Should I buy Sky Glass – Pros and Cons? - Tech Digest (2023)


Last week, at an event in Greenwich, Sky launched its most innovative product to date: Sky Glass. A new range of QLED TVs, available in 43inch, 55inch and 65inch screen sizes, they enable you to watch satellite channels without a dish, plus a whole lot more. On sale from October 18th, Sky Glass is sure to be popular with TV lovers but should you invest in one? Here Chris Price looks at the pros and cons of the new product line-up.


You don’t need a dish – Since Sky was first launched way back on November 2nd, 1990 you have essentially needed an ugly satellite dish on your roof paired with a set-top box to get the network’s full functionality. Sky Glass changes all this in that for the first time you can have all of the services via a single device connected wirelessly (or wired via the Ethernet) to the broadband network. Also provided is a Freeview (digital terrestrial TV) tuner built in.

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Image: Sky

It really is beautifully designed – Remember just how ugly satellite equipment used to be especially in the early days of the Amstrad dish and set-top box. Well that’s very much in the past. Designed in conjunction with East London industrial outfit Map Project (who have also worked with Sonos on its amp as well as with Sony, Google and Transport for London), the TV is available in five different colours: Ocean Blue, Ceramic White, Racing Green, Dusky Pink or Anthracite Black. It also comes with magnetic fascias which you can switch over to customise your TV rather like a mobile phone, as well as a flat back so you can mount the TV on the wall.

Sound is surprisingly good – We’ve always been sceptical of surround sound from a TV. After all it’s impossible to get decent sound separation if all the speakers are packed inside one box right? And yet, there is something quite impressive from this Dolby Atmos-certified Sky Glass TV. Several speakers are built in, including a soundbar which sits neatly under the display, integrated left and right speakers that point outwards for wider sound, a centre speaker, a subwoofer and two additional up-firing speakers. Also on board are various sound modes including one for listening to music and a Night Mode that automatically boosts dialogue but reduces loud bangs and explosions so as not to wake up anyone sleeping in the house or next door.

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It’s better than Sky Q – In many ways, Sky Glass is a natural successor to Sky Q which many Sky viewers will be familiar with (unfortunately you can’t have both so you will have to choose one or the other). However, it does offer a few improvements over Sky Q. Of particular interest is Playlist. If you find something you’re interested in, press the ‘+’ button on the remote and it will be added to a dedicated Playlist section for viewing at your leisure. If it’s a TV series, every episode will be gathered in one place – even if episodes from different series are hosted on different services from one another. Full functionality – rewind, fast forward – is provided via Sky’s Cloud DVR or the relevant player.

It is energy efficient (sort of) – Sky claims its Glass TVs are the first TVs to be certified as a Carbon Neutral product by Natural Capital partners and are up to 50% more efficient than other models on the market. However, this figure is achieved by comparing the amount of energy used to power three separate devices including TV, soundbar and Q set top box with just one Sky Glass TV. Consumer group Which? says the 43inch has a G energy rating, the 55 incher has an F energy rating and the 65inch is rated E.

Image: Sky

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Voice control is provided – Not everyone likes voice control but for a TV it can be quite useful, especially if you’re not sure which device is connected to each of the HDMI inputs (three are provided in total). Rather than having to scroll through the inputs manually, you can simply say ‘Hello Sky X Box’ and it will take you the X Box input. And instead of using Alexa or Siri, Sky uses its own voice activation technology. Alternatively, you can turn the TV on using the neatly designed remote control or with the TV’s innovative Glance Motion Technology. This automatically detects a presence in the room and switches on the set. However, it only works in the daytime apparently (from 10.30pm until 6am) and can be disabled in the settings completely if you so wish.


It’s quite expensive – Whichever way you look at it, Sky Glass isn’t cheap. Either you can choose to buy the TV like a mobile phone on a 48-month contract which will cost you £10 upfront followed by £13 a month for the entry-level 43inch TV (or £17 for the 55inch and £21 for the 65inch). Alternatively, you can choose to buy the TV outright from £649 – though strangely this actually works out slightly more expensive than buying on a contract. On top of this, you then have to fork out for the TV packages which cost from £26 a month for Sky Ultimate TV – in other words a minimum of £39 a month. That’s £13 more than the current Sky Q price. On top of this, you also need to pay £5 a month if you want HDR and Dolby Atmos, £25 if you want sports and £11 for cinema. And if you want to have Sky Glass in more than one room you need to pay an extra £10 a month, plus £50 for each Sky Puck – the device that adds it to your standard TV. All of this could leave you with a bill of well over £100 a month!

