Sky introduces four new Sky Glass and Sky Stream features
Sky has revealed that it will be rolling out a new firmware update to Sky Glass TVs and Sky Stream set top boxes this week that will add four new features to the subscription broadcaster’s unique and ever-evolving operating system.
At the top of the new update feature list is ‘Personalised Playlist’, which introduces the ability to create up to five separate playlists on you Glass or Stream. You could use these to set up a specific playlist for each member of your household, perhaps. Or maybe you could set up playlists devoted to different specific types of content, such as sports, movies or family favourites. This is potentially a pretty significant addition to Sky’s ‘Entertainment OS’ – though I suspect it will need to be well trailed and easy to set up if it wants households to go through the initial effort of getting it up and running.
The new Personalised Playlists will be joined in the latest update by a new Cast and Crew rail. This will bring up a rail on Show Pages containing all the key talent involved both in front of and behind the camera with the show you’ve accessed. Select one of these actor/crew links and you’ll be presented with further direct links to of all the other titles the actor or crew member has been involved in that are available on the Sky platform.
The third new Sky Glass and Sky Stream feature coming this week is a new ‘Play’ voice command. This opens up shortcuts for a variety of different content access routes. So, for instance, you can highlight a show or movie with your remote and then say “Play’ to start watching the highlighted content right away if you’re in the Continue Watching or Now and Next rail, or you’re in the TV Guide or on a Show Page.
If you haven’t got an established viewing history for a show or film you want to play, saying Play will get your Sky Glass or Stream to play the selected title from the start of a film, the beginning of a series, or the latest episode of a long-running soap.
If you use the Play command with a franchise or collection, such as the Harry Potter films, or with shows under generic titles, you’ll be taken to a search results page from where you can pick which particular title you want to watch.
By far the most useful feature of the new Play voice command, though, is the way it will let you pick up shows you’ve been watching at the exact point you previously left them simply by saying “Play xxx” – for example, “play The Last Of Us”. No longer will you need to go to a Show page or work through search results to get back into your latest bingefest.
The final new feature being added by the new update is exclusive to Sky Glass, and introduces a further expansion of the TVs’ Bluetooth support that will let users listen via Bluetooth headphones to the same content that’s playing through the Sky Glass speakers. The idea being that this enables hard of hearing customers to enjoy the same show the rest of their family is listening to without the TV’s speakers having to be turned extreme volumes.
Sky sees the constant evolution of its Sky Glass and Sky Stream Entertainment OS (which will become Entertainment OS 1.1 with the launch of the latest update) as a key selling point for its subscription-based service, with this latest roll out building on an update last November that added five new features and improvements to the platform and interface. We can likely look forward to a further feature expansion in the next two or three months, too. Forbes