The most important thing about technology isn't the tech. It's the content. Without great music, the iPod would have been a shiny brick. Without great games, the PS4 would be a mere movie player. Without apps, the iPhone would just be a phone. And that's why Sky's launch of Ultra HD TV is a really big deal. By bringing the widest range of Ultra HD content to customers, Sky Q really is the killer system for Ultra HD TV.
You know Sky Q already. It's the evolution of TV that brings your favourite shows, sports, movies and box sets to wherever you are, whenever you want them. It's an amazing home entertainment experience, and Ultra HD makes it even better. Sky Q customers can now enjoy the widest range of content including documentaries, entertainment, movies and live sports, all in brilliant Ultra HD. It's what your eyes have been waiting for.
What Ultra HD can do for you
If you haven't been keeping up with the alphabet soup of TV tech you might be wondering what Ultra HD actually is. Ultra HD, also known as UHD TV, delivers four times the resolution of 1080p Full HD. That's why Ultra HD TV is often mentioned in stories about 4K TV: 4K means a picture that has four times the resolution of Full HD.
To put it into perspective, a DVD disc gives you a resolution of 720 pixels across by 480 pixels vertically. Full HD takes that to 1,920 pixels by 1,080. And Ultra HD ramps up the pixel count to a whopping 3,840 x 2,160. That's 8.3 million pixels compared to 2 million for Full HD and 345,000 for poor old DVD.
That makes an incredible difference to the picture quality and clarity, and the increased pixel count means you can use a much bigger screen or sit much closer to the TV than you can with Full HD: the pixels aren't visible until you're much closer, or until the screen's as big as your house. When you see an Ultra HD TV doing its thing next to a mere 1080p Full HD TV, it's like somebody just squeegeed your eyeballs: by comparison the Full HD picture is flat and lifeless. Edges are more jagged, and smaller items are less distinct.
As we said at the beginning, though, it's not the tech that matters. The tech graveyard is full of technologies that promised lots but didn't deliver anything people wanted to watch. HD-DVD, anyone? Ultra HD isn't going to make that mistake: it's launching with a huge range of must-see movies, sports and TV shows.
Sky knows that it's what you can see on your Ultra HD TV that counts - and on that front, Ultra HD with Sky Q really delivers. You'll be able to immerse yourself in 124 live Premier League games this season, watch the world premiere of Spectre in Ultra HD, see every speck of dust on Matt Damon in The Martian and discover breathtaking documentaries including David Attenborough's Conquest of the Skies. Not only that, but there will be five brand new dramas in sparkling Ultra HD over the coming months including the hotly anticipated The Young Pope, starring Jude Law, and season four of the hugely entertaining The Blacklist. And that's just the start. Sky is bringing even more Ultra HD content to your Sky Q box in the coming months, making an already impressive line-up even more exciting.
How to get the UK's best Ultra HD experience
You'll need an Ultra HD TV, of course, but other than that all you need is the Sky Q 2TB box - and if you've already got one then the Ultra HD experience is free as part of your existing subscription, so for example if you're a Sky Sports subscriber you'll get Sky Sports' Ultra HD content for free. You can watch live or on demand, and you'll be able to rent Ultra HD content through the Sky Store too. And in an update coming soon you'll be able to use voice search from your Sky Remote and take advantage of a new smartphone app too.
If you're wondering when you'll actually be able to see all of Sky's amazing Ultra HD content, the answer is that you already can: Sky Q 2TB boxes have been Ultra HD-ready since July, and Sky began its Ultra HD broadcasts in August. If you're already a Sky Q 2TB customer you can turn on 4K support in Settings > Setup > Audio Visual > 2160p. If you aren't a customer yet, you can find out how to get the UK's widest selection of stunning Ultra HD content by visiting Sky right here.