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Sky Q unveiled as 4K-ready box for ‘next-generation’ TV

Sky has announced a brand new 4K-ready TV set-top box called Sky Q at a launch event in London today.

The box, which is being peddled as Sky Q Silver, comes with a 2TB hard disk, 12 tuners, and a new Q Touch remote. It’s also confirmed to be ready for UHD content, when it eventually arrives.

“Sky Q is a brilliant new way for customers to consume TV content on their terms,” said Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch, speaking at the launch event today.

Darroch described Sky Q as “a whole new way of watching TV”, and revealed that the box would arrive for UK and Ireland customers in early 2016.

According to Darroch, the Sky Q Silver is capable of recording four shows simultaneously without interrupting what you’re watching on the living room TV.

The new Q Touch remote is touch sensitive, connects via Bluetooth, and can be located using the Sky Q Silver if you lose it.

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Sky’s Q Touch remote also features a search button, that lets you navigate through TV that’s on this week, On Demand content, recordings on your physical box, and corollary content that’s “like what you searched for”.

As part of the overhaul, the Sky interface has been completely revamped. One update includes a new section called ‘My Q’, which pulls together content like movies that you’ve paused or new episodes of shows you’ve been watching.

My Q can also recommend new content that it thinks you’ll enjoy, based on your existing viewing history.

Sky Movies also sees a navigation update, with what one Sky spokesperson described as a “cinematic” browsing style that involves swiping on the Q Touch remote.

A sidebar has been added to Sky’s interface too, which lets you browse apps – like Sky News or Sky Sports – while you’re watching TV.

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Sky has partnered with a number of services to bring content to the Sky Q, including YouTube, Facebook, GoPro, Vogue, GQ, Wired, and Vanity Fair.

Vevo is another service set to feature on the new Sky Q box, which will let you playback music and videos directly through your TV.

Sky also revealed a down-sized version of Sky Q, dubbed Sky Q Mini, which is the first Sky box that doesn’t need to be connected to a dish.

You can power two Sky Q Minis in your house at the same time without interrupting your living room TV – it can also play On Demand content, as well as media recorded on your main box.

Sky’s new Q Sync feature will also allow recorded content to be viewed on a mobile device or tablet, courtesy of the Sky app.

Other announcements included the Sky Q Hub, a new broadband hub that lets the Mini function as a broadband hotspot, and a brand new Sky app.

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Related: Netflix vs Amazon Prime Instant Video

The most recent major update to Sky hardware came with the 1TB Sky HD Box back in 2010.

However, Sky HD itself launched in 2006, which marked the company’s services as in dire need of an update.

By contrast, BT unveiled the UHD YouView box earlier this year, bringing support for 4K video.

What’s more, BT also offers 4K content in the form of its Ultra HD sports channel.

What do you think of the new Sky box? Let us know in the comments.

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