Has anybody in the UK tried the new Sky Q app?

iOS and iPadOS

Bit of a long shot but was just wondering if anyone in the UK has used the new Sky Q app for the iPAd yet, and if so, what's it like with voiceover?



Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, January 8, 2019

So, called sky to work out a better deal for me, you know, get something I can use... Turns out that for the Sky HD box, one has to pay £180... Compared with the £20 for Sky Q 1TB. I do thank you Sky access for talking to us however, this is a bag of pants... I'm having to pay more, because I'm blind, to get an equivalent service to your sighted customers. Now, I know it is not your fault in any way, and you're doing the best you can, but, man, it's expensive being blind.

Please either create an app that we can use, as with the Sky Hd boxes with the sky Q boxes, or integrate with your current solution. Currently, due to your bosses, there Is a clear example of discrimination. A blind person has to pay more to get the advertised service.

Note: Thank you so much for being part of the conversation, it does mean a lot and it is great to have a forum in which we can, hopefully, find better solutions for everyone.


Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Saturday, January 19, 2019

Hey, so just been looking around on the internet and found that sky Q will be released on Apple TV at some point this year. Now, I'm not sure about how accessible that app will be but it may work as a replacement to the sky Q box, though that will obviously still have to be online somewhere in the house. Fingers crossed and all that.

Submitted by Michael on Saturday, January 19, 2019

In reply to by Oliver Kennett

After been using Apple TV for about five years now. Finding Sky Q would be very good on this platform. The major problem I can see. And I know the sky would not address it. Is that with audio description be available on the app like Netflix and Amazon Prime. As we all know sky will probably sorry most definitely feel in this department and failed to put on order scripted. But we will hold our breath and hopefully they might get the idea to know that we actually do exist out there so if the lad that works for sky. Is reading these messages. Can you get off the seat right now go down to the division within our working on this app. And find out this question and give us a good proper answer thank you

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, February 10, 2019

I know this is a little off topic and doesn't really touch on IOS, but I was reading about the accessibility of the X1 system used by Comcast in the states and the desire of the head of technical wizardry to include similar systems on the sky Q box. Comcast X! has a full voice interface so, with the purchase of Sky by Comcast, maybe we can have our fingers cross.

Also, which might be more interesting, is the Apple TV sky Q app which is currently available in Germany. I've not downloaded as not actually got sky, but this could be a solution to many problems, though I assume we would still have to get the multi room upgrade. I'll keep an eye on this and let you know if and when the Apple TV app is released.

Phew, managed to get it back to apple and on point...

Submitted by James O'Dell on Saturday, August 3, 2019

Hello all

Thanks for the informative posts on this thread so far. We have just ordered Sky Q. I am totally blind and use Voice-Over on the iPhone, but we have ordered Sky Q mainly for my wife, who is fully sighted, as she was impressed by it when she saw it at a relative’s house. I had hoped that the Sky Q app would have some of the same functionality as the Sky Plus app in terms of being able to browse recordings and play programmes on the TV from the app, but it is apparent from the comments here that this is not the case.

This situation is extremely disappointing, particularly given that Sky Q has now been in existence for a number of years and that other companies such as Samsung have been able to overcome the barriers to integrating speech into their products, at least as far as the core functionality such as accessing menus and the TV guide is concerned. In fact Sky have done this previously with the Sky Plus app. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that Sky q remains largely inaccessible to blind people due to a decision that the needs of blind customers are a low priority and the absence of any determination to change this situation, rather than technical considerations.

I agree with the sentiment that Sky is indirectly discriminating against its blind customers and that workarounds, while welcome, are not an acceptable solution. I don’t have the resources to take legal action on my own. However, I would be happy to support any action in any way I can. I also think that the fact that Sky are offering Sky Plus as an alternative may weaken any legal case (as the core service is available from Sky Plus and may be considered a reasonable adjustment) and that this is likely to have been a factor in Sky making this offer to blind customers. But at least it means that this option is still available for people who want it and I would be considering this if I lived on my own and wanted Sky channels. It will be interesting to see what Sky’s offer to blind customers will be when Sky Plus is no longer in operation.

