Our Verdict

Sky has created a TV platform that finally fits with a modern home. Sky Q is the first time we've seen a television ecosystem so tuned in to the connected home. By flinging live and recorded content around the home and across your mobile devices Sky Q could be the ultimate home entertainment platform - but you have to pay for it.


  • Seamless across multiple screens
  • Responsive OS and remote
  • Slick tablet and phone downloads
  • Great looking 4K content


  • High price
  • No compatibility with other content providers
  • Powerlines not supported at launch

Sky Q is quite unlike anything Sky has offered previously. Instead of a system built around set-top boxes, Sky Q is all about streaming TV throughout your home. 

What this means is that whether you're in your living room watching your main television, or in your bedroom with a smartphone or iPad, you can still get the same Sky experience. 

This isn't the first time Sky has tried the multi-room approach. Previously its multi-room package spread Sky channels throughout the house with a network of installed set-top boxes. More recently, its Sky Go app appeared on Xbox and PlayStation, meaning that you could have multi-room, through the web, without having to get a Sky engineer in.

Then there was the introduction of its contract-free streaming option Now TV. All of these are good services in their own right but they are silos - they don't connect with each other.

Sky Q is the connective tissue for its television service and it is something that has been sorely needed. Since the launch of Sky HD a decade ago, the broadcast game has significantly changed.

Sky Q review

It is now fighting against a number of content providers, namely BT, Netflix, Amazon and Virgin. Business models at Sky are being re-evaluated because of this. It's tougher than ever to sell content 'packages' - consumers are looking toward all-you-can-eat non-contract offerings.

Sky Q is a premium offering, there's no doubt about it, but it's successfully offering something quite unique. No one else has the same 4K library as Sky, and by the end of the year we're expecting this to be joined by support for the high-end Dolby Atmos sound format. 

But what is Sky Q like to use? We've tested the system inside and out, read on for our full impressions. 

Design and setup

Sky has always been a step ahead with technology, however. And Sky Q is packed with cutting-edge ideas - some of which Sky customers won't even see for the first couple of months. Sky Q feels like a package that is one step ahead of what the customer wants, and Sky will want it to be that way for years to come.

Sky Q is completely connected - each box you add to the system speaks to each other so if you have recorded something on the main box downstairs, then you will be able to access it upstairs. If you are mid-watching something then the idea is you can pause (as long as it has been recorded or is being recorded), then pick up from where you left off anywhere in your home, thanks to the inclusion of an iPad app.

Sky Q review

There are two options with Sky Q. The version we reviewed was the more premium Sky Q 2TB option but there is a 1TB box that can still take advantage of the Fluid Viewing experience, but isn't quite advanced.

The standard Sky Q box offers 1TB of storage, the ability to record three things at once and watch a fourth, and you can also stream to one tablet. Both boxes also act as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Sky Q premium 2TB box ups the storage, can record four things and also watch a fifth and you can stream to two tablets.

There's no difference in size when it comes to the main boxes. They both measure 232 x 155 x 34mm, which is a severe reduction in footprint when compared to the current HD box - which varies in size depending on the makers of the box but the biggest measures a chunky 398 x 283 x 81mm.

Sky Q review

These main boxes are part of a bigger mesh network. The network is powered by a new Sky Hub that offers dual-band wireless 5G technology.

Creating its own mesh network means that there's no additional pressure on your normal Wi-Fi connection. In fact, it will help Wi-Fi flow better through your home as each box you add to your Sky Q setup also acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot.

The technology behind this mesh network is being provided by AirTies. According to this company, the service allows 10 premium video streams simultaneously from multiple sources including live broadcast, recorded on PVR, OTT from the internet or from a local NAS server.


Global Managing Editor

Marc (Twitter, Google+) is one of the founding members of TechRadar, and has had the pleasure of seeing it change from a tiny reviews site, to the tech behemoth it is today. As well as working on TechRadar, Marc has headed up editorial content for T3 magazine and T3.com, had a 10-month stint editing a weekly iPad mag, written film reviews for a whole host of publications and has been an integral part of many magazines that are no longer with us.


Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.