UK pay-TV broadcaster Sky has introduced Sky Q, a new connected TV system.
The service allows users to watch shows live, recorded and on-demand from their box, which will enable them to watch on multiple TVs and tablets (viewers can pause the TV screen in one room and pick up where they left off on another screen).
The system allows users to watch different programs on up to five screens simultaneously which, according to Sky, is not offered by any other streaming device available in the UK.
On top of an enhanced TV guide and on-demand and recording services, it will contain access to streaming apps such as YouTube and Vevo. Sky has also partnered with MCNs such as Kin Community, Jukin Media and Whistle Sports, as well as Condé Nast brands GQ, Vanity Fair, Vogue and Wired to create dedicated apps for content distribution.
The device also allows viewers to save and record shows and watch later on any device. The Sky Q box can also be converted into a WiFi hotspot, and lets users browse apps such as Facebook and stream music using either Bluetooth or Apple AirPlay technology.
Sky Q will be available in the UK and Ireland starting in early 2016. Pricing will be announced closer to the launch date. Sky does not extend its services into the U.S. and has not stated whether or not the product will eventually become available in North America. Sky, a cable provider, has also not stated whether or not users will need to be Sky customers in order to use the device.
Connected TV devices are becoming increasingly versatile with smarter technology — earlier this fall, both Apple and Amazon announced that the newest versions of their devices, Apple TV and Fire TV, respectively, would integrate their respective voice control features, Siri and Alexa. However, both Apple and Amazon were out-sold in 2014 by Roku. All three of those device families, along with Google’s Chromecast, are available in the U.K.