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Sky's next-generation TV service is now available, with installations taking place as we type this. As you'd expect from Sky, It's expensive. But if you're already paying top dollar for a subscription then upgrading might not be as pricey as you'd expect.At the heart of the Sky Q package is the Sky Q Box. This is pretty much an advancement of the older Sky+ HD box that sits pride of place under so many of our TV sets.
Besides the enticing thought of 4K broadcasts, one of the key things the Sky Q Box can do is output to multiple Sky Q Mini boxes. These are smaller versions of the Sky Q Box that can push content to other screens in your house.Add in a swish new Bluetooth remote, a sharp image-heavy UI, and improved tablet and smartphone integration, and we have is a strong evolution of the Sky TV experience.So how much will it cost? Sky's pricing announcement initially took many by surprise with its apparent reasonableness. But, that's far from the whole story.
First, let's run through the two core Sky Q packages and their attendant costs.
This is your entry-level Sky Q bundle, and the one that relates to Sky's initial pricing announcement. However, it actually lacks many of the headline features Sky introduced back in November.
After a £99 set-up fee for new Sky Q Bundle subscribers (existing customers pay £50), you'll have £44 per month to pay. There's no hardware fee attached to this (or the Silver Bundle for that matter), as you're not actually buying the Sky Q Box that comes with the package. You're merely renting them from Sky.
For this you get a 1TB Sky Q Hub (the same capacity as the existing Sky+ HD box) that enables Sky TV in one room – so none of the multi-room-enabling Sky Q Mini boxes mentioned above. You also only get to stream Sky content to a single tablet.You also get to record three programmes whilst watching a fourth live. You get all of the regular Sky channels with the notable exceptions of the Sky Sports and Sky Movies packages, which will cost extra.
Sky's premium bundle is the one that really represents the full Sky Q experience, as spelled out at launch.
Here, there's a £99 set-up fee if you're renting a Sky Q Silver box plus a Sky Q Mini box, and a £149 set-up fee if you're just after the Sky Q Silver box on its own. Whichever you choose, new customers must then pay £56 per month.
For this you get an upgraded Sky Q Hub with 2TB of storage (double that of the regular bundle), and the ability to record four programmes and watch a fifth live (one more than the regular bundle).Perhaps the biggest addition here, though, is the Sky Q Silver Hub's ability to push content to two additional rooms through the Sky Q Mini boxes. You get one Sky Q Mini box in the package, but you have to pay extra if you want to add more. Sky doesn't say how much the extra boxes will cost.
This Silver box is also the only one of the two that supports 4K, so if you want to be watching UHD content when it hits later in the year then this is the one for.The Silver bundle enables you to stream content to two tablets rather than one, and once again you get the full set of 300-odd Sky channels, minus Sky Sports and Sky Movies.
EXTRA CHANNELS – ADDING SKY SPORTS AND SKY MOVIES
In order to receive Sky Movies and Sky Sports on either Sky Q Bundle, you'll need to pay an extra £1 per month for Sky Movies, and £20.50 per month for Sky Sports.Alternatively, you can bundle both together for £34.50 per month – a £3 saving. Bargain.