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big intentions

Sky has a massive plan to take over your life, not just your living room

The announcement of offline viewing and a collection of set top devices shows that it means business.

SKY HAS ANNOUNCED a series of new devices and features including offline viewing that will arrive next year, calling it “the biggest re-imagining of Sky in its history”.

At a press event in London, it announced a new set top box called Sky Q, which is a UHD device which comes with 2TB of memory. It can stream up to five different programmes and record up to four programmes at the same time.

Alongside that was the announcement of three other devices.

The Sky Q remote is a smaller version of the current remote but with a touchpad for swipe gestures and navigation.

Sky Q Silver - with remote - on white The new Sky Q and remote with touchpad. Sky Sky

Sky Q Mini is a plug in and play set top box which connects to the main Sky Q box and streams content and recorded programmes from it. The final new product was a wireless router called Sky Hub.

The latter not only boosts connection, according to Sky, but also turns the current Sky Q boxes into their own WiFi hotspots, providing a better connection for viewers.

Two Sky Q Mini devices can be powered at the same time and two tablets with the Sky app can run programming simultaneously as well.

Sky Q - My Q - In TV A screenshot of My Q, Sky's recommendation service. Sky Sky

The interface and app have also been redesigned to take advantage of discovery, and cover online video. Alongside Sky’s own shows and movies, it will also include online video from the likes of Wired and GQ as well as YouTube and music video service VEVO.

The focus is more on discovery of new content, which may be inspired by rivals like Netflix and Apple TV. The former gets its own content discovery feature in the form of My Q, a recommendation service which presents shows based on what you watch.

It will also allow users to stream music through Apple AirPlay or Bluetooth and view their Facebook photos as well.

The biggest change that was added to the service is the introduction of offline viewing.

Customers will be able to save shows onto their tablets and will be able to watch them on the go or away from home. The company said it was one of the most requested features from customers, and that could give it an advantage over other competitors.

Sky didn’t mention any details of pricing but said it would be released in early 2016 and details will be announced closer to that time.

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