Dan Howdle | March 10th, 2023
The Sky Q Mini is an add-on device for the Sky Q package, allowing you to make the most of your Sky subscription in multiple rooms in the home. Considering Sky Q for your home? This guide covers the basics of Sky’s multiroom service, with all the benefits and limitations of the Sky Q Mini device.
The Sky Q Mini box launched with the Sky Q service in 2016, allowing subscribers to access features of their TV package in other rooms, away from their primary set-top box, with the help of the Sky Multiscreen service.
Sky Multiscreen replaced the former Sky Multiroom, which previously required customers to have full-size Sky boxes in each room, each separately connected to your satellite dish. Now, with Sky Q Multiscreen, the primary Sky Q box can communicate with up to four linked Mini boxes, sharing its features with up to two Mini boxes at a time. This, plus the inclusion of Sky Go Extra, makes Sky Q a competitive package for flexible, portable TV viewing.
Sky Q Multiscreen customers can have up to four Sky Q Mini boxes in their home, all connected to the main Sky Q Hub in the living room, and can watch on up to two of these devices at the same time as the main box, depending on which hub you have. The Sky Q Mini uses wifi to stream these services from your main box, meaning there’s no additional cabling required when installing additional devices. Once installed, you can access all the same live channels, on demand content and apps as your Sky Q Hub, as well as any recordings you have stored. You can even use the recording feature to stop watching a show in one room, and pick up where you left off in another. Sky calls this Fluid Viewing, and the feature is simple but surprisingly convenient.
Each Sky Q Mini comes bundled with its own remote, featuring built-in Voice Control. With this feature, you can search for content and control your TV, just by using your voice. You can search either for a specific show or movie, by actor or even by famous lines.
You can also control playback, enable subtitles and launch apps with just your voice. This is great if you often get into a tussle with your remote when rewinding and fast forwarding, ending up too far back. Just tell your remote “Skip back 30 seconds” or any other time increment you desire, and the Sky Q Mini will take care of the rest. If you’re at a loss for what to watch, say “What should I watch?” and Sky Q will show you a mix of currently trending shows and movies.
The Sky Q Mini mirrors the same user interface you have on your main box, so you can access the same mix of TV and movie recommendations, curated to your tastes and integrated from all your installed apps. Sky Q doesn’t currently offer user profiles, so the suggested content you see on the homescreen will be a blend of the whole household’s viewing habits.
You can still navigate into apps like Netflix and Disney+ directly to access separate profiles, though. You can check TV listings across all your Sky Q Mini boxes, and set shows to record from any device. They’ll record to your main Sky Q Hub, and you’ll be able to stream them later around the home, or to mobile devices with the Sky Go Extra app.
There’s a handy bonus feature tucked in the Sky Q Mini box. Once set up and connected to your broadband supply, your Sky Q Mini can operate as a broadband booster, enhancing the wifi coverage in your home like an extra hotspot. If you’re on Sky broadband, this feature will be on automatically, but if you get your broadband from other providers, you’ll need to toggle this setting yourself.
Sky Q Mini boxes are available only with a Sky Q Multiscreen subscription, which is an additional monthly charge on top of standard Sky Q.
If you’re looking to move to Sky, you should first check if you already have a Sky satellite dish at your property. Although Sky Glass is available without a satellite dish, Sky Q still requires one. If there’s no dish at your address, an engineer will need to install one for you.
As you build your TV bundle, you can build in a subscription to Sky broadband, if you want to switch broadband at the same time as your TV subscription. A Sky broadband connection is not essential for Sky TV services, but you can make a decent saving on your total price if you do opt to bundle Sky TV and broadband together.
All Sky TV packages now come with the Sky Q box as standard, and the Multiscreen add-on (which costs £15 per month on top of your base price) includes your first Sky Q Mini box. Sky TV’s core package offers over 100 channels, over 500 box sets and a Netflix Basic subscription. HD and Ultra HD channels and content are available as extras subject to an extra fee.
Sky’s Ultra HD package is discounted when you order Multiscreen, which is great news for 4K TV owners. However, only the central Sky Q Hub is 4K ready. You won’t be able to get 4K TV through any of your Sky Q Mini boxes, even if your additional TVs are UHD-ready.
Once your Sky Q service is installed, it’s just a case of plugging in your Sky Q Mini in your chosen room, connecting it to your wifi, and pairing it with your main Sky Q Hub. You’ll be fluid viewing in minutes.
If you are already a Sky Q customer, looking to upgrade to a multiroom service, this is easily done from your Sky account. Simply log in and check out the upgrades available to you, where you will find Sky Multiscreen. Once your upgrade is processed, you’ll receive your first Sky Q Mini box in the post, packaged with a quick start guide for easy self set-up.
Additional Sky Q Mini devices can be ordered from the upgrades and accessories section of your Sky Account, once you’re logged in. After your first Sky Q Mini, there is an upfront fee of £50 per additional box for admin and activation. These boxes are loaned to you from Sky – you don’t purchase them the way you might purchase a NOW TV Stick or a Freeview box. This means you’ll need to return your Sky Q Hub and any Sky Q Minis you have to Sky at the end of your contract if you decide not to stay.
