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What is the price of Sky Q and how much can it do?

Jonathan Bray David Ludlow
21 Nov 2016
Sky Q Silver and Sky Q Mini
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We explain everything about Sky's new TV system and find out that the Sky Q price isn't as high as you'd think

You can't have missed all of the TV and billboard adverts for Sky Q, with the broadcaster going all out to push its new TV platform. Even with all of this publicity, the two most common questions we get about the service are: what is it, and how does the Sky Q price stack up against its predecessor and rivals? While my full Sky Q review goes into lots of detail, here's everything you need to know about the system and how much it costs in a quicker, easier-to-digest form.

What is Sky Q?

Sky Q is the successor to Sky+ HD, complete with a choice of main box, the Sky Q Silver or the regular Sky Q. From this point of view, there's not really much different from the existing system: you can record TV shows, download on-demand programmes and pause live TV. However, the hardware has been dramatically upgraded, and the Sky Q Silver box can record four channels at once and still let you watch another, and it will bring 4K TV later in the year; the Sky Q box can record three channels simultaneously and let you watch a fourth live channel, although it supports 1080p HD video only.

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As good as improved hardware is, Sky Q's real purpose is to let you watch your content where you want how you want, with an improved multi-room experience.

Sky Q Silver box hero

Sky Q price: How much does Sky Q cost?

The feat with a new system like this is that it's going to be expensive. But that's not really true with Sky Q – it works out to be pretty good value, especially now that Sky Q is Sky's default TV system.

The cheapest option is to go for Sky Q without multiroom. This works out at £20 per month for both the Sky Q 1TB and 2TB boxes, the only difference in the price for the Sky Q boxes is the setup fee. For the bigger, more capable box you'll pay £60 setup; the 1TB box is £15. 

Otherwise, all prices are the same. For multi-room, you pay £12 per month with either setup. If you have a 1TB box, this gives one free Mini box and the ability to stream and download to one tablet.

If you opt for the 2TB box, you also get a free Mini box. The difference here is that you can watch and download to two devices concurrently, and add further Mini boxes at a price of £99 each.

Sky Sports and Sky Cinema cost £27.50 and £18 extra per month, or £36 together, so if you take the basic TV bundle, plus multi-room and a 2TB box, you'll be paying a reasonable £66 per month, plus that £60 setup fee.

Far from being expensive, then, Sky Q is actually a pretty good deal, and it's well worth keeping an eye out for special deals, too. At the time of writing, during Black Friday week, Sky is offering a deal that cuts the monthly cost from the usual £66 to £50. If you were thinking of switching, now looks to be the time to do it.

Sky Q price: 1TB vs 2TB costs

Sky Q 1TB boxSky Q 2TB box
Original bundle£20/month£20/month
Hard disk size1TB2TB
Number of tunersEight (record three, watch one, plus support for one Mini and one Tablet)12 (record four, watch one, plus two Mini boxes and two tablets)
Multiscreen and device playback
Multiscreen£12/month£12/month
Sky Q Mini boxesOne includedOne included; additional boxes, £99
Tablet playback and download.Watch streamed content and download to one tabletWatch streamed content and download to two tablets at the same time
Extras
Sky Sports£27.50/month£27.50/month
Sky Cinema£18/month£18/month
Sports/Movies discount£36/month for both£36/month for both
Fees
Installation fee£15£60
Total cost, fully loaded£66/month (plus £15 installation)£66/month (plus £60 for installation)

Multi-room and multi-screen

With Sky+ you could add multi-room to your package, although this required having a second box installed, complete with all of the satellite cables required. Even so, you couldn't share recordings between your boxes, which is a bit of a let-down.

With Sky Q, you can watch in other rooms via Sky Q Mini boxes or on your tablet using the Sky Q app. All of the content is streamed directly from your main Sky Q box: Sky Q Mini boxes use a robust 5GHz wireless mesh network; tablets connect via your wireless network. See, how to fix Sky Q connectivity problems if you're having any issues.

Sky Q Mini hero

The advantage of the Sky Q system is that, as everything is streamed from the main box, you can share all of your recordings and on-demand programmes, plus watch any of your TV channels, too: the Sky Q Silver box has four dedicated tuners for this (two Mini boxes and two tablets); the Sky Q box has two dedicated tuners (one Mini box and one tablet). Tablets can also download recordings and on-demand programmes (except for BBC content, due to licensing issues), so you can watch online. Sharing content is where Sky's Fluid Viewing comes in.

What is Fluid Viewing?

Fluid Viewing is all about being able to start and stop watching content where and when you like. For example, you can start watching a recording downstairs in your living room and then continue watching in the kitchen. Think of this as Sky's version of Netflix, making the TV package a lot more flexible. All content for you to continue watching appears in the new My Q menu: it appears on the main box, tablets and on the Mini boxes.

Sky Q Silver My Q

Better networking

If you take Sky broadband with Sky Q, you get the new Sky Q Hub. As well as being a better router than anything Sky has made previously, the Q Hub also works with any Mini boxes you have, connecting them via its mesh network and turning them into Wi-Fi hotspots, so you get better wireless coverage around your home. If you don't have Sky broadband, you lose this feature, but Sky Q still works perfectly well.

Mobile streaming

With Sky Q you can watch Sky shows live or on-demand via the app (phone users have to use the older Sky Go app, as there's not yet a mobile Sky Q app). You can have up to four devices connected to your account, and each tablet running the Sky Q app can also download on-demand shows for watching offline. With Sky+ you could only stream shows, with downloading limited to Sky Go Extra customers (£5 a month or free with a Multiscreen subscription for £12 a month).

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