Insights

Sky Glass, the shape of things to come?

14 January 2022

With AV products moving towards a Wi-Fi and Internet Protocol (IP) connected future, the role of the smart home integrator becomes even more vital for top performance and reliability argues Steve Harper, Client Services Director, Philharmonic.

Sky made a big noise at the end of last year with the announcement of a new concept that combines access to its content platforms with a TV of its own called Sky Glass. We have had the 55″ version in our hands for a while now and have some thoughts on its introduction, the technology it uses and what this means for the future of integrated smart homes. 

Sky Glass

The headline from a technical point of view is that this product does not use a satellite dish, instead it uses the internet to deliver access to all content and the home’s network to offer multi-room viewing functionality. 

This fully online approach is the future for many product categories across the AV space and in many ways is the next logical step in smart home integration and AV systems. However, there is a problem. Many home networks, supported as they are by indifferent routers offered for free by Internet Service Providers (ISPs), are simply not good enough to support a product such as this. Sky is a mass-market brand and offers a good range of content as well as a growing number of streaming apps such as Netflix, Disney+ and Prime, however the hardware does not always match the standard of the content. Combine the pretty standard Wi-Fi performance of both the average home and the Sky Glass platform and you are going to end up with quite a few disappointed viewers. 

Sky Glass

The solution

So, what is the answer to getting the right performance for concepts like this? 

Homeowners, developers and interior designers, should think about partnering with a smart home installation company that understands the pitfalls and how to solve them. The first step in solving this issue is knowing how to create a solid home network in a range of properties, modern and period, during a renovation project or a new build. Also, genuine on the ground knowledge is vital. Sky has a habit of making some of its hardware ‘incompatible’ with Wi-Fi equipment not manufactured in-house. The Sky Q boxes for example do not play nice with non-Sky internet routers. This is a problem as they are not the most powerful and to upgrade to a truly reliable network pro level equipment is needed. Our engineers, like other top operators in the smart home integration market, know how to get around these issues, so finding the right partner from our industry is a step in the right direction. 

Sky Glass

As for the Sky Glass product itself, the build quality is not the best and frankly there are better options currently if you want big screen entertainment with access to loads of content and a great picture. 

Sky is a great content provider, and we often use its services as a source for high-quality AV systems. Perhaps Sky Glass will improve in later versions, so never say never, but for the very best results consult your local friendly AV and smart home expert. Wi-Fi and IP connectivity is definitely the future and it will provide some exciting opportunities to control, entertain and inform, but like most cutting-edge tech, it needs careful management and knowledgeable professionals to deliver its full potential.   

Discuss Sky Glass and other home audio visual technology with one of our experts today. Visit our Contact Us page.

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