BT offerings with our guide.
Watch HD and Ultra HD
Sky Q 2TB customers can access HD TV when they purchase the Box Sets Bundle for £38 per month.
The Sky Cinema package comes with HD as standard for £18 per month, while Sky Sports subscribers are charged an additional £6 per month to access its channels in HD.
Sky Q Multiscreen customers can access Ultra HD content for 4k Ultra HD TVs.
Sky Cinema subscribers will find at least 70 Ultra HD films available on demand, and Sky Sports subscribers can watch and record hundreds of live sporting events, including 124 Premier League fixtures this season and every Formula 1 race.
Because Sky Q's Ultra HD content is broadcast via satellite it's available without a fibre broadband connection, like almost all other services.
Sky Q boxes are 3D compatible, so users also gain access to 3D content on demand, including films accessible through Sky Cinema or the Sky Store.
The immediate future doesn't look too bright for Sky 3D TV. In 2014 they announced that Premier League games would be ditched from its Sky Sports 3D offering, and in June 2015 Sky closed their only 3D channel.
Sky Q Installation
Sky Q has changed the way Sky charge for equipment.
Unlike previous boxes, which were bought by or gifted to users, Sky Q equipment is loaned.
It has its advantages - Sky Q customers have their devices professionally installed with free servicing and mechanical fault repairs for its lifetime.
Sky Q installation costs:
|Equipment||Without Sky Q Multiscreen||With Sky Q Multiscreen|
|Sky Q 1TB||£20||£20|
|Sky Q 2TB||£199||£65|
Sky TV and broadband bundle
Sky Q customers don't need Sky Broadband, but there are benefits to having both, including reduced set-up fees and broadband costs.
Sky customers with TV and phone line can add a light use broadband package - Sky 12GB - for £5 per month. Sky Q users may also want to consider one of Sky's unlimited broadband deals.
Sky Unlimited Broadband
Sky TV is available almost anywhere in the UK, but Sky Broadband isn't. Check whether Sky Broadband and Sky Fibre is available with the postcode checker below:
Enter your postcode above to check availability in your area.
Compare speeds, allowances and prices of Sky broadband deals with the table below. For more detailed information check out our Sky Broadband guide.
Explore more Sky package options here.
Sky Q TV with Sky Broadband customers also have a Sky phone service.
Line rental is £18.99 per month and doesn't when any calls included. Call bundles can be added for as little as £4 per month.
|Plan||Contract term||Monthly price|
|Pay As You Talk||12 months||£18.99|
|Talk Evenings & Weekends Extra||12 months||£22.99|
|Talk Anytime Extra||12 months||£26.99|
|Talk International Extra||12 months||£30.99|
Customers who want to consolidate their providers might also want to consider Sky's SIM-only mobile phone service. Find out more in our full review.
Upgrading to Sky Q
The cost for existing customers upgrading to Sky Q depends on the package and the box they choose.
|Main box||Without Sky Q Multiscreen||With Sky Q Multiscreen|
|Sky Q 1TB||£199||Up to £49|
|Sky Q 2TB||£199||Up to £99|
Existing customers who want to upgrade to Sky Q Multiscreen without having Sky+ Multiscreen will incur the same setup charges as brand new customers - £20 for the 1TB box or £65 for the 2TB box.
Upgrading involves committing to a new contract of at least 18 months.
And finally, for anyone considering signing up to Sky Q - here are their latest special offers:
Compare Sky Q to similar services from competitors including BT and Virgin check out our comprehensive review.