You will need decent broadband – The whole point about Sky Glass is that it’s TV channels via broadband rather than an ugly satellite dish on your roof. And while you don’t need to have Sky’s own broadband, you do need it to be relatively fast (there is an Ethernet connection on the back of the set so you can connect a cable directly to your router which will help speed). Sky recommends a minimum download speed of 11Mbps for a single device in high definition, but 30 Mbps for a multi-room set-up. And if you want to watch in 4K then you will need a speed of 25 Mbps for a single device.

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You can’t record – Unlike Sky Q, Sky Glass doesn’t feature a built-in hard drive for making and storing recordings. Perhaps because this would’ve added greater cost and bulk to the TVs. And while using the play list functionality ensures that finding programmes you want to watch is quite simple, it does mean that if you lose broadband for whatever reason you could find yourself without anything to watch except the channels that you can receive via the integrated Freeview (digital terrestrial TV) tuner. However, this means you will need to connect the TV to an aerial which kind of defeats the object.

Downloading apps is restricted – Although Sky Glass isn’t just about watching Sky programmes, it is still very much a walled garden. You can’t download any more than the 21 apps built into the TV including Netflix, ITV Hub, BBC iPlayer, Disney+, YouTube and Spotify.


The Sky Glass TV isn’t going to be for everyone. It does work out quite expensive compared to the cost of Sky Q, especially if you want to watch channels in several rooms using a Puck connected to your old TVs. Having said that, it looks and sounds great and will almost certainly appeal to people who like to watch a lot of TV but don’t want all the hassle of wires all over the living room connected to various devices. One thing’s for sure, Sky has come a long ways since the days of the ugly satellite dish and set top-box.

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Sky announces Sky Glass smart TV range – satellite channels without dish

Chris Price

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What are the drawbacks of Sky Glass? ›

There are things that Sky Glass is, and things that it's not – and it's not a gaming TV. With no game mode, latency is a measly 66ms and with no Auto Low Latency Mode, 4K/120fps or Variable Refresh Rate, Sky Glass isn't looking to play in that gaming sandpit.

Is it worth changing to Sky Glass? ›

Sky Glass review: Verdict

It's convenient and easy to use, the specifications are impressive, audio quality is great (for built-in speakers) and a lot of people will be persuaded by the fact that it's a relatively low-cost monthly add-on to a Sky subscription.

What are people saying about Sky Glass? ›

Even compared to other QLED TVs within the same price range, we'd say that most things watched on Sky Glass look a bit dull ... no matter how much we tweaked the settings. It almost feels as if a subtle grey wash is being smeared over every image on-screen.

Is Sky Glass as good as Sky Q? ›

Sky Glass wins when it comes to multi-room streaming. Sky Q Multiscreen is through separate boxes, called Sky Q Mini boxes. Each one is like a Sky Q box in itself, but only outputs 5.1 audio and 1080p video. There is no 4K HDR nor Dolby Atmos.

Do you lose channels with Sky Glass? ›

Re: Missing channels from sky glass

Theres no missing channels at all - Glass has all the channels its meant to have and is a very different service to Sky Q - that alone should have promopted you to check.

Does Sky Glass work if you cancel Sky? ›

Without the Sky Ultimate TV subscription and the Whole Home TV pack, any Sky Stream pucks you have will no longer work. And any extra Sky Glass TVs will work like a normal TV.

Does anybody like Sky Glass? ›

Sky Glass is available from

I've spent just over a month with Sky's new TV system – and I'm a fan. There's lots to like: a clean, fast UI, a wealth of streaming options and brilliant built-in surround sound system. Ultimately my enjoyment of it boils down to something very simple: the thing just works.

Is Sky Glass picture quality good? ›

But the picture quality hampered its ability to be one of the best TVs within its price category. For the price it wasn't unreasonable to expect better, and while image quality was fine, Sky Glass was bereft of brightness with HDR content, and produced an image that looked on the drab side.

Do you get BBC on Sky Glass? ›

You can access more than 20 applications on your Sky Glass TV. They include catch-up services like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub, along with other video-on-demand services like Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+ and Paramount+.

Why is Sky Glass so thick? ›

The set was always going to be quite thick, thanks to its combination of direct-backlit LCD screen and six-speaker Dolby Atmos sound system (more on both below), but Sky has sensibly chosen to embrace that, producing a TV that has the look of a smart picture frame.

