We have now started to see the first of Sky TV’s new ‘Sky Q’ receivers appearing in our customer’s houses. The product looks as though it is an impressive step forward in usability. As long as it is reliable it will be a product which we will be recommending in the future. However, as yet we as a company are not able to offer an upgrade to Sky Q because Sky has not yet made the equipment available to independent retailers. We hope they will do soon.

Sky Q allows you access to lots more channels all at the same time. With the old Sky Plus box, you could only watch one channel whilst recording another one. This wasn’t really any advance on the old video recorder from 30 years ago. The new Sky Q box can handle a dozen channels at a time – it has 12 separate tuners. Because of this you can record four channels at once, whilst at the same time watching three further channels on three different TVs in you house. You can also then watch another two channels on Wi-Fi devices – all at the same time. This comes in to it’s own with big families.

Sky Q also boasts what it calls ‘fluid viewing’. This allows a program to be partly watched and then paused on one TV, then picked up from the same point on another TV or an Ipad etc.

The Sky Q receiver works from a different type of LNB (the electronic part on the end of the dish arm) so an upgrade to Sky Q will require a change to the dish. In flats, Sky Q also requires an equivalent change to the communal (shared dish) systems. This is quite an expensive upgrade and so far only a couple of property managers have gone ahead with an upgrade to their systems.

It remains to be seen if Sky Q will remain a ‘premium’ product, rented out at a higher price to a few high end customers or whether it will in time become Sky’s main viewing platform as Sky Plus and then Sky HD did.