Sky Glass vs Sky Q – which service is best for you? | The Sun

SKY is one of the most popular providers of top-notch telly in the UK, but should you go for its smart TV or its set-top box?

We compare them in our Sky Glass versus Sky Q head-to-head, looking at everything from price to how many channels you can expect to get.

  • Shop all Sky TV deals – shop at Sky

Sky has been at the forefront of innovations in the way we watch television with the development of its new streaming devices.

Convenient as its streaming devices are, its traditional satellite service is still an impressive piece of kit – but is it worth the cost to install?

In this article, we're looking at both products to help you choose which is best for you, taking into account everything from installation to if you can record.



Best Sky deals November 2023 UK; Save with live Black Friday offers


Sky is offering 1 month of FREE TV & Netflix to new Sky Glass customers

In our Sky Q vs Sky Stream explainer, we compare the Q box to Sky's streaming alternative, which is a great choice if you aren't in the market for a new TV.

And if Sky Q isn't your cup of tea, be sure to check out our Sky Glass vs Sky Stream article, where we compare the brand's best-selling streaming tech.

It's our mission to find you the best tech deals and we've even rounded up the best Sky deals available right now to bag you a bargain.

For a hands-on verdict of this smart TV, our Tech Editor Sean Keach reveals all in his Sky Glass review.

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Black Friday

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Sky has just released a wave of Sky Black Friday deals, which will run until 28 November, and we will be reporting the best of the bunch.


If you’ve been eyeing up Sky Glass, nows the time to join, with Sky Entertainment & Netflix for an incredible £33p/m in an early Black Friday deal, saving you a huge £125 over the contract.

  • Sky Glass with Sky Entertainment & Netflix, £33p/m – buy here


Sky Q has also dropped in an early Black Friday deal, now just £31p/m for 18 months, making it the best option for those interested in the traditional set top box.

  • Sky Q from £31p/m for 18 months – buy here

Sky Glass vs Sky Q: Differences at a glance

Sky offers its new streaming devices alongside its satellite service, butthey are worlds apart and deliver Sky to your home in very different ways.

The major difference between the two are:

  • Sky Glass is an actual TV with a 4K Ultra HD display, Dolby Atmos soundbar, Sky all built-in, and works via wi-fi.
  • Sky Q is a traditional set-top box connected to a satellite dish, that works over broadband.

So as convenient as Sky Glass is, if you already have a smart TV it may not be for you, whereas Sky Q will deliver Sky into your home via a dish – which will need to be professionally installed.

Sky Glass vs Sky Q: Price

Sky Glass and Sky Q come at similar price points for the basic packages they provide, but when it comes to installation the costs start to rack up.

Sky Glass is a smart TV with Sky built in, so you will be paying for the cost of the new TV set along with your Sky package.

Prices start from £14 per month over a 48-month contract for the 43-inch set, and £26 per month for the basic Sky Entertainment & Netflix package, and a £10 upfront fee.

Currently, customers can take advantage of Sky's welcome deal that'll get you 1 month of free TV & Netflix to new Sky Glass customers, so you'll pay £14 for 1 month, and £40 after.

Sky Q on the other hand starts at £28 per month on a fixed 18-month contract, but you need to factor in the setup fee for professional installation, which will set you back £49 with a £20 upfront fee.

So if you want Sky Q you will need to be prepared for a professional to come and install it.

Also, if you rent your property, you'll need to get your landlord's consent before doing so, whereas Sky Glass is an altogether simpler affair that you'll be able to do yourself in under 30 minutes.

  • Sky Q: from £28 per month – buy from Sky
  • Sky Glass: from £26 per month – buy from Sky

Sky Glass vs Sky Q: Installation and setup

As you can imagine installing Sky Glass is a more straightforward process to Sky Q, largely because it can all be done yourself with minimal effort.

Sky Glass is a physical TV set and, as with any other you've owned, doesn't take long to install, and can put the TV together yourself after unboxing.

It takes under 30 minutes unless you want it wall-mounted, which may call for a handyman – but once on you'll follow the on screen instructions and connect to the internet you're good to go.

Of course, if you have a TV you love or already have a smart TV Sky Glass is pretty redundant, so unless you are looking to replace it Sky Q is the way to go.

But Sky Q requires a satellite dish, which a professional will need to come and install and connect to your set-top box and TV, which all adds to the cost of going for this option.

While it's not as easy to get up and running out of the box, it does come with its own perks, which we will get into below.

Sky Glass vs Sky Q: Can you record?

One of the biggest points of contention between Sky Glass and Sky Q is recording on each device, and they work very differently.

Sky Glass is essentially a streaming service in the form of a TV, so there is no traditional recording function as content can't be downloaded.

In place of recording is a 'Playlist' feature in which you can catch-up on shows you've missed by saving content to the cloud until you are ready to watch it.

You can find more about recording in our can you record on Sky Glass?' explainer, where we give you a rundown of what you can and can't do.

Sky Q wins hands down here as not only can you record, but with 12 tuners you can record multiple programmes at once to access on demand when you are ready.

You can opt for either 1TB or 2TB storage drive, so if you are someone that wants to record lots of series or shows this is a great option for you.

The content you 'save' on Sky Glass will expire and not all content is available, so it's not as convenient as recording on Sky Q, and unlike Sky Q, you won't be able to record live sports events .

Does Sky Glass have the same channels as Sky Q?

Sky Glass is a smart TV, so alongside the Sky TV package you can get access to thousands of shows and films by adding other streaming apps like Disney+ and Amazon Prime into the mix too.

It boasts 100 channels that you won't find on Freeview, over 500 boxsets, 30,000 shows, and of course the Netflix add-on as part of the package (with a huge library of content in itself).

Sky Q on the other hand includes both standard definition channels and the HD equivalents, so you'll get more channels in terms of numbers.

The set-top box also includes BoxNation, FreeSports, Al Jazeera and international channels that aren't available on Sky Glass or Sky's other streaming device Sky Stream.

There is also a huge variety of customisable packages, with add-ons such as Sky Sports, Sky Cinema, or BT Sports, which you can include at extra cost on both Sky Glass and Q.

Do you still need Sky Q with Sky Glass?

Sky Glass comes with Sky TV built-in and works over wi-fi, so there is no need to plug in an existing Sky Q box or satellite dish, and if you are and existing customer looking to switch there are a few extra steps.

As you can only have one Sky TV subscription per household, if you are already a Sky Q customer and are looking to switch over to Sky Glass then you'll need to cancel your Sky Q subscription.

Once you've activated your new Glass TV you can start streaming straight away, but you'll have 60 days to return all of your existing Sky Q boxes.

Sky Glass vs Sky Q: Which to choose 

At the end of the day, which you choose comes down to what your needs are, if you are looking for a new smart TV then Sky Glass is an excellent choice.

But Sky Q will get you on demand content that you'll be able to record. Here's a quick comparison of the two:

Choose the Sky Glass if:

  • You don't want a satellite dish
  • You want a top-quality smart TV
  • You don't rely on recording

Choose the Sky Q if:

  • You don't need a new TV
  • You want access to on demand content
  • Smoother streaming

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  • Sky Q: from £28 per month – buy from Sky
  • Sky Glass: from £26 per month – buy from Sky

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