Is Sky Q worth the money
If you want access to a wide range of TV shows and films and you have a good broadband connection then you are spoilt for choice. If you live in an area where you have no or slow broadband then you have little choice but to opt for Sky to receive premium content.
Sky Q is Sky's replacement for the aging Sky+HD service. It relies on dedicated hardware supplied from Sky that you never own and has high subscription costs and long contract terms. Whereas streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon allow you to use your own hardware and offer monthly cancel-anytime contracts.
For around £20 a month you can have access to Sky's basic channel package. Is it worth it? Well considering you can get Sky's most popular channels for £7.99 with HD from NowTV and you can then add even more TV shows and a massive collection of movies from Netflix for £7.99 and then even more TV and movies from Amazon Prime for £5.99, which is a total of around £22, you really start to see how much Sky is overcharging you for less. Throw in installation costs and needing to have multiroom to watch your content in more than one room and the value for money drops even more.
Is it worth being tied to one provider for such a long period of time?
Everyone is starting to realise that long term contracts are no longer popular with consumers. Even gyms are dropping their annual membership contracts in favour of pay-as-you-go-cancel-anytime contracts. With Sky, even though you never own the Sky Q hardware and have therefore no reason to be locked into a contract, they still insist on the long-term contract model. Why? Your circumstances could change at any point and paying for a premium TV subscription may no longer suit your needs.
These days consumers want to be able to choose their own hardware rather than being tied to one provider's set-top box. You can feed the cables from your satellite dish into a third-party box or a smart TV in order to access the free channels. You don't actually need a Sky box. You can use a Smart TV, games console or USB device in order to access 'apps' that allow you to login and stream content from other providers straight to your TV. Or you can stream via mobile devices and personal computers. If you want to record you can purchase a cheap PVR or add a USB storage device to your smart TV. You really don't need to be locked into a piece of hardware.
What does Sky Q give you?
The 2TB box gives you the ability to record 6 programs at once while watching a seventh. Do you really need to record 6 programs? I don't record anything these days. The news is 24/7 and everything is available on catch-up via apps like iPlayer. If you wish to watch something offline you can always download legally. The real reason that you need to record with Sky is because it is a broadcast model rather than streaming.
Sky offers "fluid viewing", which upon further reading is just pausing content and continuing where you left off on another device. This is nothing new as you can also do this with Amazon TV and Netflix. With Netflix you can set up multiple profiles but with Sky Q there is only one.
The Sky Q remote offers bluetooth connectivity so you can control the box without needing line of sight. Not something new or unique to Sky Q. I've been doing this from my PS3 for the last decade.
The only interesting features (to me) were voice control and 4K content. However neither are enough to convince me to pay the high cost for Sky Q with lock-in and hardware rental.
So is it worth getting Sky Q? I'm not sold but I am interested on your thoughts whether for or against. If you have any feedback regarding this article then feel free to drop me an email.
Last updated: 25th January 2018