In a previous Ecoustics report, we discussed how Comcast is making strategic moves to dominate streaming primarily in the U.S. market. However, they have also embarked on a strategy that may have big implications on how TV viewers in the UK and Europe can access Sky Satellite TV services and streaming content going forward.
The end of satellite TV is inevitable. As a result, Comcast has come up with a concept that eliminates the need for a Sky Satellite dish and box and delivers both Sky and streaming content over the internet.
To support this move Comcast has introduced a line of Sky Glass TVs with both Sky TV hardware and other smart TV streaming features built-in. You can purchase a Sky Glass TV alone or as part of a TV/Content bundle.
Sky Glass TVs
Comcast refers to its new Sky Glass TV line as “streaming TVs” (aka Smart TVs) but with additional tech that supports the Comcast Sky TV platform.
Screen Sizes: 43-inches, 55-inches, and 65-inches.
Frame/Bezel Colors: Sky Glass TV models (and their remote controls) are offered in Ocean Blue, Ceramic White, Racing Green, Dusky Pink, or Anthracite Black.
Display Type: QLED (LCD TV with LED backlight and additional Quantum Dot layer for improved color performance).
Display Resolution: 4K Ultra HD (3840×2160 = 8.3 millions pixels total).
Native Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Audio: Soundbar style 3.1.2 channel speaker system (L/C/R, Subwoofer, 2 up-firing speakers for Dolby Atmos support).
Plug and Play: Although Sky Glass TVs provide additional Antenna (OTA broadcast reception), HDMI, and inputs for other sources (Blu-ray/UHD Blu-ray, Game Console, etc…), you can just take it out of the box, plug it into power and access Sky and streaming app content without additional box and cable clutter.
Sky Glass TVs have Wi-Fi built-in, but an Ethernet connection is also available. Comcast suggests a minimum download speed of 10Mbps (HD), 25Mbps (4 UHD).
Control: Remote with Built-in “Hello, Sky” voice control for easy navigation of TV settings, HDMI inputs, and content is provided.
Sky Glass TV Packages
If you buy a Sky Glass TV outright, here is how it shakes out.
- 43-inch model: £649, £26 per month (2 yrs), £13 (4 yrs).
- 55-inch model: £849, £34 per month (2 yrs), or £17 (4 yrs).
- 65-inch model: £1,049, £42 per month (2 yrs), £21 per month (4 years).
Depending on which Sky TV content packages you opt for, the above monthly prices may vary. As an example, if a consumer purchases a 43-inch Sky Glass TV combined with the Sky Ultimate TV package, the monthly total payment with a 4-year payment plan would be £39 per month.
Similar to cellphone purchasing, Comcast/Sky is expecting you to bundle a Sky Glass TV with a Sky content package. The reason the TVs appear to be inexpensive is that Comcast/Sky is making the bulk of their profit on sales of content packages.
Comcast/Sky has also indicated that customers may also be able to trade-in or trade-up Sky Glass TVs every two years if new hardware is introduced. It was not clear if this applied to those that purchased their TV with a single payment or just those that pay for the TV and content package on a monthly basis.
If you want to watch Sky TV content in multiple rooms on any TV, Comcast offers the Sky Stream Puck for an additional £10 per month.
Sky Glass TV rolls out in the U.K. during October of 2021 with expansion into other European markets and Australia in 2022.
Also in 2022, Comcast plans to release a 4K Smart Camera that connects directly to Sky Glass TVs, which will be the foundation for additional services, such as live video chat, group gameplay, fitness workout services, and more.
NOTE: For those not ready to plunge into a Sky Glass TV purchase, the current Sky Q service which requires a satellite dish and box is still an option. This is important for those that have or want to use their own preferred brand and model TV.
Sky Glass TV is a continuation of Comcast’s global strategy that although currently targeted to the UK and Europe, might have major implications for the marketing of TVs and streaming services worldwide, as well as being a solution for decreasing interest in satellite TV.
The complete Comcast/Sky Glass TV video presentation is available below.