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sky q silver room

Sky recently lifted the lid on its next-generation set-top box.

Called Sky Q, it’s the broadcaster-broadband provider's first major update to its televisual offering in years, and offers customers a host of new features. Intrigued? Here's all you need to know.

It offers super-crisp 4K images

sky q silver

Sky Q actually comes in three versions: Sky Q Silver, Sky Q and Sky Q Mini. Sky Q Silver is the top-of-the-range model, and the first Sky box to have 4K capabilities. That means picture quality is four times as rich and detailed as Ultra HD.

Why is this a big deal? Admittedly there's not much 4K content to watch yet, but as broadband speeds increase and more film and TV companies adopt the technology, 4K is sure to spread quickly.

Ten years ago very few people had heard of high definition, remember. Adding 4K future-proofs the box, so you won't have to shell out for another one to watch in the best available resolution. Not for a few years, anyway.

2 Unparalleled recording power

sky q app

Sky Q Silver is the only set-top box in the UK that can record four channels while you watch a fifth.

That's a ridiculous amount of power at your fingertips, and means you should never miss another show. It should also hopefully spell an end to arguments over what to watch.

It also supports simultaneous viewing on two tablets using the Sky Q app, and simultaneous viewing on two Sky Q Mini boxes. Plus it has a 2TB hard drive at its disposal – that's enough room for 350 hours of HD recordings.

The other two boxes are less powerful, but still impressive.

The standard Sky Q has a 1TB hard drive that fits 150 hours of HD footage. It can record three channels while you watch a fourth, and supports viewing on one tablet and one Sky Q Mini box.

The Sky Q Mini, meanwhile, streams what's on your main Sky box to other rooms in the house. Connect it to a TV in the bedroom, say, and you can watch something different from what's playing in the lounge. Lifesaver.

It also doubles as a Wi-Fi hotspot, so will strengthen your Wi-Fi signal. Expect buffering to be a thing of the past.

3 New remote

sky q touch remote

But it's not just the box that's new. Sky also has a new remote control to go with it.

Called the Q Touch, it connects to your Q box over Bluetooth, rather than the infrared used by the current Sky box. If you lose the remote, the Q box can help you find it.

It also has some neat new controls. You can swipe to navigate on Sky Movies, for example.

You can search live TV and on-demand content from the same place, as well as recordings of TV shows and films that are similar to what you're looking for. Very handy.

4 New interface

sky q interface

Sky has also refreshed its user interface – gone are the blue boxes that looked like a bad hotel menu. Instead, it has a much more visual look.

There's a new section called My Q, which brings together everything you've been watching, so you can quickly and easily access your favourites.

It will recommend what else to watch, based on your viewing habits, and a new sidebar lets you browse apps while watching TV.

5 Sky is taking orders now, with prices from a shade over £40 per month

New and existing Sky broadband customers can sign up for Sky Q now. Installations are set to start at the end of the month.

Non-Sky broadband customers face a wait before they can get Sky Q. But this is only expected to be a few weeks.

Prices start from £42 per month for standard Sky Q box. This gets you a single TV box, the ability to stream it to a single tablet or phone and the option to access your recordings via the Sky Q app on your tablet or smartphone.

The Sky Q box included in this option is the standard model, rather than Sky Q Silver. It lets you record three channels while recording a fourth and features 1TB of storage.

Choose this package and you can access 300 channels, of which over are in HD, as well as Sky Box Sets, Sky Go Extra and 3D shows on demand.

Want to know more about Sky Q pricing and package options? Head to our dedicated Sky Q availability guide.

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