Sky Stream launches today, letting you watch Sky TV without a satellite dish – here's how the new service compares
Sky has launched a new service that allows subscribers to access Sky TV, plus Netflix and other channels, without the need for a satellite dish. 'Sky Stream' is available from today (18 October). Below we detail how it works and how it compares with other Sky products, Freeview, and Netflix.
Sky Stream offers pretty much the same experience as Sky Glass, which launched last year, but users can use Sky Stream on their own TV (for Sky Glass, users must purchase a Sky TV with it built in).
We explain how Stream works below, but see our Best streaming services guide and our 18 Netflix hacks for full info on how to stream as cheaply as possible. You can also see our Digital TV guide for more help cutting the cost of rival TV offerings from BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media O2.
How Sky Stream works
Sky Stream users can access 'Sky Ultimate TV', which includes over 120 channels, such as Sky Atlantic and Sky Max, plus Netflix's 'basic' subscription (which allows you to stream the service on one device at a time) as standard under their subscription. You can watch Sky Stream in standard HD and ultra HD.
The standard package is only available on one TV but if you want to use it on multiple devices, you can upgrade to the 'Whole Home' pack, which allows you to stream on up to six devices at once (see below for prices).
You also won't need a satellite dish as the Sky Stream device plugs into a power supply and then to your TV via an HDMI socket (you cannot connect Sky Stream to a laptop with an HDMI plug). You'll also be able to access apps, such as Disney+, iPlayer, and ITV Hub, though you'll need to make sure you're paying for the subscriptions with extra costs separately.
One perk of Sky Stream is the option to add programmes to a playlist. You'll be able to save Sky programmes, as well as programmes on iPlayer and other apps, to a playlist to watch later. This works with live content and also programmes scheduled to air at a later time or date, and is similar to the recording option that comes with standard Sky TV.
You don't need to have Sky broadband to get Sky Stream – it'll work with any broadband provider.
How much Sky Stream costs
Prices vary depending on the length of contract you choose (and then if you want any add-ons). Users taking out the service have the choice of:
- A 31-day rolling contract with prices starting at £29 a month. You can cancel this at any time but you'll need to pay a one-off set-up fee of £39.95.
- An 18-month contract with prices starting at £26 a month with a one-off £20 set-up fee. Cancellation fees may apply if you end the contract early. The fee depends on your package and when you opt out.
The 'Whole Home' pack allows you to use Sky Stream on multiple devices and is an additional £12 a month on top of the prices above.
In addition, you can add on packages, such as Sky Cinema, which includes Paramount+. Sky Cinema costs an additional £11 a month for an 18-month contract or £13 a month for a 31-day rolling contract.
How Sky Stream compares with other similar TV services
|Freeview (i)||Free (if your TV has it built in - if not, set top boxes start from £25)||- 70 TV and radio channels
- Can pause live TV
- Can record and watch later
|Netflix (ii)||- £6.99/month for a basic plan
- £10.99/month for standard
- £15.99/month for premium
|- Can use on multiple devices at once with the standard and premium plans|
|Now TV||- £9.99/month + extra for add-ons such as sports and movies||- Over 300 box sets, plus Sky Entertainment channels such as Atlantic and Max
|Sky Glass (i)||- From £26/month for a 24-month contract
- Or from £13/month for a 48-month contract
(These prices are for the TV only, you will need to pay a minimum of £26/month on top of that for Sky Ultimate TV. More info here.)
|- Can 'save' programmes to watch later
- Can pause live TV
- Must get a Sky Glass TV
|Sky Stream (i)||- From £26/month or £29/month depending on the package||- Can 'save' programmes to watch later
- Can pause live TV
- Can watch on any TV with an HDMI port