Cancelled Sky

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
100% agree with above, but I don't think it will ever happen. The whole ethos of Sky Q was to dumb down the technical features to make it user friendly for Mr & Mrs Average, who make up 95% of their customers.

For me the native resolution output should be a no brainer, particularly as it was a feature of the HD box - but apparently coming back to Mr & Mrs Average again, they were too thick to understand the setting and disliked the momentary black screen when changing channels and resolutions, Hence if you want UHD, everything is upscaled by the Q box now. Tragic.
 

scrowe

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
No, apps are 1080p, HBO Max has started trickling 4K/HDR. But you're not tied into the apps, you can just pause the subscriptions any time, especially HBO Max at $15. You can get a Firestick for the bedroom, once the apps are subscribed via itunes. It's a bit more of a faff to get the apps downloaded to firestick, but it works.
 

bydandie

Active Member
100% agree with above, but I don't think it will ever happen. The whole ethos of Sky Q was to dumb down the technical features to make it user friendly for Mr & Mrs Average, who make up 95% of their customers.

For me the native resolution output should be a no brainer, particularly as it was a feature of the HD box - but apparently coming back to Mr & Mrs Average again, they were too thick to understand the setting and disliked the momentary black screen when changing channels and resolutions, Hence if you want UHD, everything is upscaled by the Q box now. Tragic.
The reality is that this could be handled by having HD or UHD as default (in the settings at startup) and then advanced options for those who want it.
 

rs101

Member
The network problem is being worked on and apparently should be resolved in Q16 (next release but one). There are several fixes in progress for the audio dropouts, but no idea if/when they'll make any difference.

No point watching sport in 1080p on Sky - all 1080 satellite broadcasts are 1080i .

They originally didn't want native output because (at the time) many of the TVs they'd tested with took a long time to resync when changing modes and when someone scrolls up through channels, they'd be switching like mad (go up from 101 to 110 and see how many are SD/HD) . Personally, I'd prefer they implement autoswitching between 1080p/i and 2160 . That'd avoid the SD/HD switching issue and still allow external upscaling of most of the output.

Wish they'd allow the user to customise the apps button on the remote to let the user change which apps are shown. And also fix the voice search so it works across all services (Netflix, iPlayer, Prime, etc), but that's rumoured to be a commercial issue, not so much a technical one. Providers arguing how their content should be displayed, especially if the same programme is available on multiple services.
 

bydandie

Active Member
The network issue is serious and really surprised that they aren’t being proactive with the workaround (switch power mode to active and leave at least one Mini on). Quite a long time to fix the issue too TBH.

Sky themselves recommend 1080p for sports and bigger TVs, although I’m unsure and agreed about the 1080i. That said, apps should be 1080p I think?

Interesting how the most recent home screen is aggregating content across the various sources, but the placement is baffling - too far down.
 
The network problem is being worked on and apparently should be resolved in Q16 (next release but one). There are several fixes in progress for the audio dropouts, but no idea if/when they'll make any difference.

No point watching sport in 1080p on Sky - all 1080 satellite broadcasts are 1080i .

They originally didn't want native output because (at the time) many of the TVs they'd tested with took a long time to resync when changing modes and when someone scrolls up through channels, they'd be switching like mad (go up from 101 to 110 and see how many are SD/HD) . Personally, I'd prefer they implement autoswitching between 1080p/i and 2160 . That'd avoid the SD/HD switching issue and still allow external upscaling of most of the output.

Wish they'd allow the user to customise the apps button on the remote to let the user change which apps are shown. And also fix the voice search so it works across all services (Netflix, iPlayer, Prime, etc), but that's rumoured to be a commercial issue, not so much a technical one. Providers arguing how their content should be displayed, especially if the same programme is available on multiple services.
I don't want to watch anything in 1080i / 1080p - I just want the option to upscale the 1080i to 2160p via my TV.
 

bydandie

Active Member
I don't want to watch anything in 1080i / 1080p - I just want the option to upscale the 1080i to 2160p via my TV.
Is that not the same thing though, you have to have the box output in 1080i for the TV to upscale?
 
Is that not the same thing though, you have to have the box output in 1080i for the TV to upscale?
Yes that is what I am saying - the box should output Sky's native 1080i, then the TV could deinterlace it to 1080p and upscale to 2160p - instead of the Q box doing this.
 

bydandie

Active Member
Yes that is what I am saying - the box should output Sky's native 1080i, then the TV could deinterlace it to 1080p and upscale to 2160p - instead of the Q box doing this.
Gotcha :)
 

Lee Moles

Member
Well I’ve finally won my husband round on the Manhattan T3

he’s a total technophobe and doesn’t know what channels are on sky or Freeview. Also doesn’t like learning anything new so when I said sky was going, he wasn’t pleased.

