Sky is rolling out a new update for Sky Q that brings a host of new features to the service. Here’s all the new things your Sky Q box can do.
Yesterday, Sky announced some new features for Sky+, and now, those who signed up for the flagship Sky Q service are getting a new update of their own.
The latest refresh brings with it a host of new features, ahead of the launch of 4K content on August 13. So what exactly can your Sky Q box do now as a result of this first update? Here’s all you need to know…
Related: Sky Q 4K UHD content guide
How to download the update
If your Sky Q hasn’t already updated to the latest software version, you can force the update. From the main menu, head down to Settings and go into System Info. Swipe across and down to Software Version, then across to Setup. Click on that and you’ll be presented with the option to download the latest software.
Remember, if you have Sky Q Mini boxes, those will need updating too. If you don’t do them all, you’ll see some odd syncing issues with recorded content.
4K/UHD video output
If you have a Sky Q Silver box, you’ll find it’s freshly updated to output at 2160p UHD resolution. Huzzah! But you need to set that resolution manually, so head into Settings, across to Setup, then down to Audio Visual. You’ll see a Picture Resolution option, where you can take your step into the future – assuming you have a 4K TV with which to take advantage of this step up in picture quality.
You’re almost all set for Sky Cinema’s forthcoming UHD broadcasts. Why almost? Because your HDMI cable might not be capable of carrying a UHD signal, in which case you’ll need to go out and buy a new high-speed HDMI cable that supports 4K/UHD. You also need to ensure your Q Silver box is plugged into an HDMI socket that supports HDCP 2.2 – check your TV’s instructions if in doubt.
Related: What is 4K/UHD?
Auto Download next episode
This one also came to Sky+ yesterday, and should help those who like to indulge in binge-watching. Now, when you start watching an episode of a series, if the next episode is available it will automatically start downloading. That means you’ll be able to go from episode to episode without having to worry about pre-downloading all the episodes you want to watch before-hand.
Another feature designed to make Sky Q more Netflix-esque, Auto Play gives your box the ability to start playing the next episode in a series after the current one finishes. When you get to the end of an episode. the next one will play after 30 seconds. You’ll also have the option to hit Select to watch the new episode immediately, or Dismiss to cancel it.
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Sky has added a few more recommendations to the current On Demand offering. Whereas previously the Top Picks section only featured On Demand content, now, you’ll see options from live, future, and Online Video. So if you find this kind of thing useful, you should benefit from the added recommendations.
Related: Sky Q tips and tricks
The Sky Q update has also made a few tweaks to how Series Record works. Now, when you’re watching a recording of a show, you can bring up the mini guide to see when the next episode is being shown and set a recording for the whole series. This should make it easier to keep track of a series and stay up to date.
Sky’s made it easier to scan through content with new swipe gestures for the touchpad. You can now press Pause and swipe the touch pad to move minute-by-minute through the content. Swiping and holding will allow you to get to a specific time in the programme’s timeline. Simple!
Other new features include PIN protection for Online Video clips, which will prompt you for a PIN at various times throughout the day if you’re trying to watch 18+ rated content. You can access this setting through the Family Friendly feature. There’s also a new Sports Homepage which highlights the best On Demand sport events.
And that’s it! Stay tuned for more the 4K content that’s coming to the service this August.
Watch: Sky Q hands-on
Have you got the new update yet? Let us know what you think in the comments.