Meet Sky Glass: Sky's first TV integrates Sky TV over Wi-Fi, with Dolby Atmos audio and a Quantum Dot 4K Dolby Vision display
Sky has launched its first ever TV. The new Sky Glass combines the software functionality of its Sky Q platform with a Dolby Vision 4K HDR display and integrated Dolby Atmos sound system. Gone is the need for a dish, as all content comes via the TV's network connection.
'For the first time in the UK, you can now get Sky TV over WiFi, with no satellite dish, no box and no fuss,' says Sky.
Sky Glass will hit the market in the UK on October 18, with availability in Europe following next year.
The TV comes in three different sizes – 43in, 55in and 65in – and five different colour options. A new, revised remote, similar to that of the Sky Q Mini box, is also colour-matched.
Of course, the satcaster isn't in the business of selling hardware, and Sky Glass continues the subscription pricing model of its satellite TV and mobile platforms.
There's devil in the detail, though. While Sky says the TV will be available 'from as little as £13 per month exclusively with Sky TV' that's for the 43in model on a 48-month contract (plus a £10 upfront free). The price rises to £26 per month for a 24-month deal (with £20 upfront).
The larger models are priced at £17 per month (48-month) and £34 per month (24-month) for the 55in, and £21 per month (48-month) and £42 per month (24-month) for the 65in.
On top of this, buyers can add a premium Sky package, including Sky Ultimate for £26 per month (Sky Originals, Sky Exclusives, and Netflix), Sky Cinema (£11 per month) and Sky Sports (£25 per month).
There's also a £5 monthly fee for Sky's 'Ultra HDR and Dolby Atmos 'pack'.
As with Sky's mobile phone contracts, Sky Glass customers will be able to upgrade their set, replacing it, says Sky, with future models offering newer hardware technology, colours and sizes.
Additionally, a new Whole Home package from Sky introduces the Sky Stream Puck. This gizmo, which costs £10 per month, brings the Sky Glass platform to other TVs in the home, via Wi-Fi. This will also bring 4K HDR playback to second-room sets, something the company's current Sky Q Mini boxes don't.
For existing Sky Q customers using a dish and a box, what's perhaps most interesting about Sky Glass is its new UI. In addition to tricks that are specific to its mashup of hardware and software – such as Glance Motion Technology that turns the set on just by looking at it (apparently – we wonder if it will also work with pets), plus far-field voice control – the Sky Glass menus fully integrate third party apps/catchup and Sky content into a new environment. There's also a new personal Playlist tool. Perhaps a tweaked version of this platform will rollout to Sky Q hardware soon.
Sky, naturally, hasn't revealed details about its hardware partner for Sky Glass, only saying that the sets use a Quantum Dot 10-bit backlit panel, and support HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision HDR. Image processing is employed so that 'Sky Glass knows what you’re watching and optimises sound and picture for you', while the backlight benefits from Intelligent Zonal Technology.
The company worked with design agency Map Project Office on the aesthetic design, which has resulted in a logo-less TV in Ocean Blue, Ceramic White, Racing Green, Dusky Pink, or Anthracite Black finish. Sky Glass has an integrated mounting bracket, and is supplied with colour- matched stand.
Audio is from a six-driver Dolby Atmos-capable array, including two upfirers in the TV's top bezel, and a built-in subwoofer.
Sky Glass sets have three HDMI inputs, one with eARC enabling connection to an external sound system. Connected sources, such as a games console, will integrate within the Sky Glass UI (and support launching via voice). There's also Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
One question is how a Sky Glass owner would watch TV if their internet connection went down. The answer to this is that the sets have an integrated DVB-T2 tuner, described as 'for back up only.'
Speaking at today's launch in London, Dana Strong, Sky's group chief executive, said: “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.'
**This story has been updated with the HDMI, DVB-T2 tuner and pricing info **