Sky Stream could change everything about how people watch Sky TV. Hear me out, it’s the easiest and most affordable way to get Sky TV without the need for a bulky box or a satellite dish like Sky Q. To get it up and running, all you need to have is a TV and an internet connection.
Last year saw the arrival of the game-changing Sky Glass, which undoubtedly remains the best TV for streaming even now. A television set that relies almost entirely on having a reliable Wi-Fi network, it comes fully loaded with Sky’s so-called Entertainment Operating System which means you get tonnes of Sky content at your fingertips as well as access to all of your favourite catch-up and streaming services including Prime Video, Apple TV+ and Netflix. It’s one easy-to-use device that has it all, even a built-in soundbar. You can buy it in three sizes: Small (43-inch), Medium (55-inch) and Large (65-inch).
Not everyone wants or needs a new TV though, yet a lot of people would want to watch Sky over Wi-Fi instead of through a satellite dish that requires professional installation, especially if you live in a rental property where you may not be allowed to put one up. That’s where the Sky Stream puck comes in, it's so much simpler to set up and manage than anything else Sky has ever introduced.
What is Sky Stream?
The Sky Stream puck is a compact little square box that fits in the palm of your hand so it can be placed discreetly by any television, and it comes with its own voice remote as well.
You plug it into your TV using an HDMI cable, and when you connect it to power, you instantly get the Sky Glass experience without needing to splash out on the whole television set - it’s similar to something like the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K, just a lot more amped up.
How much does Sky Stream cost?
You’ll have to pay a set-up fee of £39.95 per puck or £20 if you take an 18-month contract, after that, prices for a Sky package start at £26 a month if you sign up to an 18-month contract, or £29 a month if you’d rather have a rolling contract that you can cancel at any time. Those prices are for the most basic subscription which comes with Sky Ultimate TV and Netflix Basic, then you can add different packages on top of that like Sky Cinema and Sky Sport in the Marketplace.
To add more pucks around your home, the Whole Home package is £12 a month, with that, you can have up to five additional Sky Stream devices dotted around although you will have to pay for each one separately.
Sky Stream is available to buy right now, if you're already convinced, you could get it as early as tomorrow because they use next-day delivery as standard.
What does Sky Stream do?
Sky Stream uses Sky's Entertainment OS, just like the Sky Glass, so the interface is identical giving you access to linear TV channels, streaming services and catch-up services as well as some music apps such as Spotify and BBC Sounds. Of course, Sky's own content is included in that as well like Gangs of London and House of the Dragon. There are even a few games to play around with.
You can choose which movies and TV shows to watch from the homepage which groups everything together in a digestible and easy-to-navigate way with recommendations tailored to you and your viewing habits.
What’s great is that you’re presented with content from every single service you’re signed up to in one place, so you’ll see Sky shows next to Netflix dramas which ultimately speeds up the search a lot because you won’t need to go through each app individually (although you can do that if you’d rather).
You can look for content by genre, by what’s the most popular or by what’s best suited to you based on what you’ve recently been streaming. You can save shows to watch later by adding them to your playlist, which you’ll soon be able to organise by family member as well. This takes the place of recordings in Sky Q (the satellite option) instead saving your choices to a cloud that will be easy for you to go back to later.
For those times when you know exactly what you're looking for, searches can be made by voice too, you just tap the microphone button on the remote and say what you’re looking for. Sky Stream will then display your search results or take you directly to the content you’ve asked for.
If it’s live TV you’re after then Sky Stream has over 150 channels available, which is a little less than Sky Q but it’s worth bearing in mind that you won’t get the extra +1 channels because thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity you can actually restart a lot of live programmes from the beginning.
Just like Sky Glass, the Sky Stream interface will get regular updates to improve how you use each part of the system, adding new apps and features as often as every month.
Is Sky Stream worth it?
Sky Q's need for a satellite dish is sure to have put plenty off buying Sky TV so it was only a matter of time before Sky figured out a way around that. This new internet-connected option will open it up to a lot more people.
Sky Stream could quickly become the most popular way for people to get watch Sky TV because there’s literally no hassle involved at all.
You can’t deny that Sky TV is expensive, even at less than £1 a day, but given the world of content you unlock, it definitely seems worth it to me. Keep an eye out because the full Sky Stream review will be coming to T3 very soon!