On top of 4K TV and WiFi hotspots, Sky Q promises to make watching TV shows across multiple devices effortless, thanks to something it’s calling ‘My Q’.
While on-demand services like Netflix have offered synced viewing for a while, it hasn’t always worked that well across platforms.
Plus, while EE TV lets you carry on watching a TV show elsewhere in the home, should someone else barge into the living room and loudly demand to watch Strictly, you can’t take what you’re watching with you out of the house – you need to be constantly connected to your home network.
Sky says it’s cracked how to make synced viewing a cinch. Shows you’re watching are collected in the ‘My Q’ section, which is present across the entire Sky Q range. This means you can start watching a show in one room on a Sky Q Mini box, pick up halfway through on your iPad and then finish up on the Q Silver box.
Like the Sky+ apps before them, the Sky Q iOS and Android apps will let you browse a facsimile of the same Sky EPG that you’ll see on the big screen.
What is Sky Q? Prices, release dates and specsWhile the current Sky+ apps are designed mainly to allow for things like remote record and hard drive management, the Sky Q apps will let you pick up the same programme you were watching on the big screen in real time, freeing you up to go elsewhere while you evacuate the living room.
We got to see a short demonstration of this working at the launch event and while we weren’t able to have a go ourselves, it worked smoothly and as advertised.
As well as acting as a one-stop pause-and-pick-up centre for whatever it is you’re currently watching, Sky says that the My Q page will also act as a hub for personalised suggestions, based on what you’ve watched throughout the day.
You’ll also be able to download shows to your tablets for offline viewing, access recorded content and stream live TV on the go wherever you are. In a sense, the Sky Q apps blend the features of the previous Sky+ apps with the Sky Go mobile service.
Perhaps taking another cue from Netflix, My Q will also queue up the next episode of a series, if it’s available. This feature will be bolstered by a curated Top Picks section, which happens to be the default menu you land on when you jump to the Sky Q home page.
From launch, Top Picks will only serve up recommendations based on programmes watched throughout the home. We understand that greater personalisation, that’ll allow individual family members and flatmates to be served with recommendations, is in the pipeline.
Sky’s chief executive Jeremy Darroch, said: “We wanted to re-imagine TV so that it’s flexible and seamless across different screens and to put a huge choice of entertainment at their fingertips. We think customers are going to love Sky Q and the great news is that it will get even better with much more to come in the future.”
Sky Q is launching at some point in ‘early 2016’. Prices have not yet been announced, but it’s been confirmed that 4K sports, movies and entertainment content is in the pipeline.
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