We have no interest in reverting to Sky Plus because my wife would like to be able to use the new Sky Q system. We also have a Samsung TV with Voice Guide built-in, so I do have the option of recording programmes from the Freeview channels directly from the TV, rather than using the Sky box. However, I would be interested in getting a multi-screen subscription so that I could view the list of recordings in the Sky Q app if I could have the cost of this refunded; this would enable me to record and watch programmes from the Sky channels as well. We don’t need the multi-screen functionality for any other reason. Has anyone on here been successful in getting a refund for a multi-screen subscription, other than Peter who made the original complaint? Is this something that the Sky accessibility team would know about? Or will we all have to make complaints of discrimination in order to receive this? If the accessibility team are unaware of this policy, it would seem that the letter provided to Peter that such refunds were being made available to all blind customers is, at best, inaccurate.

I would also like to add my name to the list of people interested in beta-testing any alternative solutions which become available.

Thanks all for the messages and I will keep an eye on how this develops with great interest.


Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 4, 2019

I did not have any success with getting a refund. In fact, the person on the accessibility team said:

"If we gave you a discount for multi-screen everyone would say that they're disabled."

Which may indicate the level of training and professionalism of the so called specialised team.

I did however get a good deal after this on sky + but, after all that, I decided it was pointless. I now use now TV which is by no means perfect, but a cheaper and much more accessible system.

I'll be interested to see what happens with Sky X which is the new iteration which will not require a dish, but sadly, it would appear that sky are refusing to evolve the access-ability of any of their products. They say that they are listening but doing anything? Not so much.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 4, 2019

so just wondering has there been any progress on any accessibility of sky q?
my dad is now planning to go to sky to see if he can get a better deal out of them, I did email peter asking if any of the issues with q accessibility had been resolved or if he was still locked in conflict with them but got no response.
as I understand it issues for me will still be that I would be unable to play back programs directly from my tv if I use the phone to start and stop playback, streaming will only start on my phone which will give rubbish sound unless I fork out for a smart speaker. I won't be able to independently manage recordings because the phone doesn't allow for deletion, and because my dad will be recording his own stuff as well I will have to ask him any time I want to delete something. I know there was the issue about seeing what you have recorded on the planner without multi room, but that won't be an issue for me as we have two tvs in the house, so I think we would still need multi room.
what is this new sky x system that you mentioned oliver, if I missed out any accessibility issues please do mention them as I will need to have all information to convince dad to stay on the plus system. though just to be balanced if there are any accessibility advantages to q I would be interested in knowing as well, I know about the voice controlled remote, but I mostly see that as a bit of a ggimmick.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 4, 2019

It's just come out somewhere in europe and will presumbily be headed here:

As for which is more accessible, Sky+ by a country mile. You can play things back if you memorise the key strokes and use the planner on your phone to know the order of how things appear on the recorded items but it's painful. One good thing about sky Q however, is that if a show has AD on it, it is automatically recorded with the AD track which you can then turn on and off. Sy+, as I'm sure you are aware, you have to turn audio description on beforehand and that is the only version you get which isn't ideal for watching with the family. I like watching something first with AD on and if its any good will watch again with the family.

As I say, I sacked it off but I live in a solo household so the decision was mine. Sky Q seems to be better in terms of general functionality but not for accessibility. Oh, one other thing, with the sky Q boxes, main and mini, you can airplay to them as well as using your iphone to start them playing netflix which is pretty cool...