Can you pause live TV on Sky Glass? ›

You'll also be able to pause and restart live TV in the same way as you would with a Sky box, all neatly integrated into the system and controllable via the smart remote.

Why does my Sky Glass freeze? ›

Re: Sky Glass Continuously Freezing

It is not enough having a fast internet connection to your router if the connection from the router to the TV or puck is slow or subject to interference.

Does Sky Glass use more electricity? ›

The technology: with the TV, set-top box and soundbar all built into one product Sky Glass saves up to 50% electricity compared to having a separate TV, Sky Q set-top box, and soundbar.

Does an engineer install Sky Glass? ›

You must use a professional installer to wall mount Sky Glass. Please read the 'important safety and product information' leaflet before installing Sky Glass.

Can I watch normal TV on Sky Glass? ›

Sky Glass does not work this way as each device is streamed to separately from the Internet.

Do you have to pay extra for Netflix on Sky Glass? ›

Sky Glass from £13 a month* + £23 a month for ultimate TV (Includes Netflix)

Can you switch Sky Glass off at night? ›

You can unplug the glass whenever you like. It won't have any negative effects.

Do you keep Sky Glass TV after contract ends? ›

If you buy Sky Glass and then decide to leave Sky (which you can if you're under the 31-day rolling contract), the TV will remain yours (and you'll keep paying the remaining instalments, of course) – but it will lose many of its advanced features.

Can I watch Amazon Prime on Sky Glass? ›

How do I get Prime Video on Sky Q or Sky Glass? To launch Prime Video just say 'Open Prime Video' into your voice remote or say 'Hello Sky Prime Video' to your Sky Glass TV.

Can you get box office on Sky Glass? ›

Experience the latest Box Office sporting events, all from the comfort of your own home on your Sky+HD box, Sky Q box, Sky Glass TV or Sky Stream puck.

Do you get all Freeview channels with Sky Glass? ›

Re: Freeview on Sky Glass TV

If you plug a DTT antenna into the socket, then yes, the TV has Freeview, but only if the TV is not connected to the internet. As long as the TV is connected to the internet, the Freeview tuner cannot be used. Did this answer not help you?

Can I return Sky Glass after 31 days? ›

After 31 days you have to prove to Sky that Glass is not fit for purpose and does not function as advertised, otherwise you're stuck with it.

Why does my Sky Glass turn on when I walk in the room? ›

With built in motion sensors, Sky Glass springs to life when it notices you're in the room. And lights up the screen with recommendations of what to watch. Just pick up your remote to start watching or say “Hello Sky, [and say what you'd like to do]”. Don't want to watch TV?

Is WiFi built into Sky Glass? ›

Sky Glass comes with Sky inside. So all you have to do is connect to WiFi and get streaming. We'll deliver your Sky Glass TV to the room of your choice, unbox it and take away the packaging to be recycled. Setting up is easy too.

Is broadband built into Sky Glass? ›

It's not just Sky's first broadband-based TV package, but it also comes with Sky's own actual TV, featuring 4K HDR images with Dolby Vision and running Sky's own operating system. Sky Glass is a novel concept offering something genuinely unique: A premium TV service integrated into a bespoke flatscreen.

Do you get wall bracket with Sky Glass? ›

They will not wall mount for you. They will offer to build the stand and mount into this. Wall mounting must be done by the buyer or by a company you contract the work to. I help out where I can in the Sky Glass forum, maybe a superuser but not a sky employee.

Can I give my Sky Glass back? ›

After 31 days you have to prove to Sky that Glass is not fit for purpose and does not function as advertised, otherwise you're stuck with it.

How many Programmes can you record on Sky Glass? ›

Playlist is cloud-based with no storage limits.

With traditional recordings, you're limited by the capacity of the hard drive inside your box. For instance, the Sky Q box can store 500 hours of recordings. In contrast, there is no storage limit with Playlist as everything is stored in the cloud and streamed on-demand.

How do I skip ads on Sky Glass? ›

Ad Skipping on Sky Glass and Sky Stream
  1. Live Pause (up to the live broadcast only)
  2. Restart ('Watch from start')
  3. Playlist.
  4. Sky On Demand.

What internet speed do you need for Sky Glass? ›

Sky recommend 10Mbps for HD and 25Mbps for UHD. This is for each glass device. Any other device in your network (phones, tablets laptops etc) will all be competing for bandwidth. Streaming services use "adaptive bitrate" meaning it adapts the picture quality to the available bandwidth.


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