Sky is about to move beyond set-top boxes and satellite dishes, according to the latest murmurs. The UK broadcaster will host a major launch event in central London tomorrow, which it teased with the slogan “Something Magical Is Coming”. And rumors suggest we may be seeing something completely new from Sky.
That’s because the company is in a big hurry to unveil its very first smart TV. Sources that speak Internet obsessed blog ISPreview claim that Sky R&D teams have been working on a new 4K QLED TV that will come with a built-in sound system and a lightweight set-top box that will allow viewers to enjoy the same experience as Sky Q … but without the need for a satellite dish drilled into the side of their house. It also means that those who live in buildings without a Sky Q-compatible shared dish will be able to enjoy the enhanced Sky experience, which first launched in February 2016, for the first time.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time Sky has experimented with hardware beyond its standard set-top box. In 2018, the company announced the Sky Soundbox, which was created in collaboration with high-end French audio brand Devialet, to improve the sound when watching movies and sports on Sky Q. sold at a discounted rate to Sky Q subscribers and can be controlled with the same Sky Q voice remote used for the set-top box.
Unfortunately, that brilliant speaker built by Devialet won’t make an appearance in the new QLED TV, dubbed Sky Glass.
However, sources claim that Sky Glass will arrive with a Dolby Atmos soundbar built into the design. The leaked images reveal a sizable chin below the vibrating screen to house the speaker. Sky Q supports Dolby Atmos, so it makes sense that Sky goes for this ultimate audio standard when designing their own TVs. Unlike competing televisions from Samsung, Sony and Hisense, Sky Glass will come with all the intelligence needed to stream Sky TV channels, watch on-demand boxes and Sky Cinema blockbusters, and watch Sky Sports in crisp 4K HDR.
Like the rumor of the new set-top box, which is said to be based on material already revealed by Sky’s US parent company, Comcast last month, viewers won’t need to rely on a satellite dish drilled into the exterior wall to watch. the latest live channels and on-demand content. Instead, Sky Glass will arrive with a new device called a “puck,” which will allow viewers to stream the Sky Q experience. Those who don’t want to go online – or have a contract with Virgin Media – can presumably leave the “Washer” disconnected.
Sources speaking to Express.co.uk previously revealed that Sky would need a minimum broadband speed of 6 Mbps to stream its terrestrial channels. For comparison, Netflix recommends a minimum of 5 Mbps for viewing in High Definition picture quality.
In terms of size, sources speaking to ISPreview say Sky Glass will arrive in 43, 55, and 65-inch screen sizes. Pricing remains uncertain, but some sources have suggested the 43in model will start from around £ 650. For comparison, Samsung is selling its 43-inch QLED TV – which supports 4K and HDR, but no sound system included – for £ 629. If the reports are correct, this suggests that Sky will not charge a premium over its rivals.
It would make sense. After all, most 4K smart TVs come with a number of content providers preinstalled. Samsung TVs offer a wide range of free ad-supported content through its Samsung TV Plus service, as well as apps for Disney +, Netflix, Prime Video, Apple TV + and many more. Roku-branded TVs include the same technology that powers its hugely popular streaming dongles, including its own free Roku channel and Sky’s contract-free NOW service.
There is a possibility that Sky Glass will be sold as a premium QLED TV that includes the intelligence to sign up for a Sky Q-like experience on your broadband. For those looking to upgrade to a new TV – and are tempted to catch up on some of the exclusive sports shows, channels and devices available only on Sky – this could be a brilliant option.
For those who don’t know all the acronyms like the back of their hand, QLED stands for Quantum Light-Emitting Diode, sometimes referred to as Quantum Dot Display. In a nutshell, QLED works like standard bog LED TVs, meaning there’s a backlight built from hundreds or thousands of LEDs that light up individual pixels. However, QLED improves upon the standard LED by using nanoparticles – called quantum dots – to supercharge the brightness and color of these individual pixels.
As a result, everything displayed on the screen should be more vibrant, colorful, and very pleasing to the eye. While dark scenes in shows and movies viewed on an LED panel may have a slight grayish sheen, compared to the deeper blacks found on QLED and absolute black colors found on the more expensive TV technology on the market right now. , OLED.
Yes, despite the names that seem quite similar, it’s worth remembering that QLED is not the same as OLED. While QLED is an improvement (in quality and price) of LED, OLED is even more expensive. As you might expect, it’s also even more capable of producing vivid colors and cavernous blacks. That’s because OLED – or Organic Light-Emitting Diode – panels don’t rely on uniform backlighting. Instead, each individual pixel is an LED that can be turned on and off to create color or complete darkness.
Like Sky Q, you’ll be able to pause a recorded show on one screen and pick it up in another room with Sky Glass or another Sky-branded decoder. Recordings can be downloaded and taken with you via the Sky Go app on tablets, iPhone and Android. It’s unclear whether Sky Glass and the new streaming decoder will replace the existing Sky Q decoder. Either way, it’s not long to wait. Express.co.uk will be in the public at the “Something Magical” event tomorrow, so stay tuned for all the bigger announcements.