Dubbed the ‘SkyQ’, the Ultra HD set-top box is said to be just weeks away from being announced and will enable users to watch or record at least four programmes at once. That is an increase to the current limit of recording two programmes while watching one other.
An increased limit may be required thanks to new functionality coming to the box, inspired by EE TV.
Users will gain the ability to beam broadcasts directly from their set-top box to a smartphone or tablet, allowing families to watch their individual shows without having to retreat to a separate room or TV.
Sky was originally aiming for a 2016 launch of its 4K set-top box but after BT unveiled its own, the company reportedly put the pedal to the metal to ensure that it had hardware to ship as soon as possible.
Shielded in secrecy, Sky worked at pace developing ‘Project Ethan’, which isn’t limited to new hardware, but also new software.
Inspired by the ease-of-use of Netflix, Sky has supposedly adopted a style for navigation very similar to that of the American streaming giant.
Sky’s reasoning behind the new-style navigation is aimed at making it easier for customers to browse through live content alongside on-demand content from Sky’s vast catalogue of movies and TV shows.
Given BT’s reliance on YouView, which the company’s executives have admitted is rather out-of-date, Sky is hoping that its new set-top box will entice customers by being technologically superior.
It won’t only be UK customers that will benefit from Sky’s new technology however, as the company’s recent acquisition of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland is expected to see the three countries share the same technology in the future.
Sky is still a few weeks away from announcing its new hardware – the company should also reveal what 4K content it will make available to customers, with BT’s currently limited to solely sporting events.