Cancelled Sky

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Cancelled Sky TV today after 22 years.

Did not decide liightly and I don’t have an overall big axe to grind, but overall TV market has changed.

I’ve always considered Sky overall a good package and a high standard of content. I’ve nearly always taken the full package, and justified as £1 a day is good value, then it was £2 a day is good value, but lately I’d been asking - is £3 a day good value?

Over the years Sky has been the pioneer of technical achievement as a TV platform. From digital to HD to Sky+ to 3D and whilst a little late with SkyQ the promise of UHD.

The biggest letdown ultimately has been SkyQ versus the availability of content on other platforms.

1. SkyQ after 5 years hasn’t really delivered the promise of UHD broadcast TV, caveat we are still starved of a breadth of content.
2. For most of the time their definition of UHD was 4k resolution only, no WCG or HDR and no HD audio
3. With compression the UHD never looked amazingly sharp
4. Most content other than Sport is still on-demand. You can’t even schedule to record the UHD option which is available for some shows on-demand shortly after broadcast begins
5. Non-UHD content is still limited to 1080i and the Sky Q box is not the best deinterlacer or upscaler
6. No option for native resolution, if you have a superior TV scaler or video processor
7. Everything locked to 50Hz no native frame-rate switching on content.
8. Really slow addition of 3rd-party apps, Amazon Prime took far too long
9. Multiroom limited to 1080i mini boxes only, no sign of UHD option 5 years later
10. Overall role of of any significantly useful features is non-existent, underwhelming, or painflully late in comparison.

I paid from memory over £300 on launch week for SkyQ Silver and 2 minis.This is equipment I don’t own that is virtually free in 2020/21 to new customers, yet I can’t get HDR because my box is not compatible, and Sky thinks it’s fair to charge me £50 to get a new box. This was a bit of a straw/camel/back scenario.

After experimenting and research I can get most of the drama via US apps and a VPN, and iTunes US subs on AppleTV, for circa 25% of my current sub, and mostly better quality. The only thing I can’t replace is the Premier League footy, but I can get 1080p via NowTV after deals,for average £20pm moving forwards. I’ve also picked up a Zgemma H7s sat/aerial recordable receiver which is good enough to replace FTA freesat/freeview for the rare times I might need them.

Sad day really, but the industry of broadcast TV is significantly changing, and Sky have become stale, and no longer a technical pioneer in this space.
 

logiciel

Moderator
Very true.:D
 

Slugsy01

Distinguished Member
Really thinking hard about this too. The bit rate is so poor, it’s sports though that keep me. I watch football, golf, cricket, NFL and boxing.
 

dts

Distinguished Member
Mostly agree with what you have said! I know there are a lot of people who dislike Rupert Murdoch but sky was his "Baby" and he loved technology...he always wanted to push his sky platform and be in the "First league" for tv breakthroughs...He always wanted to challenge the BBC and itv by bringing challenges...he loved the idea of bringing sky forward like iptv type of service...but in the last two year's before he sold it to comcast he knew that the whole tv landscape had changed...lost interest and sold it...the whole live tv has changed with people now having a choice of watching content when they want it...Sky Q was a nightmare when first launched although it has improved over the last couple of year's...Now comcadt have taken over theu don't seem to be the be all of pushing the service forward...they done them selves no favours when the took over direct tv and there own Internet services leave a lot to be desired...now that Jeremy Darroch is stepping down...this could be an intresting year!
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Really thinking hard about this too. The bit rate is so poor, it’s sports though that keep me. I watch football, golf, cricket, NFL and boxing.
If you have a streaming device, it might be worth considering NowTV via an app, and their Sportspass.

But here’s another niggle I found when researching. NowTV is only 720p, but Sky were promising a move to 1080p last year. Apart from now it costs an extra £3 to get 1080p via NowTV. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised given they charge premiums for HD and UHD on the SkyTV platform, but honestly I just see this as price-gouging, which seems Sky are becoming more and more cynical at.

