Sky Q owners rejoice: 2018 will see double the UHD content, the dawn of HDR and a WIDER interface

Oh, and Spotify is coming to Sky, too. Also today in set-top box upgrade news: Amazon Fire TV can now be voice controlled via Alexa from an Echo…

The two leaders in their TV fields ('luxury multi-channel, multi-room super satellite' and 'plug-and-play streamer', respectively) Sky and Amazon today announced small but significant upgrades for Sky Q and Fire TV respectively. 

From today, you can control Amazon Fire TV not just with its voice-control mic, but also from any Echo device. In other words you can yell, "Play The Tick!" and it shall appear, as if by magic. This brings Echo in line with Google Home, which has allowed voice control of Play Video since its launch. 

Amazon also suggests you might want to say things such as, “Alexa, pause”, “Alexa, fast forward 2 minutes”, “Alexa, go back 1 minute” and most obvious and universal of all, “Alexa, show me dramas with Titus Welliver, whoever he is.”

The upgrade also allows you to view compatible security cameras on your TV, using your voice and your Echo. There are not very many compatible cameras at present, but the number will doubtless increase.

If you have one Fire TV, your Echo device/s will automatically pair as soon as you give Alexa any Fire TV-related instructions. Those with more than one Fire TV will need to use the app to pair devices. 

Meanwhile over in the Sky Bunker, Q will support Spotify from spring – tying in nicely with Sky's excellent Devialet soundbar. That'll be via both the Sky Q homepage and Spotify's app

Sky also crows that its 4K content will double in quantity during the course of 2018, with over 1,000 hours available. HDR will also officially launch on the service.

There'll also be more personalised choices based on hat you and your household have viewed in the past, a new, widescreen, user interface and an upgraded Kids mode that'll be "one of the safest and fun places for kids to watch TV."

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."