Sky TV has been around for 31 years but it’s only just released a television of its very own. Called Sky Glass, it’s the satellite broadcaster’s first move into display hardware and brings the best of its Sky Q set-top box platform to an all-in-one smart TV.
The Sky Glass TV will be available in the UK on October 18, and is expected to also launch in Australia and other regions soon after.
Sky’s new TV comes in three sizes, 43, 55 and 65-inches and it makes the most of the latest quantum dot panel technology. Sky Glass is an entertainment hub and combines local content, streaming services and Sky’s TV services over Wi-Fi, which means you no longer need a satellite dish.
As well as 4K quantum dot technology, Sky Glass will also feature 10-bit Dolby Vision HDR and has a Dolby Atmos soundbar built-in. As if there wasn’t enough to get excited about, Sky’s engineers will set up the TV for you when they deliver it – think of it as a complete home cinema in a box. Although with only one wire needed to get it up-and-running, it promises to be one of the easiest TVs to set up, as both the soundbar and Sky Q box are built into the set.
The Sky Glass has a flat back, which means it should be easy to mount on a wall. You can choose from five different colours of anodised aluminium casing and there are also a selection of custom facias to magnetically clip to the front. A backlit remote with matching colour schemes is also available.
If you love streaming services, don’t be put off. With the Sky Glass, the Sky interface integrates content from numerous third-party TV apps and subscriptions services, from BBC iPlayer through to Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime Video.
As ever with Sky’s home products, you can also record live TV and boxset programming though cloud storage (rather than a built-in hard drive). You also have the ability to stream recordings from Sky Glass to mobile devices around your home through Sky’s accompanying mobile apps, letting you carry on watching your favorite TV shows whether you’re cooking or in the bath.
Sky Glass price and release date
The Sky Glass goes on sale October 18 in the UK, with more regions (Europe, Australia) set to follow in the proceeding months.
While the sets can be bought outright direct from Sky (43-inches will cost £649, 55-inch will be £849, and the 65-inch at £1049), mobile-like subsidised options will be available.
A press release tells us that “Sky Glass is made to be affordable. Choose to buy your TV like you buy your mobile phone by paying in one go or spread the cost with interest-free monthly payments.”
Subscription prices start at £13 a month for the 43-inch version, £17 for the 55-inch, and £21 for the 65-inch.
Add-ons and different channel packages can be stacked on these pricing tiers however. That £13 monthly fee will go up to £26 for Sky Ultimate TV and to get UHD programming thrown in – so the set’s 4K resolution won’t get fully utilised with every package.
As the TV technology changes over time, you’ll be able to trade-in the TV for newer models as they become available – much like trading up a mobile phone will on a contract. All TVs come with a two-year warranty.
A separate package, Whole Home Sky, will come with an additional Puck, which will let you carry the Sky Glass interface over to a second TV. That’s an extra £10 on top, per additional non-Sky screen you’re looking to hook up.
Sky is opening a Sky Glass showroom in the UK at London’s Westfield shopping centre for those looking to see the screen in person.
Sky Glass preorder
So, how can you get one? The screen doesn’t release until October 18, but you can now “pre-register” on the Sky website in the UK. You’ll have to input your name, email address and phone number, and then hold tight while Sky puts you on the list to get stock later in the month. There’s no payment taken right away, or requests for your card details, so you can log your interest without committing to the purchase right away.
Read more: how to pre-order Sky Glass
Sky Glass features and specs
As you’d imagine, the television’s interface is based on Sky’s own premium Sky Q set-top box. That means you get editorialised TV and film recommendations, as well as Sky’s intelligent algorithmic recommendations based on what you’ve previously watched at specific times of day.
Sky has a huge range of boxsets, rentals and purchasable film and television content alongside its broadcast channels, and a gigantic library of on-demand TV and film, lots of which also supports HDR and Dolby Atmos sound.
Voice search, via a microphone in the remote, is also included, and is smart enough to understand the context behind queries relating to specific shows, broader genres, film and TV quotes and individual actors.
Smart features include the ability to simply walk past the TV to switch it on, with the option to have dynamic information displayed on the screen when it would otherwise be sleeping. HDMI ports are treated intelligently too – you’ll be able to say “Sky, turn to Xbox” and the TV will jump to the correct port that your console is plugged into.
These are all 4K-resolution screens, as is the standard for displays at 40 inches and above – with 10-bit HDR (equivalent to an LG OLED screen on paper) as well as HLG and Dolby Vision for alternative/premium formats. So it sounds like the specs of the Sky Glass are intended to help Sky Movies, Sky Sports and the like look their best. There’s also a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar, so the TV should sound as good as it looks.
We’re told that “Sky Glass knows what you’re watching and optimises sound and picture for you, while Intelligent Zonal Technology works to bring you darker darks and brights that look brighter.” Auto-switching between picture presets isn’t new, but it is welcome, and that ‘Zonal Technology’ is clearly aimed to draw people away from pricer sets that Mini LED or OLED who are after deep blacks and bright highlights, though performance will likely be slightly inferior to that of more expensive displays.
There’s talk of a follow-up TV accessory camera for video calls, fitness monitoring, and even Xbox Kinect-style motion tracking in games, which could require a Sky Glass TV to work as intended – though this device looks set to follow in early 2022, and we’ll likely get more information on this closer to the time.
Hands on Sky Glass impressions
Sky is aiming to make a TV for everybody here – offering the sort of specs usually unreachable to the average consumer in a range of purchase options that make it attainable to almost anyone.
We’re more than sold on Sky’s interface, and the ability to collate premium content from myriad sources to one central UI – it’s what makes the Sky Q box so appealing, and to have it all in a simple-to-use, easy-to-set up Sky Glass TV, complete with a very punchy Dolby Atmos sound system, is a very attractive proposition.
But although it’s accessible to everybody, depending on your existing home setup… will you actually want or need it? If you’ve splashed out on a high-end QLED TV or OLED TV, you might find the picture quality of the Sky Glass TV will leave you wanting more; it’s not bad by any means – it’s rather good in fact – but early viewing suggests it won’t beat the class-leaders.
Read more: hands on Sky Glass TV review