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 4, 2019

Hi Oliver thanks for your reply, to be honest in my case I can't see any advantage to q over plus for me, as you say audio description with family can be problematic, dad hates it so we tend to watch programs separately even if watching the same thing. to be honest I don't want to waste my time watching the same program twice with and without description. and I believe airplay is only for audio isn't it and doesn't mean picture as well? I had forgotten about the hole mini box thing till you mentioned it and I reviewed some of this thread. I suppose q is tolerable if you live in your own house but for me it really wouldn't be fun as dad records tv most nights, and in fact I have stuff going back years on my box I really should get around to watching so I can imagine finding it very frustrating fighting with the planner and remote, finding new things just popping up in my planner and not being able to memorize anything, and it would just be undignified having to either ask him to manage recordings for me, or treck down stairs to try to delete something myself. I think we can be pretty sure sky haven't taken accessibility into account with x based on the design of q and how it took them ages to sort plus out with that planner issue. in fact the pluss app is in violation of apples guidelines as it doesn't respect the switch that allows people to turn off apps asking for reviews.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Sunday, August 4, 2019

Alex and update Hi Alex and all. Alex, I can’t seem to find an email from you. When did you email? As for sky multi room, I did settle my grievance with Sky having visited their offices and been given certain assurances of progress being made and vague plans for the future. I checked a few months ago with Sky and They assured me that all staff should now be aware that as a reasonable adjustment, multi room would be available on a case-by-case basis for free for blind customers. My main contact at Sky is Andy on the Sky Priority Customer team. And if individuals are still finding that the accessibility team and is aware of this, please ask them to speak to Andy at the Sky Priority Customer team. His username is Andy14 I believe. The app is now pretty much fully accessible but not the most obvious user interface. I have recently been told that there has been some exciting progress and I will be updated shortly. Come back to me if you continue to have issues with regards to the multi room subscription and I would be happy to contact sky again myself as I have a written agreement regarding this issue. I will give them a call now just to chase them up.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 4, 2019

Yes, I spoke with Andy too, he was excellent. He did his utmost to make sure I was a happy customer.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Sunday, August 4, 2019

In reply to by Oliver Kennett

Alex, apologies as I’ve just found your email :-). I’ve just sent Andy at Sky another email expressing my concern at the most recent messages and the lack of progress. I actually do genuinely believe that Sky is an organisation and most of the staff, are eager to make their products was accessible and usable as possible by everyone. However, it seems that there may be Some communication breakdown between executives at Sky, which is the level I was dealing with, and those on the front line and the customer service centres. Andy has recently asked me for examples of cases where this hasn’t been dealt with appropriately so I have now sent him a link again to this website. I will give updates as and when I can But there will be times when those of us taking this forward with sky, I will unable to share information that isn’t in the public domain or maybe commercially sensitive for Sky. Please can anyone who is continuing To have difficulties in getting information regarding the multi room subscription, post to this forum as I hope and will expect Sky to be reviewing this forum soon. Oliver, are you able to say if you received a satisfactory outcome in relation to what has been discussed on this forum?

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 4, 2019

Yes, I was satisfied that everything was done that could be done to improve my experience. As I say, I went down the Sky+ route in the end so didn't pursue the possibility of a discount for the multi-room.

I think that there are two components to this issue, one is the customer service aspect which is obviously excellent higher up and somewhat lacking in the lower ranks but the other aspect is the product itself and, no matter how good the customer service can be, it does not get around the fact that, as blind and visually impaired customers, we get a worse product than our sighted counterparts unless we opt for legacy hardware.

Trouble is words such as 'should' and 'unfair' are apt to raise their ugly heads. I don't think sky has any legal obligation to make sure that its latest offerings are fully accessible after all, it's our choice to buy or not, it's merely a disappointment. Still, I sincerely hope that Sky's recent acquisition and future plans will take into consideration other needs of its customers.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 4, 2019

Hi peter and all, its obviously good sky want us to have a good customer experience, but the fact is that q has been designed from the ground up with sighted people in mind, and with the main box being a shared space where everyone has there recordings, the fact is that when accessibility is an afterthought and bolted on retrospectively its going to give a poor experience, the issues with managing recordings, playing back are a deal breaker for me and mean I have no interest in it and wouldn't recommend it to people if they asked. the problem is the digitaleconomy act means that providers do have to make description available through there apps, though some still have yet to do so, but I don't think it provides for apps and services being accessible, the problem is that each disability or condition has its own definition of what accessible is, and sometimes these can conflict.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Sunday, August 4, 2019

