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Sky’s Broadband IP TV Service to Launch as Part of Built-In TV

Tuesday, September 28th, 2021 (10:55 am) - Score 33,528
Sky-Glass-UK-SoIP-TV-Sets

More details are starting to leak our way as Sky UK (Sky Broadband) get closer to taking the wraps off their future TV via internet connection (instead of a satellite dish) service. We now understand that the Sky over IP (SoIP) service will launch as part of an integrated QLED TV product line (pictured), called Sky Glass.

At present anybody who wants access to all of Sky’s TV channels needs to get a satellite dish installed, although some new build homes on full fibre (FTTP) covered sites do supply this via a Fibre Integrated Reception System (FIRS) system, but that’s a different kettle of fish. Alternatively, Sky also runs the somewhat cut-down and Roku based NOW TV spin-off platform.

However, Sky have long been developing a full TV via broadband platform (here), but so far they’ve only launched such a solution in Italy (Sky via Fibre), Austria (Sky X) and, most recently, Germany (Sky Q IP Box). The latter requires a minimum broadband ISP download speed of 6Mbps (i.e. enough for basic HD streaming via a single viewing channel).

Back in August 2021 we began reporting that such a product would soon be launched in the UK too (here), and we recently learned that this seemed likely to be called Sky over IP (here). Some other reports have also speculated that such a product could be unveiled at a big event on 7th October in London, which is promising to unveil “something magical” (that’s usually a reference to movies and media content).

Sources have now informed ISPreview.co.uk that the product being launched is to be called Sky Glass, which appears to be a sophisticated QLED Smart TV (leaked pictured above) – available in sizes including 43″, 55″ and 65″ – that will come with an integrated Dolby Atmos soundbar and the new SoIP service (as well as the usual 4K and HDR video support).

Pricing remains unclear, but the 43″ set may cost around £650 and indications suggest that the monthly subscription fees are similar to the out-of-contract prices for Sky TV (expensive). The Sky Glass TV sets will also be accompanied by a new device called a ‘Puck‘, which sounds as if it could be a TV streaming device that adopts the same User Interface (UI) as the main Sky Glass TV.

As we understand it, customers can have a maximum of 3 Sky Glass systems and 6 Pucks in one home, all with the capability to run concurrently and with 4K and HDR support. But realistically, most people won’t need that many, and if you did, then you’d probably need one of Sky’s latest ultrafast broadband services to fully benefit. All of this sounds very much like a next generation Sky TV product, which goes beyond Sky Q.

We should add that you won’t be able to have the Sky Puck devices as standalone (i.e. you can only have them when taking a Sky Glass unit). The full details are due to be unveiled soon. We have asked Sky about all this and are awaiting their reply, but they’ve tended not to comment on such reports.

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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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49 Responses
  1. Matt says:

    Great to see things moving towards IP but such a shame that the service requires you to be locked into using a sky provided TV. I’m sure things will change over time but a disappointing piece of news for me.

  2. Danny says:

    Well I definitely cannot see this been a successful venture forcing people to use their TV for this service seems a bit over reaching on sky’s part.

  3. Leslie ingley says:

    That Seems a bit silly to me not to have a Stand-alone divorce are you gonna give me oled tv Plus the pictures of the TV look ugly

  4. dave jones says:

    I hope that they are using the new VVC/h.266 video codec, that would allow more people to be able to get iptv due to a lower broadband speed being needed.

  5. Mark says:

    As others above, this seems somewhat short-sighted to tie it into a TV panel. Does the TV become useless when the subscription is cancelled?

    I thought the whole need to rely on the (usually) poor TV OS was something we had moved away from? My Nvidia Shield and Amazon Fire TV boxes get frequent updates but the Samsung and Philips base operating systems are painfully underpowered and out of date.

  6. Carol says:

    Remember when Sky Q originally launched and no one had any idea what “fluid” viewing was and why it was so much more expensive and premium than original Sky. They had to take it back to the drawing board for a bit. Wonder if that will happen with this.

  7. biscuitbrew says:

    Well, wasn’t expecting that!

  8. Winston Smith says:

    I can’t think of a single good reason for Sky to link their IPTV service to a large and expensive piece of hardware like a TV.

    Are they expecting people who have a perfectly good TV to replace it with another one?

    1. Winston Smith says:

      I wonder if they’re hoping this will drive the adoption of HDR 10+.

  9. finaldest says:

    I don’t need another TV as I have recently acquired 2 new sets and don’t plan to replace them anytime soon.

    1. A Q90R and Surround Sound System costing £4000 in 2019
    2. A Q95R costing £1800 this year. No way am I replacing these sets anytime soon.

    I therefore will not be interested in this service if I am required to use your sub par TV set as the above sets listed are not cheap and perfectly adequate for my current needs. Its bad enough with broadband ISP forcing their rubbish routers on consumers not to mention the increased e waste this will likely encourage.

