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Home / Features / Sky Stream: what you need to know about Sky’s new TV service

Sky Stream: what you need to know about Sky’s new TV service

Ding, dong the dish is dead

Sky Stream standalone with black remote

Not allowed a Sky dish at your gaff, but already have a perfectly good TV so don’t want to swap it out for Sky Glass? Sky Stream is coming to save the day, slotting neatly between Sky Q and Now TV.

Sky’s long-awaited and long-overdue announcement that it was making all of its channels available over the internet will have been music to your ears – and all you need is one of its dinky Stream pucks, which work in a similar fashion to an Amazon Fire TV stick or another streaming device: everything comes over Wi-Fi.

But how do you get it and how much does it cost? Also don’t forget to check out our Sky Stream review, too.

Additional info by Dan Grabham

Sky Stream is essentially Sky Q without a dish and recordings

Stuff Sky Stream Puck on blue background

Sky Stream launched in October as a standalone product. The idea of Sky Q without a dish has been around for a while. Sky first talked about it coming to the UK in 2017, but it opted to strengthen its Now TV service with Full HD capabilities instead. We thought that Sky Q without a dish would end up being called Sky X, since that’s the name of the equivalent service in Austria but that proved not to be the case. The concept is the same though: TV over your internet connection rather than a dish. You stream everything rather than recording it.

If you bought 2021’s Sky Glass, you were previously able to buy a Stream puck directly from Sky to add multiroom abilities to an existing setup.

Sky Stream puck price and packages

Sky Stream & Remote Living Room front

Sky Stream will set you back either £26 or £29 per month, depending on whether you sign up for an 18-month contract, or prefer a 31-day rolling contract you can cancel at any time. Both carry a setup fee (despite not actually needing an engineer to visit your house and install it): £20 for anyone taking out an 18-month contract, or £40 for those on 31-day contracts.

The base package includes Sky Ultimate TV and Netflix Basic, with content delivered in HD. You’ll need to pay extra if you want UHD visuals, which also come bundled with Dolby Atmos audio for supported content. Sky Cinema and Sky Sports add-ons are also available.

Sky Stream puck design and features

Sky Stream close up lifestyle

The Sky Stream puck looks a lot like a slightly thinner Apple TV, but then it is hard to make a small black box stand out. With no tuners or hard drive inside it’s significantly smaller than even the Sky Q Mini boxes, with just a subtle Sky logo on top.

The remote you get is identical to the one that comes with Sky Glass, which is slightly different to the one for Sky Q. The layout has been tweaked, with a plus button to add stuff to your playlist instead of a record button. The button to activate voice control has also been moved front and centre, but it’ll respond to the ‘Hello Sky’ command if lifting a finger is too much effort.

There’s also full voice control via the remote so you can ask for things by show or by actor or jump to channels. The Sky Glass remote comes in five colours to match the TV, but the Stream puck will be available in any colour as long as it’s black.

Sky Stream software

Sky Stream interface on Sky Glass TV

The Stream Puck uses exactly the same interface as Sky Glass, which is a redesign of what you get with Sky Q. Sky calls it Entertainment OS, but you’ll never come across this in use. Some modifications have been made from the original iteration of Glass – for example, a Continue watching rail of shows now replaces a Play now section which aggregated content, but this didn’t seem to resonate with users.

There’s still a guide to access live TV, but the focus is more on recommendations, which should get better the more you use it. Instead of recordings you get a Playlist, which is where you save all the stuff you want to watch. You can also jump into specific apps, such as Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer et al. Sadly, for fans of indie cinema and the works of Vincent Cassel, Mubi is not supported on Sky devices.

But it’s Playlist that’s the powerful bit, and after a long wait you can now create playlists for different members of the family via a software update. The Personalised Playlist feature allows up to five family members to record the shows only they want to watch. In the update also comes a cast and crew rails feature that allows you to see other TV shows and movies a star has appeared in.

Playlists act like a ’cloud DVR’ says Sky, meaning that anything you add to Playlist will effectively be recorded for you in the cloud rather than on your box.

In terms of specs, the Stream puck will support Ultra HD at 60fps, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos sound, but obviously, you’ll need to plug it into a suitably specced TV and sound system for those. Sky recommends a minimum download speed of 15Mbps to use it, but if your TV and router aren’t on speaking terms it also comes with an ethernet port so you can hardwire it.

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