Sky Q going dish-free in 2018 – but act fast to avoid imminent price hikes

Sky has announced that its premium Sky Q TV service will be available entirely over broadband at an undisclosed point in 2018, but does the good news conveniently mask the firm’s latest price hike?

Sky Q already relies heavily on internet connectivity, as its boxes require broadband to stream catch-up and on-demand content, which is what most people consume these days.

But at present, Sky Q also requires the installation of a satellite dish, which some people either can’t get (because of local planning restrictions) or don’t want (because they’re a bit of an eyesore).

The dish-free Sky Q option could help the company expand the reach of its high-end offering, but that’s all we know right now beyond the mystery 2018 launch date.

As it’s being provided over broadband, though, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see existing Sky Broadband customers get exclusive early access  – a bit like when Sky Mobile was introduced in 2016.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that, dish or no dish, Sky customers are going to be paying more for their services by the time Sky Q starts getting cozy with fibre cables next year.

Buy or upgrade now: Sky Q from Sky.com

Related: Sky Q price – how much does it really cost you?

Sky price hikes: What you need to know

Sky is set to up its line rental charges starting on March 1, with the cost rising from £17.40 per month to £18.99 a month – a £1.59 monthly hike, or £19.08 over the course of a year.

Those changes will affect all Sky customers except for landline-only Sky Talk subscribers, though those on ‘legacy accounts’ could end up even worse off and be hit with increases of up to £3 a month.

The line rental increases follow TV package price rises in June 2016.

Sky has endeavoured to justify the hikes, saying they’re intended to support “ongoing investment in our screen line up, technology and customer services.”

In fairness to Sky, such increases aren’t exactly uncommon in the telecoms world – BT jacked up its prices only last week – but if you’re still not happy, there are a couple of things you can do.

Related: 10 reasons Sky Q is worth it

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Sky price hikes: How to avoid them

The first option is the simplest: you can just go nuclear and quit Sky.

Worried you can’t because you’re locked into a contract? Ofcom actually has you covered, as its regulations allow consumers to leave their contract penalty-free if a tariff increases beyond what was agreed at the point of sale.

To do this, you’ll need to contact Sky directly within 30 days of receiving your price hike notification (letters and emails are being sent out as you read this, with Sky saying all will have arrived by February 25) and have all the usual account information to hand.

At this point, things could get interesting.

Sky obviously doesn’t want to lose customers, and its service reps have the power to offer special deals on a case-by-case basis, so you might be offered the option of continuing with your current subscription at the old line rental price.

However, Sky also generally reserves the best deals for brand new customers, so equally you may want to take your chances, quit, and then come back at a later date to take advantage of the latest offers if you’re not happy with your interim service provider.

Who knows, it might just include a few months of dish-free Sky Q rolled in by then…

Buy or upgrade now: Sky Q from Sky.com

Watch: QLED vs OLED – what’s the difference?

Will you upgrade to Sky Q when it goes dish-free? Or are you just outraged by the latest price hikes? Let us know in the comments below.

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