Sky Stream puck, the streaming device that lets you stream all of Sky’s TV channels (as well as Freeview channels) over broadband, will become available to buy as a standalone set-top box later this year.
At the moment, the Sky puck is only available as an add-on to Sky Glass – the streaming TV set from Sky, and is meant to be used for additional rooms around the house (but only for Sky Glass customers).
However, a Sky spokesperson has confirmed to us that the puck is expected to become available to purchase without Glass later this year.
Once that happens, customers who prefer to get Sky TV over broadband (because they can’t – or don’t want – to install a satellite dish), will be able to do so by purchasing the Sky Stream puck box, along with a Sky subscription.
Sky Glass And Sky Puck Explained
At the moment, Sky Glass represents both a service and a TV: so the actual device that sits in your living room (and there’s also a soundbar built-in), along with the software and the streaming service.
Sky’s service – as in, the channels and content, are baked into the TV’s unique operating system: you get things like Playlists (sort of a watchlist combined with recordings), voice control, and more – in a user interface that’s supposed to be both innovative and easy to use.
Of course, Sky has another streaming service – NOW, which is a different beast for the time being, and doesn’t offer the full Sky TV packages (see our Sky Glass VS Sky’s NOW comparison).
The Sky Stream puck is a small (10.8 x 1.8 x 10.8 cm) 4K set-top box that shares a lot of similarities with Sky Glass, without being an actual TV, of course.
The puck supports Ultra HD (4K) streaming, but unlike Glass, does not support Dolby Atmos. You connect it to your home’s broadband, either via WiFi or with an Ethernet cable.
The puck also features the same interface you find on Glass – namely, Sky’s new Playlist, which lets you add programmes and films you want to watch, along with things you’re already watching, to a single Playlist.
Like Glass, the puck doesn’t have any direct recording features – instead, all of the content is streamed directly to you, either from Sky or one of its content partners (such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, etc).
The puck supports most of the major streaming apps and services available in the UK, such as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, and the catchup services like All4, ITV Hub and BBC iPlayer.
Sky Puck Pricing
At the moment, customers who have Sky Glass, can get the Sky puck by paying £10/month for the “Whole Home” add-on, AND a one-off cost of £50 for each puck they want to get.
There’s no word yet on how much the puck is going to cost, and whether it’ll come with a long-term Sky contract.
Sky Glass’ contracts are rolling 30-day contracts, so that’s likely to remain with the standalone puck devices – but we’ll have to wait and see.
Is Sky Puck A True Streaming Solution From Sky?
We’ll have to wait for more details – and pricing – but for now, a standalone Sky Stream puck represents another major step for Sky, towards a streaming future.
It’s still a streaming service that’s “glued” to a device. In theory, Sky could offer their Sky TV subscription on any 3rd party device (as they do with NOW) – imagine Sky becoming an app on Amazon’s Fire TV or Roku.
But Sky wants to control the entire experience, plus make a connection in your mind between the device and the ongoing subscription.
Therefore, even with the puck, you would still HAVE to buy a piece of hardware for a full Sky TV subscription (as you do with Sky Glass and, to a lesser extent, with Sky Q) – but switching everything to streaming, and possibly eliminating the need for long-term contracts, is an interesting step forward.
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