The pricing and release date for Sky Q have finally been announced, and the cost doesn't seem as crazily high as we were initially expecting – although the £99 installation charge is going to sting a little.
The base cost of the Sky Q package will be £42 per month, but interestingly there will be no upfront cost attached to the new high-end hardware. By essentially renting the Sky Q boxes to the end user it has managed to keep those initial costs down.
Sky is also estimating that switching to Sky Q will only cost existing Sky+ customers another £12 on top of their current Sky+ package. Though that extra cost will decrease the more invested you already are in the whole Sky ecosystem.
If you're rocking Sky+ HD with all the movies and sports channels, with the multiroom premium on top, then you're already paying £87 / month - the same top package with the Sky Q Silver bundle will only represent an extra £1.50 / month on top because you're no longer having to add an extra multiroom sub on top.
For the serious Sky subscribers then the switch to Sky Q is a total no-brainer.
Though there is a relatively hefty £99 set-up cost, despite Sky maintaining it's the lowest set-up cost for a brand new premium product launch.
Sky Q uses a new technology called 'wideband' which is what lets Sky Q take the entire signal from the existing dish and spread it out around the home via a single Sky Q box. There will though need to be a 'small change' to the existing dish to allow that to happen, which is likely to be part of the set-up costs.
Sky Q will be available to buy from Tuesday February 9, with installations starting at the end of the month.
Gonna cost you...
On first look the £42 per month base cost doesn't seem as high as it could have been, but that won't include the extra premium channels and if you want to bag the Sky Q Silver, with a host of Sky Q Mini boxes and full multiroom access, then that monthly price is going to quickly escalate.
The Sky Q Silver bundle starts at £54 per month and though that includes a Sky Q Mini box to have Sky Q running in two rooms, you also get to have it running on up to two different tablets wherever you are in your house.
If you want another Sky Q Mini box to take full advantage of all the tuners in the Sky Q Silver box that's another £99 for you, Mr. Reader.
But then Sky Q is the top tier of Sky's TV packages and represents its new 'fluid viewing' ethos in its entirety. Though at launch there is still no 4K Sky service, that's due to follow later in the year.
The Sky Q big-boy set top box, the Sky Q Silver, is the pinnacle of its total package, with the full complement of 12 tuners enabling it to spread Sky TV to the four winds around your home. You can record four different channels at the same time and can still watch a fifth if there's just that much good stuff on at the same time.
But the whole point of that fluid viewing game is to push past the idea of multiroom and offer a seamless viewing experience throughout the whole of your home and, for the first time, outside it too.
Those Sky Q Mini boxes help push up the price, but plumb into two of the Silver box's tuners and another two of those tuners let you also fire the exact same Sky Q viewing experience to another two tablets concurrently.
You can also take practically any of the recorded content you've got on your Sky Q box and transfer it immediately to any connected tablet to take out and about away from home.
So it may well be rather pricey - though not much more than the existing top tier package - but it's a TV package designed for the modern way we consume our media, without the physical restrictions which have put barriers between us and the TV we love.
You just have to pay for the privilege…
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