Why Sky Glass

Note: This article was written by a customer

Sky Glass on a chest of drawers.jpeg

When rumours about Sky Glass started, I was interested as over the years I have had pretty much every product Sky have offered. I live in area with poor TV reception, so satellite TV was the obvious early answer. I am a self-confessed tech nerd who loves new things. I am not however an idiot, and any new kit must meet a need.


I am retired and live with my wife in a reasonably large house. Neither of us are heavy TV watchers but we sit down after dinner and enjoy watching together and increasingly we watch from apps like Netflix. I also enjoy watching sport and the news live but unless our granddaughter, who is 7, is staying that is it.


Our main problem was finding which of the many streaming download services had the show we had decided to watch. We had Sky Q and subscribed to Netflix, Amazon, Britbox and Disney+ (I did mention I had a granddaughter!). Sky Glass combines all bar Britbox so should make finding content easier.


I have been active on the forum since Sky Q was launched and was asked to become an Oracle a few years ago. Sky offered 4 free Sky Glass TVs to the Oracle group as a thank you and I was lucky enough to be one of those chosen although I paid for 3 pucks myself.


Sky do not control my forum posts or this review, but it is only right people are aware of the facts.  So, I now own a 65inch Sky Glass TV in Anthracite Grey which arrived a week ago.



The forum managers had intended that we should get our systems early, but circumstances meant the sky Glass orders only went in on the 28th of October with delivery promised for 11th November. Apparently giving things away causes Sky systems to object.


Sky Glass delivery and set up is handled by Panther Logistics who texted me a delivery window of 9.50 to 11.50am at 9pm on the 10th. The van arrived around 11.05am as promised and it took the two-man crew 7 minutes to unpack the Sky Glass TV, assemble the stand, place the TV on the unit it was going on and clear up the packaging and leave. All happened exactly as planned.


Sky Glass - SET UP

It took me literally 10 seconds to plug in Sky Glass mains lead and attach the ethernet cable I had ready to use. The set powered up and after 30 seconds displayed the welcome screen. If you are using WIFI you will have to log into your home’s network. Sky Glass firmware then updated taking a couple of minutes.


Sky Glass remote comes with its batteries in place all you must do is remove the paper strip preventing the batteries from connecting. Be careful it is very easy to tear that so if your remote doesn’t work slip off the back cover which slides back and remove the little bit of paper left!


The Marksman on Sky Glass.jpeg


Sky Glass TV recognised me, loaded my account, and displayed the home screen. The biggest task was logging into my apps. Netflix is directly linked so all I had to do was choose to upgrade to Premium to allow UHD viewing on multiple devices (an additional £8 per month) using the My Sky app the easiest upgrade Sky have ever offered. Disney+, Prime, iPlayer etc. took a while longer.



I will not bore people by going through the various screens, but Sky Glass is quite different from both Sky Q and Sky+HD. The emphasis is on finding content is through searching or from content on the various rails. There is a TV guide on Glass, of course, but viewing linear channels requires more clicks than either of the earlier systems. Navigating Glass by voice is simpler.


The number of channels on Sky Glass is less so people need to check that their favourites are there noticeable absentees are shopping channels and many news channels like CNN. Navigation is easy the Glass remote is comfortable to hold and seems very intuitive, I had not realised that it lacked channel up/down buttons as using the up and down on the control wheel was quite natural. I find it a great improvement on the Q remote to use. The buttons are backlit, but I have still managed to pick it up the wrong way round at least once.


The Sky Glass aspect that I found the most difficult to get to terms with is that channels use the various catch-up apps to handle play from the start and playing from the Playlist. Sky channels behave as you would expect but BBC use iPlayer, so instead of a banner at the bottom of the screen to play from the start you use the red button system. Channels that have poor apps like ITV are therefore a pain to use on Sky Glass. Whether Sky can sort that remains to be seen. Most forum complaints come down to this lack of consistency.


Voice control both over the far field mic by saying “Hello Glass” or through the remote works very well except if you try with to speak with your mouth full! The Glass system like the Q system recognises most words first time. Makes my car system seem like a simpleton which can’t tell that the command “navigate home” does not require the seat heating to be turned on.


