Sky Q is one of our favourite home entertainment services of 2017, and it's set to get even better with some massive Sky Q updates. Here's all you need to know about the new features coming to Sky Q in 2017, including how to get the current update.
Despite Sky Q still being relatively new, Sky has already updated the service multiple times to add loads of great new features. These include a split-screen mode for sports, on-demand replays, automatic series downloads and lots more goodies on top.
Sky has already announced its first big 2017 update, in the form of a new voice search feature. Plus it's teased several more on top, which will enhance the multi-screen TV service even further. Here's what Sky Q customers and anyone considering a jump to Sky Q can expect from this excellent multi-room TV service.
Sky Q: What's the story so far?
Sky Q is the top-tier offering from the popular broadcaster, which delivers the full range of Sky content including films, sports and shows. The service's USP is its multi-room streaming feature. This uses Sky mini boxes, which streams live and recorded programming from your main Sky Q box over Wi-Fi. These mini boxes can even boost your signal in that part of the house, if you're a Sky Broadband customer.
Sky's fluid viewing feature lets you start watching a show in one room and continue where you left off in another, or via the app on your phone or tablet. It's a great, flexible home entertainment solution, especially if your loved ones have very different viewing tastes.
What is the latest Sky Q update and how do I get it?
Here's where you'll find out about any updates to the Sky Q service happening right now, plus full instructions on how to update your box.
Dolby Atmos support
We still have no update on HDR support for Sky Q content, although Sky has now announced that Dolby Atmos will be fully supported from August 11.
Dolby Atmos is impressively immersive audio tech launched in 2012, which provides lifelike surround-sound playback. Sound is bounced all around you, to make it feel like you're in the moment, all while retaining top levels of clarity and detail. With Sky Q, you can enjoy Dolby Atmos support while watching Premier League matches and any other supported content.
Of course, to take advantage of this update, you'll need to have a Dolby Atmos-supporting home cinema setup.
Your Sky Q box should receive this update automatically and download it in the background, so you won't have to lift a finger.
Watch From Start introduced for Premier League games
If you’ve miss the start of a live televised football match, you'll have the option to start it again on Sky Q, even if you didn’t set it to record beforehand. That's good news if you flick on after ten minutes to discover that the score is already 3-2.
To use the Watch From Start feature, just tune into the Sky Sports Premier League channel and press the red button on your Sky Q remote to bring up the Sky Sports app. Choose the Watch From Start option and you'll be whisked back to the beginning, to catch all of the action as it happened.
You can even jump straight to any 'key moments' so far, which will appear highlighted in the progress bar at the bottom of the screen. That's great news if you want to skip to the action and catch up with the live feed. Sky also offers the Sports Split Screen feature as an alternative, where you can continue to watch the live feed while checking out the biggest moments on the other half of your telly. More on this later.
Iconic landmarks and football grounds in animated Ultra HD
From August 14, Sky Q customers rocking a 2TB box can enjoy a selection of animated 4K scenes on their tellies from around the world. Beaches at sunset, peaceful meadows, gushing waterfalls - they'll all look stunning in Ultra HD on your TV. And possibly remind you of how crap it is to live in Stoke instead of the Bahamas.
Footy fans can also download animated 4K scenes from each of the twenty Premier League grounds at the same time.
This new feature can be accessed direct from the Ultra HD menu in Sky Q. No manual update is required.
What new features have been added by recent Sky Q updates?
Sky had already added some fresh new features to Sky Q since its launch last year, expanding the service to add greater value for money - and to encourage existing Sky customers to upgrade.
The first major update gave Sky Q the ability to download and line up the next episode of a show that you're busy watching before the current episode is finished, for dangerously addictive binge-watching ease. Also added to that update was the ability to skip forwards through your content more accurately, by moving the play icon forward.
Sports Split Screen
We later saw the addition of Sports Split Screen, a feature which allows you to watch two sporting events at once, or enjoy replays and multi-angle views during a footy match or F1 race, for instance.
Using the Sky Q touch remote you can now finally search for shows, movies and so on using voice alone. This is a service offered by several TV and set-top box manufacturers already and is a very welcome addition to Sky, especially given the rather clunky typing method for search that currently blights Sky Q.
This Sky Q update also added Facebook support to watch videos through your Sky box, plus a redesigned homepage. The software update has already rolled out to Sky Q customers, during Spring 2017.
Check out our complete feature on the Sky Q voice search update for more info.
Record more shows
If you have the premium 2TB Sky Q box, the good news is that a June 2017 update allows you to record six shows at once while watching a seventh. Yup, pretty much everyone in the home can be catered for at once, without the need to sacrifice any recordings or bypass those essential Crystal Maze repeats. A nice step up from the previous record-four-and-watch-a-fifth limit on the 1TB Sky Q box.
This update automatically downloads when you try and record six shows at the same time. You should see an on-screen prompt that asks you to update your Sky Q settings. Follow the instructions and you're golden.
You can also manually set up this new feature by heading to the Settings menu, followed by Setup > Preferences > Maximum Number of Recordings. Select six and your Sky Q box will make the change. You can follow these steps to revert back to the old settings at any time.
Note that when you have the six recordings feature activated, you WILL NOT be able to use the Sky Sports split-screen feature. Also, the Mini Guide on the home page will only show a static image, rather than a live one.
Get smarter recommendations
Sky Q can now make recommendations for new shows based on those that you have watched in the past. Definitely a good thing if you've smashed through all of the boxsets your mates told you about.
What's next for Sky Q?
The next big release for Sky Q customers in 2017 is the Sky Soundbox.
This powerful soundbar was created in collaboration with French company Devialet, to enhance your Sky TV viewing experience with some powerful audio output. You also get an impressive range of manual controls to improve your home cinema setup, including a nifty feature to keep from waking the kiddies while still making out every word clearly.
Sky has announced that the Soundbox will cost £799 to non-Sky subscribers, while Sky+ customers can get the Skybox for a much more enticing £299. If you’re a Sky Q customer you can get one for just £249, which is impressive indeed given the specs on offer.
Check back soon for more on the biggest Sky Q updates and new features.