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New Sky Q service to offer mix of live and on-demand TV

media captionRory takes a look at Sky Q

Sky has launched a new service called Sky Q that blends live and on-demand TV as it tries to compete with the likes of Netflix.

It will showcase Ultra HD 4K on the platform, which it described as its most significant product launch since HD and "a new way to watch TV".

The package will comprise a set-top box and a "super premium package" and will be separate from Sky's Now TV on-demand service.

Experts questioned what it would cost.

image copyrightSky
image captionThe service can be watched on multiple devices at the same time

Sky Q will allow viewers to watch programmes on up to five screens and record four other channels.

Recordings can be saved on to a tablet device to watch at a later date.

Jeremy Darroch, Sky's chief executive, said the service was a "new way for customers to experience TV on their terms".

"We wanted to re-imagine TV so that it's flexible and seamless across different screens and to put a huge choice of entertainment at their fingertips."

The service will be available from early 2016 but no pricing details are yet available.

image copyrightSky
image captionUsers can record shows to watch at a later date on tablet devices

"Sky customers watch 20% of programmes on connected devices and Sky Q is squarely targeted at the most demanding of this on-demand generation," said David Mercer, principal analyst at research firm Strategy Analytics.

"One of the biggest complaints from consumers is the speed at which they can find things on regular TV and this user interface makes things quicker and easier."

But he said cost might be an issue for some customers.

"If this is another £10 on top of a premium package it could push bills close to £100 a month," he added.

Ted Hall, research director at analyst firm IHS Technology, said Sky had come up with a product to rival Virgin Media's Tivo and BT's YouView platforms.

"It is embracing third-party apps by partnering with YouTube and others and wants to see Sky Q as a home entertainment hub," he said.

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