Sky Q Looks Like An Apple And Netflix Killer To Me

The media industry news of the week has to be the announcement of Sky Q, doesn't it? After getting excited about the latest incarnation of Apple TV, I have to say Sky Q has a content and features edge with one caveat -- gaming.

While the ability to have iOS apps running on my television is appealing, I wouldn't say it's a deal-breaker. Photos and videos are obviously items that everybody would like to beam on to the big screen, but I can't say I really want to share my Facebook, Twitter or email services with the family in the living room. However, the thing that has been sorely tempting me to go for the new Apple TV box is gaming. "Angry Birds" and "Fifa 15" would surely look a lot better on the big screen than my iPad, and so if Sky could find a way to get games in to its service, I think it would be onto a winner. I don't think a pure Bluetooth service would work. Sure, it would get the image on to the screen, but the issue would be a controller -- or even more perplexing, two controllers for playing someone else.

The big issue is, of course, content. It's here where Sky will always win hands down. It has every channel you could possibly want, particularly for sports and movie fans, and the best selection of on-demand-box sets and Box Office films. Nobody comes close. Netflix often has its own compelling drama series, but beyond a handful of shows the content is less compelling. Apple TV will bring you content, but at a price. If you want access to the latest movie releases and the big match, Sky really is the only game in town.

That's what makes Sky Q so exciting. At the moment most families will know you generally have a single television that the family has to agree to tune in to, or catch up on, the same show. However, with Sky Q's "fluid" service you can watch different shows on an iPad or connected tv around the home and you can start watching on the main set and then finish off in bed or perhaps continue watching on the bus. You can also watch YouTube clips and go through Facebook photos while watching the news headlines in a sidebar.

Launch details are fairly scant, but I am hoping that Sky Q will be device-agnostic. At the moment, subscribers can choose two devices to stream content to when away from their main set. This can be limiting if, like me, you've gone for a laptop and a tablet but then find yourself round a relative's house with just your smartphone and in my case, Chelsea is playing a must-win game (which, naturally, they lost). Allowing a person to watch content rather than a device, makes a lot more sense to me. Sure, Sky has to protect itself, so just let one person log in away from the home to watch Sky content at a time, or maybe two for a family subscription? Whatever device the person choose to log in through, leave that up to them. Technology is sophisticated enough to highlight if someone is not who they claim to be or is sharing their credentials so friends across the country can watch the same movie or football game.

So bringing Sky's content out of the box under the main set in the living room and onto devices around the home and further afield makes a lot of sense to me. Apple has an obvious appeal of putting my stuff on the television with a bunch of games -- but I have to say, tv is all about content and so if tossing up between the two, and it's Sky every time for me. Should they manage to get a compelling way to play games on the big screen as well, then all the better.

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