But you can find discounts and deals for NowTV around.
 
Cancelled Sky TV today after 22 years.

Did not decide liightly and I don’t have an overall big axe to grind, but overall TV market has changed.

I’ve always considered Sky overall a good package and a high standard of content. I’ve nearly always taken the full package, and justified as £1 a day is good value, then it was £2 a day is good value, but lately I’d been asking - is £3 a day good value?

Over the years Sky has been the pioneer of technical achievement as a TV platform. From digital to HD to Sky+ to 3D and whilst a little late with SkyQ the promise of UHD.

The biggest letdown ultimately has been SkyQ versus the availability of content on other platforms.

1. SkyQ after 5 years hasn’t really delivered the promise of UHD broadcast TV, caveat we are still starved of a breadth of content.
2. For most of the time their definition of UHD was 4k resolution only, no WCG or HDR and no HD audio
3. With compression the UHD never looked amazingly sharp
4. Most content other than Sport is still on-demand. You can’t even schedule to record the UHD option which is available for some shows on-demand shortly after broadcast begins
5. Non-UHD content is still limited to 1080i and the Sky Q box is not the best deinterlacer or upscaler
6. No option for native resolution, if you have a superior TV scaler or video processor
7. Everything locked to 50Hz no native frame-rate switching on content.
8. Really slow addition of 3rd-party apps, Amazon Prime took far too long
9. Multiroom limited to 1080i mini boxes only, no sign of UHD option 5 years later
10. Overall role of of any significantly useful features is non-existent, underwhelming, or painflully late in comparison.

I paid from memory over £300 on launch week for SkyQ Silver and 2 minis.This is equipment I don’t own that is virtually free in 2020/21 to new customers, yet I can’t get HDR because my box is not compatible, and Sky thinks it’s fair to charge me £50 to get a new box. This was a bit of a straw/camel/back scenario.

After experimenting and research I can get most of the drama via US apps and a VPN, and iTunes US subs on AppleTV, for circa 25% of my current sub, and mostly better quality. The only thing I can’t replace is the Premier League footy, but I can get 1080p via NowTV after deals,for average £20pm moving forwards. I’ve also picked up a Zgemma H7s sat/aerial recordable receiver which is good enough to replace FTA freesat/freeview for the rare times I might need them.

Sad day really, but the industry of broadcast TV is significantly changing, and Sky have become stale, and no longer a technical pioneer in this space.

Totally agree with everything you said. What keeps me tied unfortunately is the F1 coverage.
 

kevjp

Active Member
It's the football for me. I have only used sky for terrestrial tv too for last 25 years. Not used an aerial at all.
 

Mr Balld

Standard Member
Bravo Scrowe .

Given notice myself today

I've cancelled for more or less the same reasons . Ultra HD is not HDR in my book and Netflix/Amazon / Disney offer far better picture quaility .
Sky Q with extra box
Sky Entertainment
Sky Cinema
Sky Sporrts
Sky Fibre
Sky Talk

Coming out of contract i was being charged £135 for the above per month. The offerd me it t me for £99 a month to sign up for another 18 months so i gave notice - if it was sub £85 i'd stay .

Lack of F1 might hurt but day passes might suffice,

They confirmed my notice via email , are they likey to makea better offer during my 31 days notice ?
 

simon194

Well-known Member
They may well do. I got the same as you including Netflix, Talk Anytime and Broadband Boost for £93 a while back and those are showing as an extra £15.50 on my bill. Interestingly HD+UHD are included at £0.
 

youngsyp

Distinguished Member
Having been a Sky subscriber for 18 years, cancelling this time last year and now re-subscribing, it's not really the content that is important to me, it's the user experience and nice features that no one else can match. Recording and playing back that recording being one of the biggest factors, but that's mostly for my wife. The VU+ and GigaBlue (master/ slave) satellite boxes I have now pale significantly in comparison, for user experience. Although you know that, having the Zgemma box.

