Almost a year after the launch of its Sky Glass ‘Online TVs’, Sky has now unveiled new Sky Stream set-top boxes, bringing all of Sky Glass’s impressive interface and online capabilities to any TV with an HDMI input.
This is the news many Sky subscribers have been waiting for, as it means they can now enjoy all the keyless, wireless convenience of Sky’s streaming service, as well as all the immense on-demand benefits that come with a full online -Offer connected delivery system without having to replace their existing televisions.
The palm-sized Sky Stream puck/box plugs into any TV’s HDMI port and requires a minimum broadband speed (from any provider) of 10Mbps. As you’d expect given how Sky works, the stream is streamed on Be available on a subscription basis and not as a one-time purchase when available on October 18th.
You can either opt for a 31-day rolling plan from £29 per month, which can be canceled at any time, or you can opt for an 18-month contract from £26 per month. Both package options include Sky Ultimate TV and Netflix Basic subscriptions, but you can of course add additional service packages like Sky Cinema, Sky Sports and BT Sport, as well as features like UHD resolution pictures and Dolby Atmos sound.
Sky Stream allows you, like Sky Glass, to bring in third-party content from services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, Discovery+, Peacock, Youtube and BBC iPlayer, all presented in the distinctive Sky Glass user interface and via the Sky’s impressive voice recognition system.
It’s also possible to get a Whole Home package for an additional £12 a month, which allows you to add up to five additional Sky Stream boxes to other TVs in your home.
Whilst there are no direct upfront hardware costs and you install the Stream boxes yourself without the need for a technician visit, Sky Stream customers are expected to pay a £39.95 setup fee with the ongoing contract option, which applies to Reduced £20 if you choose the 18 month contract option.
Each Sky Stream puck comes with a one-year warranty and is ready to deliver HD video as standard, with high dynamic range support, leaning towards the aforementioned 4K resolution and Dolby Atmos sound as options for AV fans with the necessary TVs and audio equipment needed to unlock these premium features.
The Sky Stream is introduced as an addition to the Sky product family and does not replace anything. You can still opt for the satellite-based Sky Q system if you prefer, or of course the Sky Glass TV route is still available to anyone in the market for a new TV. It’s also worth noting that the Sky Go service/app comes standard with Sky Stream, just like it does with Sky Q and Sky Glass.
The launch of the Sky Stream box joins Sky Glass in increasing the possibility that Sky will eventually “make an Apple” and launch a software-only version of its platform, via apps for TVs or streaming boxes from third party works. However, Sky has until now strived to have pretty tight control over the hardware it uses to provide its unique and ever-evolving Sky interface, and I’m not sure that’s going to change any time soon.