Comcast’s Sky launches streaming TV in Britain

Dana Sturdy, Sky Group CEO on the launch of Sky Glass, the brand new streaming TV with Sky inside.

Joe Maher | Getty Photos Leisure | Getty Photos

LONDON — Comcast’s European pay TV providing Sky has launched a sensible tv known as Sky Glass.

The product will permit clients to stream Sky TV and different content material over the web with out the necessity for the Sky Q set-top field or a satellite tv for pc dish, Sky mentioned.

It is the most important {hardware} announcement that Sky, which competes with Netflix and Amazon on content material, has made because it was acquired by Philadelphia-based Comcast in 2018 for $39 billion.

The TV, introduced at an occasion in London on Thursday, shall be accessible within the U.Ok. from Oct. 18 earlier than launching in different European markets subsequent 12 months.

“Sky Glass is the streaming TV with Sky inside, offering the full integration of {hardware}, software program and content material,” mentioned Dana Sturdy, group chief govt of Sky, in a press release.

The TV, which comes after the launch of Apple TV and the Amazon Hearth dongle, is available in 5 colours and three sizes: small 43 inches, medium 55 inches and enormous 65 inches.

The smallest possibility shall be priced from £13 ($17.70) per 30 days within the U.Ok., whereas the medium possibility shall be an extra £4 a month and the biggest shall be an additional £8. They can be purchased outright for £649, £849 and £1,049, respectively.

One caveat is that clients should additionally pay an extra £26 a month not less than for entry to Sky’s content material by way of the tv.

Compatibility

Different providers similar to Netflix, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, Peloton and Spotify can be accessed by way of the TV, Sky mentioned.

Sky Glass, which could be turned on by saying “Howdy Sky,” has a 4K Extremely HD display that reveals over 1 billion colours, the corporate mentioned.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts mentioned in an interview with Sky Information that aired Thursday that it is an “offensive” transfer, versus a defensive one.

Sky Glass is “all of the know-how that Comcast and Sky have been engaged on for over a decade,” Roberts mentioned.

He added: “All of the wires are gone. All of the packing containers are gone. You’ll be able to discuss to it. It tells you what you wish to see. It reveals it to you immediately. You’ll be able to swap from music to train to tv to information.”

Sky Glass digicam

A brand new 4K good digicam shall be launched for Sky Glass in 2022 that helps chat, gaming and exercises, Sky mentioned.

Paolo Pescatore, a know-how, media and telecoms analyst at PP Foresight, informed CNBC that the “finish of the TV set-top field is lastly right here.”

He mentioned the prospect of getting the premium Sky expertise with no satellite tv for pc dish will make the service “far stickier” for households.

It additionally opens new income alternatives with greater margins for Sky, Pescatore mentioned, including that there is a chance for Sky to introduce “twin and triple play bundles” that embody quick fiber and gigabit connectivity.

“It is onerous for rivals to compete head on given Sky’s dominance in TV and place as an aggregator of key streaming providers,” Pescatore mentioned.

Some shoppers have been delay shopping for TVs with an excessive amount of software program constructed into them lately because the {hardware} can wrestle to maintain up with software program updates that demand extra processing energy.

Sky mentioned Sky Glass has been constructed in order that it may be syndicated and deployed by different telecom and subscription TV operators.

The Foxtel Group, an Australian subscription TV agency, would be the first syndication companion, it added.

Disclosure: Comcast owns CNBC’s mum or dad NBCUniversal and Sky.

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