And despite taking the UHD options, I doubt I'll watch any UHD content through the Sky Q box, as I didn't previously. Because it wasn't really UHD to me, it was upscaled HD with 10 bit colour. Obviously it now has HDR but again, it's not really UHD without WCG.

I did the Now TV thing too and watched a whole 3 series (1 season each) in the last 12 months, despite subscribing for the entire time. Nothing more than that. My viewing habits have definitely changed post Sky though, clearly. I watch a lot more YouTube for starters. I'll continue to subscribe to Disney+, Netflix (now through Sky as it'll be much cheaper) and Prime Video but won't renew my Apple TV+ membership. I'll also continue to collect iTunes/ Movies Anywhere/ Vudu movies, not something I did before leaving Sky.

It'll be interesting to see if you come back to Sky at any point. Enjoy your new journey though.

Paul
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
All good info. ZGemma seemed OK and I did have the SkyQ skin as an option and gave it a quick try. If I get on Ok once Sky is switched off, I’ll be looking at cancelling my Mum’s which I pay for, so usability will become a real consideration then. But I’m paying £65 pm for her phone/internet and basic TV. I think I can halve that as well.

In fairness I should also clarify I am hoping to move house, so no way could I re-up my contract, which helped me stick to my guns. If and when I move I probably will consider options based on what’s available to new customers because I will need an internet service from Virgin or Sky, or a credible alternative.

I must admit though that between Hulu and CBS All Active on the AppleTV I can access every show I have watched on the Sky Platform, other than UK terrestrial. That costs me $11.98 a month, and HBO Max woukd be an extra $14.98. The only Sky exclusive I watchEd in last 12 months was Bulletproof and Gangs of London, both I think are on HBO Max. The CW app is free and will get me the DC Arrowverse shows this year as long as you watch close after initial broadcast.

Its just the Premiere League football I am researching. I didn’t do BT Sport this year, but believe it or not you get all the Europa and Champions League games on CBS All Access.
 

BMox81

Distinguished Member
If you can get a AU iTunes account set up (bit trickier these days), Optus Sport do PL and CL/EL for around £9 a month (loading your account with iTunes credit)
 

AidenL

Well-known Member
I made an attempt at this today, but was roadblocked by payment methods to subscribe to the US apps. My credit card wasn’t accepted.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
The AppleTV method doesnt required credit cards. You need to create a US iTunes account via a VPN and use itunes vouchers to top up your balance via Amazon US. You then sign into AppleTV with this account and manually edit your DNS in network settings (vis SmartDNS proxy).
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
As an aside, had the obligatory follow up call from Sky retentions team. Started ok, explained 3 main reasons, disappointment in SkyQ, viewing habits changed, cannot justify the cost versus other content. Agent said they could do better than what was offered already, did I want to discuss, said no had made up mind, didn’t think they could. Said at very least they wanted to hear reasons in detail. So I said that in that case as a point of feedback, it was a frustration re.being a SkyQ adopter at launch, and having paid £300 to obtain equipment I didn’t own, that having launched HDR , to make those earlier adopters pay more, was a slap in the face to a loyal customer, when new customers aren’t being asked to pay towards SkyQ equipment. She interrupted and said this wasn’t true, and needed to correct me. This then escalated into a full blown argument with me being told it was only fair to ask customers to pay for new equipment after 5 years, and giving poor illogical examples trying to justify the position, and me getting suddenly more angrier with the situation, and both of us raising voices trying to make arguments. A couple of times I said I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve by arguing with me, she said that she was duty bound to correct my misunderstanding of the situation. Anyway I just thanked her, and cut her off for the umpteenth time, and thanked her for helping to confirm I had made the correct decision to leave.
 

