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Sky Q vs Sky Glass

Sky released its own line of integrated smart TVs in 2021, giving customers the chance to combine full access to Sky TV content with a top-of-the-line smart TV. As streaming is now arguably more commonplace than traditional pay-TV, Sky’s all-in-one smart TV could be a way for the UK’s biggest TV provider to go head-to-head with the biggest names in streaming. But how does this all-in-one approach compare to the Sky Q set-top box that we’re so familiar with?
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Sky Q and Sky Glass logos

Sky Glass pros and cons

  • You don’t need a dish

  • Great design

  • All-in-one setup- no need for a set-top box or cables

  • Impressive sound system

  • New intuitive functions, such as the Playlist feature

  • More energy efficient than having a TV and set-top box setup

  • Voice control include

  • Monthly subscription options are available

  • Expensive at the start

  • You need a reliable broadband connection

  • No record function and limited storage capacity

  • Limited selection of apps

How is Sky Glass different from Sky Q?

Sky Glass is Sky’s very own smart TV, which comes with the Sky interface pre-installed. In many ways, it acts just like a regular smart TV, with other apps available to access other types of online content. This means you can get everything from BBC iPlayer and Netflix to Spotify and Disney Plus.

However, Sky Glass is the only smart TV that gives you full access to the Sky interface without the need for a Sky Q set-top box. You can stream all of Sky’s content via your internet connection, without the need for a satellite dish or any equipment other than your Wi-Fi router.

Sky Q is now being retired as a product as the company moved away from satellite TV to broadband and streaming-based TV connections. It's still operational for millions, but difficult to sign up for as a new customer.

Sky Q vs Sky Glass: Contract length

Sky still operates with longer-term contracts, so when you sign up for traditional Sky TV with a Sky Q box, you’ll most likely sign an 18-month contract. But this has quite a few limitations when it comes to changing your subscription. 

If you sign up for a Sky Q contract, you’ll have to choose which channels you want to subscribe to for the full length of your contract. There are a few options to add on additional channels on a month-by-month basis, but most will require an 18-month commitment.

In fact, if you change your TV subscription during your contract, you’ll often be made to re-sign for an additional 12 to 18 months.

Sky Q vs Sky Glass: Cost

Comparing Sky Glass and Sky Q by cost is complicated. While they both give you access to all the Sky TV content you could want, the biggest expense when getting Sky Glass is the cost of the actual TV.

Sky Glass setup costs

A 43-inch smart TV could cost anywhere between £200-£500, while the Sky Glass 43-inch TV costs £649 in total. However, if you’re after a 4K TV and add on the cost of a decent soundbar to match the audio quality of Sky Glass – often around £200 to £300 itself – the jump in cost is significantly smaller. So a Sky Glass device definitely isn’t the cheapest way to get the full Sky setup, especially if you already have a TV you’re happy with.

See the latest Sky TV deals

Watch the best of US and international TV on Sky Q or Sky Glass

Sky Glass subscription costs

Sky TV channelsSky Q or Sky GlassCost per month
Sky Ultimate TV (standard Sky TV entertainment channels and Netflix basic)Sky Glass & Sky Q£26
Sky TV & CinemaSky Glass & Sky Q£37
Sky TV and Sky SportsSky Glass & Sky Q£41
Sky TV, Sports and CinemaSky Glass & Sky Q£52
Fast forward optionSky Glassadditional £5 (free for the first year)
Whole home multiscreenSky Glassadditional £10 + cost of each Sky Stream Puck
Sky HDSky Glass & Sky Qadditional £7
Ultra HDSky Glass & Sky Qadditional £11
MultiscreenSky Qadditional £15
Kids channelsSky Glass & Sky Qadditional £5
BT SportSky Glass & Sky Qadditional £27

Sky Glass vs Sky Q total streaming cost

Because of the flexible nature of TV subscriptions on Sky Glass, the total streaming costs could work out much lower.

Monthly subscriptions give you the option to pick and choose each month what content you want to be able to watch. You can add Sky Cinema in December, watch all the Christmas movies you want and then cancel, saving yourself £11 a month or £121 a year.

You could also add on Sky Sports and TNT Sports for the Premier League and then cancel once the season ends. However, you will have to remember to upgrade and downgrade each month in order to make the most of Sky Glass’ flexibility.

Sky Q vs Sky Glass - Setup

Sky Glass pulls ahead of Sky Q because, when it comes to simplicity of the setup, you just need to plug Sky Glass into a power socket and you’re good to go.  The biggest appeal of Sky Glass is the all-in-one design.

Since there’s no need for a satellite dish, there’s no set-top box. This means no lengthy installation process, no permission required from the landlord or logistics to figure out if you’re on the 10th floor in a block of flats.

The time between taking it out of the box to streaming your favourite shows is a matter of minutes. You just unpack, mount it on its stand and plug it in – and the Sky delivery team will even do that for you.  There’s a quick animation and you’re asked to connect to a Wi-Fi network.

You then log into your Sky account and you’re ready to start streaming. You can also connect to the internet with an ethernet cable, which is a good option if your Wi-Fi is spotty, but it kind of defeats the point of fewer cables in your home.

Sky Q vs Sky Glass - viewing experience

While the interfaces are pretty much identical, there are a few key differences to the viewing experience of Sky Glass and Sky Q.

You can’t record programmes

Like other streaming services, Sky Glass doesn’t record TV shows and films in the same way Sky Q does. Sky Glass gives you the option to add a show or film to your playlist which you can stream on-demand.

The biggest downside of this is that, after a certain amount of time, the show or movie may no longer be available to stream on-demand. Unlike a programme you record and save on your Sky Q box, you will have a limited window when you can catch up with your queued content.

You can’t skip ads unless you pay

A huge benefit of recording a load of TV shows to binge at your leisure is the ability to fast-forward through the adverts. When streaming on Sky Glass, however, this isn’t an option unless you pay an additional £5 a month.

This option will be free for the first year, but it’s worth keeping in mind how your long-term viewing experience could be impacted.

Multiroom is an extra cost

Like Sky Q, Sky Glass does offer multiroom options for an additional fee. You would have to pay £10 a month for the Whole Home pack as well as £50 for a Sky Stream Puck, which can plug into any TV.

Is Sky Glass worth the money?

Sky Glass’ value lies in its simplicity. There’s no lengthy installation process, no dish or cables needed, no set-top box or soundbar you need to find a home for. You simply plug it in, connect it to your Wi-Fi and you’re good to go.

It’s an elegant solution for those who want full access to all of Sky’s great TV content without longer contracts or long-term changes to your property that your landlord might not approve of. However, with Sky Glass, you’re paying for both a product and a service. If you already have a high-end smart TV and sound system, there won’t be much value in buying another one just to avoid additional cables.

See the latest Sky TV deals

Watch the best of US and international TV on Sky Q or Sky Glass

FAQs Sky Q vs Sky Glass


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