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Sky X - Sky`s satellite-free TV service is unveiled

Sky has launched a new satellite-free streaming service in Europe. Could it be on its way to the UK?

Sky X is the new online streaming service available to households in Austria that offers all Sky TV channels, plus 29 non-Sky pay channels and 17 free TV channels, without needing a traditional satellite or cable connection.

Available on PC, Laptop, Mac, iOS, Android, Playstation 4 as well as Smart TV sets from Samsung and LG (post 2015 models), subscribers can also opt to use Sky's own streaming box.

Two years ago Sky first announced its intention to launch a satellite-free service, with an update last year confirming Austria as one of the territories to get early access to the service. So far, it's gone quiet as to how soon such a service will launch in the UK, which would attract customers unable or unwilling to have a satellite dish, including those with Virgin Media or BT TV.

Sky X offers subscribers two subscription options: fiction and sport, with the fiction option removing Sky's longstanding divisions between entertainment and film channels in a further interesting development. It's possible to combine fiction and sport for a monthly €34.99.

And viewers will be able to opt to downgrade their subscription so as to only watch the main Austrian domestic channels for €7.99 a month in the so-called "best of free TV" pack - although in a land where the majority of terrestrial and satellite is encrypted and invariably requires a monthly access fee to view, the term "free TV" is to be interpreted lightly. These channels will also be streamed to the box via Sky.

Viewers need an internet connection with a minimum download speed of 2.5 meg for the service to work. Promotion for the services indicates channels are available in HD. It's not to be confused with Sky Ticket, the local equivalent to Sky's Now TV service, which has a more limited offering and will not be available to new customers with the launch of Sky X [although as of date of publication, Sky Ticket is still being sold in Austria alongside Sky X].

This is what the Sky X streaming box looks like:

Updated 10:17 with more technical details of the service and 16:57, adding the paragraph covering free TV.