Tempted by the media giant's all-in-one TV? This Sky Glass review is the right place to be because it's one of the best TVs of 2021.
One thing is for sure, the Sky Glass is an incredible package. Everything about this television set is easy and fuss-free right from the get-go whether that's setting it up, discovering new shows to watch or settling down for a Sunday night movie.
Sky Glass is, first and foremost, a television set with 4K resolution and a speaker system integrated into a bar along the bottom. That's not all it does though because you’ll get the whole world of Sky entertainment packed in, and you can control it all using your voice.
The Sky Glass does away with the need for a satellite dish, instead, relying on an internet connection to show content.
You won’t need a separate Sky Q box either because everything is built-in, including on-demand shows, movies and hundreds of live TV channels. There’s also quick access to your favourite streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime. You can stream Apple TV+ on Sky Glass as well, and if you're a Sky VIP Glass customer, you'll get the first 3 months of your subscription for free.
I managed to get my hands on the Medium Sky Glass and to cut a long story short, it's one of the best 55-inch TVs you can buy, and it's undoubtedly the best TV for streaming there is.
Sky Glass review: 4 month update
I've been using the Sky Glass for about 4 months now and in that time, I've found myself raving about it a lot to the people I meet.
There are a few reasons why I think it's so great.
Firstly, being able to access all of your streaming libraries in one place has made finding something to watch easier than ever especially now Sky has included Apple TV+ in the lineup. I rarely find myself endlessly scrolling because the suggestions are often spot on and pull together options from everywhere including Sky, Netflix and Disney+ as well as catch up services like BBC iPlayer.
The interface is incredibly intuitive to use as well, which is another reason why I appreciate having the Sky Glass so much. Everything about it just makes sense, from the location of the menus to the layout of the TV Guide. Even those who aren't particularly tech-savvy will get on well with it.
Admittedly not everything about the Sky Glass is perfect. One area that could be improved is voice control which doesn't always work quite as you want it to, and it'll sometimes get triggered unnecessarily which briefly interrupts what's on the screen. When I do actually plan on using it, it doesn't always find what I'm looking for. This is perhaps something Sky might look to improve over time.
I'm also not convinced by the fact that it shows you suggested content when it detects that you are in the room - it seems like a waste of power for a feature that is more annoying than useful. You can switch this off in the TV's settings.
One of the best parts about this TV set though is that it is always improving. Sky sends out regular updates to tweak the system, adding a feature here or adjusting the software there. The longer I've had it, the better it gets.
For example, when you add a TV show that's yet to be broadcast to your Playlist it'll now display as the first item as soon as it has aired so you won't forget all about it. And when you do go to watch one of your saved shows it'll take you directly to playback instead of to the description page, saving you both time and clicks. These may be small changes but each one does make a difference to how user-friendly the Sky Glass is to use.
Sky has very recently rolled out even more new features to its TV sets. The first of which won't be for everyone but if you're an F1 fan, it's super exciting. As well as being available in 4K, the 2022 F1 season will be broadcast in High Dynamic Range (HDR) which means colours will look richer and contrast will be more realistic.
You'll also now be able to access Spotify through the Audio and Music Zone, so you can play all of your favourite tunes through its six-speaker setup. To make the most out of your music there's an option to turn on Party Mode, or choose 'show lyrics' to transform the TV into a karaoke machine.
More voice controls have been added as well, like the ability to subscribe to streaming services like Disney+ just by saying 'Hello Sky, sign up to Disney+'.
Sky isn't just adding more features to the interface, though. They've recently released new limited-edition speaker fascias to add more personalisation to the TV itself. You'll be able to buy it in all sorts of colours including Ocean blue, Marble, Jade, Onyx, Sapphire, Racing green, Dusty pink, Ceramic white, Quartz and Geometric. You can buy one here.
Sky Glass review: Sky Stream Puck
If you already own a TV that you're happy with, but you're desperate to get the Sky Glass experience without the need for a satellite dish, then a bit of patience will go a long way.
Sky's stand-alone Stream puck will be released later in 2022 and will let you turn any television set into a Sky Glass. You'll literally just need to plug it in, hook it up to your home Wi-Fi network and away you go.