In reply to by alex wallis

I agree but unfortunately we can’t change what is already here and can only hope Sky can turn things around with our input and consideration. I would certainly not recommend Sky Q to someone unless they are really interested in the technology and have an interest in trying to learn how to operate the box and the app with significant frustration.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Monday, August 5, 2019

As I mentioned in another post Now TV is a viable alternative. I believe that it should be moving up to HD in the coming months and there is a redesign of the app which is rather clunky. The advantage is that you can get everything on demand, the down side is there is no audio description. I'm just wondering if this whole Sky X and Now TV will eventually merge back up as more and more people will be looking to use broadband to get their TV. I know there is a sky Q app out there for apple TV but it's only available in germany and I have no idea as to its accessibility or functionality. If that acts like a mini box, can connect to the main box and is compatible with voiceover out of the box (sorry, I've said box a lot), this could be an excellent solution... As long as you have an apple TV that is.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Thursday, August 8, 2019

I’ve spoken to my contact at Sky and he has advised me that the accessibility team have been informed about our agreement for sky multi room to be provided for free as a reasonable adjustment for visually impaired customers who rely on it because they need to use the Sky Q app to have some Level of independence access to the box I’ve spoken to my contact at Sky and he has advised me that the accessibility team have been informed about our agreement for sky multi room to be provided for free as a reasonable adjustments to those visually impaired customers who rely on it because they need to use the sky queue appvto have some access to the box. Customers should speak to the accessibility team and they should be able to give you the necessary information and support. If you find that they are telling you this is not possible, you should then ask for it to be escalated to their manager, and if still any issues continue to insist that it be escalated the chain. Feel free to post here and I will also feedback To my contacts. I can’t really say much but I have had some more information today regarding progress In resolving the known accessibility issues with Sky Q I have now put more pressure on Sky as I personally feel things could be progressing quicker but equally they have been quite honest with me about some of the issues that have arisen since my visit and it’s clear that they are doing all they can to resolve them as soon as possible. I will continue to update the forum as and when I am able to. Keep me updated about any issues you may have either on the forum or you can email me atPeterholdstock@msn.com

Submitted by alex wallis on Thursday, August 8, 2019

that's all great to know peter, and definitely would be good to know as and when accessibility issues get resolved, changed etc. Luckily we are not jumping to q yet, but probably will in the next year or so grr.

