Sky has unveiled a ‘plug and play’ UHD smart streaming TV that lets users access its Sky TV service without the need for a satellite dish or set-top box.
Available to buy direct from Sky in the UK from October 18, Sky Glass can be paid for on a monthly subscription, like a mobile phone.
It will launch in Sky’s other European markets next year. The company told Alert that it currently has no plans to make Sky Glass available to sell through retailers, such as department stores, multiples or independents. Sky will sell the sets at pop-up centres in the UK, as well as at a new flagship store in Westfield London.
Sky Glass, which is said to be the first carbon neutral TV, was developed in conjunction with Chinese-based manufacturer, TPV, and offers Quantum Dot technology and UHD, as well as 360° Dolby Atmos sound thanks to six powerful built-in speakers – three outward firing, two upward firing and a subwoofer. Sky said this means owners won’t have to buy a separate soundbar.
Voice control makes it easy for users to find and watch TV content – all you have to do is say “Hello Sky”, or walk past the TV to bring it to life.
At the press of a single button, users can create a personal Playlist of their favourite shows, movies and more across apps and channels, live and on-demand.
The new plus button on the remote adds to the Playlist for you to stream any time you want – all in one place. There is also a live Restart function, which, said Sky, means you never need to miss a show again, as you can jump straight back into anything that’s on now and available to watch from the start.
Sky Glass comes in three sizes – 43in, 55in and 65in – and is available in five colours: Ocean blue, Ceramic white, Racing green, Dusky pink, or Anthracite black, with matching remotes and customisable speaker fascias for personalisation. There is a mounting bracket integrated into the TV.
Sky Glass has been made to be affordable. Consumers can choose to buy the TV like they buy their mobile phone by paying in one go or spreading the cost with interest-free monthly payments. It is available from as little as £13 per month, exclusively with Sky TV, starting from £26 for Sky Ultimate TV and, for the first time, HD is included as standard.
Users can pay £39 per month to get the 43in Sky Glass TV plus every episode of Sky Originals and Sky Exclusives, and all their favourite channels. For £4 more a month, they can increase the size of their TV to a 55in, or £8 more for a 65in. It comes with a full two-year warranty and a free delivery service that includes unboxing and packaging removal. The packaging is recyclable.
Speaking at the launch, Dana Strong, group chief executive of Sky, said: “Sky Glass is the streaming TV with Sky inside, providing the total integration of hardware, software and content. Built on over 30 years of understanding what our customers want, this is a TV that only Sky could make. We believe this is the smartest TV available, and that customers will love it.”
Commenting on the launch of Sky Glass, Francesca Gregory, associate analyst of thematic research at GlobalData, said: “Sky’s smart TV launch is a decisive move that reflects the decline of cable and satellite offerings in favour of streaming alternatives. This is the final stage of acceptance when it comes to the explosive growth of internet TV. GlobalData forecasts the streaming video on demand (SVoD) market to reach $5.1bn by 2025, with Netflix and Disney poised to take a large proportion of this revenue.
She added: “The Sky Glass TV aims to carve out a space in this busy market by providing access to its competitors’ platforms in addition to Sky’s own large repository of content. It remains debatable as to whether this will be enough to buy Sky’s continued relevance - the belated release of its smart TV behind competitors will inevitably have cost market share.
“Previously, the company has been dubbed the default for sports fans and older consumers. However, the new product removes the necessity of a satellite and set-top box, adopting a sleek and seamless appearance that will appeal to a wider audience of tech-savvy streamers. The Ultra HD 4K Quantum Dot display also aims to entice streamers to leave their laptops in exchange for a higher spec viewing experience that capitalises on the drawn-out demise of cinema.”
Sky Glass has been built as a platform which can be deployed by other telco and subscription television operators so they can bring the Sky Glass experience to their customers too.
The company said Sky Glass will get even better in 2022, with the launch of a high spec 4K smart camera that works seamlessly with Sky Glass and will unlock a range of new services for the whole family.