(Pocket-lint) - When Sky launched its Sky Glass all-in-one TV, it also revealed the Sky Stream puck - a small set-top-box that enables mutliroom viewing for Sky Glass customers.
The device can be plugged into a TV elsewhere in the home, offering the full Sky Glass interface and streaming properties on the additional set.
It is now also available as a standalone device and service for those who do not want or cannot have the satellite-powered Sky Q service yet still want a full Sky TV experience on an existing television.
Here's everything you need to know about it.
What is Sky Stream?
- 4K HDR, Dolby Vision
- Dolby Atmos
- Sky TV, Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, Prime Video
- BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub (to be ITVX soon), All 4
The Sky Stream puck is a relatively small, internet-connected box that you plug into your TV through HDMI and can be used as an extension of Sky Glass - the TV sold by Sky itself - or as a standalone alternative Glass and Sky Q.
It can connect through wired or Wi-Fi broadband to your router and stream up to 4K HDR video (Dolby Vision) and Dolby Atmos audio.
When paired with Sky Glass or used solo, up to six Sky Stream devices can be active in the same household.
The device comes with its own voice remote and the user interface is identical to that of Sky Glass.
That means you can watch live and on demand TV from Sky and many partners, including Netflix, Apple TV+, Prime Video and Disney+. Content from partnering streaming services is integrated into Sky's own programming on the homescreen and throughout the menus.
Sky Stream release date and availability
The Sky Stream device is available for existing and new Sky Glass customers. It is also available as a standalone device.
You can order it from Sky.com or in a Sky retail store.
Sky Stream price
If you have Sky Glass, Sky charges £50 for each Sky Stream puck you add to your setup.
When taken on its own, the Sky Stream service is priced differently. It is available on an 18-month contract or 31-day rolling plan, both of which include a puck, the voice remote, a Sky Ultimate TV package and Netflix Basic.
The 18-month contract costs £26 per month with a £20 initial setup fee. The 31-day rolling plan starts at £29 per month with a £39.95 setup fee.
You can also add extra channel packs and/or streaming services for additional monthly fees, such as Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, BT Sport, UHD Dolby Atmos, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+.
There is an Ad Skipping pack too, which allows you to fast forward through adverts placed in on demand content, including shows on ITVX and All4 (which usually require individual subscriptions for that feature). This costs £5 per month on top of your existing package.
Additional Sky Stream devices can be added to TVs around the home - you will need to subscribe to a Whole Home pack for £12 per month which gets you an additional puck at no extra cost. Subsequent device's will be charged at £39.95 per puck.
Unlike some paid TV devices, you own the pucks once purchased.
Sky Stream measurements and connections
- Size: 108 x 18 x 108mm
The Sky Stream device is fairly simple and designed to be easily set up by the user, rather than requiring a full installation. It will be sent to customers on a next-day delivery basis.
Here are its outputs:
- 1 x HDMI 2.1
- Ethernet port
- 230V AC port
There is also a DTT aerial port on the rear, but this has not been activated to date.
Sky Stream user interface
As explained above, Sky Stream has the same user interface as Sky Glass. That means it differs from Sky Q in that it opens to a homescreen rather than live TV. Sky Q, for example, opens to the homescreen but with a live TV box in the top left-hand corner - you don't get that on the Sky Stream puck.
It also differs from Sky Q as it cannot record programmes to an internal drive. Instead, you get a Playlist bar on the homescreen to which you can pin current or future shows and films by hitting the Playlist button on the remote.
Shows are then either recorded to storage in the cloud (that's assigned to your account), or are pulled from different services, including Sky's, to view on demand. You just need to click on the programming to start it (or use your voice).
Voice control and search is also available on the Sky Stream device. You will need the remote for this, as it doesn't feature the built-in microphone you get with Sky Glass.
Sky Stream minimum broadband speed
As Sky Stream requires an internet connection to work you will need to have at least a 10Mb/s broadband connection.
For the best connection - to watch 4K HDR movies or sport, for example - it is suggested that you need a minimum of 30Mb/s broadband.
Writing by Rik Henderson.