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Sky UK Tries to Improve Sky Stream TV Uptake – Sells in Currys

Tuesday, Jul 4th, 2023 (11:15 am) - Score 5,688
Sky-Stream-Logo-and-Box-UK

Sky’s standalone Sky Stream TV product, which uses your broadband ISP and Wi-Fi connection to stream their on-demand video content and live channels directly to your existing TV set (without a satellite dish), can now be purchased in 285 Currys stores nationwide after the media giant signed an exclusive retail partnership.

The partnership between Currys and Sky is designed to ensure that as many customers as possible have the opportunity to demo and buy the new satellite-free streaming device (you’ll be able to find the demo in any ‘Vision’ area of a store by the end of July). But the announcement mentions that this is a time-limited exclusive, which will run out on 31st December 2023, and after that other retailers may be able to stock the kit.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s Chief Executive Officer, UK & Ireland, said: “Sky Stream is all about making our world class TV platform available to even more customers, which means partnering with Currys is the logical next step. We’re hugely excited to work with the team across their huge footprint of stores to take a fantastic product to even more 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
51 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Sky Streams are very poor hardware. I cannot see it will be successful selling in Currys.

    1. Avatar photo Kris says:

      Is the poor hardware really that noticeable in curry’s though?

      For me the failure is that there’s no real advantage over Sky Q unless you live somewhere where satellite dishes aren’t allowed.

    2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      ..or you don’t want an ugly/bulky dish on your house.

    3. Avatar photo Cheryl says:

      OMG Mark, that is so dish-ist!!! Dish lives matter. Dishes should be judged by their content not their looks.

    4. Avatar photo No Name says:

      I can’t disagree with the poor performance. I’ve got one and to be honest, the only thing it’s used for is Live TV and ad free on demand. It is pretty underpowered for a premium TV service and still has lots of glitches. It’s quicker to change HDMI inputs, fire up the Apple TV and load an app on there. Virgin Stream was never as clunky and slow as Sky Stream is.

      It’s a real shame because the idea behind it and picture quality is really good. I feel like Sky should just focus on turning the core tv product into something that could be served via an app with the same 30 day flexibility. If I could have Sky content in the same quality as Sky Stream on my Apple TV or Smart TV then I’d be happy.

      At the moment I don’t think I’ll renew when my contract is up because its just so slow and glitchy.

    5. Avatar photo Martin says:

      To me there is a big disadvantage over Sky via satellite, in that you miss out on many FTA channels, maybe more will come to Sky Stream in time, but will be interesting to see how it pans out

    6. Avatar photo charles says:

      I think it’s great. Expensive a tad but still great!

      Getting Discovery + and Netflix included is a nice touch.. I can’t fault it at what £29 a month I think I pay and thats with UHD and Skip the ads included (which is a god send!)

  2. Avatar photo Me says:

    It’ll fail I’d imagine, once people start looking at the subscription costs they’ll chose not to buy it, for good reason.

  3. Avatar photo Dan says:

    No point having this if you want to watch live content (Sports) as they still haven’t sorted out the time delay compared to DSAT/DTT.

    1. Avatar photo charles says:

      Well when they figure that out someone will be very rich.. That’s the nature of the internet for you

    2. Avatar photo XGS Is On says:

      I think this is a conscious decision due to the need for Internet video to buffer.

      The options are to either accept loss of stream in case of packet loss and require a higher level of bandwidth for a consistent stream or to buffer and offer rate adaptive streams that a wider range of bandwidths may use.

      Anyone reading this: did BT Sport using multicast have the same issues with delay?

    3. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      As far as I am aware there’s not too much lag on the BT TV boxes and they deliver channels over the Internet (OK you have to have BT Broadband) but they seem OK.

    4. Avatar photo Dan says:

      @Charles the BBC have already claimed there are ways of reducing eliminating the delay.

    5. Avatar photo charles says:

      Fair enough Dan. I don’t believe anything that corporation states, but that is purely personal so each to their own.

      I personally enjoy Sky Stream. I don’t have a TV to compare it too ( my TV does not have a tuner I mean) so I can’t really know the difference anyway

    6. Avatar photo 10BaseT says:

      This is how transcoding from multicast to ip works. At least 30secs of delay is inevitable.

  4. Avatar photo TommyT says:

    You know what would make sense? Just make an app that installs on smart TVs. You don’t need to sell daft boxes then. Customers may install the app and be more tempted to sign up if it’s easy..

    Works for netflix and Amazon.

    1. Avatar photo charles says:

      I’ve been saying this for a long time – I guess they didn’t want to do it as they wanted Glass etc to try and sell well.

