Advanced Television

Sky Q upgrade as Disney+ goes HDR

July 8, 2020

Sky Q is adding a raft of new features in the biggest change to the set-top-box since launch. A new expanded view UI, new show and sports centres, intuitive smart buttons and improved voice discovery will make it easier for users to browse, find and watch content.

It’s HDR content is also growing, with Disney+ available in HDR for the first time. Changes will be rolling out over the next few weeks.

A full list of the new features:

  • A fresh, expanded view UI says goodbye to the static menu bar, which is replaced with a collapsible menu, letting users see a third more content. This means more TV, film, online video, podcast, music and games recommendations on the home screen, and less time for  searching.
  • Each show will have a show centre, a go-to destination for every available episode. All seasons, episodes, recordings, broadcast schedules and on-demand links are together in one place.
  • A new smart button coming that gets users to the episodes they want quickly. So, if they’re halfway through an episode of Gangs of London, it’ll say ‘continue ep. 3’, or if they’ve just finished, it’ll suggest to start the next episode. The smart button will switch between Continue, Delete, Watch from the Start, or Play the next episode – all based on what was watched last.
  • Sports fans will soon be able to find all the latest games, news, documentaries, fixtures, podcasts and tables in new sports centres. Saying ‘football’ into the voice remote will take you to a page that brings together live and on demand football content from all channels and apps including; Sky Sports, Sky Sports App, BT Sport, terrestrial channels, YouTube and Spotify. Users will see everything that’s on at that moment, with no need to scroll, search or dip in an out of apps. It’s not just football, you can do this for a range of sports including; F1, Cricket, Golf, Boxing, Tennis and more, with leagues and sporting events coming soon.
  • Sky Q’s advanced voice search has got more intuitive, and will let you ask for themes and genres, alongside actors. Saying “thrillers with Nicole Kidman” will soon bring up relevant suggestions of what to watch. Users will soon be able to ask for entertainment themes too, such as ‘new shows’, ‘Halloween’ or ‘Christmas’.
  • Following the launch of HDR on Sky Q earlier this year, Disney+ will also be available in HDR. And there’s still more to come over the next few months, including more Sky Nature shows, Sky originals and Sky Cinema movies in time for Christmas. HDR live sport will be available in 2021.

Fraser Stirling, Group Chief Product Officer, Sky, said: “We’ve redesigned Sky Q to make it even smarter, simpler and better at aggregating all of the TV and app content you love into one place. A new-look UI, improved voice search and more intuitive navigation make everything easier to find without having to search around, so you can get to the next episode of Succession, a brilliant football podcast, or choose from the most popular British dramas easily.

“And we’re not stopping there, the tech team behind Sky Q and Sky Go are working hard on loads of new updates that we’ll be rolling out every few months, so you can expect your Sky TV experience to keep getting better,” he added.

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