Sky Q to add HDR, Spotify and new user interface

4K content also set to double in 2018, says satcaster

Sky has confirmed that its Sky Q platform is getting an update in 2018, ushering in HDR content, a ramping up of available 4K material, Spotify integration, a new user interface, and more.

Described as ‘a major wave of product innovation’, changes to Sky Q will begin to rollout next month.

The most obvious change to Sky Q will be a new user interface, described as 'wide-screen', which will see tweaks to layout and functionality. A revamped homepage will include options for ‘Most Recent Recordings’ and ‘Favourite Channels’, the option of activating a kids mode to give parents peace of mind when nippers have grabbed the remote, and greater 'personalisation' of recommended content depending on time of day, viewing habits etc.

Sky is also fine-tuning its Voice function to bring more relevant results; adding the Sky Q app to smart TVs and third-party devices; and expanding the number of devices the Sky Q box can stream content to (at its launch, Sky always said the 12-tuner Silver PVR had some extra scope in this regard).

Of its HDR plans, Sky remains non-committal when it comes to timescale or technologies, only announcing that the Sky Q ‘viewing experience will be taken to another level with the launch of HDR.’ There's no confirmation as to whether HDR will be for live broadcasts, downloaded content, or both. But it will launch this year.

4K material (accessible via Sky's Q Silver PVR), is set to grow to around 1,000 hours in 2018, and will include 'the whole Spider-Man franchise' (which we assume means the Sam Raimi, Marc Webb and recent Spider-Man: Homecoming movies, not the 'toons...).

Away from TV, and as part of Sky's drive to integrate its Q hardware into users' musical lifestyles, Sky is also adding Spotify to its service via its online apps menu (and will offer curated playlists through the Sky Q homepage). Spotify Premium account holders will get access to their full functionality; others can use the freebie ad-supported service.

Says Jeremy Darroch, Sky's Group Chief Executive: 'Sky Q keeps getting better and better. With this suite of innovation, we are taking the user experience to another level – and we won’t stop there.'