    1. Matthew Williams says:

      Not just that and I appreciate that but for £650 for a 43 inch tv with a built in sound bar these are going be bad quality TVs you can pay more then £650 for a decent Dolby atmos sound bar lol

    2. Can't afford a TV says:

      Wow, you commented just to brag about how much you spent on a TV?

    3. Nonimous says:

      Wow, you must have needed to get that off your chest bragging about your TVs

    4. David Fisher says:

      Fully agree with you on this matter. I also have changed my setup to Samsung Q95T, Denon x3700h amp. I’m in no rush to change my beautiful setup.

  10. Pezza says:

    This will spectacularly fail. What a stupid idea and totally missed opportunity. Skys hardware is not the best, and that’s being generous. I would certainly never buy a television made by them, and as for the subscription pricing to be the same as out of contract? Not a chance that’ll succeed.
    If this is all true then they are literally offering zero incentive to buy one of these systems. Seems to,me an excuse and way to milk/ profiteer of those who can’t have satellite dishes installed for what ever reason which sounds about right for Sky.

  11. Pezza says:

    The only thing ‘magical’ about this will be Skys profits if enough mugs buy it.

  12. zzing says:

    Sky has some funny ideas – they need to stop thinking in terms of hardware and having any kind of box – let alone TV.

    Most Smart TVs now have the ability to run an app, so the IP service should just be an app. Sky have this in NowTV, but NowTV is deliberately gimped compared to the main service because Sky fear it will cannibalise. The problem is no one wants to use the main service at all, and therefore Sky’s actual only offering to anyone is NowTV, and like-for-like, NowTV is just not on par with any of the other streaming platforms.

  13. Yannick says:

    I feel sorry for all the sky engineers if they do away with the sat side of sky

    1. Peach says:

      They have been training to complete FTTP installs on the Openreach network from the CSP so don’t think all their work is drying up

    2. Dusty says:

      There’s still over 15 million customers on Sky Q alone who will need service and Q will still be sold as these two systems would be two complete different products for different households.

  14. Scott says:

    Total guess – but are people forgetting that for the last few years the set top box has been owned by Sky ?

    I’m guessing the next Sky revenue stream is to turn back the clock (and why not Boris and co have sent us back to the 70s!) and become Radio Rentals/Rumbelows. Are we about to see Sky launch “TV as a service” with the cost is factored into the subscription ?

    The question is will people pay a premium monthly fee for a bundled TV with Sky Entertainment ?*

    *Again – just a guess.

  15. JitteryPinger says:

    So basically Sky is trying to get away from Satelitte platform and create a locked down media device/platform…

    No tah 🙂

    1. Winston Smith says:

      There is a Financial Times article from last week that claims Sky wants to become a gatekeeper for aggregated content from other streaming companies.

      They’re apparently concerned about the prominence of Netflix on Smart TVs and Netflix buttons on TV remotes.

      So instead of creating their own Smart TV app and paying TV manufacturers to install it by default they launch this white elephant.

  16. Tech3475 says:

    Sky always feels like a company that struggles to really move forward, like something’s at their feet dragging them.

    For example, Sky Q requiring the Mini Boxes for multi-room, even though for basic TV/recordings chances are an app on a smart TV or Console, etc. would suffice.

    1. JitteryPinger says:

      People wouldn’t and still won’t pay extar to watch on their own equipment, nevermind the whole app thing that has existed for much longer than Sky Q.

  17. Jack says:

    The pricing and restrictions kinda make it clear this is a public launch but I bet internally it will be classed as public beta. There won’t be high demand right at away so grab the money off those that can burn it whilst testing it and then drop the price and any isp for full scale launch.

  18. Matthew Williams says:

    Seriously I want to know the street price of whatever drugs they were on when they came up with this idea nobody is going to buy a TV just for Sky. When either a lot of people have 4K TVs or are happy with Full HD still. Seriously Sky really must think a lot of themselves to come up with this idea and how they are going justify it I would love to see as it will be something probably from the most raving looney party manifesto most likely.

    1. JitteryPinger says:

      People will however loan a TV if they can’t afford to buy one outright.

    2. Pezza says:

      Oh trust me, Sky has ‘plenty’ of arrogant people working in it that are the sort to come up with this idea and think it’s genius, just like the muppet who bid over 5 billion for the premiership and thought themselves as wonderful for doing so after… ignoring the fact they paid 3 billion more then the nearest competitor. Yeap trust me Sky is full of ‘those’ people.

  19. Roger_Gooner says:

    If there really is going to be a TV instead of an IP STB, then what should we make of it? My initial thoughts are that the TV will be made cheaply by, say, Hisense or TCL from China, no different to what’s been happening for years. But why a TV? The annswer must be that Sky is focused on the user experience, wants to control it and so doesn’t want people to use a streaming device or an app. And as a TV will inevitably limit take up of this product I don’t see satellite dishes being replaced, indeed I see Sky Glass TV being complementary to Sky Q.

