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Sky Stream TV Customers Now Need a 25Mbps Broadband Speed UPDATE

Thursday, May 4th, 2023 (4:32 pm) - Score 8,336
Sky-Stream-Box-and-TV-Set

Some customers of Sky’s standalone Sky Stream TV product, which uses your UK broadband ISP and WiFi connection to stream their on-demand video content and live TV channels directly to your existing TV set (without a satellite dish), may be displeased to learn that you now need a much faster minimum download speed.

Until recently, Sky was stating that the new service would work with any broadband ISP, albeit with the caveat that “all content on Sky Glass or Sky Stream is streamed via broadband, minimum speed of 10Mbps required” (download). The 10Mbps figure reflected their requirement for streaming in at least High Definition (HD) quality, while 25Mbps was only recommended for those streaming in 4K/HDR and with Dolby Atmos.

However, the bad news is that Sky seems to have updated the small print on their Sky Stream product page, which now states this: “All content on Sky Glass or Sky Stream is streamed via broadband, minimum speed of 25mbps required.” In addition, they’ve also raised the recommended speed for those streaming in 4K/HDR and with Dolby Atmos from 25Mbps to 30Mbps.

Both changes appear to have occurred in the past month, since the original speed requirements still existed when we last checked at the start of April 2023. Sky hasn’t said why they’ve made the change, although we suspect it may be a way of managing expectations and reducing complaints from those on slower lines. But it’s unclear what this means for those on 10-24Mbps capable lines who already have the service.

One issue with this is that, as video codecs evolve, it will soon become possible to squeeze a full 4K and HDR video into a sub-10Mbps stream. But that would of course depend upon Sky adopting such standards, which seems unlikely to happen anytime soon. We’ve asked Sky to clarify why they’ve made the change and what it may mean for existing customers within the unsupported performance range (expect an update later – probably tomorrow).

UPDATE 5th May 2023

Sky has confirmed that the information is correct, it has increased the recommended minimum speed to 25Mbps for both Sky Stream and Sky Glass, apparently so customers can have the best possible experience. Customers can also continue to get Sky Glass and Sky Stream with 10Mbps speeds per device, there’s no change for existing customers.

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Mark-Jackson
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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
22 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    “But that would of course depend upon Sky adopting such standards, which seems unlikely to happen anytime soon.”…But why, they are controlling all of the hardware in their ecosystem. Its not like they need to worry about compatibility with third party hardware. Just setup their streams as x266 and get a x266 hardware decoder in the pucs. They could then offer 8k in only 10mb/s, never mind 4k.

    1. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      Is x.266 really capable of churning out broadcast quality 8k in 10 Mbps? The last paper I read gave a coding gain of about 30% over x.264 and I’d hope that we’re going to see IPTV take advantage of the bandwidth many have available and outdo satellite for picture quality.

      The USA has hundreds and hundreds of cable channels but many are poor quality as they’re so heavily compressed. Even running SDV they only have so much bandwidth for each transport stream and the channel streams are competing for that so at busy periods can go crazily low. They complain a fair bit about this on forums.

      Hopefully we’ll see efficiency but also pristine picture quality: no skimping on stream bandwidth.

    2. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      “The last paper I read gave a coding gain of about 30% over x.264”

      Are you sure it was x264 you read about? What I read it was 20-30% over AV1. And AV1 has a 20% benefit over x265. So doing approximate math ~40-50% benefit over x265. And x265 has about 30%-40% benefit over x264. The compression difference between x264 and x266 should be huge. Probably around 75%.

  2. Avatar photo Sam Perry says:

    BT Tv is the same especially “recording” it make my 66 meg connection crawl to like 3 meg… these services need FTTP to work really

  3. Avatar photo Jack says:

    So if I have two stream puk I need 50Mpbs?

  4. Avatar photo dontcare says:

    wHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH! YOU DON’T NEED 25MEG for HD or 30MEG for UHD.

    1. Avatar photo Anthony says:

      You do if they are using X264 as opposed to x265 for their encoding codec.

    2. Avatar photo Daza says:

      You do if your kids are also downloading stuff in the background.

    3. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      Live TV isn’t YouTube, Phil. Can’t sit on a stream for ages trying to minimise the bit rate, has to leave the transcoder as fast as it arrives.

  5. Avatar photo Obi says:

    Please do keep us updated on the impact for customers with non superfast speeds, Mark.

    Perhaps unrelated, but Sky have recently withdrawn ADSL in my area, but still offer it under Now?

    1. Avatar photo Bubbles says:

      NOW don’t offer FTTP packages so this will be why.

  6. Avatar photo Darren Reid says:

    People forget that it’s not 1 continuous stream. It downloads in chunks so it exceeds bit rate typically. You also need a good speed to build buffer quickly to allow channel flicking. Plus there’s the fact that when you need to drop down nitrate you could need 2 streams at once. It just provides a better experience to require higher bit rate.

  7. Avatar photo Jonathan says:

    It’s probably not that stream requires that much speed but you need that speed to watch stream and have useable internet on other devices.

  8. Avatar photo Craig says:

    When I had Sky Broadband, I could only sometimes use 2 Sky Streams at a time, otherwise they would stutter (Sky don’t off FTTP in my area). For this reason, I’ve now moved to Virgin 1gig and never have a problem running 3 Sky Streams and 1 Sky Glass

    1. Avatar photo Craig says:

      Forgot to mention, I only got 25meg through Sky ‍♂️

  9. Avatar photo No Name says:

    I wonder what will happen to existing customers with lower speeds.

    I’m just about hitting 27Mb and my downstream handback threshold from Openreach is 24Mb. I haven’t had any issues with HD or UHD HLG content though so far. I doubt I’ll have FTTP by the time my contract is up for renewal either.

    1. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      I doubt that they’ll stop anyone paying them a subscription. They probably just want to reduce the number of complaints from people on low speed connections.

  10. Avatar photo Bert says:

    take up of sky glass has been poor, i wonder why.

  11. Avatar photo Grumpy Matt says:

    Evidently they didn’t tell their advertising team. The radio adverts still state 10Mbps.

  12. Avatar photo Jimmy says:

    Very sensible advice. Running some mb/s of constant TV down a pipe and the rest of the household is going to be a pretty iffy experience with only 10Mb/s to play with.

  13. Avatar photo John G says:

    My sky BB speed is 18-26 and more often than not it is approx 25mBs. sky still say tis is too slow for stream even without the UHD.
    I only use one device at a time.??

Comments are closed

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