Sky announces its plans for 2016: New free-to-air Now TV box, Sky Q and changes to Sky+

Sky is planning to launch a new Now TV box combining free-to-air and pay TV channels, update its Sky+ EPG and launch Sky Q across Europe this year.

The pay TV giant laid out its plans for 2016 as part of its latest financial trading statement, issued to the stock exchange today, in which Sky confirmed it has added 205,000 retail customers in the UK (337,000 across all countries) during the latest quarterly accounting period.

New Free-to-air and pay TV hybrid box
Sky is taking on Freeview Play and YouView, with a new Now TV box due to launch later this year: it will combine seamless access to over 60 free-to-air channels alongside Now TV's usual pay TV content and catch-up TV apps. Sky promises that the new box "will be our most advanced Now TV product to date and will offer a streaming service to customers who want to access live free-to-air television alongside some pay content, all in one integrated offering."

Additionally customers with the current Now TV Box will see new a brand new interface (UI) roll out to their TVs from February. The new-look UI will include a number of great new features including a content-rich homepage offering editorial recommendations of what to watch across catch up TV apps and pay TV content from the service. A new ‘Best of Catch Up’ section, curated by content partners, will also arrive showcasing all the best shows our customers may have missed in one place.

Sky Q from February
Revealed with great fanfare late in 2015, Sky Q will officially launch in February and will contain Ultra HD content from later this year. Sky Q features also include pausing viewing on one TV screen and picking up in another room, saving recordings onto a tablet to watch anywhere, and watching different programmes on up to five screens simultaneously whilst also recording four other channels. Controversially, the service requires a new LNB for your satellite dish, so it's difficult to combine the original Sky service or Freesat once you've upgraded to Sky Q.

Sky Q can be ordered from 9th February.
More about Sky Q prices and customer support...

Sky+ changes
From February, Sky+ users in the UK and Ireland will receive the latest software update to their EPG, which promises to give customers "an even easier way" to consume TV box sets as a full series can be downloaded into their planner in one go. Later in the year Sky will launch a brand new homepage, showcasing more of our best content and providing customers with an easy place to continue watching programmes they have yet to finish. There's also changes to the Sky Go service, previously announced here...

Sky Italy
Over in Italy, Sky will launch our full Sky Box Set service in March, whilst Sky Adsmart will be introduced later in the year.

Sky Germany
A new Sky+HD box will be launched in Germany and Italy later this year, which will be compatible with Sky Q functionality, giving access to Sky Q features from a later date.







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6 comments:

  1. It looks like Sky TV are planning to use the Roku 4 for the new Now TV Box to keep up with 4K on Amazon and BT Boxes. With a welcome addition of channels for free. Now TV has shown that Sky TV can be as cheap as Netflix with vouchers.

    ReplyDelete
  2. New Free-to-air and pay TV hybrid box
    Sky is taking on Freeview Play and YouView.

    Err... No it isn't.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most definitely it is.

      It will appear in the market pitted against the PVR-less basic YouView box and Freeview Play devices, even to a degree EE TV.

      Sky already offers an option where Now TV is bundled with Sky Broadband. This new device will give them the option to offer a terrestrial / internet hybrid service for the first time like the other major ISPs - sure they have differences, but essentially at their heart are IP-delivered streams and catch-up TV piggybacked onto Freeview within a single device.

      Crucially they're tapping into the market sector targeting audiences not willing to subscribe to a traditional pay TV service but quite willing to pay a little extra for some premium content and a box that combines everything in one, the very market sector other ISPs are in already.

      Delete
  3. It looks like Sky TV are planning to use the Roku 4 for the new Now TV Box to keep up with 4K on Amazon and BT Boxes.

    No, they're not doing that either. Its a budget box and service remember.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is indeed the shell of the new Roku 4 that we see pictured above courtesy of Sky. What will actually be inside the box in terms of features and whether, like the Roku 4, it will support Ultra HD has at this stage not been announced. We simply do not know if this new box will turn out to be a budget box or whether Sky and Roku have some surprises when the full specs are released later in the year.

      Delete

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