A closer demeanour during Sky Q

January 26, 2016 - photo frame

With Ultra HD output, a 2TB expostulate and 12 tuners for examination live TV, recording indicate channels and easy other boxes/devices, a Q Silver box is for critical home party setups. For reduction perfectionist households, there’s also a some-more medium Q box with a max outlay fortitude of 1080p, a 1TB expostulate and a integrate fewer tuners.

Getting Sky set adult in mixed bedrooms used to meant mixed set-top boxes. It still does, yet a new Sky Q Mini is usually as large as it needs to be to feed off a primary box. Exclusive to broadband business yet not compulsory for TV services, a Sky Q Hub router adds powerline networking support to any Q box, as good as branch them into WiFi repeaters.

While we’re still watchful on pricing/availability sum and a timeline for a launch of 4K broadcasts that’s tighter than “later this year,” Sky’s been penetrating to uncover off a new Q family, including a totally redesigned UI, new app and of course, that imagination touchpad remote.

A uninformed face

Sky’s set-top box UI has developed from elementary and graphically challenged to feature-rich, visually driven and recommendation-savvy over a final ten-plus years. Every iteration has been an alleviation on a last, yet Sky Q is an event to start from scratch, presenting a best facilities in a new approach and adding a few some-more for good measure. Don’t worry: The picture-in-picture (PiP) perspective of what’s now on still persists around many of a new UI, so you’re frequency not examination something. Curiously, though, it commands an whole true row of differently passed space.

In general, a UI tries to keep calm and lists to a minimum, preferring to interest to we with favourite images, DVD covers and screenshots wherever possible. Several of a categorical menu options will be familiar, or during slightest self-explanatory. The new EPG is, well, many like a aged EPG, or any EPG. It’s a spreadsheet of channels and shows, yet scrolling animations and other visible effects are a small some-more elaborate than before (this is loyal of a UI as a whole, in fact).

Aside from permitting a PiP to take over a entertain of a screen, Sky’s done a comparatively radical change to a behaviour of a EPG. The cursor, for miss of a improved word, is now anchored to a tip of screen, usually subsequent a broadcast/channel information. To put it another way, this means we no longer corkscrew down a list, a list scrolls adult to you. The thought is your position in a EPG is always right subsequent to a outline of what’s on, so your eyes needn’t flit between dual focal points. During my brief play, we couldn’t confirm either we got on with it or not; either it was fit or claustrophobic.

Other core menu entries embody Catch Up TV, where you’ll find calm from iPlayer, ITV Hub et al., and Recordings, aka a new Planner. The Movies, Box Sets and Store sections aspect all there is to watch, lease and buy opposite Sky’s several channels and services. Top Picks is where you’ll find a human-curated catalog of potentially good stuff, while My Q is a page that puts a algorithms to work. Like any recommendation engine, it suggests shows and films to watch formed on your before observation habits, yet this also changes around a day (if we tend to watch news in a morning and sitcoms in a evening, for instance).

Recommendations are roughly a delegate underline of a My Q section, though, that also lists all your half-watched recordings for fast retrieval. My Q is determined opposite boxes and devices, so that’s where we go to find a part we paused on a TV to resume on your inscription (Sky calls this “Fluid Viewing”). The remaining menu options are indifferent for specific forms of entertainment: Sports, Kids, Music and Online Video. Sports surfaces any matches or events that are now live, alongside arriving pay-per-view fixtures. Filtering by competition expands this further, adding applicable broadcasts over rival events (like Match of a Day, for example).

The Music difficulty is rather similar. Live song channels seem alongside radio and Sky Arts content, and interjection to Vevo integration, we can also crop that service’s catalog to collect specific tunes. From a Music menu, we can concede Apple inclination to highjack your TV’s speakers regulating AirPlay. That source can also be pushed to any Sky box in your residence for a kind of temporary multiroom audio setup. If Apple products aren’t your thing, we can span to any box around Bluetooth and repurpose your TV speakers that way, we usually don’t have any multiroom options.

Online Video is kind of like Sky Q’s chronicle of YouTube. In fact, while it’s curated by Sky and lives within a Q UI, many of a calm is pulled true from YouTube. Sketches from partners like Funny Or Die and CollegeHumor stock a comedy-themed pages, GoPro and Red Bull clips have their group, and so on (yes, there’s one for lovable cat videos, too). Dedicated YouTube and Vevo apps are benefaction on Sky Q, yet by integrating their calm directly in a UI, a thought is we entrance them in a some-more seamless and healthy way. There are also a integrate “in-TV apps” that work in a same approach as Xbox One’s Snap feature. They take adult usually a apportionment of a screen, so we can keep an eye on a football scores while examination something else during a same time. These will be singular to news, weather, assistance and print widgets (pulling from Facebook and Instagram) during launch, with some-more betrothed in a future.

Blending live TV fed by satellite with catch-up, on-demand and bitesize clips fed by internet services is a vital member of a Sky Q experience. This has already been realised to some grade with several updates to a Sky+ UI that lift mixed calm sources together. Within a new Sky Q UI, however, all is closely related from a outset. Say you’re acid for a sold show, or even a specific episode. When we lane it down, you’ll land on that show’s dedicated page. It’ll tell we when it’s subsequent being promote on live TV, what episodes are accessible on catch-up, and either we can lease a whole box set from Sky’s store. Basically, it’ll prominence each probable approach to watch, and also advise other calm of identical genre or theme. It’s all about stealing barriers so we spend reduction time looking and some-more time watching.

