Comcast-owned pay TV operator Sky has unveiled its first foray into producing its own-brand televisions.
Sky Glass allows viewers to watch content over WiFi with no requirements for a satellite dish, another first for the company in the UK. (Sky offers a streaming-only version of Sky Q in Germany, but this product is unavailable in other markets.) The devices, which were revealed at an event this morning in Greenwich, London, are designed and built in-house by Sky.
The Sky Glass user experience reflects the current Sky Q set-up, albeit one that has been modernised and refreshed, with additions including a new TV guide that presents users with tailored recommendations and a banner at the top to restart ongoing suggested shows and movies.
Sky Glass also marks the company’s clearest move towards content aggregation, with the new Playlist feature being a standout. Via voice command or a new ‘plus’ button on a redesigned remote, users can add shows and movies to a content playlist, which pools together shows and movies from a variety of different sources.
The push was highlighted by Fraser Sterling, Sky’s chief product officer, who showed how adding a show being broadcast live on Sky will present all available sources of that show across available streaming apps – including when shows may have multiple seasons split across two or more separate apps.
A new webcam attachment is also set to launch in Spring 2022, enabling users to video chat with friends and family, engage in watch parties where content is synced up between the users and use an upcoming Sky Workout platform, which will give users a virtual trainer for recommendations and motivation.
Sky Group CEO Dana Strong told attendees that “the streaming revolution has brought a world of challenges,” and that viewers “spend more time looking for content than watching it.” She added that Sky Glass is “what people across Europe have been waiting for.”
Three sizes will be available: the 43-inch Small costs £649 ($882); the 55-inch Medium is £849; and the 65-inch Large comes in at £1049. All three units will be available in the UK from October 18 and will launch in Sky’s other European markets from 2022.
The smart TVs will also be made available to Sky customers as an add-on at £13-, £17-, and £21-per month for the Small, Medium and Large respectively. All three screens come equipped with a 10-Bit HDR display with Dolby Vision, and integrate six speakers for 360-degree Dolby Atmos support.