Is Sky Glass better than Sky Q? How to decide which Sky TV is best for you

Sky Glass is an impressive all-in-one but Sky Q's better if you already have a good TV

A man and a woman watch Sky TV on a Sky Q box connected to a 4K TV
(Image credit: Sky)

If you want full access to Sky TV you have two choices: you can add a Sky Q box to your TV, or you can get Sky Glass, which bundles your TV package with a brand new TV for a single monthly payment. But there's more to this than deciding whether or not you want a new TV with your Sky subscription. There are some key differences between the packages too.

The first and most important difference is that with Sky Q, you'll need to have a TV. And the second important difference is that your Sky TV service is delivered differently with each of these packages. With Sky Q your TV comes via Sky's satellite broadcasting, so you'll need to have somewhere where the engineer can install a satellite dish with a clear view of the sky. With Sky Glass your TV comes via broadband, so you'll need a reliable connection of at least 10Mbps.

Sky Glass on a white TV stand

(Image credit: Sky)

TV or no TV, that is the question

If you go for Sky Glass you have a choice of three different TVs: 43 inches, 55 inches and 65 inches. 

The price you pay will depend on the specific package you choose, but Sky Q starts at £26 per month and Sky Glass from £39 per month. Larger TVs cost more: the 55-inch adds £4 to the monthly cost and the 65-inch adds £8.

Sky Glass doesn't record live TV or store programmes like the Sky Q box can, but it does have a cloud playlist feature you can use to create watch lists for streaming programmes and movies. 

Sky Q gives you access to over 300 channels but Sky Glass only offers 140. All the big hitters are here but there is less choice than with Sky Q.

Sky Q broadcasts in standard definition; HD is £6 more monthly and Ultra HD 4K is £10. Sky Glass is in HD as standard and Ultra HD 4K is an extra £5 monthly.

Both Sky Q and Sky Glass give you Netflix Basic for free, but once again if you want HD or 4K you'll pay extra. Netflix Standard (HD) is £4 more on Sky Glass and £6 on Sky Q, while Netflix Premium (4K) is £8 on Glass and £10 on Q. Subscribing to Netflix Premium will automatically upgrade your Sky channels to 4K too so you won't pay twice for 4K.

Both packages support multi-room, inevitably at extra cost. On Sky Glass it's £10 a month for the Whole Home Pack and your first Sky Stream Puck is free; that's the device that streams to a second screen. It's like a Fire TV or Apple TV box and plugs in via HDMI to deliver up to 4K HDR depending on your subscription. Additional pucks are £50, and you can have up to 3 Sky Glass TVs and 6 Sky Stream Pucks on the same account.

On Sky Q it's £15 extra per month for Multiscreen, which gives you a Sky Q Mini box. It's HD rather than ultra HD. You can have up to four Sky Q Mini boxes connected to your Sky Q box, and each additional Mini costs £50.

Sky Q box being used by a male teenager to watch TV in his bedroom

(Image credit: Sky)

Sky Glass vs Sky Q: which is best?

As we explain in our "Should I Buy Sky Glass?" feature, there are definitely pros and cons to Sky Glass. It's really convenient, you don't need a satellite dish and it's a nice bit of kit. However, it's also quite a hefty bit of kit and it can get awfully expensive if you start ticking all the available options for things like 4K Ultra HD, so it's a good idea to check those prices and options carefully before you commit.

That's assuming you want a new TV, of course. If you already have one of the best TVs and you don't mind having a satellite dish, Sky Q can be more affordable, enables you to record live TV and store recorded programmes and has more channels too.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).