Sky is largely known for its (rather excellent) Sky Q subscription service and set-top boxes, which collate various TV streaming services alongside the broadcaster’s many premium satellite channels such as Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, and Sky News – with on-board storage for recording and rewatching live TV.
As a long-time partner with TV streaming services, and a manufacturer of TV-adjacent hardware, it’s not a hugely surprising proposition, but it does signal a shift in Sky’s strategy – away from a mixture of aggregating channels and exclusive and third party TV content for a monthly fee, and towards more concentrated control over your viewing experience.
We’ve recently heard rumors of much the same thing from Amazon – which may be making its own Amazon-branded smart TVs rather than simply passing out its Fire TV platform to the likes of Insigna or Toshiba. Meanwhile, even the luxury TV brand Loewe is set to return to the market with a new operating system designed in collaboration with Chinese technology giant Hisense.
The Sky Q platform is no slouch, the best way to access both broadcast and online content in the UK and Europe – something the company’s millions of customers will attest to. And it’s clear that the race for TV dominance is increasingly in being able to control every stage of the pipeline – from the content available through a certain platform to the hardware capabilities of the screen you can watch it on.
What would a Sky smart TV look like?
There’s no detail yet on what kind of screen this could be, or what TV companies could be assisting Sky in its mission.
We’d expect a mid-price LCD rather than a high-end OLED, though it’s likely Sky would desire a modicum of quality over necessarily bargain prices (something that would distinguish it from Amazon’s smart TVs, for one). Afterall, its Sky Q package is already a premium service.
It’s also unclear whether a Sky smart TV would be designed for use in tandem with a Sky set-top box, or whether it would come with the same hardware functionality built in, banishing the need for a separate streaming box at all.
There’s tough competition in the TV market, though, and in the UK Sky will likely be going head to head with the likes of Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Toshiba in a battle for shoppers’ hard-earned cash. Unless, of course, it’s one of these manufacturers that Sky is working alongside to bring the TV to fruition.
Given the success of Sky Q, though, and the appeal of a Sky smart TV that comes with that platform built into the system – if that’s indeed the road Sky is going down – there’s every reason to think a Sky smart TV could be worth your cash.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.