It's been available to Sky Glass users since that was launched last year but it will soon be sold as a standalone product that anyone can buy - finally!
Sky Glass review: price and availability
You can buy the Sky Glass now in the UK, and it's expected to arrive in Australia at a later date. This TV isn't available in the US.
To buy the TV outright, it’ll cost £649 for the Small (43-inch), £849 for the Medium (55-inch) and £1,049 for the Large TV (65-inch) - that makes it very reasonably priced.
You can also choose to pay for it on a 24-month contract with a £10 fee upfront or on a 48-month contract with a £20 fee upfront.
For the 24-month contract, it starts at £26 per month for Small, £34 for Medium and £42 for large. If you would prefer to pay it over 48 months, it’ll cost £13 per month for Small, £17 for Medium and £21 for Large.
Whichever way you choose to buy Sky Glass, you’ll then have to pay for the TV service which starts from £26 per month for Sky Ultimate TV.
To add other services like the Sky Ultra HDR and Dolby Atmos pack, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, Sky Kids or BT Sports, you'll have to pay extra. They range from £5 per month up to around £30 per month depending on which you go for.
For more options, take a look at the best Sky TV deals and packages available right now.
Sky Glass review: installation and setup
Getting the Sky Glass set up is very easy because you don’t actually have to do much at all, as long as you're having it on a TV cabinet. The delivery company will come and assemble the whole thing, it took them about 10 minutes from start to finish and they can take all of the packaging away with them if you want them to.
Take a look at the video below to see the setup process from start to finish.
Once it has been assembled, you just need to plug the Sky Glass in and turn it on. Admittedly, the power input is quite a reach but that’s the last time you’ll need to be around the back of the TV unless you want to plug in other HDMI devices like games consoles. The Sky Glass will then take you through the rest of the setup step by step from connecting to your Wi-Fi network (made even easier if you use Sky Broadband) to choosing whether you want the TV to use default or enhanced settings.
The enhanced settings will give you the full Sky Glass experience, including voice control through the wake words ‘Hello Sky’ and a motion sensor to wake the TV from standby as soon as you walk into the room. The default settings won’t let you switch it on using your voice.
After that, you might need to install an update but that only took a few minutes. Then, you’re good to go.
The TV came with my account already hooked up so I only needed to enter the PIN to start flicking through shows. It'll be easy to remember your four-digit code because it's the last four numbers of your phone number.
If you pay for other streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney+ those apps come pre-installed on the TV, you'll just need to log in.
Sky Glass review: design and usability
Sky has made everything about the Sky Glass easy and hassle-free. Even picking the TV in the first place is made simple because there are just three sizes to choose from: Small (43 inches), Medium (55 inches) and Large (65 inches).
Then, you pick which colour you want based on your living room decor or your own personal preference. You get the choice of Ocean blue, Ceramic white, Racing green, Dusky pink, or Anthracite black. I tested out the black version.
Surrounding the screen are slim matte black aluminium bezels with a thick bar along the bottom that houses the speaker system, it’s covered up by matching woven acoustic mesh.
If you choose to have it set up on a TV cabinet, there’s a matching metal stand holding it all up, with a large thin rectangular plate for the TV to rest on. If you'd rather have it mounted on the wall, the Sky Glass does come with VESA wall mounts as well.
The Sky Glass TV itself is quite a substantial piece of kit, it’s thicker than a lot of other TVs and it’s heavier too. If you plan to move it after the delivery company has set it up then you will definitely need someone to help you.
Because Sky is pre-installed on the TV and it comes with a soundbar integrated into the design, you only really need a single wire and one spare wall socket to get it up and running. The whole set looks neat and tidy, you won’t have the eye-sore of cables hanging everywhere. Plus, that means it saves on energy too.
If you do have other devices to plug in like games consoles then there are three HDMI ports on the back to accommodate that.
There are a couple of ways to navigate the Sky user interface: through the remote control and by using your voice. You’ll also find a couple of buttons on the TV itself, those being a power button and a button to mute the microphone on the TV. They’re discreetly tucked away on the frame.
Using Glance Motion technology, the TV will detect when you're in the room and wake itself up, showing you some of your top recommendations. It only works when the TV is on standby. Sky has programmed this feature to disable itself at night as well so you won't get woken up by it if you plan to have this in your bedroom.
