Sky’s streaming-based devices, Sky Glass and Sky Stream, just got a major upgrade to their ad-skipping add-on: subscribers can now watch Channel 5’s programmes and films without all those annoying adverts.
Or, more accurately, they can now fast-forward those annoying adverts – but that’s almost as good.
This new expansion to Sky’s ad-skipping add-on was made possible thanks to last week’s addition of Channel 5’s streaming app, My5, to Sky’s streaming platforms.
Until now, the Ad Skipping add-on was only usable on ITVX, All4, STV Player and Sky’s native programmes – but, even though this wasn’t announced officially by Sky (yet?) – we can confirm the ad-skipping now works on My5 as well, on both Sky Stream and Sky Glass (see full instructions below).
As far as I’m aware, this is the only way to stream Channel 5’s programmes without adverts, as My5 doesn’t have its own paid premium plan that removes adverts (like ITVX Premium and All4/Channel 4+).
Of course, ad-skipping on Sky comes at a price (as everything does) – and the Ad-Skipping add-on costs £5/month (it used to be free for the first year, but that’s no longer the case).
But if you’re an avid watcher of ITV, Channel 4 and – now – Channel 5 – then the add-on is a tempting offer.
Sky Glass (see my review), which was released in 2021, is a 4K TV set that features a QLED HDR display and a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar with six speakers.
Sky Stream (see our review), which launched about a year later, is a standalone streaming set-top box that works with any broadband provider.
Unlike most of Sky’s services in the UK, Sky Glass and Sky Stream don’t use a satellite dish – instead, they rely on broadband, and stream all the content to the TV, much like other streaming devices like the Amazon Fire TV and Roku – or streaming services like Sky’s own NOW (see our Sky Glass VS NOW comparison).
This means that Sky Glass and Sky Stream don’t have any local storage for recordings – instead, on-demand content is streamed to you either from 3rd party services like BBC iPlayer and ITVX, or from “Cloud Recordings”.
This means that – unlike Sky Q, where you record content on a hard drive and can then fast forward without any add-ons – fast-forwarding adverts on Sky Glass and Sky Stream is dependent on each app’s functionality.
Advert Skipping On Sky Glass / Stream Explained
As Sky subscribers surely know, even though it’s a paid premium TV service – you still get adverts, and lots of them. During the first year of Sky Glass’ existance, adverts on it were minimal – but that has changed, with Sky rolling out more advert breaks on Sky Glass and Sky Stream.
Therefore, adverts now show up both pre-roll (before the show/film begins), and mid-roll (with breaks in the middle of the show/film).
Sky Q customers have been seeing adverts for years, even though they’re also paying premium prices – but that’s not very common with streaming services these days – unless they’re free, or you subscribe to special ad-supported cheaper tiers, like the new Netflix Basic-with-Adverts tier.
In addition to the adverts on Sky’s native channels, adverts are also present on streaming apps from 3rd parties – such as ITVX and All4 (now known simply as Channel 4).
The Ad-skipping add-on, which is available on Sky Glass and Sky Stream, costs £5/month, and it works when you use Live Pause, Restart, Playlist or Sky On Demand, and also on the 3rd party apps – ITVX, STV Player, All4, and now – My5.
Keep in mind, though that despite its name, the Ad Skipping add-on doesn’t exactly let you SKIP the adverts (at least not easily) – instead, it lets you Fast Forward them.
But you still have to sit through each break, remote in hand, trying to fast forward without missing the start of the show.
Watch Channel 5 Without Adverts
Until recently, Channel 5’s programmes on Sky Glass and Stream were only available via Sky’s catch-up platform – therefore they were streamed from Sky’s “cloud”.
This was different from watching something on channels that have their own app on Sky Glass and Stream – such as BBC iPlayer or ITVX – where the broadcaster’s own app opens up when you watch a BBC show or an ITV show on-demand.
Last week, the full My5 app finally launched on Sky Glass and Sky Stream devices – which means viewers now have access to all of Channel 5’s content, from Channel 5, 5STAR, 5USA, 5SELECT, 5ACTION and Milkshake!.
This also means that if you have a (free) My5 account, your watchlist and watching history will now be synched across multiple devices where you use the app.
The bad news? My5 brings adverts with it. And quite a lot of them, on some shows.
The good news? My5 is now compatible with the Ad-skipping add-on, so you can fast-forward those adverts.
I’ve tested this, and it works quite smoothly (even though the app itself still has some kinks on Sky Glass, and it crashes occasionally).
Again, I would have been much happier not to see ANY adverts, but being able to quickly fast forward them is also something.
Also, remember that the ad-skipping only works while you’re watching My5 on Sky Glass or Sky Stream – if you then switch to a different streaming device, or go watch on the My5 app on your phone – the ad-skipping won’t work on that device (even though you’re using the same My5 account).