27.02.18

SkyQ adds HDR content as part of big update

Sky Q box with splash of colours coming out of it

It had long been promised, but this week UK pay-TV provider Sky has finally launched HDR content on its Sky Q platform, among several other significant updates (including dishless use of the service), in the midst of Comcast bidding to take over the company.

It may have come later than promised, but Sky Q users everywhere can rejoice as HDR content (and a lot more 4K programming) is about to hit the platform, as well as extended voice functionality and updates designed to make navigating its interface a much easier process. You just have to wait a tiny bit longer until Thursday and the months that follow as all the updates are rolled out to the system.

Sky say using voice to control viewing has been improved, with the platform now able to provide personalised responses to commands such as “show films for me” or “what’s the weather like today?” (the latter through the related weather app).

Other upgrades include a new, widescreen user designed to make its simpler for users to navigate between personalised content (such as ‘favourited’ channels and ‘most recent recordings’) and curated TV and movies. A new ‘kids mode’ will also soon be on hand to ensure little ones don’t watch anything they shouldn’t, to complement the Sky Kids app.

If that wasn’t enough, the Sky Q app will be made available on third-party devices (aka Apple TVs or Roku devices), whilst the sports section will integrate with the Sky Sports app for tailor-made access to the latest sports news, co-ordinated with user’s viewing habits so it can remember your favourite events and team.

Users that own looking to stream Sky content will additionally be able to so to on more than two devices via the app (reducing the need for a Sky Q Mini box). Perhaps most significantly, all these apps are paving the way for users to be able to access their favourite TV without a satellite dish.

Sky also confirmed that later this year, a dedicated Spotify app will launch on Sky Q – music to the ears (literally) of owners of the Sky Soundbox.

It’s not year clear if the future of Sky is under Comcast’s reigns, but Sky’s shares rose a huge 18% this morning as the news of Comcast’s a £22.1bn takeover broke. Comcast has suggested it is prepared to co-own Sky with either Fox or Disney, both of whom are also vying to take over Sky, as long as it holds the majority stake in the company.

UPDATE: Sky has since announced that in addition to Spotify, Netflix will be coming to Sky Q as part of a new package including its 4K programming. A Netflix app will see its content integrated into Sky’s interface alongside paid-for and free channels, as is currently done with the Virgin V6 4K box.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed, but the partnership will mean Sky Q customers will be able to pay for Netflix as part of their Sky bill.