One of the issues people face with satellite-based TV (as opposed to cable or streaming via broadband), is that bad weather can affect it. If your Sky Q ever stopped working because of snow or heavy rain, a new upgrade has some good news in store.
This week, Sky announced a Sky Q update that will roll out over the next month, and will finally let you keep watching – SOME of the content – even if your satellite signal is lost due to bad weather.
Also, Sky announced several additional new Sky Q features, including a bigger library of HDR films (and an easier way to find them), better ways to use voice search, and more.
While we don’t always cover Sky Q (being a site for TV cord cutters), some of these features finally make Sky Q behave a bit more like a streaming device – so they’re worth mentioning.
Let’s go over all the new updates… (Also, Sky’s Black Friday offers are now live – see below for details)
Sky Q Lost Its Signal? You Can Keep Watching
Do a quick search for “Sky Q” and “Weather”, and you’ll find countless complaints from customers who were left with no TV at all, due to a particularly heavy storm or just some snow on their dish.
That makes sense, since the dish on your roof has to be in sync with a satellite out in space – and bad weather distorts the connection, or even physically move the dish on your roof.
When that happens, any content that needs to be sent to your TV via the satellite, can’t reach you.
What didn’t make sense, however, was that until now – content that was already “inside” your Sky Q – like programmes you previously recorded and kept on the device’s hard drive – could not be watched either, during bad weather.
Plus, content that is streamed to Sky Q via the internet – such as video on demand and streaming apps – could also stop working due to bad weather.
But now, however, Sky says you will be able to “Keep watching, no matter the weather – you can now watch recordings, video on demand and access apps, even if your TV satellite signal is lost.”
40+ Movies And TV Programmes In HDR
While Sky Q already had a lot of 4K content, HDR stuff was harder to find. But now, just in time for Christmas, Sky is adding 40 movies in HDR, as well as a few Sky Originals.
HDR stands for “High Dynamic Range”. It helps improve the contrast rates between whites and blacks, making the picture more accurate. Additionally, it provides a larger colour palette and more colour shades. Some say HDR makes an even bigger difference in the picture quality you see on your TV than 4K – and of course, your TV needs to support it.
The new HDR content being added to Sky Q includes nostalgic classics like the Back to the Future trilogy, Sky original The Secret Garden, Dolittle, Le Mans 66, all 8 Harry Potter movies and many more from 9th December. Plus, new premieres including Emma, Little Women and Bad Boys for Life as they arrive on Sky Cinema, all in HDR.
Sky Originals TV programmes that will be available in HDR from December are Tin Star: Liverpool, Gangs of London and Chernobyl.
Plus, Sky Q shows and movies available in HDR will now be easier to find, with a new HDR icon.
It’s worth mentioning that Sky’s streaming TV service – NOW TV – doesn’t support 4K OR HDR for the time being. Which is a shame, considering all the main competitors – Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ – have a lot of 4K/HDR content.
Improved Sky Q Voice Search
Voice search for TVs and streaming devices is becoming more and more popular (and powerful), with most of the major streamers now supporting it.
With this new update, Sky Q’s voice search will get some improvements as well: You can now find personalised recommendations by saying “What should I watch”, which will show you TV and movies suited to you.
Say “Show me great TV” to see the best of Sky and Netflix, or “Made for Laughter lovers” for comedy fans.
One more improvement coming with the update is for the Sky Q parental controls – you will now be able to add a pin for the apps on Sky Q, so parents can choose and manage what apps their kids are using on the TV.
All these new features will begin rolling out from 18th November and be available to all Sky Q customers by mid-December.
Sky TV Black Friday Offers
While we normally cover streaming services, Sky is offering a few interesting Black Friday deals that combine Sky TV with Netflix.
While I still think you can usually do better by being a TV cord cutter, if you’re planning to join Sky anyway – you might as well do it when there’s a good deal. Alternatively, see our guide for cheaper NOW TV deals.
So, until November 30, you can get some Sky TV packages for up to 50% off (note that prices may change during this busy period) –
- Sky TV & Netflix: Get Sky TV & Netflix for £27.50/month for 18 months. £20 setup fee.
- Ultimate Sky TV Bundle: Get the Ultimate Sky TV Bundle including Sky TV, Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, Netflix, Sky Kids, HD, Ultra HD and Multiscreen for £66.50/month for 18 months. £40 setup fee.
- Sky TV, Netflix, Sky Sports: Get Sky TV, Netflix & Sky Sports for £42.50/month for 18 months. £20 setup fee.
- Sky TV & HD & Ultra HD & Multiscreen: Get Sky TV, HD, Ultra HD & Multiscreen for £37/month for 18 months. £40 setup fee.