Submitted by James O'Dell on Sunday, August 11, 2019

HI all. We have had our Sky q installation. I contacted the Accessibility Team and explained that I was aware of the policy of refunding the multi-screen subscription for blind people who need to use the app to access content on the box (from online forums). Sky have agreed to refund the cost. The first person I spoke to on the Accessibility team was not aware of this policy, but listened to my explanation and without prompting or pressure said that she would speak to a colleague. She called me back a few minutes later and confirmed the refund, which was perfectly reasonable. The refund was implemented by adding me to the Sky VIP loyalty programme. I haven't had a full bill yet so can't confirm whether the refund has actually worked but I see no reason why it won't have done.
The accessibility Team did explain to me that if we wanted a Sky Q mini box in another room we would have to pay for the multi-screen subscription, which is fair enough.
With the multi-screen subscription I can stream live TV from the box to the app on my phone, but there is no audio description, even if we are watching the same programme with AD on the TV at the same time. I can also browse through the list of recordings on the box using the app and stream them to my phone, but again there is no audio description even if the programme was recorded with AD.
However, if I download a recorded programme from the box to the phone, it does have AD.
The drawback with this is that not all programmes are available to download; specifically it appears that BBC programmes are not downloadable in this way, meaning that there does not seem to be a way of accessing BBC shows with AD via the Sky Q app. I think this is because the BBC want us to use IPlayer, which does have audio described shows, but not downloads with AD.
As you would expect, downloading with AD seems to work for most Sky content I have tried.
I will have to check if downloading works for ITV, Channel 4 and 5 shows as well as Sky. If it does then this will be useful as there is currently no AD on ITV Hub and sometimes AD versions of shows don't always appear on All 4 when they should.
In addition, app downloads are only available for thirty days and expire 48 hours after you start watching them, whereas recordings remain on the box until you delete them. So the app does have some limitations compared to the box.
As has been mentioned, you cannot delete recordings using the app. This will have to be my wife's job as she is fully sighted. But even if I could see I don't think she would let me delete anything anyway :).
The playback controls in the app are very hit and miss - voice Over goes into what I think is called "direct touch" mode when you begin playback, where the screen behaves as if Voice Over is not running, so you scroll with one finger and activate items with a single tap. There is no Voice Over feedback or speech when in this mode. This makes it impossible for me to pause or navigate through shows and to stop playback you have to be able to do a single tap on the back button at the top left of the screen which involves a lot of trial and error but I have found it to be doable.
I would, of course, like to see a fully comprehensive accessibility solution in place for blind customers which enables full access to all recordings and functions. I am hoping that this policy to re-fund the multi-screen subscription, which provides limited access to the box and its content, is the beginning and not the end of making Sky Q more accessible. However, it is good to see that this refund policy has been implemented and that the Accessibility Team as a whole are aware of it.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 11, 2019

Hi James, thanks for your comments on this and explaining about further issues you are experiencing, sky q sounds like total junk from an accessibility point of view when compared to plus which is far from perfect, but at least gives basic independence which q doesn't seem to. I wasn't aware of the audio description issues that plague q either.

Hi Alex. Compared to Sky Plus, you are right that you have less control of and access to the box and its recordings with Sky Q. In our particular circumstances, we can live with it for now as I have our Samsung TV with Voice Guide to fall back on for recording of free to air channels and my sighted wife is more into the Sky channels than I am. We have had Sky Plus before and most recently tried a Freesat box. The Freesat app was even less accessible than Sky Q. The programmes were displayed in a grid layout in the Freesat app and it was not possible to reliably browse the guide, select or record programmes with Voice Over. All of this can be done in the Sky Q app. However, because of the limitations with sky Q, if I wanted to do a lot of recording and play-bakc from Sky channels or needed to be able to play back content independently for children etc I would definitely be sticking with Sky Plus. I don't have high hopes that Sky will eventually resolve the issues, but it will be interesting to see if they do at some stage. AT least I may have the option of trying anything new that they develop on sky Q.
I would also be interested to know if RNIB are actively involved with Sky and putting pressure on them to resolve the issues, but I know they have worked together before so wouldn't be surprised if RNIB were getting consultancy fees from Sky and are not able to speak out about or campaign about this due to a non-disclosure agreement. I don't have any information about whether or not this is the case, it is just something i have wondered.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 11, 2019


So when you say 'download' do you mean downloading on demand to the sky q box or downloading a recorded show to your iphone?

As far as I was aware, on demand on the box itself did not have any audio description at all. If that has changed and I can get things like Tin Star on demand with audio description, I may well have another go.

Would you be so kind as to clarify?

Also, the BBC implimentation of audio description is terrible, though their inclusion really good. I think they have two seperate broadcasts rather than being able to swap out the audio track as with other providers such as netflix.

Submitted by James O'Dell on Sunday, August 11, 2019

In reply to by Oliver Kennett

HI. Sorry. I meant that downloads of recordings to a phone have AD, rather than downloads of On Demand content. I haven't tried to access any On Demand downloads/content, but have no reason to believe that they would have any AD as they never have done and I expect Sky would make a big deal if they introduced AD to their on demand platform. We can only hope that the legislative changes around on-demand platforms needing to be accessible have some tangible results soon.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 11, 2019

Thanks for explaining. I was getting excited. Oh, that's good about on demand platform legistlation. I'm probably just going to stick to Now TV for the moment despite it's terrible interface. Presumibly both the sky q on demand platform and now tv will, hopefully,, be changed into an audio description friendly platform at the same time.

