Sky's Glass TV: Everything you need to know from ditching the satellite to cost

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IT was once the future of telly — now the satellite dish could soon be a thing of the past.

Sky’s new Glass TV streams everything via Wifi, which means it has no dish or set-top box.

It is a major shift for the broadcaster, which changed the face of how we watch programmes and films when it introduced the original big white dishes in 1990.

These days they are black, smaller and sleeker — but they could soon be overshadowed by the new 4k UltraHD smart TVs which were unveiled yesterday at a glitzy event in Greenwich, south-east London.

Sun consumer editor Daniel Jones tunes in to find out more . . . 

IS Sky really ditching the dish? Yes, it is. This is the first full Sky product to work without a dish.

DO you have to swap Sky Plus or Sky Q for Glass? No. Sky is still investing in Sky Q, which means it plans to improve the product and keep selling it. The firm stopped offering Plus a few years ago but will still support it.

SO when will the satellite service end? There are still millions of homes with dishes, and Sky still makes lots of money from Plus and Q. The services are likely to keep going for five years or more.

TELL me more about the cost. Glass comes in three sizes — 43 inch for £649, 55 inch for £849, and 65 inch for £1,049. All come with the same features. Sky says this is a saving of 30 per cent on a similar TV and soundbar.

WHAT if I don’t want to splash out that much? Sky reckons most customers will pay for it monthly along with a TV package in the same way they pay for a phone handset and mobile contract.

The 43-inch TV is £13 a month, 55-inch £17 a month and the 65-inch £21 a month along with a Sky package. The per-month TV prices are for four-year contracts.

That is on top of a Sky TV package, starting from £26 a month for the Ultimate — meaning a TV and Sky costs from £39 a month.
Pucks to stream content to other TVs are £50 plus £10 per month subscription.

HOW does the cost compare to Q? The TV packages are about the same as for Q. The standard Ultimate is £26 a month on both. You are just paying extra for the TV set if you get it by paying monthly.

DOES this affect Now TV? Now TV is also provided over the Internet. It was launched in 2012 as a pay-as-you-go alternative to Sky’s pricier and longer-term contracts.

It initially focussed on movies but expanded to sports and most shows. It will continue as a service for viewers not wanting to commit to contracts or don’t need the full bells-and-whistles Sky service.

IS Sky Glass easy to use? The revamped interface might be the best bit.
A new Playlist will house all viewers’ favourite shows in one place — whether from Sky, iPlayer, Netflix or others. It still has a TV guide, but Sky says it thinks more people will rely on its recommendations as it learns what families like.

WHAT about voice control? You can talk directly to the telly and even wake it by saying: “Hello, Sky.” Follow that with “show me the game” and you should get the big Premier League fixture of the day.

SO I don’t need a remote? As anyone who uses Alexa or Siri knows, voice control is a long way from perfect. So there is a remote for those days when you and Glass just aren’t on the same wavelength.

It also has a mic for when the noise in the living room means your voice won’t reach the telly.

WHAT if I have just spent my money on a flash new TV but want this new interface? For now, there is no option to get the new service with just a box and plug into a normal TV.

MY broadband is terrible. Should I get Glass? Absolutely not. You need fast and reliable internet, which millions of homes don’t have.
That is why Sky is set to offer Q via dish for many years to cater for those families.

WHAT else is different with Q? Sky Q has a hard drive built in so it can record and download shows to watch later. Many like keeping their favourite shows or movies, which they can’t do on Glass. In future Sky might add that to Glass. Also, Sky Q is not getting the swish new interface just yet.

WHAT does Glass look like? It is like a normal TV from the front, but with a soundbar at the base, and it is thicker to house the tech normally found in the set-top box. The TV also has a totally flat back for easy wall mounting.

It comes in five colours — black, pink, blue, green and white — and different wallpaper-style fascias can be added to the soundbar area.

Should I get it? If you are about to buy a new telly, and love Sky or want to get it, then yes. It will also appeal to those in flats who cannot get a dish — or snobs too embarrassed to have a dish on their home.

WHAT else can Glass do? A camera and motion sensor due to launch in the spring will enable you to use the TV for video calls, video games, fitness workouts and also watching shows or sports with others.

Zoom video calls will be available, with the camera following people if they move around the room.

Watch Together syncs TV content with other households so they can watch along together. Boxes down the side of the TV programme show other’s reactions, Gogglebox-style, as, say, a goal is scored or a film reaches a key moment.

The motion sensors allows for Nintendo Wii-style games and tracking fitness routines to make sure exercises are performed correctly.

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