Sky Q is the best entertainment offering around right now, combining top-flight sports, the best drama and comedy from the UK and US, and the biggest films before they reach other services. And now it offers Netflix too, giving you a host of original content and an exhaustive library to binge your way through.
But it’s not cheap. Thankfully there are ways to make it more affordable, be it a time-limited deal or just by pruning away the channels and services you don’t need.
Here we’ll cover both of these options, as well as tell you all about Sky Q, how to get it and what it offers. Happy viewing!
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What is Sky Q?
Sky Q is the next generation of home entertainment, following on from Sky+. It offers lots of channels covering drama, comedy, wildlife, kids, films and sports content, served up in a package that delivers 4K picture quality, the ability to pause and rewind live channels, and full multi-room features.
How do you get Sky Q?
To get Sky Q, you’ll need a Sky Q Box, which comes in two sizes: 1TB or 2TB (which was known as Sky Q Silver when it launched). The 1TB option stores up to 500 hours of standard definition TV, lets you record three channels while watching a fourth and is able to show HD content.
The 2TB box holds twice as much content, can record six channels while you watch a seventh and is compatible with 4K content.
You’ll also need a satellite dish in order to watch Sky, though we’re promised that Sky will soon be available over broadband.
Can you still get Sky+?
No. While Sky still supports its Sky+ customers, the only option for new customers is Sky Q.
How much do the Sky Q boxes cost?
The good news is that regardless of which box you pick, you’ll pay the same flat £22-a-month fee for the basic Sky Q package. (From that you can add extras like Sky Sports and Sky Box Sets.) But the two boxes have very different prices.
The 1TB box costs £20 as a one-off installation fee, while that rises to £199 for the 2TB. As we say, that is a one-off, so it won’t cost you any extra every month. But still, there’s quite a difference between the two.
Alternatively, you can get the 2TB box for £75 if you subscribe to Sky Q Experience (previously known as Multiroom). This lets you watch on more Sky Q Mini boxes in other rooms of the house. Experience costs £13 a month, with one Mini box costing £50, and each subsequent one setting you back £99. You can add up to four Mini boxes in total.
That’s the basics covered. So what do the various Sky packages offer?
Sky has ditched the old format of multiple tiers of Sky TV packages. The Sky Entertainment pack is the Sky TV deal that every new customer will start with and it’s £22 a month. You can also add extra channel packs from just £5 a month (which works out cheaper than the old format and ensures you don’t pay for extras you don’t want). This pack includes a wide variety of dramas, comedies, documentaries, music and Sky Originals. Top channels include Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Nat Geo wild and more.View Deal
This is the basic package that all Sky customers get. It offers over 300 channels covering entertainment, documentary, music and sports. These include Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Fox, MTV, Gold, Comedy Central, Quest, Syfy, E!, Discovery, National Geographic, Sky Sports News, Eurosport and Sky Sports Mix.
That means you get shows like Big Little Lies, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, Chernobyl, Gomorrah and Riviera.
For new customers, Sky Entertainment costs £22 a month for the first 18 months. After that, it defaults to the standard price of £27 a month.
Now you’ve got your starter pack, it’s time to add some extras.
Sports subscriptions are getting complicated but Sky remains a pretty much must-buy for serious sports fans. You can get the full package for £23 per month, down from £30. This Sky Sports bundle comes with Sky Sports Premier League, Sky Sports Football, Sky Sports F1, Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Golf, Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Arena and Sky Sports Main Event.View Deal
This gives you more sports channels than the standard Entertainment package. Namely, you get individual channels dedicated to Premier League football, division football, cricket, F1 and golf.
You also get Sky Sports Action (showing badminton, WWE and others), Sky Sports Arena (basketball, racing, bowling), Sky Sports Main Event (golf, cricket, rugby) and Sky Sports News.
This usually costs £30 a month, but is currently only £23 a month for new Sky customers (for the first 18 months).
You can also subscribe to just one of the sports-specific channels for £18 a month – handy if you only want to watch one sport.
If you have the 2TB Sky Q box, you’ll be able to watch some of these channels in 4K.
With a new film premiere every day and over 1000 other films to choose from, Sky Cinema is great for film fans. The selection is up-to-date and you also get these channels in HD at no additional cost.
Sky offers 11 film channels, along with over 1,000 movies on-demand. It also shows a new premiere every day of the year.
Unlike the sports channels, you can’t subscribe to individual film channels – they come as a package. This costs £18 a month, or £11 a month for new customers (for the first 18 months).
Ultimate On Demand
Sky recently teamed up with Netflix to offer this superb bundle where you get both Sky Box Sets and Netflix for just £12 a month. That’s certainly cheaper than paying for them separately, so we’d drop your current Netflix subscription if you do get Sky.
This gives you Netflix (which usually costs at least £5.99 a month), as well as lots of Sky shows on-demand. These include Billions, The Affair, Succession and Patrick Melrose, along with hit Netflix series like Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, The Last Tzars and The Crown.
This usually costs £12 a month, but new customers can get it for £3 for the first month. If you only want Netflix and not the Sky on-demand shows, you can subscribe to it separately through Sky and have it included in your Sky bill.
This deals gives over 4500 episodes on demand. There’s more though as there are also 10 live channels. You can also have up to 10 individual profiles on the Sky Kids app with shows tailored to the age of your children.
There are 11 kids channels up for grabs, including the Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Nickelodeon, Nick Toons, Boomerang and Cartoon Network.
This costs £5 extra a month. Like Ultimate On Demand, it only offers a 31-day contract, so you won’t be tied in for the long run.
Sky has more than 40 HD channels, covering sports, films, documentaries and entertainment, but to watch them in their full glory you’ll need the HD option. This costs £5 a month, and again is a 31-day contract.
This is one of the best add-ons to any Sky TV package. If you have an HD or 4K TV, you’ll want to upgrade to HD and 4K and enjoy your content in the most pixels possible.View Deal
Sky Q Experience
If you want to really unlock the power of Sky Q, you’ll need Sky Q Experience.
This gives you access to Sky’s 4K content (which mostly consists of sports and films), and lets you watch in more rooms in the home using Sky Q Mini boxes.
This costs £13 a month, on an 18-month contract. There are also one-off set-up fees – £50 for the first extra Sky Q Mini box you add, and £99 for each extra after that. You can add up to four Sky Q Mini boxes.
Sky Fibre broadband
Sky Fibre Broadband | 18 months | £39.95 one off set-up fee | £27 per month
If you’re also looking for a fibre broadband bundle to compliment your Sky TV deal, then you can add one to your Sky package from as little as £27 a month. It all depends on what’s available in your area via the postcode checker on the site.
The cheapest fibre Sky Broadband option is on offer at £27 a month. That’s for 18 months unlimited broadband. The download speed is up to a very healthy 63Mbps, which we find is plenty for gaming, streaming, downloads – anything really.
Want to add broadband to the deal? Sky’s Essential broadband costs £22.50 a month for the first 18 months, then £30 a month thereafter. There will also be a set-up cost, which starts at £9.95.
This gets you an average speed of 11Mb/s, which is enough for general web use like browsing, emailing and checking social media, as well as basic video streaming.
Its speedier option is called Superfast. This has an average speed of 59Mb/s, which is better suited for streaming HD and 4K content. It costs £29.50 a month for the first 18 months and £37 a month thereafter. Again a set-up fee applies.
These deals may vary depending on where you live. Enter your postcode during the buying process to see what deals are available for you.