Sky Trek: The Next Generation, with special guest star Q..

As my regular readers know, I am a streaming TV and movie junkie.  How far we have come from 3 channels to 4, then 20 years later, 300+.

Yes, I was there at the dawn of the fourth age of British television when Channel 4 came online.  As a little kid, (I’d have been 6 at the time) I would eagerly watch the test C4 transmissions until the channel launched good and proper.  And when I was a little baby, my parents took a photo of me with my face right up against the old 70’s CRT TV.

I have been, and always will be, a TV addict in some form or another.

So you can imagine my happiness when Sky launched their new service, ‘Sky Q’.  Memories of Spike Milligan playing this theme spring to mind:

But that aside, Sky Q is a new premium service that’s intended to allow multiple TVs and tablets to stream everything available from Sky (and let’s face it – Sky is pretty much EVERYTHING relating to TV these days), eventually give us 4K content (and let’s hope for no fee hike for it, otherwise untuned pianos will be aimed at Sky HQ), and provide for an overall better TV service than we have with the increasingly antiquated Sky+HD boxes.  The Sky Q Silver box can store up to 350 hours of HD TV and record FOUR channels at once (whilst watching a recording).

The other thing Sky has changed is that they will be lending you the equipment (rather than letting you flat out keep it).  Which will hopefully mean they’re replace or fix it should it fall over.

Oh, and it supports apps too.  So one hopes that you could have Netflix, Amazon Prime, MUBI, and other service providers on board for a truly centralised, no faffing around, streaming experience.  Unlikely given that we still don’t have an All 4 app for LG TVs or Apple’s tvOS.  Ditto for ITV. The streaming service industry is still too darn fragmented for my liking.

I’ll be able to hook Sky Q up my bedroom TV via the Sky Q mini box to the service at no additional cost, which is nice.  And the hardware is small and can be kept out the way.

Anyway, all this fun and laughter requires that I take out Sky Broadband.  But I have Virgin Media.  But I don’t have a landline.  And Sky Broadband is free for 12 months.  Which is when my Virgin Media contract runs out.  I’d consider going the whole hog and opt for Sky Broadband Fibre Pro Plus Distinction MegaSpeed (or whatever they’re calling their 76Mbs service these days) – but it’s not yet available in my area.  They have 12 months to get it in my area.

Not that I dislike Virgin’s broadband service.  It’s nippy (200Mbs download, 11Mbs upload).  The SuperHub AC router supplied works with Apple kit without crashing every 5 minutes like it used to (or with BT, every 2 minutes).  Super long lease times on the IPs (so if the broadband connection is every interrupted, I’m very likely to get the same IP – which is great if, like me, you have firewalls that don’t work with dynamic IP services).  I’ve not gone for a landline with Virgin Media is that the cheeky so-and-sos want 50 quid to activate the line.  Sky do not charge this.

So for a year, I’ll have landline and I’ll have broadband for the Q service.  It also essentially gives me a backup broadband connection if the Virgin Media connection goes down.   In a year’s time, I’ll evaluate what’s what and will either ditch Sky Broadband and stick with Virgin, or ditch Virgin and stick with Sky Broadband (hopefully upgrading to their superdupermegawotsit).

I intend to give Sky Q Silver the thrashing of its life over the next few months (once everything is installed – it does require an engineer visit) – and you can be sure that I’ll review as and when.