Sky Glass - TV PICTURE

Sky Glass does not set out to be a top end TV it is specified and priced to be a mid-market TV which it meets. It has a LCD panel with full array backlighting with a local dimming function which does not appear to be working at the moment as black bars on wide screen movies do not change with the setting. However, Sky Glass picture is bright and colourful and 5 minutes fiddling with the settings was time well spent. I turned off the auto-backlight feature, reduced the sharpness to 10 from 50 in the custom settings.


Sky Glass custom settings.jpeg


If you are looking for a TV which supports all the bells and whistles for the latest games consoles Sky Glass is not the set for you. Glass is designed to work as a self-contained unit streaming content from all the major apps. It has three HDMI ports and my Fire Stick 4K works well through one of them but is nearly redundant as almost all the apps are on Glass itself.


Blacks are the weak spot of any LCD TV and the Glass is no exception if you watch in total darkness that may bother you but have some light in the room makes the TV highly viewable. SDR content both in HD and UHD look sharp with no noticeable motion issues.


Local dimming on Sky Glass.jpeg


HDR performance, however, is not the Glass’s strength. The set does not tell you it has switched to a HDR mode or which system it is using. I have not watched any live HDR content but Sky’s Shark documentary on Sky Nature looked very good until I watched the same content on my main TV, a 65 inch LG C9 OLED. I have not managed to find an app that will play in Dolby Digital but the HDR10 content plays reasonably well. Our main TV is far better with HDR as blacks are superb and it has a higher peak brightness but so it should be as it cost double the Sky Glass’s price!


Sky Glass - TV AUDIO

The Sky Glass has far better audio than most TVs at the same price point with good volume. Sky have not added any controls for balance and bass is not its strong point, but movie soundtracks are clear with good frontal separation. Atmos effects and surround sound requires signals to bounce off the ceiling and walls and as my set is in a conservatory fitted with blinds, I am not able to judge its performance. I currently listening to playing music from Spotify as I write this review and it sounds pretty good on Glass.   



Coming from Sky Q running on a Sky broadband network I had to make some changes as the Q TV boxes acted as WIFI extenders which the streaming pucks don’t. I disabled the WIFI on my Sky hub and installed 3 Deco M4 units running in Access Point mode which provides a strong WIFI signal throughout the house.


The Glass TV and the puck connected to our main TV use ethernet cables from two Powerline adapters I had kicking around, the other two hubs use the Deco unit’s WIFI.


Our Sky Hub is on Sky Superfast and we get a steady 80Mb/s external connection. If I run a speed test with nothing else connected, I get the expected 72Mb/s result (network overheads accounting for the difference). With one UHD stream running the speed test drops to 55Mb/s with two UHD streams it was around 40Mb/s. Add in the 2 other pucks running in HD and the lowest speed I saw was 15Mb/s.


I was testing using a UHD movie in HDR so live sport may use more bandwidth but Sky’s recommended 25Mb/s for UHD and 10Mb/s for HD look to be on the high side. You do not need a gigabit internet connection to use Glass. However, you do need a clean fast internal network connection to stream video. I suspect a lot of the issues of buffering I read about are down too poor WIFI.



The pucks are causing far more issues than the Glass TV and it looks like there is an incompatibility with my LG C9 as it has twice started stuttering which required a power down reboot to clear and it causes the TVs ARC output to switch off, more investigation is required.


Sky Glass pucks are neat units and simple to set up and give an excellent picture when they work. The interface is the same as the TV. The two others connected bedroom TVs are working well.



Glass looks like a keeper as it can fulfil its function as a TV to view content on simply and easily. It looks good even if the design looks to be inspired by that design classic, the paving stone. Sky Glass aluminium case is smart with its anodized finish and the lack of wires is great. It looks quite classy.


There are bugs in the Glass system, but Sky has a track record of getting things right in the end. Currently, Glass motion detection is simply not working but I would turn that off if it did. As mentioned above the local dimming currently makes no difference and the stability of the pucks is poor. Glass user interface is quite inconsistent in places but overall works quite well.


People looking for an all singing and dancing display should look elsewhere and be prepared to pay more. People looking for Q on steroids are also going to also be disappointed as the lack of local recording and ability to easily watch live TV on Glass may irritate. However, if like us, you watch content mainly from apps and want a simple way of getting that in one place, Sky Glass works well or will when Sky have squashed the bugs.


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