Sky Q Multiscreen isn’t the only multiroom solution on the market, so you have choice when it comes to home TV packages with multiple set top boxes. Let’s compare Sky’s services with Virgin Media and BT’s multiroom offering.
Sky and Virgin’s multiroom services have lots in common when it comes to features. Virgin Media TV 360 offers Voice Control with a microphone enhanced remote, and the service also has a companion app, allowing you to take your recordings with you on the move.
When it comes to its accompanying device is where things start to differ between the two providers. Virgin’s Mini 360 box is 4K compatible, offering Ultra HD TV beyond the main 360 box, unlike Sky Q Mini. Virgin 360 also offers user profiles with custom watch lists, something Sky Q lacks. Virgin 360’s Pause Points are also a bit more intuitive too, making switching rooms a more seamless experience than Sky Q, which requires you to manually start recording the show or film you want to keep watching elsewhere.
Where Sky Q shines is in its integration of streaming apps, with most popular subscription services compatible, including NOW TV and Apple TV, and more recent additions like Paramount+. Virgin Media recently added Disney+ to its 360 Box, but is still a few behind Sky. It is unlikely Virgin will add NOW TV either, being a Sky product. You can also only have two Mini 360 boxes though, compared to the four you can activate with Sky Q Multiscreen. You can, however, only use two of these four boxes at any given time.
BT TV’s Extra Box service allows customers to add up to two extra boxes to their TV package for £10 per box, per month. The BT TV Extra box similarly gives you access to your TV package throughout the house on wifi, with a few limitations.
You can rewind live TV with the BT TV Extra box, but not as far back as on your main BT TV Box, as the BT TV Extra box has no recordable storage. In comparison, since the Sky Q Mini streams live TV directly from the primary Sky Q hub, it does not have the same limitation. The BT TV Extra box is 4K-ready, so you can watch content in 4K in up to three rooms, whereas with Sky Q, only the main Sky Q box is 4K-compatible.
Films purchased from BT’s Film Store can only be watched on the device they were rented on. Likewise, you can only watch TV recordings on the box they were recorded on. Since the BT TV Extra box is not a recordable device, you can’t watch any recordings on it, which pales in comparison to the Sky Q Mini and its “fluid viewing” tech, which unlocks almost all features in all rooms.
|Virgin 360 Mini
|Sky Q Mini
|BT Extra Box
|Restart live TV
|Yes, with remote
|Yes, with remote
|Yes, with Amazon Alexa
|Switch from watching on TV to app
|Watch recordings on app
|Max number of shows recordable at once
|Up to 6
Compared to previous versions of Sky’s multiroom service, Sky Q Multiscreen with the Sky Q Mini device is a nice development, embracing the potential of superfast wifi to mirror your Sky TV package in multiple rooms, access your recordings on any Sky Q device, and even on the go with the Sky Go Extra app.
Sky Q’s all-in-one-place approach to content is an attractive way to streamline your subscriptions, and the Sky Q Mini box is an efficient way to experience these same features beyond your living room, without the need for another full set-top box. The ability to leave one room and resume watching in another is an attractive feature of Sky Q (though Virgin Media 360 does it slightly better), and the Sky Q Mini’s bonus feature of creating a wifi mesh network to improve coverage around your home is a neat trick.
Not having user profiles is a bit disappointing, especially on a service that can support up to five different devices. Hopefully this will come in future, allowing users to separate their recordings or set a default profile on each device. The Sky Q mini boxes also don’t offer 4K TV either, where other services do. Increasingly, 4K-ready TVs are becoming more affordable, and will end up in other rooms of the house before long, as customers upgrade their living room TV to newer devices. This lack of futureproofing is a slight oversight, and begs for an upgraded Sky Q Mini box in the future.
Ultimately, picking your multiroom service will depend on what your priorities are. If you want the highest quality available, the Sky Q Mini may falter in favour of the 4K-compatible devices other providers offer. If you need customisation, Virgin Media 360 may be the ideal choice. However, if you want full control over your TV package, and the best range of content from your favourite apps and subscriptions, Sky Q with the Sky Q Mini comes out on top.
You can schedule recordings from the Sky Q Mini box, but these will record on your primary Sky Q Hub, and you’ll stream these recordings from the hub later.
Yes, Sky Q Minis connect wirelessly to your primary Sky Q box, and connecting them to your wifi connection is simple. You can also connect your Sky Mini box via ethernet if you need to.
Yes. Disney+ is fully integrated with Sky Q Multiscreen, and its shows and movies will appear on your homescreen. You can even transfer your subscription, and charge it to your monthly Sky bill if you prefer.
Since it isn’t built to record directly, the Sky Q Mini has no storage of its own, instead streaming any recordings you make from your primary Sky Q box. Your Sky Q box comes with either 1TB or 2TB of storage space.