Included in the box, there’s a Sky remote which has a sleek rubber coating matching the colour of the TV set you choose to buy. There's a microphone built into the top and big buttons with plenty of space between each one which makes it unlikely that you’ll press the wrong one by accident. One really great thing about the remote control is that the buttons light up when you move it so it’s really easy to see them at night.
Unlike some remotes, this one is very simple and intuitive to use, keeping the number of controls to a minimum. All of the buttons are quite self-explanatory as well: there’s a home button in the middle, a voice button to use the microphone, volume controls, a back button, quick access to your TV settings (like subtitles and viewing mode) and a full number pad to name a few. There are certain quirks you will need to get used to like the fact that the buttons sometimes took a second to respond, and to pause the on-screen content you can’t use the centre button, you have to use the pause/play button at the top.
Another way to control the TV is by using your voice. To activate one of the two microphones, you can either press the Voice button on the remote, or you can simply use the wake words ‘Hello Sky’ which will start up the microphone on the TV. Then you just tell the TV what you want it to do. You can use it to turn the TV off, adjust the volume, find a particular movie, TV show or genre and you can even ask Sky to give you some recommendations. The voice search function only works across Sky content though, it won't show you results from apps like Netflix or the ITV Hub.
Admittedly the voice controls didn’t pick up exactly what I was saying every single time and it worked best when I was using the remote. Having said that, I only ever had to repeat my command once or twice before Sky understood what I wanted.
However you choose to navigate the interface, it is seriously fast. Each click or voice command opens up the app, search term or whatever else you’re looking for almost instantly. Of course, that will rely a fair amount on your internet connection but I didn’t have any problems with speed or efficiency.
Everything is simply laid out in Sky’s classic blue style. From the initial Home screen, you get quick access to your recently viewed channels and apps as well as some recommendations for content you might like based on what you’ve been watching.
Click down and you can choose to view content by category, whether that’s general categories like TV Shows and Movies or more specific genres like Kids, Sports, News, Audio and Music, International or Fitness. One more click down and you’re at the TV guide, you can choose to view all live channels or pick one of the terrestrial TV channels straight from the home screen like BBC One or ITV1.
After that, you’ll be able to see all of your other recommendations, apps and games.
You can save TV shows and movies that you plan to watch later onto your own Playlist (there’s actually a handy button on the remote to quickly add shows to your playlist). You can even add shows that are yet to happen so that you can access them as soon as they're available - that includes content from Sky Sports or BT Sport if you have a subscription.
Sky has recently rolled out a new update to its Sky Glass TVs to improve the playlist section, which means when you click on the content you'll go directly to the playback which speeds up the whole process. The update also makes it easier to navigate the content you have on your playlist splitting them up into categories - this will be very useful for those who have a long list of TV shows and movies they want to watch at some point.
On the Home screen, there's also a section that displays all of the different Sky channels, and another which shows you all of the live sport happening during the week ahead. You'll find whatever you're looking for in no time at all.
The TV comes with catch up services like iPlayer and the ITV Hub built-in as well as access to streaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and most recently Apple TV+.
Sky Glass blends all of its own content with recommendations from other streaming services. That means that when you browse through the different categories and genres on the Sky interface, you’ll be able to see options from everywhere all in one place. Having all of the video content you have access to packed into one system is fantastic because it makes discovering new shows and movies easier than ever before.
Right at the bottom of the Home screen, you’ll find your settings and account information as well as a help page if you do get stuck at any point. The whole system is incredibly user-friendly, it shouldn't take too much time to get used to it.
Sky Glass review: picture and sound quality
All you really need to know about the screen is that it boasts 4K Ultra HD resolution on a Quantum Dot display (QLED). What that means is the Sky Glass is bright and colourful with a crisp, clear picture and loads of detail.
The picture quality could be improved, you won’t get quite the same vibrancy of colours or deep, dark blacks as you would from a pricier TV but that’s not to say it doesn’t look good, because it does.
A benefit you get with Sky Glass that you don't get with other TVs is that Sky will adjust the display as you go - like the update that was rolled out in November 2021 which improved Sky’s HDR picture quality, increasing brightness, enhancing contrast and boosting colours.