    2. Avatar photo occasionally factual says:

      While I agree that an app would be much better for the customer, it would be miles worse for Sky.
      Today they just write 1 program for their own hardware and have total control to do what they want, how they want.
      Going the app route means multiple code bases for different hardware AND they have to follow the rules set by the device manufacturers for the various platforms.
      So it’s easy to see why they insist on their own hardware.

  5. Avatar photo Jay says:

    Do you think Sky will ever offer a cloud service to record things you watch on Sky Stream?

    I converted to Sky Stream and couldn’t get on with it. They allowed me to leave without penalty. Apparently they do allow this as they know the hardware isn’t up to scratch. Not sure how true that is though? This was about 3 months ago.

    I’m back on Sky Q now and much prefer it. I’m not ready to give up the ability to record my shows just yet.

    1. Avatar photo K says:

      I actually prefer Sky Stream to SkyQ. We had several Q boxes and they kept disconnecting around the house whereas Stream connects directly to wifi. From what i understand Q boxes try to connect to each other and you have to have the main SkyQ box turned on all the time. With Sky Stream you can turn on any box without having to connect to any other unit. So for us Sky Stream is more reliable although there are some channels missing.

    2. Avatar photo charles says:

      They were offering 30 day terms and also customer owned the hardware until about April and then it changed to having to be returned. They then started to offer 30 day or 18 months. I took the former as that made more sense Everything is pretty much in the cloud. I just add to playlist and then watch it later. Good enough for me.

    3. Avatar photo charles says:

      I also like the fact all I need to do to get Multiroom is move the box from one place to another. So I have HDMI/Ethernet set up in both places. Not a hassle really and better than paying £25 for another box and then £12 a month

    4. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      Sky are planning on cloud recording for Stream, VM also are. The issues are with one large rightsholder who want people to use their app though nobody will publicly say who it is.

  6. Avatar photo Jack says:

    The problem with stream is Sky hosting apps on a server, this makes the response slow and terrible.

    I guess they did it so they can track everything you do

    1. Avatar photo K says:

      Its perfectly fast enough for me, but then again i have BT900 with wifi discs. Maybe time to upgrade your broadband?

    2. Avatar photo Me says:

      They host the apps on a server! Wow what a dumb way of doing it, purely to cut costs. Even the cheapest Android streaming stick runs apps locally.
      And no if you are required to upgrade your broadband to gigabit and purchase expensive WiFi extenders just to make it work, that’s not a solution either.

    3. Avatar photo Jon says:

      The apps run locally, he’s talking sh*t

    4. Avatar photo K says:

      Me:
      Wifi discs are £3 a month for a set of 3. You dont need gigabit for sky, but faster net does help. What speed are you getting?

    5. Avatar photo Jack says:

      @Jon the apps are all server based, even a simple Google tells you it.

      Glass/Pucks/Stream doesn’t run traditional apps, it runs the apps as browser based apps developed with the Metrological (part of Comcast) framework using LightningJS and RDK, so effectively the app you launch on the Glass platform is a browser based app rather than a full fat app, all designed to run on very low spec machines, one app for all, so massively quick development time and no multiple versions to control.

      https://helpforum.sky.com/t5/Glass-Stream-Live/Is-there-a-way-to-close-apps/m-p/4169197#M72410

  7. Avatar photo Jack says:

    After having a box since October last year, I’m thinking of getting rid of it soon as I’m in the no contract package.

    The main issue for me is that it’s no cheaper which I thought would be the main selling point over Q. The £12 extra for multi room is a bit steep also. I think they should lower the price for an extra box instead of a standard price for up to 8 or whatever it is.

    I agree also that the apps are either to slow to react, or are really laggy. Apple TV being the worse culprit.

  8. Avatar photo Rob says:

    I was looking forward to Sky without a dish (exactly sky+ but feed came from internet, so on box recording etc).

    What we got was yet another box with apps on it and no recording option, just whatever each”channel” piss on catch-up. Why bother. I can use my Apple TV for that. I’ll be keeping Sky+HD for a while longer.

  9. Avatar photo Nothing Changes says:

    Sky are always trying to over think it and looking for ways to screw end users of their products, this time around its no different. I will still cling on to my Sky+HD box

  10. Avatar photo James says:

    I’m still watching via a Sky HD+ box, and a Panasonic plasma via a Denon 4308. I’m happy. To upgrade to Q and a 4k TV with a new Denon is an eye watering expense I cannot think who’s dreaming up these Sky Glass , pucks products.

    1. Avatar photo Random Precision says:

      I bet you used a Windows 95 desktop PC using a dial up modem to reply to this thread.