Today he said he liked the box, easy enough to use and would rather save the £35 a month

result
 

Lee Moles

Member
Equipment shipped back this morning. Sent them proof of postage and now I’m free

goodbye sky
 

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Seph23

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.


Paul

This is one of the main things holding me back from cancelling and while staying with Sky for the UI seems daft, it does play a big part of the home entertainment centre.

I think the Humax Aura is the only box Ive come across that I think comes close, however I cant find very much online around the live TV capability and EPG Interface.

 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
I've had Sky (currently Sky+ rather than Q) almost since the beginning and while most of the programming doesn't interest me (and most of what does is available elsewhere for free) like others here I've never found a user interface to match it. Lately this is all that's been keeping me subscribing, but with the end of my current contract the monthly payments for my basic package have shot up from £23 to £31 - very nearly a fifty percent rise - and my loyalty is being severely tested.

I'll try contacting them tomorrow; is it likely that I can get an offer which takes the sub back down to something close to its previous level?

And is there an alternative way of getting to them than the published 03337 591 620 number? There used to be a useful live chat facility on their site but that seems to have disappeared.

Many thanks.
.
 

bingodisco

Active Member
In my experience live chat has always been the best method to get a good deal. It is still available, just not all the time. I’ve found the best way to find it is by clicking all the ‘cancel my account’ links on the Sky website (which doesn’t actually cancel anything). You’ll end up on a page with either a phone number to call or the option to start a live chat if it’s available. This will get you through to the retentions department who have access to the best deals. Good luck!
 
They will almost certainly try to get you to switch over to Sky Q.
 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
Bingodisco, thanks for that. I just (8.39am) tried the site but wasn't directed to live chat, not even to a message which said it wasn't available (which I did get at one point last night). I'll keep trying.

CaptainJames, since pretty much the only thing which keeps me with Sky is the Sky+ user interface, I'll not switch to SkyQ however persuasive they are,
 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
Well, I'm happy to report success. I found an alternative number recommended by the useful Money Saving Expert site (where there's often chat about Sky) and just (8.55am) got through to someone with virtually no wait. She was polite and charming and helpful, there was absolutely no hard sell, and the result was not only a reduction from the out-of-contract £31, but also a drop from the previous £21.03; this for exactly the same package plus Box Sets. So now I'm on a very acceptable £18 per month with an eighteen month contract.

Incidentally, the lovely Margaret told me that Sky don't notify customers when the contract period is about to end (I'd assumed that an email or a letter had gone astray). She strongly suggested that I contact them around the middle of September 2022, one month before the expiry date.

The number is 03337 593 922 and the initial message is priceless: "As you are a loyal and valued customer, we'll put you through to one of our best advisors". Such flannel.
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bingodisco

Active Member
Excellent! Great to hear they didn't give you the hard sell - I think even Sky's employees are fed up of Q and all its problems... :thumbsup:
 

lgans316

Distinguished Member
Ditched Cable TV all together early 2018. Never going back unless I am being offered it for free.
 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
Excellent! Great to hear they didn't give you the hard sell - I think even Sky's employees are fed up of Q and all its problems... :thumbsup:
No hard sell on changing to Sky broadband and phone either. And when I jokily said that the no-notification-for-end-of-contract thing was pretty sneaky, she came as close as she could without actually saying so to agreeing with me. Bravo and thank you, Margaret in Glasgow!
.
 

Bert Coules

Well-known Member
One thing did surprise me a little: Margaret's script called for her to be properly coy about my contact details - "I have a mobile number ending in 985, is that correct?" - but she asked for the whole of my Sky password rather than specific selected digits.
.
 
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bingodisco

Active Member
Well done Margaret! The Scots are better at not holding back! I'm pretty sure I was asked for my whole password the last time I spoke to them so I wouldn't worry too much about that.
 
No hard sell on changing to Sky broadband and phone either. And when I jokily said that the no-notification-for-end-of-contract thing was pretty sneaky, she came as close as she could without actually saying so to agreeing with me. Bravo and thank you, Margaret in Glasgow!
.
Bert & Margaret 😍
 

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