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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

If using our research and/or commentary we would deeply appreciate a link either to this page or to https://www.cable.co.uk

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Dan Howdle has been plugged into the attitudes of UK broadband, TV and mobile customers for over two decades. Having spent 12 years at the coalface of consumer telecoms research, initiating and running projects both nationally and internationally on behalf of the biggest players in the industry. Dan is now Director of Communications and in-house consumer telecoms expert for Cable.co.uk.

An experienced broadcaster, commentator and writer who frequently appears on BBC TV and radio, ITV, Sky and in the national papers and their websites, Dan leads a team of journalists and communications folk who spend their days researching and reporting on problems faced by UK broadband, TV and mobile customers both on an individual and macro level.

Dan campaigns on many issues currently facing consumers of broadband, TV and mobile products in the UK. These include, but are not limited to: Rural broadband provision; mobile coverage; broadband, TV and mobile customer contract issues; broadband and mobile broadband speeds; switching and money-saving; infrastructural challenges; pricing, changes and structures; shifts in technology and the marketplace; telecoms regulation, policy and law; fines, adjudications and policy changes; mergers and closures of UK providers; annual financials and more.

Dan has advised Ofcom on issues surrounding service quality. He also administers and adjudicates the yearly Broadband Service Quality Awards and sits on the panel of judges for the Internet Service Providers Association annual awards.

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