Sky TV is getting its biggest change in years but some don’t like what they’re seeing
Earlier this month, Sky announced plans to refresh its Sky Q set-top box with one of its biggest software updates in years. The free upgrade, which is slowly rolling across the UK and should reach all Sky Q boxes nationwide by mid-August, brings a number of changes, including a refreshed look for the main menu, changes to the way you navigate boxsets, and improved voice search.
Once installed – which usually happens overnight automatically – the most striking change is the new expanded view on the homepage, which allows customers to see more of the recommended content Sky thinks they’ll love. Unlike before, where customers would see a minimised screen of the channel or on-demand content they’re currently watching, the update pushes this off-screen, so that the menu can extend almost edge-to-edge.
That means the suggestions screen, which is the first thing you land on when starting up your Sky Q box, can display more television shows, films, online video, podcasts, music and games recommended based on what is popular with Sky customers, live events taking place, and customers’ viewing history on their box. Sky hopes that by packing more suggestions into the updated view, customers will have to spend less time searching for things to watch.
This expanded edge-to-edge view crops up in a number of other places around the software too. That means it can be a little confusing when the minimised view of your current show (which does stick around in some instances) will be there, or when it will be pushed off-screen.
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Scrolling through your recordings, looking through episodes and seasons of on-demand shows, and deep-diving into collections on Sky Cinema will all see the minimised television view shuffle out of view. Weirdly, the audio still sticks around… so you’ll still be able to hear what you were watching before you started scrolling through your recordings even if you can’t see it.
When Express.co.uk first saw this upgrade a few weeks ago, we were a little unsure about some of the changes. For our money, the latest redesign can make finding content harder and more confusing plus that lack of the live TV box is just a bit irritating.
And it seems we’re not alone in our thoughts on the latest update from Sky as a number of customers have been left less than impressed with the change, which cannot be reversed once your Sky Q has automatically updated.
Sky’s Community forum webpages host a number of complaints with some even asking if it’s possible to roll back to the previous version. Posting about the new update, one Sky Q subscriber said: “My Sky Q has updated today and I really dislike it.”
Another said: “How can I uninstall the latest features update?! It’s dreadful and adds totally pointless extra steps into the most basic functions.” This was echoed by another damning verdict, which reads: “How can this possibly be described as an upgrade?? My Sky box in the 1990’s was better than this. What an absolute shambles.”
And the Sky Community forums aren’t the only place where customers are making frustrated noises about the Sky Q upgrade. Customers have also headed to social media to voice their concerns.
“Can’t believe @SkyUK changed its menu. WHY??? It’s an absolute nightmare! One of the best features was that I could browse other channels whilst still watching what as on. NOT ANYMORE!” one tweet reads.
“@SkyHelpTeam what on Earth is this new menu on Sky Q it’s absolutely dreadful needs to be changed back to original immediately,” tweeted another miffed customer.
Tellingly, one Sky Q subscriber wasn’t even aware that there had been an update – and mistakenly believe the loss of the small TV preview on the left-hand side of the user interface was a glitch of some kind. The @SkyHelpTeam account had to step-in to inform the Sky subscriber that they’d actually been one of the first to receive its latest exciting redesign.
Sky says it’s always listening to customer responses to updates and has been generally encouraged by the response to this latest update. The firm says it will continue to improve its Sky Q service with this latest update the first of many that could arrive in the future.
Fraser Stirling, Group Chief Product Officer, said: “The tech team behind Sky Q and Sky Go are working hard on loads of new updates that we’ll be rolling out every few months, so you can expect your Sky TV experience to keep getting better.”
If you haven’t seen the changes just yet then don’t panic as Sky says it’s still pushing out this update with all Sky Q boxes expected to be fully upgraded by August.
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