The Sky Glass supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision so has much better contrast than you would get otherwise. You’ll be able to see every inch of what’s happening on the screen, even in the darkest areas of the shot. It looks brilliant whether you’re tuning in for David Attenborough’s Mating Game, watching the football or catching up on Squid Game from Netflix.
Because there's no 120Hz refresh rate or any other advanced gaming features, one area the Sky Glass won't be able to cope so well with is gaming, so if that's going to be one of the main activities you plan to use the TV for then you may want to look elsewhere.
Wherever you’re sitting in the room, the Sky Glass will give you pretty much the same experience, the picture doesn’t change when you look at it from different angles. Because of that, it’ll be a great choice for larger households and families.
There are a few different viewing modes that will adapt the display settings according to what you’re watching, those modes include Entertainment, Sport, Movie, Music and Party. You can adjust it manually as well, or leave it on Auto which will let the TV do all the thinking. The automatic settings work well so I’d imagine most people will leave it set to that.
One thing you will have to bear in mind is that you’ll need a solid internet connection to get the best quality and to avoid loading times, when Sky TV doesn’t have enough bandwidth the screen will momentarily go black during playback. My broadband is relatively good so it didn’t happen very often but if you know this is a problem at home then it might be worth sticking to satellite.
If you're having a temporary problem with your home network, there is also a Freeview tuner inside, but you'll need to plug it in to use it.
When it comes to the integrated speakers, the Sky Glass has a sound output of up to 215W. It’s powerful enough to fill up the room. In fact, I never really went above 40% volume when I was using it.
You won’t get the same level of surround sound as you would from one of the best soundbars but it’s not that far off either thanks to Dolby Atmos support. You do feel really immersed in the action. Because of that, I don't think you would need to hook up a separate audio device li the Sky Soundbox at any point.
There are a few different sound features worth knowing about. You can enhance the speech quality if you're struggling to hear on-screen conversations, boost the bass for more impactful sound and you can adjust it manually to your own preferences. There’s also a Night Mode which reduces the volume and limits the more extreme sounds like explosions.
Having the soundbar integrated into the bottom of the screen does makes the bar across the bottom of movies look really big at night, but that’s just nitpicking.
Sky Glass review: verdict
Combining everything you could need into one user-friendly system, there’s literally nothing else out there like the Sky Glass. This is by far the best TV you can buy for streaming because you won't need any extra tech to access Sky's premium library or your favourite streaming apps.
The Sky interface is just so good, everything about it is simple and intuitive, even the remote doesn’t take much getting used to. With smarts ranging from motion detection to voice control and recommendations tailored to what you like to watch, it’s a shining example of how brilliant technology can be in 2021.
It’s not all about the smarts though, the picture and sound quality are just as impressive even if they’re not best in class, and because everything is packed into one device it saves on energy too.
If you're a TV whizz you might be looking for more in the way of picture quality, something that you can only get using a satellite dish but most people won't have any problems with how the screen looks.
Sky does also have a few kinks to even out in how the TV works but it will become a must-have piece of kit. The benefit of it being internet-connected is that Sky can roll out updates to it over time so you'll see it gradually improve the longer you own it.
Don’t buy this if you have a poor internet connection because it relies on that to work at its best. But if you do have reliable broadband then it’d be very hard not to recommend the Sky Glass because this is a TV that can be enjoyed by everyone, whether you’re tech-savvy, or not.
Sky Glass review: also consider
If you’re looking for a living room TV and you don’t mind sticking to the Sky Q box, then the Samsung QN95A (65QN95A) scored a whopping 5-stars when T3 reviewed it. It has a resolution of 4K UHD and uses QLED panel technology so you’re guaranteed exceptional quality. It might be pricey but it’s a stunning piece of kit that comes in a few different sizes, those being 55, 75 and 85 inches.
Another TV worth considering is the Sony X90J - it’s a mid-range set that doesn’t cost the earth. You won’t get all the benefits of having Sky built-in, but it does have Google TV which is very easy to use. You might want to buy it alongside a separate soundbar though because it won’t give you audio as powerful as you’d get with the Sky Glass.
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