Hi-diddle-dee-dee, no more satellite for me.. (Sky Glass)

Update: Back on again, but with an additional 10 inches. Ooer missus.

I have caved in and decided to give Sky Glass a go. There are many different reasons for doing so, but mainly:

  • My 2015 60″ LG television isn’t fully supported by LG anymore – it’ll get a small firmware update or two each year (likely security-related), but that’s it. No additional features, no Apple TV store, nothing. It’s also out of warranty.
  • The LG TV has no HDR of any kind.
  • Everything I have (iPhone 13 Pro Max, 14″ MacBook Pro, 2021 M1 iPad Pro) now supports Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound. The Sky Glass TV supports both. Surround sound is achieved through six built-in speakers – no extra speakers are required.
  • The system should be significantly faster than the Sky Q box. The downside is that recordings are no longer possible. You essentially build up a playlist. Given that practically everything is on some form of catch-up service now, that’s not a problem.
  • I’ll free up an HDMI port. I can use my Xbox One alongside my Apple TV 4K and Dolby Vision 4K Blu-Ray player. UPDATE: I’ve just discovered the TV doesn’t have support for Bluetooth headphones or any 3.5mm/optical audio outputs. I tend to listen to the TV via headphones to drown out the neighbour’s overly talkative dog(s), so this is an important factor. With only three HDMI ports, this would mean that I’d have to once again sacrifice a port for HDMI ARC to optical/3.5mm Bluetooth transmitter.
  • Sky delivers and sets up the TV for you, and takes away the packaging.
  • The TV itself is said to be fully carbon neutral.
  • Even if the Sky bits are rubbish and as glitchy as hell, I can always use it with the Apple TV 4K, 4K Blu-Ray player and Xbox. Content will always be available in some form or another. I can’t use my terrestrial aerial because Virgin Media cut it to make way for their own cables :\
  • It’ll give me the excuse I need to get my bloody living room tidied up.

The cost is an additional £21/month over 2 years. With the 55″ TV included (£17/month for 48 months and the TV is mine to own outright), the overall cost of the thing costs me just £2/month extra from what I’m currently paying now. There was a £10 upfront, one-off cost.

The downsides:

  • Sky won’t take away the old TV. I’ll have to find somebody (or at least two somebodies – a 60″ TV is bulky and heavy) to take my old TV. I’ll be giving it away on on the free cycle/neighbourhood websites – I can’t think any reason to charge for it given the age and features.
  • It’s new. Therefore there are going to be some glitches. This happened when Sky Q first launched, and it’ll happen again with Sky Glass. The price of early adoption!
  • The HDMI and ethernet ports are on the underside of the TV which makes getting to them a massive pain in the arse.
  • I’m committed to another two years with Sky.
  • The online ordering process was abysmal – with the checkout causing Google Chrome to hang and run up system resources (200% CPU on a 10 CPU system is not much, TBH, but nevertheless no website should be able to do that). I tried to use Safari at the same time, and having seen two different sessions from the same IP from a unique URL supplied by Sky, managed to trigger Akamai (which I use at work for a client – it’s a big, expensive web application firewall and content delivery network) into temporarily blocking me from the whole of www.sky.com. GAHH!
  • I need to get my bloody living room tidied up.

Once everything is installed and up and running, I will – of course – give my initial impressions of everything and ask whether it’s worth moving away from a system that works generally well although it’s starting to show its age, through to the latest and greatest doodad.

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