It's been a long time coming, and it's sat patiently among our most-wanted Sky Q features, but the broadcasting giant is finally rolling out voice commands to its premium 4K TV service and set-top box.
Using the Sky Q touch remote's built-in microphone (the non-touch remote isn't supported), a quick press on the side-mounted mic button will, from today, let you speak to your Sky Q box in order to search for shows and movies.
Plenty of options
Announced alongside the launch of the set-top box well over a year ago, it seems that Sky has at least put the development time afforded by the long delay to good use – there are many ways to speak to the Sky Q box, allowing you to chat relatively naturally in order to browse for what you're looking for.
According to Sky's press release, the Sky Q voice feature allows you to search by:
- Name of a movie, TV show, genre, actor or director
- Movies with a specific age rating (U, PG, 15, 18), star rating and actor, for example ‘action movies with Tom Cruise’ or ‘kids movies rated U’ , or 'comedy movies rated five stars'
- Sports, sports team, or sporting event on a particular day, competition or tournament such as ‘Live cricket on this weekend’ or‘Liverpool game’
- A hidden collection of famous movie quotes, for example “you can’t handle the truth”, “you had me at hello,” “my precious” and “Houston, we have a problem” among others
- TV channel to see what’s on now and coming on later, for example, ‘what’s on Sky Atlantic tonight’
The voice commands, at present at least, seem tied simply to searching rather than full control of the box – you won't be able to chat with your Sky setup in order to change the volume for instance. But an earlier leak suggested that a wider array of voice commands could still eventually be made available, along with Dolby Atmos audio.
...and some more new stuff
Voice search isn't the only updated feature set to land imminently. Sky is also updating the Sky Q box's 'My Q' section, putting 'Recordings' and the 'TV Guide' sections in more easily-accessible places, while also better highlighting recommended shows and new series.
Finally, Facebook videos will now also be viewable through the Sky Q 'My Photos' application, letting you view the videos you've uploaded to the social network on your big screen.
We'll be testing out the new features, along with the voice command options, as soon as the update hits our Sky Q box, and we'll let you know just how extensive – and responsive – the long-awaited voice update proves to be.
- Check out our in-depth Sky Q review for a full rundown of the service.