Sky Glass, the streaming TV from Sky, is getting a significant free update this week, which will considerably improve the picture quality on the TV, with higher contrast rates and better colour accuracy.
These changes to Sky Glass’ local dimming will improve picture quality across everything you watch on the TV – from live broadcasts, to on-demand content, and even external devices such as 3rd party streaming devices or game consoles (see full details below).
In addition to the picture quality upgrade, Sky will be adding a few more tweaks in the coming months – including the highly anticipated ‘Find My Remote’ function.
All of these new features, including the picture quality upgrade, are all software-based and are free for all new and existing Sky Glass customers.
Roll out of the picture quality upgrade will begin tonight (Monday), and all customers should get it on their Glass by the end of the week.
Sky Glass, which launched last year, is a 4K TV set that features a QLED HDR display and a built-in Dolby Atmos soundbar with six speakers.
Unlike Sky’s older services in the UK, 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 like the Amazon Fire TV and Roku – or streaming services like Sky’s own NOW (see our Sky Glass VS Now comparison) and the new Sky Stream.
Last month, Sky Glass (along with Sky Stream) received another software update, that added the ability to use Bluetooth headphones with Sky Glass, along with an improved Playlist.
Last week, Sky Glass and Sky Stream also got the new ITVX streaming app, which replaces ITV Hub.
Sky Glass Picture Quality Upgrade Explained
This week’s picture quality upgrade for Sky Glass was promised a couple of months ago – and now it’s finally here.
With a new flashy name – Sky is now calling the Glass’ screen ‘Aurora Display‘ – Sky was able to improve the local dimming on its TV.
These changes will deliver higher contrast, brightness and colour accuracy to Sky Glass, which will benefit the complete viewing experience on Sky Glass across live, on-demand and all apps, as well as devices connected via HDMI.
In addition, the new update enhances the existing Vivid Mode in the ‘Options’ menu of Sky Glass, giving viewers a visually ‘punchier’ picture with higher levels of contrast and colour saturation - for colours that “pop”.
I was able to witness these changes at the Sky headquarters a few weeks ago, and indeed, there’s a visible picture quality upgrade – I often face backlight issues with Sky Glass (where the picture is either too dark or too bright, with difficulty finding the right balance in the settings), and it looks like this will be a welcome improvement.
Sky’s Global Chief Product Officer, Fraser Stirling, told us at the time that these improvements were made possible as the team was learning how to better use the TV’s panel, with picture quality experts coming in to help tweak the software.
Remember, though, that there’s only so much you can improve with an existing panel on a TV – so don’t expect this to become a brand-new TV. But, in general, the improvements are indeed visible.
The update should roll out to your Sky Glass automatically (usually at night, when it’s in standby mode) – but sometimes a reset is needed, which means you will have to unplug the TV, wait 20 seconds, and plug it back in.
Sky Glass Remote Finder
Another update, that will start rolling out over the next month (so apparently not before Christmas, unfortunately), is something we’ve all been waiting for – the remote finder.
If you can’t find your Sky Glass remote control, just say “Hello Sky, where’s my remote” – and the remote will start to beep. Though, I can tell you now – it’s probably under your sofa.
This feature has long been available on Sky Q – so it’s good to see it finally coming to Glass.
Then there are several other features that we’re still waiting for, and should be coming in the next few months – including the highly anticipated ‘Profiles’ feature, something that is sorely missing from all of Sky’s products.
Called ‘Personalised Playlists‘, instead of making you choose a profile when you turn on the TV – there will be a “Shared” interface for the entire family, but specific programmes can then be added to personal playlists.
So, there’s a separate playlist for Dad, a playlist for the 5-year-old, etc., and also a shared Playlist for things the family watches together.
Originally we were told these profiles-by-another-name would be coming to Sky Glass before Christmas – but it appears the feature has been postponed for now.