SKY HAS made its latest killer move to dominate your living room with its own all-in-one speaker system, the Sky Soundbox.
Built in association with audio experts Devialet, the Soundbox is designed to offer an all-in-one surround experience with Dolby Digital+, in a single compact unit. Sky describes the product as the "Ultra HD of home audio".
The new device combines six woofers and three full range speakers, and some inner jiggery-pokery allows it to create ambience by angling the sound to bounce off your walls for a fully immersive experience.
Stephen van Rooyen, Chief Executive Officer, Sky UK and Ireland, commented: "Sound is a vital part of visual storytelling - whether you're watching the season finale of your favourite drama, or an epic Premier League clash.
"That's why we've partnered with audio industry leaders Devialet to launch Sky Soundbox and take the TV experience to the next level for our customers. Great TV deserves great audio - we believe Sky Soundbox is the Ultra HD of home audio."
Sky is rolling out Dolby Atmos on Sky Q this summer for compatible equipment and will also be offering Sky Q Sound, specific modes designed by Devialet which refines the audio for specific genres of TV.
In addition, there are user modes including Dialogue Enhance mode (great for Poldark), Late Night mode (great for Family Guy) and Kids Mode (great for leaving the house and getting as far away as possible).
The Soundbox boasts HDMI input and output, finally revealing what the HDMI input on the Sky Q box is for, an Optical cable, Bluetooth 4.1 and is compatible with Dolby Digital+.
Of course having your surround sound connected to your Sky Q box (it's also compatible with any other Sky box, and standalone TVs but be prepared to wince at the price) does present an issue for users of devices like Chromecasts.
This is about putting Sky at the heart of the living room, and it may mean difficult decisions have to be made about how to serve your other fancies. At present, Sky still doesn't offer Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, Google Music etc through its box, so users still need to be able to wire into a second source.
Both the box and the speaker offer Bluetooth connection, but that can be a bit shonky, and as for Alexa and Google Home? We're still waiting on that.
In short, exciting as this announcement is, it's not pushing Sky Q into the connected home, but rather pushing it into a corner on its own and that's a worry. We've seen it before. It's called "doing a Hive". Ugh.
The Soundbox will be available in the Autumn. Sky customers can buy it for £299. Sky Q Multiscreen users will get it for £249. Non Sky customers… brace yourself… £799. µ
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