First, kudos for Comcast/Sky for integrating the comprehensive functionality of a modern TV system, but some major black marks for failing to make the sets simply attractive.
In my opinion the Sky Glass TVs are a tad expensive: a 65” 4K model will cost a thumping £1049 if bought on a standalone basis. The integration places a hard drive into each set and is able to handle 4K signals. It offers the standard Sky Q-type voice activated instructions and delivers 10-bit HDR images and Dolby Atmos audio via a sound bar and an overall 6 built-in speakers. The core images are QLED which will be fine for most unfussy viewers although – again, in my opinion – will not compare to a well-specified LG OLED unit.
Inevitably other comparisons must be sought. A Sony Bravia Master with true OLED screen has an ultra-slim screen and super-neat profile, and doesn’t need sound bars because it uses the TV screen itself to generate audio that plenty of experts praise for its overall quality. Now, the TVs are not cheap (typically about £2700 for a 55” unit) but these are true high-end sets with Cognitive Processing and spectacular image brightness of a claimed 1300 Nits and comprehensive functionality.
Or else there’s LGs 55” Smart 4K units, also OLEDs and a very high-spec video engine that’s also a pleasure to view (helped by its ultra-thin screen and HDR) and very easy to hang on a wall. A bargain, with Alexa, Dolby Vision and Atmos at about £1100, or £1700 for a 65” version.
Let’s be clear: A Sky Glass TV is praiseworthy in that it gets rid of the dish and set-top box (although heaven protect the subscribers to a Virgin or BT cable connection when their systems go down) and makes ownership easy for users. But so do most Smart TVs. If buyers can tolerate the overall thickness of the screen and the somewhat industrial design then Sky Glass could make a sensible purchase.
But Sky Glass buyers won’t get somewhat basic – these days – HDMI 2.1 features or variable refresh rates. In other words, Sky Glass might disappoint gamers.
These comments are made without having the opportunity to put a set through its paces, but at the moment this spectator doesn’t see LG, Sony or Samsung quaking in their boots!
By Chris Forrester