Sky has launched its first TV, dubbed Sky Glass, with a revised Sky viewing experience delivered entirely via streaming. With no dish required, just a robust and fast network connection (11M/b minimum required, says the company, rising for 4k UHD and multiroom), it’s the first time the satcaster has moved away from its iconic dish. The new IPTV platform is derived from parent Comcast’s Xfinity architecture.
Sky Glass is a 4k QLED screen with Dolby Vision, and uses ‘Intelligent Zonal’ full array local dimming backlighting.
The screen also features a six-driver Dolby Atmos sound system, with left/right drivers that angle at the edges for a wider soundstage. Inside CI spent some time up close with the set at its London launch, and it’s this sound system that is the most immediately impressive aspect of the set. It challenges what we’ve heard from flagship flatscreen from other manufacturers.
The set sports three HDMI inputs, one with eARC. In addition to Ethernet there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. If the broadband fails, an integrated DVB-T2 Freeview tuner is provided ‘for back up only.’
Sky Glass launches in the UK on October 18, with a European rollout to follow in 2022. Sky Glass comes in three screen sizes, 43-, 55- and 65-inch, and comes in no fewer than five different colour options. The forward facing grille plate is changeable, so you can better match interior decor.
The new set also comes with a new style Sky remote; there are mics in both the remote and the set itself. Sky says the panel has been designed for voice operation first and foremost. The screen switches itself on when it hears the command ‘Hello Sky’,
Alternatively Glance Motion Technology allows users to turn the set on by looking at it. The set also introduces a personal Playlist tool. There is no local hard drive storage. Instead Sky content comes from a ‘Cloud DVR’ and other channels from their respective catch-up players. The implications for usability have yet to be fully revealed.
With Sky Glass, the TV itself becomes part of the contract plan, with the three screen pegged at £13, £17 and £21 respectively. The contract package is on top of that, plus tiers for 4k and multiroom.
Arguably, the most interesting aspect of this launch is the Sky Stream Puck. This cannot be purchased separately, but is a £10 per month increment that allows you to bring the Sky Glass experience to other screens. The Puck offers a complete Sky IPTV experience, regardless of the partnering Sky Glass screen, to any display device
Source: Inside CI