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Sky readies new 4K ultra HD set-top box for launch

TV broadcasting giant Sky is planning a major upgrade for subscribers who want to watch 4K video on multiple screens, with the new SkyQ set-top box.

SkyQ offers Ultra HD video to subscribers that own a TV with enough pixels. It is one of the first set-top boxes to support 4K native, which should be the next resolution milestone.

Users will be able to record or watch four shows at any one time on SkyQ. The service will be available on tablets and smartphones as well, allowing family members to watch Sky shows on more than the TV.

SkyQ has been in the works for quite some time, originally named Project Ethan. The planned service was set to compete with BT’s own Ultra HD set-top box, but Sky went a step further by offering customisation, while the BT box will not work without YouView.

The interface for SkyQ reminds us a bit of Netflix, but with more content. It may get a bit hectic for anyone that owns a Smart TV, having both Sky and the TV manufacturer vying for space on the display.

Sky plans to have the set-top box ready for kickoff in the next Premier League Season on 8 August. This is a major push, considering Sky previously had plans to launch the set-top box in 2016.

David has been a technology journalist for over six years, covering a wide range of sectors. He currently researches apps, app sectors and app markets for Business of Apps, and has written for ITProPortal, RTInsights, ReadWrite, and Digital Trends.