Sky Q review | Sky Q 1TB and 2TB review | Sky Q Mini review
Sky Q is the latest type of set-top box from Sky that offers technical improvements on the existing Sky+ boxes, plus streaming and other home and offline benefits. In fact, with its new user interface, built-in apps and accessories it’s really a whole new premium TV platform rather than just a new shiny box. Here's our Sky Q review including the Sky Q 1TB and 2TB models, Sky Q Mini and more. Order direct from Sky.
Sky recognises that people now want to watch not just multi-room TV but to share recordings round the house too. It allows you to pause a programme (live, recording or downloaded box set) in one room, and continue watching it in another – bedroom-based TVs look the big winner here. Sky calls this “fluid viewing”.
This term also encompasses synching recordings to your iPad or Android tablet – but not smartphones yet – so you can watch your favourite shows wherever you go via the Sky Q app (even offline).
With Sky Q you're not stuck watching the same programme as the rest of your family or house dwellers. Up to two can go off elsewhere and watch via the Sky Q Mini boxes (you need to buy the £12/month Sky Multiscreen subscription, where you'll get one Mini box – and each additional box costs an extra £99), or you can sync downloaded content to a tablet (or two tablets with the 2TB Sky Q). So much for keeping the family together.
And Sky Broadband customers can use the three types of Sky Q box (1TB, 2TB and Mini) to create fresh new Wi-Fi hotspots around the home.
If you haven't got Sky Q yet, then it's now available from just £22 per month.That's less than half the previous price.
The new Sky Q mobile app lets you watch recordings on your phone, stream live content and do tasks such as send recordings to the box from wherever you are.
Sky Q: Price
Like most things from Sky, Sky Q is not cheap. But canny Sky users know when to call Sky for discounts and offers when the bills reach too deep into their pockets. Of course you are stuck on the initial costs for the duration of your first subscription.
Sky often introduces special offers so check there isn’t one available that could save you money before you sign up for Sky Q.
At the time of writing, existing Sky customers pay a one-off cost of £99 to upgrade to Sky Q. Log in to your Sky account to upgrade.
New customers to Sky don’t pay that one-off cost but will be charged £10 for a standard installation. Current offers including a free 32in TV or £100. You can choose from monthly payments starting at £44 for Sky Q and £56 for Sky Q Silver. Both have 18-month minimum subscriptions. Subscription prices rise if you add things like Sky Sports or Sky Cinema (used to be Sky Movies). Click here to build your Sky Q bundle.
Multiscreen customers can add extra Sky Q Mini boxes for £99 each; one comes free with the 2TB Sky Q anyway.
Sky Q: The boxes
There are two models of main Sky Q box, plus a Mini version for another rooms in your house: the entry-level 1TB Sky Q and the high-end 2TB Sky Q (previously known as Sky Q Silver).
Both black boxes are the same size (330x210x43mm) and are much slimmer than the chunky Sky+ box. As you’d expect from the name the Sky Q Mini is even smaller, at 232x155x35mm. See also: Best Blu-ray players 2016
Sky Q 1TB specs: The Sky Q 1TB box can record up to three shows at the same time while watching a fourth. The older Sky+ box could record just two at a time and didn’t allow you to watch another live programme while two recordings were taking place, forcing you to the Planner for pre-recorded shows only. It features 1TB of storage space, enough to store 150 hours of HD TV according to Sky. It can stream onto one TV or tablet.
Sky Q 2TB specs: The top-end Sky Q 2TB box can record up to four shows at the same time while watching a fifth. It features 2TB of storage space, enough to store 350 hours of HD TV. It can stream onto two TVs or tablets.
The Sky Q Mini works with Sky Multiscreen to give you further access via your home network – no need for trailing satellite cables. All you need is an Ethernet cable or wireless connection, and a TV with an HDMI port. It mirrors the experience from the main box so you can view shows and recordings as if you were in the main living room. It’s easy to add Ethernet connections to multiple room by using plug-and-play Powerline adapters; see our Best Powerline feature.
All three Sky Q boxes can also act as a new Wi-Fi hotspot for Sky Broadband customers only when used with the Sky Q Hub router. See also: Best media streamers 2015.