Cable.co.uk comments on Sky Q pricing and release date announcement
- Sky Q's next-generation boxes set to deliver 4K content via its premium 'Sky Q Silver' box
- Sky Q "Will sit alongside Sky+HD and NOW TV, offering three complementary and outstanding products depending on customers needs"
- Release date set for February, specific date not yet offered
- Sky Q packages to 'start' at £42 per month, with no up-front equipment costs, since Sky will retain equipment ownership – Sky referring to this as "Attractive customer economics"
29 January 2016: Sky has announced the release date and basic pricing of its new flagship 'Sky Q' digital TV solution.
Sky Q is not a replacement for existing Sky+ HD solutions, but rather a new top tier in Sky's digital TV offering. Sky Q offers UHD 4K programming (though not initially on release), voice search, and what Sky calls 'Fluid Viewing' – the ability to leave and pick up the programmes you're watching from any TV in the house and/or your mobile or tablet.
Full details and specifications of Sky Q can be found here
Commenting on Ofcom's findings, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms expert at broadband comparison site Cable.co.uk, said:
"Expensive is a relative concept. Sky Q's pricing is right on the money for early adopters and digital TV enthusiasts. Sky habitually runs offers and promotions on its TV packages and bundles – I would anticipate the appearance of lower-cost Sky Q 'deals' aimed at casting a wider net before the end of this year.
"The price of Sky Q could, in fact have been a lot higher. Sky's decision to retain box ownership – meaning subscribers essentially rent the equipment – has no doubt kept Sky Q from becoming totally out of reach for the majority of customers.
"Sky Q itself doesn't quite qualify as a game-changer for digital TV. More, it's an evolution towards simplicity. A simpler interface, easier navigation and a far more holistic take on the viewing needs of homes in the 21st century.
"Is it worth the money? Well, to understand the pricing, you first need to understand where Sky Q sits among Sky's other digital TV offerings. Far from being a replacement to Sky's existing offerings, it forms an entirely new tier over and above it.
"Future-proofing is the name of the game here. Consumers increasingly want to be able to watch their content their way, and Sky Q with its main-hub-plus-satellite-boxes setup, all wirelessly connected via wi-fi, will deliver customers their content any way they wish to view it."
Notes to editors
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Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades, running research fieldwork both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now consumer telecoms analyst at Cable, as well as more formally operating in the role of its Director of Communications and Content.
An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer, Dan has appeared on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers. Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality, administered Cable’s Broadband Service Quality Awards and sat on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.