Not a sky fan

Active Member
So... she asked for your reasons for leaving. Having left already. Then argued with your reasons for leaving as being wrong. ..... am I the only one that draws a blank when dealing with these idiots. The reasons for you leaving are YOURS. Not skys reasons for staying. Why would ago do such a stupid thing? Oh wait, sorry yes, she believes in better by working for sky now owned by Concast which is an American company and by the sound of it is now heavily influenced by Trumpism and its Narcissistic soulless arrogance.

goodbye sky down the plug hole they go

Just to add, I very much do have an axe to grind, as sky was once a proactive market leader advancing technology. Now it’s just $$$$$
 
D

Deleted member 859633

Guest
Fair play mate for ditching SKY after such a long time. A lot of marriages don’t last that long

I’ve cancelled my sub now for SKYQ after 4 years. I’ve noticed it more since Disney+ came along by and a lot of their content was pulled from SKY.

1080p on the mini is crap. My boxes constantly locked up was just the start.

when on the OS it looks like there’s a lot of content but it’s all just re-arranged in different menus. When I looked at my recordings, 99% of them were in Freeview.

picked up a Manhattan T3-R box which looks like it will do the bulk of TV for the family.

with US apps like HBO Max, how do you get around the payment aspect of the apps? I know smart DNS works decently and can use that on PS5 so I’m able to get the apps.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Its just the Premiere League football I am researching. I didn’t do BT Sport this year, but believe it or not you get all the Europa and Champions League games on CBS All Access.
As an FYI, and follow up, CBS All Access is now Paramount+ App at $5.99pm and continues to show Europa League and Champions League games. The Peacock App is $4.99pm and shows 2-3 premier league games a week. All via US iTunes sub.
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
As an FYI, and follow up, CBS All Access is now Paramount+ App at $5.99pm and continues to show Europa League and Champions League games. The Peacock App is $4.99pm and shows 2-3 premier league games a week. All via US iTunes sub.

Can you give me more detail how you take out those subs? Cheers
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Can you give me more detail how you take out those subs? Cheers
I use SmartDNS proxy for VPN and AppleTV. On PC, install iTunes, enable US VPN, create US iTunes account. Disable VPN before you Buy ITunes gift voucher from Amazon.com, or they might fraud-detect you, based on your Amazon uk usage, redeem GV in iTunes. Login to AppleTV with iTunes accoiunt, set a custom DNS in networking using one of smartdns proxy servers. Then you just install the apps you need on AppleTV and signup, and agree the subscription. Remember to top up iTunes on PC with GV every month to pay subs.
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member

So you sign-up in the apps on ATV yes?

Cheers
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
So you sign-up in the apps on ATV yes?
Yes, the downside is you don’t get offers like 20% off for 1yr upfront, or discounted app bundles.
 

zAndy1

Distinguished Member
Is there any 4k content on paramount+/peacock, I assume not? It's tempting to subscribe to these and hbo max but if you do and have a netflix sub as well it really starts adding up, we're talking more than sky. Probably said it before but the main reason I'm struggling to drop sky is my daughter using the mini box in her bedroom and she's made it pretty clear she doesn't want to lose that. There isn't really a freeview equivalent so it's a tricky one... I wouldn't miss sky one bit, it's the wife and daughter that would miss it
 

bydandie

Active Member
I must admit that after looking into the Sky Q tech after my recent upgrade I will be unlikely to do so again.

Sky is trying to deliver a media hub with an underpowered box that is suffering from feature creep.

Beyond the fact that it's killing networks and responsible for audio dropouts, two major bugs that simply get pushed under carpet, it needs to think about how it wants to work.

Once HBO Max comes to the UK, Sky is dead in the water, as the monthly subscriptions of all the competition are still cheaper than the best they can offer.

That said, I hope that Sky can deliver the following at the end of my subscription to keep me:
  • Option to match resolution (I want to watch HD in 1080i, sport in 1080p but watch a movie in UHD without having to play about with the video settings)
  • Option to match frame rate - this is a killer feature of the AppleTV and must be easy to do with the Sky Q boxes
  • Make sure the streaming apps load faster than it takes to make a cup of tea
  • Have all the streaming services in catchup, at present only Netflix is there out of the streaming apps
 

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