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Sky Q to allow viewers to order channels themselves

Sky Q viewers will be able to organise their favourite channels in whichever order suits them as part of an upgrade this month.

The move recognises the current channel numbering system doesn't suit everyone. The new favourites menu in Sky Q's TV guide allowing the change will appear following a software update being rolled out during October. 

With the change, users will be able to prioritise their favourite channels. Up to 99 channels can be added to this list, and although Sky Q will initially suggest favourite channels and their order, users can sort them in the way they want and allocate them numbers between 1 and 99, fitting underneath Sky's normal channel number range, which starts at 101. 

In addition to allowing viewers to self-number services, Sky will be revamping its official channel numbering system affecting the 'real' channel numbers allocated to broadcasters in early 2018.

Also being added is an enhanced Voice Control via the Sky Q touch remote, a personalised menu of favourite channels and an Ultra HD section in My Q.

With the new Voice Control features, viewers will be able to speak into their remote and use a range of commands to quickly and easily get to the TV they love. These include changing channels by simply saying “change channel to Sky Atlantic”, playing any show from their Recordings by saying, for example, “play Tin Star”, or asking to “skip back 30 seconds” or “watch from the start”. Voice Control makes it even easier for customers to find their favourite sports, movies and shows, with phrases like: “go to Sky Store”, “go to Sky Sports”, or other sections of the Sky Q menu.

Users can also change their accessibility settings using only their voice by saying “turn on audio description”, for example.

Arriving on Sky Q boxes over the coming weeks, Voice Control adds to the existing voice search function which was launched earlier this year and has already proved incredibly popular, with Sky Q customers making over 9m voice searches to date.

Sky Q customers with a 2TB box will also get a dedicated Ultra HD section within My Q, meaning they can find the widest range of UHD content easier and faster than before. Current Ultra HD content includes new Sky Original Productions like Tin Star and Riviera, movies such as The Revenant and X-Men: Apocalypse and 124 Premier League games this season.

Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Chief Marketing Officer, commented: 
“Our customers already love Voice Search on Sky Q and we think they are going to love Voice Control even more. You will be able to find your recordings, rewind an amazing goal to watch again or change channel all through a simple voice command. It’s a quicker, easier and more fun way to get to the shows, sports and films you want to watch.”

How to select Favourite channels on Sky Q following the update:
  • When Favourite channels are set up, customers can select them by:
  • Pressing ‘1’ on their remote control to tune in to their first favourite channel when watching live TV. Or press ‘2’ for the second, and so on.
  • Swiping or pressing left in the Mini Guide to select Favourites and browse through the channels from there.
  • Scrolling through the list of channels and making a selection from the Favourites menu within the existing TV Guide.
(source: Sky)