My initial impressions of a new Sky Q UI are, on a whole, favourable. Most importantly, it’s sharp and manageable to navigate notwithstanding being visually complete (there’s small indicate in a imagination UI if it’s indolent to use). I’d disagree a determined PiP takes adult a small too many space on-screen, however, and a menu valid a small strenuous during my brief demo. Recommendations slink around each turn, and several sections aspect a same calm in somewhat opposite ways. The UI is bustling with what to watch, where to watch it, and what we competence wish to watch afterwards. If a Sky Q box was underneath my TV during home, though, I’d substantially get used to a menu structure flattering fast and conclude being means to do anything in as few “clicks” as possible.

The Sky Q app

You can take flattering many all we pronounced about a set-top box UI and request it to a new Sky Q app. By design, they demeanour intensely similar, since when you’re during home your inscription is ostensible to act accurately like a TV bending adult to a Sky Q box. The app isn’t done to be a second-screen experience: You can’t use it as a temporary remote, nor can we “fling” what’s personification on your inscription to a bigger screen, like with EE TV. You can, however, report recordings around a app and entrance all from live TV to catch-up and on-demand services — we name it. A inscription does all a set-top box can when it’s related to your home network, yet we aren’t singular a good understanding when we leave a house.

Like a existent Sky Go app, there are a series of live channels we can tide over mobile or unfamiliar WiFi networks, and catch-up, on-demand and Sky Store services will also work as normal. In addition, a Sky Q app allows we to download anything you’ve accessible on your categorical set-top box to your inscription for a initial time. Offline observation is entirely supported, yet due to rights restrictions, downloaded calm will disappear 48 hours after we press play for a initial time, or after 30 days if it stays unwatched. Sky is also operative with BBC to capacitate iPlayer downloads from within a Sky Q app. At launch, a Sky Q app will accessible to iPads and Android tablets, yet a smartphone-optimised chronicle is due out after this year.

The Sky Q hold remote

With Sky Q, a blunt intent that is a Sky+ remote gives approach to a slimmer, sexier hold remote. As Sky tells it, a new flutter was designed to be used though ever wanting to be looked at. Gone are a apart buttons for a EPG, box bureau and programme information, transposed instead by a singular home symbol that brings adult a Sky Q UI. There is also one now asleep symbol on a side of a remote that’ll be used for voice hunt when it launches after this year. Sky already built a extensive hunt underline for a Sky+ boxes, and it’s done a transition over to Sky Q. Whether it be a specific uncover or film, your favourite actor or football team, hunt will find any applicable calm for you. When voice hunt comes into play, you’ll have a combined advantage of not typing terms out on a remote’s numpad.

The categorical pattern underline of a Sky Q remote is a round touchpad, since who needs buttons in this touchscreen world? Since we spend all day on a smartphones, a thought is a touchpad is both a informed and discerning approach to get around a complicated UI, and Sky’s not wrong. Swiping left and right or adult and down to pierce by a UI felt healthy enough, while holding a appropriate lets we to corkscrew indefinitely. The pause, fast-forward and rewind bar above a touchpad is also capacitive, definition we can drag your ride opposite it to manipulate a speed. we found this generally neat, kind of like relocating yet a timeline during a bottom of a YouTube video. The remote includes a integrate of other accessible features, too. It connects to boxes around Bluetooth so line-of-sight isn’t an issue, and if we remove it down a behind of a sofa, press a symbol on your set-top box and it’ll bleep divided so we can find it.

The remote is thin, light, and maybe a tad over-engineered. To illustrate a point, a easier remote is bundled with Sky Q Mini boxes that uses IR and omits a voice hunt symbol and a touchpad. There are normal buttons in a place, of course, and we found it usually as easy to navigate a UI on this indication though glancing down during my fingers. Don’t get me wrong, a touchpad feels good under-thumb, yet we worry a newness of swiping might wear off in time and you’ll be left wanting a normal remote with normal buttons.

While we have my reservations about some of a new UI elements and a application of a touchpad remote, a Sky Q apartment is accurately what a association needs right now. The set-top boxes are no longer a distance of diversion consoles, a Sky Q Mini should make multiroom setups some-more affordable, a UI is manageable and a new Sky Q app is entirely featured. Throw in all a extras like 4K support, powerline networking around a Sky Q Hub, AirPlay harmony and more, and you’ve got yourself a flattering appealing package. That’s easy to contend right now, of course, since we’re still in a dim on maybe Sky Q’s many critical feature: price.

small.wp_rp_excerpt { line-height:115%; font-style:normal; } .related_post_title { } ul.related_post { line-height:120%; } ul.related_post li { list-style-type:none; clear:both; margin:0 0 0 3px; } ul.related_post li a { font-weight: bold; display:block; margin:0 0 5px 0; } ul.related_post li a:hover { text-decoration:underline; } ul.related_post li A img { width:130px; height:auto; } http://www.engadget.com/2016/01/26/a-closer-look-at-sky-q/

More frame ...

› tags: photo frame /