Submitted by alex wallis on Sunday, August 11, 2019

Hi James, thanks for the warning about freesat, I wasn't aware that suffered with accessibility issues, I was telling my dad about that the other day as he was bemoaning his high bill he pays from sky, think I will quietly let that one drop, as it turns out his high bill is is own fault for not renewing his contract with sky.
as to rnib yes they have worked with sky to make the sky talker, which I never had the dubious pleasure of trying, but by all accounts it was never that reliable and frequently crashed and was never really updated or supported by sky. the rnib does very little of use in my view and mostly just exists to perpetuate itself.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Sunday, August 11, 2019

I’m glad to hear that other users are starting to see some benefit to my negotiations with Sky. Again, I can’t share any information on here for obvious reasons but I can Say that other improvements have been made and although not major developments, I certainly are a step in the right direction and my impression is that Sky will continue to make improvements As more resource has been put in place to specifically look at these issues Sky Q is certainly usable once someone becomes used to the user interface and it’s quirks. I’m not sure I’d go back to SkyQ now as there are advantages to sky Q. I will certainly continue to forward feedback from this forum to my contact at Sky as and when appropriate but please can everyone make sure that they raise any issues with the access ability to and if you receive Park ostomy service, please progress your concerns through the sky complaints procedure as I would hope and expect all of these complaints should now be treated with the importance they deserve which may not of been the case

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, August 12, 2019

Hi folks,

I've a suspicion, in fact, that RNIB held us back on this one. Before we all started campaigning on this, and before Peter really got into his excellent work with sky, the response you would normally get from Sky was that the RNIB had told them SkyQ was accessible, so that was that as far as Sky was concerned. If that's right it suggests that RNIB has minimal expectations for products such as this. It may not be right, of course, but if you look at how little RNIB has done in the DAB radio market by comparison, it lends weight to the idea that this is not their forte. In the past I have had better advice on accessible DAB radios from Roberts than I have from RNIB.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, August 12, 2019

agree about rnib, and as to dab radios your right, I think the only people active in this space are the BWBF, but most of there radios don't quite meet my needs, the concerto2 was closest to meeting them, but I don't think it is a true modern dab radio at least for its broadcasts that it picks up, and it lacks a few other features I would have found useful.
I think the rnib is only interested in trying to flog us getto specialisst expensive technology or working with us if we are very elderly, for me as someone in my 30s the rnib has very little relevance for me. the only thing they have done in the past few years which was of use to me was accessible debit and credit cards, but even that I had some issues with which they weren't useful in solving.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, August 12, 2019

Alex, Roberts were actually very good when I asked them about their particular models. They did not recommend the Concerto, which is the one BWBF sell and which I agree is a bit limited, but instead they suggested the Ecologic4, and then the Ecologic4BT, both of which are very very good from a usability point of view. Audio quality is excellent, as I've always found to be the case with Roberts. So if you're still in the market for a DAB radio you might want to get the latest in the Ecologic series, whatever that is. it's been three years since I bought one so things may well have moved on. RNIB I think were quite keen to push the TVOnics solution while that was still being made, but that was talking Freeview of course so naught to do with Sky.

