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Sky has done away with the satellite dish, with a new TV called Sky Glass.
The Glass is a normal television, with a 4K display, built-in Dolby Atmos and five different colours. It costs £13 per month and will go on sale in the UK from 18 October.
But it is perhaps most notable for what it doesn’t have: it gets the full Sky experience through wifi, without a satellite dish.
It will now be able to provide all of its programming – including live television, with the option to pause and record whenever – through the internet.
That will mean no convoluted installations of satellite dishes on people’s homes – something that can be impossible in rented accommodation.
Instead, it will give customers a Sky TV that can connect to the normal home internet connection and bring in the TV through that. The new TV takes just 10 minutes to set up, Sky claimed. It will be unboxed on delivery and just needs one cable, for power, to work.
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Sky will sell the television as normal, for set prices: the 43-inch version will cost £649, all the way up to £1,048 for the 65-inch version.
But it will also sell the TV like a phone, through monthly payments, which start at £13 for the 43-inch version. Sky will also offer a “swap” feature, like it does for phones, where customers can exchange their TV when a new version of the Glass comes out.
Customers will also be able to buy a small puck that can hook up to other screens in the house, so they can stream the same Sky content to normal TVs. You can register your interest now ahead of the launch date.
Sky Glass looks a little different from most TVs: it is considerably chunkier, comes in five different colours including a strong green and pink, and the option to swap the grille on front of the speaker for special designs. It said that it had been designed to look as much like a piece of furniture as technology, including the lack of logo on the front.
The TV also has Dolby sound built in, which the company says is good enough that customers won’t have to go buy a separate speaker system. It includes full Dolby Atmos support for 360-degree surround sound, for instance.
Both the sound and the visuals will adjust to whatever is being shown. When watching sport channels, for instance, the settings will change accordingly.
Sky also said that the existing television market is confusing, with many companies offering dozens of different models, which are often difficult to tell apart. Instead, it will just sell three sizes – small, medium and large.
The new hardware comes with a new software platform too. While it borrows from the look of Sky Q, it includes new features including a “playlist” tool that lets viewers save everything they want into a combined library, from both Sky as well as other streaming platforms.
All of that can be controlled with voice features that are built into the TV. The Sky Glass can be switched on just by asking it to, and channels and shows can be called up in the same way.
During the announcement, Sky announced a camera that will sit on top of the Sky Glass and allow it to be used for video calls or even watching TV shows together at the same time. That is due in spring 2022.
Sky already offers some of its television channels over the internet through its Now TV brand, but without all of the channels or features of the full Sky Q box. It also offers the TV via broadband feature in other countries, such as Italy, Austria and Germany.
The traditional Sky box has also embraced streaming, with an internet connection that allows it to connect to platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, and even other online services like Peloton.