Sky may be one of the biggest broadcasters around, but outside of Sky boxes and branded routers, it’s not really delved into making TV hardware; that’s changed today.
Sky Glass is a new TV that basically brings all things Sky into one package and bypasses the need for a satellite dish. Coming in 43, 55 and 64-inch sizes, Sky Glass is not a re-branded discount TV, but a rather well-equipped system.
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It sports a 4K Quantum Dot display — that’s the type of panel you’ll find in some of the best Samsung TVs — which has support for 10-bit Dolby Vision. And sound isn’t set to be lacking either, as there’s an in-built Dolby Atmos soundbar.
That’s already a solid suite of features, but the neat thing here is that everything you need to get Sky services is already built into Sky Glass. As mentioned, there's no need for a Sky dish to be mounted outside your home, but there's also no need for an external Sky Q box. In fact, the TV has a single wire to deliver all of its capabilities, with steaming taking place over a Wi-Fi connection.
In short, Sky Glass is looking like the ideal device for people who just want to get started with Sky without any fuss. We suspect that to really get the most out of the TV you’ll need a pretty robust internet connection, as streaming 4K video can be tough for people on slower connections, as can be the case in the U.K. and other nations.
The interface is set to be very Sky-centric, but there'll be support for some of the best streaming services like Netflix, BBC iPlayer and Disney Plus. And other smart features like voice control are also on offer.
As for aesthetics, despite cramming in all of this TV tech, the Sky Glass still looks to be a rather svelte set and has a flat back for wall mounting. Its bottom segment, where the soundbar is, can be had in a selection of colors: Ocean blue, Ceramic white, Racing green, Dusky pink, or Anthracite black. We would need to see this in the metal and glass for ourselves, but from the images so far, Sky Glass looks rather neat.
Furthermore, it’s coming soon, with a U.K. release set for October 18. You'll be able to buy Sky Glass on its own starting from £649. But the thrust of Sky Glass is that it's to be sold much like smartphones are, in that you get the TV and Sky subscriptions for a monthly price; those start at £13 a month. And over time, you’ll have the option to upgrade to newer Sky Glass models as and when they become available.
It's unclear whether Sky Glass will find its way over to the U.S. in some form of package from Comcast, which has a large stake in Sky. But the whole concept of Sky Glass is one that some American broadcaster may be intrigued by and attempt to follow.
And what's most intriguing here, as part of a larger picture view, is how Sky itself has effectively made a TV that could, in theory, kill off the need for a satellite dish. The need to fix an external disk and then route cables through or along walls can be seen as a pain for some and a reason not to get Sky; furthermore, the cost of such a Sky installation can be hefty.
Does this mean the death of the dish? Potentially. With so many internet-based streaming services around and major broadcasters putting more content and shows into online services, the age of cord cutting looks to have well and truly arrived.
For people who've not yet dipped into the world of Sky TV and are perhaps looking to upgrade their TV setup, then, Sky Glass could be very appealing as a simple way to get a lot of home cinema tech in a single piece of hardware.
We’ll be taking a more in-depth look at Sky Glass for ourselves, so check back with Tom’s Guide for a more detailed impression.