Sky improves Sky Glass image quality, debuts Sky Stream

posted on Tuesday, 18th October 2022 by Steve May

Sky Glass  Sky Stream  Streaming  home cinema 

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Sky has launched Sky Stream, its IPTV streaming solution, and previewed a big firmware update that significantly improves picture quality on Sky Glass.

Available from today, Sky Stream is being hailed as the most affordable way to get Sky TV and Netflix together, with combined packages starting at £26 a month. Buyers have the option of taking out a rolling 31-day contract, or saving some cash by signing up for 18 months.

Sky Stream brings the Sky Glass UI to any TV, connecting via HDMI to your chosen screen and by Wi-Fi to a router. It works with an broadband supplier.

Up to six Sky Stream devices can be used on a single account, with the £12 Whole Home pack.

Integrated apps on Sky Stream include Netflix, Apple TV+, Prime Video, Disney+, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, YouTube, Discovery+, Peacock, Paramount+ and Fiit and more.

The default resolution of Sky Stream is HD, with UHD also available. Sky Stream support Dolby Vision in addition the HDR10, and is compatible with Dolby Atmos.

As with Sky Glass, there’s no local storage, however a Playlist function allows users to ‘record’ shows to a cloud DVR.

At a briefing on the Sky TV campus yesterday, the company previewed an upcoming firmware release that dramatically improves picture quality by reworking the Sky Glass TV’s local dimming algorithm. ‘We rebuilt it from the ground up,” said Sky’s Group Chief Production Officer, Fraser Stirling.

Two Sky Glass screens were compared side-by-side, one as is, the other with the new firmware. The updated set displayed far better contrast, with a deeper black level and brighter peak whites. A collection of program material including F1 night racing from Singapore, the movie Uncharted (letterbox bars appeared darker) and explosive action from Gangs of London, looked considerably more dynamic on the new firmware. Blacks appeared deeper, light blooming reduced. There was far less of the greyed out black seen when Sky Glass is viewed in low lighting conditions.

Sky engineers have also developed a new Vivid mode, which adds a little more colour pop to images, without grossly over saturating.

The PQ update will be available to all Sky Glass owners before Christmas, we were told.

Sky has also confirmed that the underlying platform supporting Sky Glass and Sky Stream has been christened Entertainment OS, and will be used across IPTV products including those from parent Comcast in the US. It will form the basis for all streaming products going forward from the group.

Sky Glass will soon launch in Italy via Sky Italia, and an iteration of Sky Glass will also launch in Australia, from Foxtel.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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