Broadband News

Sky Q over IP service to launch in Austria and Italy

The trend for less actual figures around broadband in financial results continues and in the latest Sky financial results all we can decipher on broadband figures is that fibre (FTTC) penetration in the UK is running at 33% of the Sky Broadband customer base and with 30,000 broadband additions in the latest set of results we believe the broadband customer base is around 6.2 million households.

The headline news is that the Sky Q service is set to be IP based in two Sky markets and marketed as Sky Q over IP in Austria and Sky Q over fibre in Italy removing the need for a satellite dish. Of course the NOW TV services in the UK have offered IP based services and several generations of Sky set-top box have allowed on demand streaming over IP, but to move the main PVR is a significant step and in time will allow Sky to reduce costs, and while this might be reflected in cheaper Sky packages in time, the need to upgrade to better broadband packages might mean the overall basket cost on broadband, TV and telecoms for households does not really change much.

The Sky Q box with its ability to provider ultra HD is a core part of the future, but for the consumer one concern is that the box remains the property of Sky, which should avoid the age old trick of insurance costs once out of the warranty period, but does mean if you stop subscribing to Sky you have no PVR. This soft lock in is helping to reduce the churn levels among satellite TV subscribers.

In other news NOW TV is going to be available on BT TV set-top boxes in early 2019, and for those wanting NOW TV and need a playback device for their TV there is the new NOW TV stick at £15, so a lower price point and smaller form factor than the existing already small NOW TV boxes.

We are sure people will be quick to say that the reason Sky Q over a full IP connection is not coming to the UK yet is because of a dire broadband situation, but Italy for example while at around 17% full fibre coverage in 2016 is beating the UK that is still a long way from uniform coverage, VDSL coverage 65% and no DOCSIS cable we believe, things are changing though with a Government plan for 100% superfast (30 Mbps and faster) with 70% able to access infrastructure of 100 Mbps and faster by the end of 2022 with a budget of 4 billion Euros.

Comments

It makes a change, normally they choose the UK/Eire first (Sky Q for example) and then expand to the others.

Hopefully this means that by the time it arrives here (2019?) *most* of the bugs will have been eradicated ...

  • Ray_W
  • 7 months ago

Expected here later this year or next year

  • burble
  • 7 months ago

Some observations of how this might affect FreeSat viewers would be useful.

Many of us have a satellite dish without subscription because the terrestrial TV signal is not up to scratch and/or because we can take it with us in a caravan or camper van. Our Humax box picks up most digital channels half way to the mediterrenian. Sky news even works in Pompeii.

  • Sandgrounder
  • 7 months ago

For now impossible to say, as total switch off of transponders is some way off, but would envisage reducing costs by reducing transponders maybe even running with less satellites and not replacing at end of working life.

This would lead to competition for remaining space and thus carriage costs for channels may see some FreeSat channels leaving and going IP based only, think BBC3.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

There has been alot of misleading articles about this from other media sources today. They keep saying Sky are doing away with dishes. This isnt true. You can still have a dish if you want, its just offering another means to get satellite TV if you wish.

  • bobblebob
  • 7 months ago

We had freesat and Sky upgraded us to Q when we left they lets the upgraded LNB on and now we can't get TV at all.

  • ZenUser27
  • 7 months ago

"The Sky Q box with its ability to provider ultra HD is a core part of the future, but for the consumer one concern is that the box remains the property of Sky, which should avoid the age old trick of insurance costs once out of the warranty period, but does mean if you stop subscribing to Sky you have no PVR"

Erm, that isn't exclusive to Sky Q though, you've always lost PVR functionality when you stopped subscribing, what you lose with Sky Q is the ability to use the h/w at all, even as an FTA receiver

  • daveh75
  • 7 months ago

I wonder how much bandwidth this will gobble up...

  • DrMikeHuntHurtz
  • 7 months ago

@daveh75 perhaps could have worded that better, 'the old Sky+ boxes while you would lose PVR functionality would remain yours after the minimum term and so could be used for watching Free to Air channels, though now there is a small charge for a Free to Air viewing card, with the Sky Q boxes they have to be returned so as well as losing PVR functions you need to buy a FreeSat box or fall back to the old TV aerial and FreeView'.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

DrMikeHuntHurtz - no more than many people use today by using services such as NOWTV, Netflix, Amazon Video, iPlayer as their primary viewing platform and as a broadband provider Sky is fully aware of how much traffic these services use and the impact Sky Q over IP will have.

NOTE: This is not an announcement of day 300 of Year XXXX that Sky will simply turn off satellite transmission, that is some years away but for people in flats who are forced to pay communal dish fees in addition to Sky charges, or are not allowed a satellite dish it may mean they can get Sky for the first time.

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 7 months ago

@Andrew

you don't need a viewing card for the FTA channels, all the viewing card will give you is access to the handful of FTV channels that are left (which I think amounts to a couple of Sony channels, Yesterday +1 and some of the 'local TV'channels these days) and an ex-subscription card would provide those anyway

  • daveh75
  • 7 months ago

When they launch it in the UK and stop the satellite based survice, as they have said they will do, that will leave a significant number without a Sky TV service as there are many areas with broadband that is too slow or has too long latency for streaming video. Where I used to live they still only get about 1 Mbps! And there are many areas like that.
Some use satellite services because they can't get reliable Freeview, due to terrain mainly, so they will not be able to consider Sky but have to use Freesat instead. But that means loosing some channels that are on Sky but not Freesat.

  • michaels_perry
  • 7 months ago

@ ZenUser27:

All you need do is have the LNB replaced with a 'standard' type that can be used for Freesat, etc. They're not expensive and takes about 10/15 minutes to fit.

  • michaels_perry
  • 7 months ago

Post a comment

Login Register