Customers who wanted to resell their Sky Glass, the streaming TV that combines streaming, Freeview and a Sky subscription, were practically unable to do so until recently, because the TV used to go dumb, once sold to someone other than the original buyer.
But a recent change implemented by Sky, finally makes it somewhat easier to sell both Sky Glass and the set-top Sky Stream box.
Although you can normally buy and own Sky Glass outright (directly from Sky), without a long-term Sky contract, the TV requires a Sky account for many of its features to work.
The problem, as we recently reported, is that it was impossible to add a new Sky TV subscription/account to a second-hand Sky Glass.
Therefore, only the original owners of the TV could use their Sky account on it, with that account being bound to that specific TV – which had significant implications on what the TV could and couldn’t do (even BBC iPlayer, ITVX and Netflix would stop working – see full details below).
Following our article, however, Sky recently changed things up – and there’s finally a process where buyers of second-hand Sky Glass (or Sky Stream) can now “activate” their device, and add a Sky subscription/account to it.
The TV, however, will NOT be covered by Sky’s warranty if you buy it second-hand, even if it was still under warranty with the original buyer. Therefore, if second-hand buyers face any software or hardware issues – they’ll have to figure those out themselves (or, Sky suggests, contact the original seller).
Sky Glass Ownership Explained
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 new Sky Stream, the streaming set-top box from Sky.
- Also See: Our Full 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). Remember 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 this year’s 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 normally costs £26/month if you sign up for an 18-month contract, or £29/month if you take the 31-day rolling contract, though those prices get discounted occasionally.
Sky Glass Without Sky: What Happens To The TV?
If you buy Sky Glass and then decide to leave Sky (which you can do at any point 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 (naturally), 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, personal recommendations, and even the new Find My Remote feature.
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, aerial-based 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 All4, 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, ITVX etc.) will continue to function, and the TV will work as a limited Smart TV.
However, things get worse if you don’t have a Sky account connected at all. At that point, even the 3rd party apps won’t work, and you won’t be able to use ANY streaming service (even free ones like iPlayer, or even YouTube) directly.
So, the only way to watch ANYTHING on a Sky Glass if it’s not activated with a Sky account – is to connect an external device via HDMI – a streaming stick, for example, or a set-top Freeview recorder.
On Sky Stream, Sky’s standalone streaming puck, things are even worse in that regard – and the box won’t work AT ALL if you don’t have an active, paid subscription.
What Happens If You Sell Sky Glass?
Until very recently, Sky offered no option at all to activate a new Sky account on a second-hand Sky Glass.
And since sellers should always reset their Sky Glass back to the default factory settings (otherwise the buyer would be able to access YOUR account), the buyers were unable to add their own (or a brand new) Sky Account to the TV, effectively rendering it… dumb (as opposed to a ‘Smart’ TV).
But now, things have changed. Sky now says that “As Sky Glass TVs and Sky Stream pucks are owned by you, some customers might choose to re-sell them on auction websites like eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and other selling websites, or give them to friends and family”.
And therefore, it is now finally possible to add a Sky subscription to a pre-owned Sky Glass (or Sky Stream), by contacting Sky:
“If you bought your Sky Glass or Sky Stream equipment from somewhere else, to get a Streaming TV subscription, you’ll need to get in touch with us.
When you contact us, make sure you’re near your Sky Glass TV or Sky Stream puck and that it’s plugged into the mains, as we’ll need you to give us an activation code to complete your order.”
The same holds true for Sky Stream – even though I can see almost no reason why someone would buy Sky Stream second-hand, they are being offered on second-hand marketplaces.
So if you end up buying a used one – you’ll finally be able to “activate” it by subscribing to Sky via a new account.
As mentioned, however, do remember that second-hand Sky Glass or Sky Stream devices aren’t covered by Sky’s warranty.
Therefore, Sky suggests that “For more help, please contact the private seller you bought your equipment from”, as Sky is unable to assist with Sky Glass or Sky Stream equipment that’s been bought from somewhere else.