  11. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Bear in your mind, Sky Stream box still belong to Sky, it only lend you if you cancel, u have to send the Sky Stream box back to Sky or faced fee if don’t returned it.

    1. Avatar photo charles says:

      Anyone taking a box before 15th of Feb got to keep it. Both me and my sister tried it and we were both told to keep it. It’s useless without a sub.. But my says “Customer owned” and I am on the 30 day plan

  12. Avatar photo Jay says:

    I signed up to Stream literally 2 days before they started making people return them. Made myself £20 profit when I flogged them on Ebay LOL

  13. Avatar photo Mike says:

    Sky was only worth getting when the internet was too slow to download/stream from other online places.

  14. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    World class? Oh dear. Not anywhere near world-class, overpriced for a load repeats, been the same for years, that is why I dumped sky after 12 months and that was 15 years ago.

  15. Avatar photo Ciaran says:

    Interested to know if i was to try sky stream for the month would it work abroad in Portugal for instance? Are there options on the puck/box to add DNS addresses to bypass geo restrictions? Thanks

    1. Avatar photo Rob says:

      Sky implement restrictions on ping times for live IP content for this exact reason. If you try using VPNs and the round trip time is too high, it’ll cut the stream as it thinks you’re outside of the host country.

    2. Avatar photo charles says:

      You can not even use it outside your own house. I tried it in the car on a laptop using my phone sat on the driveway and it went mental. it’s also a breach of contract. Home IP address only it seems.

    3. Avatar photo MikeP says:

      @Charles How does that work over (CG)NAT, then?

  16. Avatar photo MilesT says:

    I think Sky/Now made a mistake moving away from the white labelled Roku product (unless Roku forced them out, commercially). Sounds like then, and now, it was/would be a far better offer.

  17. Avatar photo zzing says:

    Even better, just make an app we can use on our Smart TV’s for all Sky services. Why not just call Now TV ‘Sky’ and make it the only offering? Its not as if a physical remote, box or TV is required for anything other than an unsustainable waste of single use plastic, silicon and lead solder.

  18. Avatar photo Nick says:

    Gotta say for Live events, Dish vs massive buffering delay . Dish still wins hands down unless you can’t have one.

    It was bad enough going with the switch from analogue to digital being forced to use substandard equipment after being used to high end analogue sat receivers.

    Now they want us to add another box which they could just add an app ( or improve now TV ) to an already decent existing device like a Nvidia shield, fire TV stick or Cube, and still end up paying to watch adverts!!

  19. Avatar photo Jazzy says:

    I still prefer the dish idea. My niece bought this as she’s in an apartment with FTTP and she likes it but there’s no record facility. I like having the option to record and store programmes otherwise I would completely forget they’re available

    It also lacks channels like Talking Pictures TV, which I really do like

    I find Sky Q hard to fault so this (at the present time) isn’t for me

  20. Avatar photo Malcolm firth says:

    I moved from sky q to stream wish I hadn’t hate it. Can’t go back to sky q as had my LNB changed so could use freesat box.

  21. Avatar photo Martin says:

    The Pay TV market has way too many players.

    TV is getting way too fragmented.

    Want to follow a football team – in some cases you need 3 or 4 subscriptions.

    Same with entertainment – SKY has this, Paramount that, Apple something else and so forth.

    It is all getting a bit silly and maybe folk are saying enough of £20 for this £10 for that and so on.
    Might as well just put with Free TV offerings and spend the money on something else.

  22. Avatar photo Boris Johnson says:

    With the multitude of streaming services available, including, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV+, Discovery+, Disney+, Hayu, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, Sky Stream, YouTube Premium, I would sincerely appreciate a return to the good ol’ days of the late 1960s where the only TV channels available were BBC1, BBC2, and ITV.

    Life was blissful back then. Now however, whether one is binging on streamed content or transfixed to social media, we’re slowly becoming zombies and readily prone to being corrupted due to the prevalence of disinformation, so much so, the social fabric that binds us is being severely tested.

    1. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      Bozo: “I would sincerely appreciate a return to the good ol’ days of the late 1960s where the only TV channels available were BBC1, BBC2, and ITV….Life was blissful back then. ”

      No it wasn’t. It was crap. Three channels of mostly black and white crud, one centralised set of propaganda, the BBC licking Jimmy Saville’s fundament, TV channels that stopped broadcasting when it suited them, absolutely nothing to watch on Sundays, boring, straight-laced content that was rubber stamped by dullards like Mary Whitehouse (and included joys like the BBC’s Black & White Minstrel Show). The only good thing about 1960’s TV was Gerry Anderson.

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