Sky Q Explained: Hub, Box and Q Experience Options
Sky Q combines Sky TV channels and packages with streaming TV content from companies like Netflix into one product that can be conveniently connected to your TV. All this comes at a price however, Sky Q is very much a flagship product and the pricing reflects that on a monthly basis. Read on to see if Sky Q fits the bill for your home TV viewing and streaming needs.
What is Sky Q?
Sky Q is both a hardware product, in the form of a Sky Q Box or Hub, and a range of Sky TV package and streaming options chosen by Sky customers. Sky Q is a direct competitor to streaming TV hardware like Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire Stick.
With the rise in popularity of streaming TV services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, Sky TV responded with Sky Q which lets you access streaming services as well as having access to the Sky TV channels you know and love, from Sky Sports to Sky Cinema. Instead of needing several streaming boxes, Sky Q combines both worlds into one experience.
Sky Q Experience
The Sky Q experience sums up the convenience of being able to enjoy TV content from both your Sky TV package and streaming services like Disney+ all from one remote, instead of having to fuss around with different devices to see a specific TV series or show.
Another strength of the Sky Q experience is being able to seamlessly watch content across various screens in your home without needing multiple accounts. This is great for families or households with lots of different people watching different things. Here are the key pillars of the Sky Q Experience.
- Watch everything included in your package around your home.
- Pause in one room and resume in another.
- Sky Q can also provide WiFi hotspots for improved signal in each room.
If you were crying out for an end to the war over the remote for the big telly, the Sky Q experience is here to end your woes. For the extra money you can banish series binge-watchers to another room when live sport is on without a family fallout over it. They can just pause and pick it up on another TV, and they won’t have to sit through a 5-day test match while they wait!
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Sky Q Hub and Sky Q Box
Sky Q needs both a Sky Q Hub and a Sky Q Box to function as intended and provide both Sky TV and streaming services like Disney+ throughout your home. To get a Sky Q Box and Hub, you need to sign up for a Sky TV package, which will set you back at least £22 a month.
Sky Q hub
Sky Q Hub is the name of the new Sky broadband router offered to all customers. Without it, you will not be able to use your Sky Q Box. Let's take a look at the three main features of the Sky Q Hub.
- Smart WiFi technology, which Sky claims offers 3x faster speeds than its previous generation of router.
- Smart signal technology, which optimises your WiFi so you always have the best connection.
- Better coverage for Sky Q experience customers, whose Mini boxes act as WiFi boosters throughout the home.
All new Sky Broadband customers will receive the Sky Q Hub. If you’re a Sky customer and don’t have it yet you can upgrade, but unfortunately you’ll have to pay the same £9.95 postage and packaging charge that everyone else does.
This upgrade may not be worth your while if you’re a broadband-only customer - some reviewers on the independent review site Trustpilot have complained of the router’s “extremely poor quality in terms of the WiFi range.” If you’re a TV customer, this shouldn’t be an issue, but otherwise it looks like Sky has done little outside of its TV offer to improve its service.
Sky Q Box
The Sky Q Box is the hardware that uses the broadband connection from the Sky Hub to provide Sky TV and streaming content to your TV. While the Sky Q Hub does not have the right connections to hook up to the TV, the Sky Q Box does have the HDMI and audio connections so you can enjoy your series, shows and sports on your TV.
It's worth noting that the range of Sky Q boxes has been simplified. This means that only the Sky Q 1TB Box will be offered to new customers. However, we are listing the full range of boxes so you can compare all the Sky Q features. Additionally, you’ll have to pay an extra £13 a month to get multi-room viewing and other features associated with the Sky Q experience.
|Sky Q 1TB box||Sky Q 2TB box|
| Record 3 shows
Store up to 500hrs
| Record 6 shows
Store up to 1,000hrs
HD or 4K UHD
As stated above, the 2TB versions of the Sky Q boxes are no longer available due to lower demand for the higher end models. All the Sky Q app, HD and UHD features have been enabled in the Sky Q 1TB model for simplicity and convenience moving forward.
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Sky Q Mini Box
Apart from the main Sky Q boxes, you might also hear Sky Q used to reference the Sky Q Mini boxes which come exclusively with the Q experience. These are the boxes that extend your WiFi connection and connect to your main box to let you watch in more rooms. You can connect up to four of them and watch on different TVs at the same time.
Each of these Mini boxes is wireless, so they won’t cause any mess or fuss in terms of installation - but each, as we’ve mentioned, will cost you. If you’re with Sky Broadband as well as TV, you’ll be drawn in by the Mini boxes’ function as WiFi boosters around your home to improve your internet coverage.
Sky Q Remote
Sky Q boxes, you may not be surprised to learn, don’t just come with the same old remotes. They’ve had an upgrade. The new remotes are called Sky Q Touch remotes and have touch-screen capability. They also come with a Bluetooth feature which allows you to control your TV when the remote is shut away in a drawer somewhere. Sky has also added a built-in microphone allowing for a voice search function - simply tell your remote what show you want to watch and it will find it for you.
Most importantly, we think, Sky has answered a more basic need with these new remotes. If you lose it, you can press a button on your Sky Q box and an alarm in your remote will sound letting you know exactly where it is. Now this is a feature we’ve been waiting for!
You might have guessed that the new remote doesn’t come free. You’ll have to fork out another £39.99 if you need a replacement.
Sky Q App Update
The Sky Q app is soon to be no more! Sky have announced that a new and improved version of the Sky Go app which will incorporate features of the existing Sky Q app instead. The app was (and still is for now) a way for Sky Q Multiscreen users to access their shows and recordings from their devices.
The Sky Q app allows you to pause whatever you’re watching on your TV and resume watching on any Android or iOS device in another (or on the go). You can also set your Sky Q box at home to record something on your phone via the app. These features will be carried over to the new Sky Go app, about which you can find out more in our My Sky page.
Sky Q Frequently Asked Questions
How do I set up my Sky Q Mini box?
Sky do offer some advice on setting up your Sky Q Mini box for the best signal quality. We recommend you follow its advice to avoid any issues in getting signal. Here’s what Sky suggests:
- Ensure your box is at least one metre from the ground and not too close to the ceiling.
- Ensure your box is easily seen so you don’t knock it over and break it!
- Ensure there’s a good distance between your box and other electrical devices.
Can I get Sky Q installed without any drilling?
You may need to get some installation work done, which you won’t have if you’re not already a Sky customer, so there may be some drilling required. Sky’s engineers, it says, can advise you on your options on the day of installation.
I already have Sky, will I still need an engineer visit?
Yes. To make sure you get set up without a hitch, Sky always sends an engineer to come with the new equipment and get it set up for you.
What Sky Q content is available in Ultra HD?
What content you receive is also dependent on your package. You won’t get any UHD channels that aren’t included in your deal just because you have access to UHD. Here’s a guide to what you’ll see in UHD according to each package:
- Within Sky Entertainment: Documentaries on Nat Geo and the Discovery channel, live music events, plus catch up drama and comedy.
- Within Ultimate On Demand: a selection of UHD box sets and Netflix Ultra HD shows.
- Within Sky Cinema: 200 films in UHD, with new ones every week.
- Within Sky Sports: live sports events, including Premier League, F1, darts, rugby and boxing.
If you have a question that wasn't answered here, you can ask Sky yourself. The one number that Sky states is dedicated to Sky Q for existing Sky customers is 08007 591 263. To be sure of the best way to contact Sky, check our Sky contact page.