Sky’s highly anticipated features update for its streaming devices, Sky Glass and Sky Stream, is finally rolling out to customers, after it was postponed (and even pulled back from some devices) at the last moment.
The new update brings with it the ‘Personalised Playlists’ feature, which finally lets you create separate profiles on Sky’s devices – something that’s been long-requested, and is still missing from Sky Q (and from Sky’s other streaming service, NOW).
Some users already got these features, along with a new software version, in early February – but the update was then stopped and rolled back due to technical difficulties.
The update, which started rolling out (again) to devices this week, is known as Entertainment OS 1.1. It also includes a new direct “Play” voice command, a new Cast and Crew rail, and more (see full details below).
The software update is free to all Sky Glass and Sky Stream users, and should reach your device automatically – although a “soft” reset will sometimes help speed things up.
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 in late 2022, is a standalone streaming set-top box that works with any broadband provider.
Unlike Sky’s other devices 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).
Sky periodically rolls out software upgrades and new features for both Glass and Stream – a couple of months ago, Sky even upgraded the picture quality on Sky Glass, via a software update.
Sky Glass / Sky Stream: What’s New?
Sky Glass and Stream’s operating system is now called “Entertainment OS” – and the new version, which users are getting this week, is 1.1, with Build Number QS014.
If you want to check whether you already have the new version – you can simply see whether the new “Create Playlist” option is available to you – but other than that, you can go to the System Settings section on your device, and check the software version:
This update was initially scheduled for February 4, but A Sky spokesperson told us at the time that “there has been a delay on the rollout of the features“.
At this point, while many users (including yours truly) are already seeing the new 1.1. version and features, it’s possible Sky are doing a gradual rollout, to slowly test the new features and make sure nothing breaks again.
If your Glass/Stream hasn’t updated yet, a soft reset sometimes helps – so you might have to unplug the Glass TV or the Stream puck, wait 20 seconds, and plug it back in. At that point, the new version – if it’s available to you – should install.
Almost every modern streaming service (and some streaming devices, such as Amazon’s Fire TV sticks) supports user profiles these days – and Sky’s services and devices have neglected that front – until now.
With Entertainment OS 1.1, Glass and Stream are finally getting a unique version of the Profiles feature, called Personalised Playlists (I got to see and tell you about an early version of it a few months ago).
The Playlist on Glass and Stream is the main “Watchlist” (as it’s called on other services), where you can create a list of everything you want to watch from the TV guide, on-demand and apps, simply by pressing the ”+” button on your remote.
Until now, the whole family had to share a single playlist – so it was cluttered with shows and films Dad watches, along with kids’ content and maybe even stuff your housesitter saved to the list.
According to Sky, they didn’t want to create fully separated Profiles that would change the whole experience for every user.
So instead of making you choose a profile when you turn on the TV – you get a shared interface for the entire family, but specific programmes can then be added to personal playlists – so there’s a separate playlist for Mom, a playlist for the 5-year-old, etc., and also a shared Playlist (simply called… ‘Playlist’) for things the family watches together.
Following the update, when you enter the Playlist section, you’ll get the option to create new additional playlists:
You can then choose an icon (for now, there are simply several colours of the same icon – no funny emojis or celebrities, unfortunately), and personalise that icon with a name.
Once you have separate Playlists for each member of the family – you’ll get a choice whenever you press the “+” button on the remote, to add a programme/film to a specific playlist.
You will then be able to choose which playlist to add that title to – the main (shared) one, or one of the personalised ones.
At that point, you will also have separate “Playlist” pages for each member of the family, with their added titles to browse through.
You can create up to five unique playlists – so for families, you can keep all the episodes of Paw Patrol to the kids’ lists, fill yours with The Last of Us and Gangs of London, and let your housemate – if you have one – save their favourite sports documentaries in their own Playlist instead of adding it the household’s shared list.
It’s a slick way of doing this – though the downside here is that these “Profiles” are only relevant to the playlist/watchlist – the ‘Continue Watching’ section, and the content recommendations, for example – remain shared across the entire household.
New ‘Play’ Voice Command
Until now, jumping to a show via Sky Glass and Sky Stream’s voice commands meant having to go through the show/film’s dedicated page before you could actually watch it.
With this new OS 1.1. feature, getting directly to what you want to watch is easier – Simply say “Play Love Island“ and pick up exactly where you left off (it simply starts playing) so you don’t have to go via a Show Page or search results.
‘Play’ works in several ways to get you to content quicker:
- Highlight a show or movie with your remote and say ‘Play’ to watch it right away when you’re in the Continue Watching rail, Now and Next rail or in the TV Guide or Show Page.
- Haven’t started the show or movie yet? Your device will play from the start of the movie, the beginning of the series, or the latest episode of a soap.
- For franchises and collections, or shows with generic titles, you’ll still be taken to the search results page to pick which one you want to watch.
- If you’re partway through something, saying “Play The Last of Us” will continue the episode or movie from where you were up to
Cast And Crew Rail
Just watched a movie with an actor or director you like and want to see more of their work? With the new Cast and Crew rail on Show Pages, you can watch their entire back catalogue (as long as it’s available on Sky or one of the supported streaming services).
Simply select someone from the rail, and see everything they’ve been a part of that is available on the platform.
Improved Bluetooth Support (Glass Only)
A previous update added Bluetooth headphones support to Sky Glass – so you were finally able to connect Bluetooth headphones to Glass, and watch everything without disturbing others late at night.
With the new update, you can now listen via your Bluetooth headphones at the same time as Sky Glass’ speakers are playing.
It means customers who are hard of hearing can listen with their headphones, while watching with the rest of their household.