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Sky UK Delays Long Awaited HDR Video Update to Late 2020

Friday, December 27th, 2019 (7:37 am) - Score 18,620
sky q tv 2016

Customers of Sky’s (Comcast / Sky Broadband) TV service will be displeased to learn that they may now have to wait until “late” 2020 “at the earliest” before the company finally gets around to adding High Dynamic Range (HDR) technology to Sky Q, which enables the video to contain even more colour and vibrancy.

Sky had previously been promising that HDR would be added to their Sky Q platform at some unspecified point during 2019 (prior to that they said 2018). At present most of their rivals have already added HDR support to 4K (Ultra HD) channels and video streams (e.g. Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, BT, Netflix and Virgin Media), while an increasing number of consumers now own supporting TV or other HDR displays (e.g. high end mobiles).

The news that customers, who generally pay quite a lot for Sky’s premium TV service, may now have to wait until late 2020 or possibly even 2021 for HDR to arrive has not gone down well on the operator’s Community Forum.

Statement by Sky’s Community Manager (Kei):

“I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s unlikely that the UK will be seeing HDR until late next year at the earliest. We’ve pushed it back whilst we work on other priorities.”

Practically speaking the delay to HDR isn’t the end of the world but it does leave Sky, which has long prided itself on delivering some of the best video quality, to sit in a somewhat embarrassing position within an aggressively competitive market. Meanwhile some of Sky’s other European services already have HDR capability.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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20 Responses
  1. CarlT says:

    Interesting. Anyone know what the hold up is and what has taken priority?

    1. Jooles says:

      I guess it might be hardware related issue where the current generation of Sky Q boxes are unable to support it.

    2. StevenNT says:

      @Jooles If that’s the case, could I call up when 2nd Gen Sky Q becomes available to get a newer one citing HDR?

    3. Adam says:

      Sure, if they promised HDR support on your current hardware. If not, then i imagine you’d have to pay to upgrade.

    4. Ray Woodward says:

      Could be a number of things, for exanmple the further roll out of BBC services intergrated into Sky Q (some of which have been added, but several of which are yet to arrive).

    5. JmJohnson says:

      SteveNT… Unlike Original Sky where you owned the hardware you don’t own the Sky Q kit. So it’s their responsibility to upgrade it if required for new features.

    6. StevenNT says:

      @JmJohnson So Sky have finally gone down the road like Virgin Media, they will for example repair/service it while I’m still a subscriber?

  2. Jooles says:

    @StevenNT. I think you would have to threaten to leave before they would do that.

  3. Craig says:

    My contract is due the end of June 2020, I’m not sure I’d renew with them again.

    1. terence says:

      Same, I feel totally let down by sky q. No her no doubt vision. Basically, most
      of the UHD is up upscaled.

  4. Roger_Gooner says:

    Is this because Comcast wants to roll out its Xfinity platform to Sky customers?

    1. Ray Woodward says:


    2. CarlT says:

      Xfinity is a brand name.

      No plans to bring the X1 platform to Sky. Comcast are interested more in content than micromanaging delivery.

      For now.

  5. M says:

    Whilst they work on ‘other priorities’, most likely their price increases they like to instigate several times throughout the year. I expect they’ll charge more for HDR, like Now TV is charging you more if you want to view their programming in full HD 1080P, even though their service costs more then Netflix or Amazon Prime Video or Disney which all offer full HD.
    Not a good enough effort by Sky UK here..

    1. John says:

      Sky are still under the mistaken belief that they can use exactly the same aggresive pricing models they use OTA for digital streaming provision, even as the new entrant providers are eating their lunch. God knows what they will do if Amazon stump up for a bigger chunk of the Premiership football rights next go around.

  6. Jamie Simms says:

    This is very disappointing from Sky especially as they had previously delayed this twice as they said there was not enough users then a lack of equipment. Both of these issues have now been resolved but no explanation about the why it’s being pushed back so far again.

    What is even more annoying is that Sky are producing their Premier League football in UHD HDR and letting overseas broadcasters inc Sky Italia broadcast it also nearly all Sky produced entertainment and drama is in UHD HDR again they let other broadcasters have it in the latest format.

    This really does indicate that Sky do not value their customers and will continue to not live up to expectations and fall Behind the competition with Virgins V6 box already UHD HDR enabled and BTs new UHD HDR box due to launch Feb-March meaning Sky getting left further behind

  7. beany says:

    I wonder how many complainers actually have a TV capable of the required brightness levels and 12bit colour to support a true HDR picture?
    Id guess not many but id also guess they believe the blurb on the box their TV came in.

    1. Spurple says:

      HDR has more to do with brightness levels than colour gamut.

    2. Roger_Gooner says:

      When Sky gets round to live HDR broadcasting it will be HLG, to be exact HLG10 at 1000cd/m². This uses 10-bit colour depth but I doubt whether viewers will be at all bothered by that.

  8. Michael Niblett says:

    Sky is simply no longer a premium product
    However they still charge premium prices
    Will be dropping them once my contract ends

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