Sky Glass, the streaming TV from Sky, is a rather expensive Smart TV that combines streaming, Freeview and a Sky subscription. But if you plan to resell it at some point – or buy a used one – you’ll be running into trouble.
Although you can buy and own Sky Glass outright, without a long-term Sky contract, the TV requires a Sky account for many of its features to work.
The problem? You currently can’t add a new Sky TV subscription/account to a second-hand Sky Glass. Therefore, only the original owner of the TV can use his Sky account on it, and that account is bound to that specific TV.
- Update: Sky finally changed its policy, and it’s now possible to activate second-hand Sky Glass. Learn more here
And that has significant implications for what the TV can and can’t do.
With a connected Sky account, Sky Glass has two modes of operation, which depend on whether you’re a paying Sky customer or not (see full details below).
But if you’re planning to sell your Sky Glass TV, you should always reset it back to the default factory settings, otherwise the buyer would be able to access YOUR account.
However, without a connected Sky account at all, Sky Glass can’t be activated by the buyer – and it then goes completely dumb.
Built-in streaming apps like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video will no longer work, and even the basic public broadcasters’ apps like BBC iPlayer and ITV Hub will stop working.
Therefore, you will only be able to use it as a regular TV/monitor, by plugging other devices into the TV’s HDMI ports.
Sky told us that they’re looking into the ability to add new Sky accounts to Sky Glass – but it’s impossible at the moment.
Therefore, owners need to be aware that reselling their Sky Glass TVs down the line can be problematic.
And if you’re thinking of buying a second-hand Sky Glass (there are multiple offers on marketplaces like eBay), you have to keep in mind that it will not function as a Sky device or even as a Smart TV, and will only be an HDMI monitor (for now, at least).
Sky Glass Pricing And Ownership
Sky’s 4K TV set, which launched in 2021, features a QLED HDR display and a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar with six speakers.
Unlike Sky’s traditional UK services, Sky Glass doesn’t use a satellite dish – instead, it relies on broadband, and streams all the content to the TV, much like other streaming devices, such as Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku – or streaming services like Sky’s own NOW (see our Sky Glass VS Now comparison), and the brand new Sky Stream, the streaming set-top box from Sky.
- Also See: Our In-Depth Sky Glass Review
When you buy Sky Glass directly from Sky, you pay separately for the TV itself (the device), and for Sky’s channels and services.
You can choose whether to pay the whole amount for the TV upfront – or in instalments (either 24 or 48). Keep in mind that those instalments are a loan – you will need to be credit checked, and your credit score will get damaged if you miss any payments.
The loan method also means it’s not part of your subscription – so even if you leave Sky (or sell Glass), you’ll have to finish paying for the TV. On the other hand, once you’re done with those instalments – you own the TV.
Sky Glass comes in 3 sizes, and currently, if you pay the whole amount upfront, the 43″ Sky Glass TV is £649, the 55″ is £899, and the 65″ is £1149 (all following a recent price increase).
Once you have the TV, you can add Sky’s content to it. The minimum plan is Sky Ultimate, the basic package that includes Sky Entertainment and Netflix Basic.
It costs £26/month if you sign up for an 18-month contract, or £29/month if you take the 31-day rolling contract.
Sky Glass Without Sky: What Happens To The TV?
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.
As the owner, however, you can keep your Sky account connected to the TV – even if it’s a non-paying account (meaning, you’re not subscribed to anything) – and that will keep your Sky Glass activated, which will at least keep SOME of the features working.
You will still lose all of Sky’s content (that one’s obvious), and you won’t be able to use the Playlist feature anymore. Not just for Sky programmes, but for 3rd party services as well.
You will also lose the voice control abilities, the Auto-Enhance feature, the motion sensing, and personal recommendations.
And since Freeview is based on streaming in Sky Glass’ case, you will also lose access to all the Freeview channels – unless you plug in an aerial, and have decent reception – in which case the TV will act as a regular, “dumb” Freeview TV with Freeview’s default EPG.
You won’t be able to record anything, of course, or live pause – and also, on dedicated apps like ITV Hub, you won’t be able to fast-forward the adverts.
But at least, with a connected Sky account, the 3rd party apps (like Netflix, BBC iPlayer etc.) will continue to function, and the TV will work as a limited Smart TV.
But… that doesn’t hold true if you buy Sky Glass second-hand, since – as mentioned – there’s no way to currently assign a new Sky account to a previously-owned TV – so you won’t even be able to activate it.
Therefore, in addition to all the advanced features that will no longer work – even the 3rd party apps will cease to function.
It’s worth mentioning that things are even worse in this regard with Sky Stream, the new standalone streaming box from Sky.
Stream doesn’t work at all without a Sky account, and you also can’t assign a new account to it – so it’s just a metal box if you buy it second-hand. And yet – it’s being sold on places like eBay and Facebook Marketplace.