    As for the puck: this looks similar to mini boxes which you plug into additional TVs and which interact with the Sky Glass TV.

    1. Jack says:

      I think you’re right about Sky wanting control. Plus if their hardware is the central gateway then all metrics and every bit of info about what you watch etc is on sale for advertisers much like Sky Q now. That Q box sends data back to Sky about absolutely everything even the battery % of the remote

  20. Jazzy says:

    Anyone remember the Sky integrated TV’s they brought out 20 years ago

    We have fast FTTC at 65mb all the time but next door can only get 17MB ADSL as the cabinet is full and had been for 5 years, limited spaces come up when someone moves house

    There is no reason why Sky can’t offer a cable alternative when FTTP becomes widespread. We have Sky Q with the main feed coming into the bedroom and the mini box in the Living Room. Using WIFI it was crap as it’s a big house so we paid £100 and got the two rooms network cabled to the Sky Fibre box properly – service is faultless, so my point is. Even if it becomes a reality …. internal factors don’t always permit it and it’s a lot to spend on something that doesn’t work well. Not everyone can ethernet cable two rooms from the room the router is in.

    Having a box and being able to choose your provider is the future. It’s like buying an iPhone with no sim but which is internally locked to 02 – no one would stand for that

  21. Yatta! says:

    The end of Sky TV via satellites is inevitable, the cost of is unjustifiable when there’s a viable terrestrial alternative.

    1. Roger_Gooner says:

      As Sky hasn’t exactly rushed to provide an IP set top box to replace the Sky Q box you’d have to say that the alternative to Sky Q isn’t that compelling.

    2. Yatta! says:

      @Roger_Gooner:

      There’s no rush at the moment, the push will likely come when Sky’s existing contracts with SES Astra are nearing their end.

      Sky via IP rather than satellite need not not be a new platform. The Sky Q platform with IP delivery is used in other markets.

  22. Peter says:

    The TV could be aimed more like TVs with build in Roku, Fire TV, Android TV, youview etc. Sky just launching their own TV with their interface with the ability to sign up for premium TV.

  23. Laurence 'GreenReaper' Parry says:

    Sounds like a product for those with more money than sense, which is about right for Sky.

    1. Mike says:

      Doesn’t that apply to all Sky TV customers by default?

    2. Pezza says:

      @Mike, no because they have the monopoly on sports. So for instance I like F1, and if I want to see the full race live or recorded Sky is the only option. Channel 4 have to put ads in their race coverage to be allowed to show them. However I am considering ditching it and just watching it on channel 4 as I cannot stand the utterly stupid Sky commentators, the crap they come out with during races….

  24. Doc Murr says:

    Sky are now an experiences company much like Apple. They make superior products, provide superior services, and consumers love Sky values. Controlling the full stack from panel to remote ensures each Sky customer will receive the same delightful fluid viewing experience. This is a very exciting time to be living in the Sky ecosystem.

    1. Winston Smith says:

      Hi Doc!

      How is life in the Sky PR department?

  25. Heather says:

    Sky owning equipment instead of the customer = massive tax write off for Sky. They use it to write off the depreciation of any asset which helps boost value of the company.

    1. Roger_Gooner says:

      BT and Virgin Media also own the equipment they supply to customers, which also means that they have to bear the costs of maintenance and disposal.

  26. Sensible Dave says:

    Looks like Sky will venture into Google realms, dealing in and profiting from customer insights through their ad smart system, pushing specific ads to customer based upon their age, gender, location, lifestyle and viewing habits, more so than they do at the moment. A product built around this concept? Customer data is worth bigger bucks than TV contracts these days. Just ask Google or Amazon. I wonder whether there will be the option to pay more to avoid having to view adverts? No one likes adverts.

  27. John says:

    It would be alright as an OPTION for anyone who would fancy changing their TV set (not many I would have thought) but the idea of making this the ONLY way to watch Sky TV, without the choice of just having what we were led to believe was going to be a dish free box is where this whole idea is an appalling one.

    I think Sky are trying too hard to be different here. I would have preferred if they had just followed what TalkTalk did and make their own internet TV box. Just keep it simple, this integrated TV idea sounds like far too much bother for people unless someone wants a new TV but how many will? Few and far between I reckon!

    1. Bob says:

      I don’t think anyone has said this will be the only way to get Sky over IP, just that this it rumoured to be the announcement next week. Maybe they’ll start with the TV and then announce a box at a later date. Comcast have already revealed the XiOne, although that’s probably what the sky puck is.

      If the puck is able to operate independently of Glass then they’ll more than likely be available separately at some point.

  28. ALEXANDER SLATER says:

    Awful. This is the end for sky.

    I think at some point soon, their USP (premier league) will move to a streaming only model with Dazn and sky will be out the picture.

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