Submitted by alex wallis on Monday, August 12, 2019

Hi, thanks for the advice, the concerto2 does most of what I need, just doesn't support a few audio formats like flac, Bluetooth might be nice but not a must. plus I don't need the tape deck, but still want an ability to play cds, I am broadly happy with the concerto2. also it has a nasty habit of randomly wiping my station presets every so often then its a very frustrating process putting them back on. still I will keep an eye on Roberts offerings. anyway lets not hijack this topic by taking it off sky.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Hi All, and thanks for all of your recent comments.
James, we're glad to hear that this was resolved for you. We recently ran some very productive workshops with our accessibility agents. In addition, based on your feedback, we are taking further steps this week to ensure all agents are aware of the issue.
Being visually impaired myself, I absolutely recognise that the current situation is not ideal, and that the omission of remote control functionality in the Sky Q app has had an adverse effect on those who rely on text to speech. What has been discussed here remains a short term workaround, with our longer term plan being to enable text to speech on the set top box. This we believe is the best way to ensure complete equality of access to the box for our visually impaired customers. This is a large technical project, but one we are committed to.
Thanks also for your positive comments about the customer service received when calling Sky. We hope you will continue to reach out to our accessibility team, and to be happy with the level of service.
So while we believe Sky Q is an excellent product, I absolutely assure you myself and my colleagues are fully aware of the limitations of the product in relation to blind and visually impaired customers, and are working hard to address them. Your feedback only helps to make that happen, so thank you for reaching out.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Thanks Dave. Means a lot to be heard and to know that there is someone who is actually in the same boat working on this. I look forward to seeing, figuratively, what comes up in the future.

Submitted by alex wallis on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

well this is certainly encouraging that sky hopes to add text to speech to the box itself, hopefully this might mean we have more access to its functions than even the phone provides when using plus, though of course I am sure this is a very long term plan, still hopefully if its done right it will work very well, and give you an edge over the competition.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Dave, thank you very much for this very positive input from yourself and Sky. I think this is a really positive step but please could I ask that the dialogue continues as unfortunately as you will see from previous Sky contributions, we were given hope that Sky was listening but then whoever was contributing on behalf of Sky just disappeared and not answering any of our concerns. I feel confident that will not be the case this time so thanks again and I’m sure all of us look forward to seeing the improvements to come.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Wednesday, August 14, 2019

As someone who has contributed regularly to this discussion over the years I just wanted to add my thanks, Dave. Your comments are very encouraging. I love Sky and think it's a great product and I'm happy to stick with Sky if I know these limitations are being ironed out.

Submitted by SkyAccess on Friday, August 16, 2019

Hi All,
A new version of the Sky Go app is being launched this week. It is a phased rollout. Some of you may already have received an email about this.
Key Points:
The Sky Go and Sky Q apps have been merged into a single app.
Sky Q customers will now have the additional functionality, such as viewing recordings, inside the Sky Go app.
The Sky Q app will therefore soon be discontinued.
New cleaner user interface.
On iPhone, the slide out drawer (or hamburger menu) is gone, with the main navigation now being through tabs at the bottom of the screen.
On iPad, the side menu is gone, again replaced by tabs at the bottom of the screen.
Sky Q customers have an additional tab for Recordings.
I'm very happy to say that during video playback, the playback controls are now accessible to VoiceOver.
All buttons and other elements have clear VoiceOver labels.
Known issues:
While the playback controls are accessible to VoiceOver, you need to toggle VoiceOver off and tap the screen in order to dismiss them.
In the Home tab, there are headings for each sub-section, but VoiceOver does not recognise them as headings.
Where the programme tile is only an image, the whole tile is picked up as a VoiceOver touch target as we would want. However, where there is text underneath an image, VoiceOver only sees the text part. For technical reasons, fixing this would have caused more serious issues for customers on some older devices.
Ideally, "Item x of y" would be said after the programme title, rather than before it, but all relevant information is read by VoiceOver, and it is useful to know how many items are in the rail.
Hope the app works well for you and happy to hear your feedback.
Many thanks,

Submitted by Michael on Friday, August 16, 2019

Thank you for relaying all the new features in the new sky Q and sky go app. This sounds very interesting and can’t wait to try it out. The few problems that you have indicated are well worked around options. I have one query. Which is always been my biggest thing with the Sky Q app is do I still need a multi viewing box i.e. to box in the house to access the recordings on my sky Q app which will be the new app now. So do I still have to have a second box as I have got rid of my second multiview which box because it was for €17 and I’m now enquiring can I have only the sky Q box. And still access my recordings on the new app. As that was not on the soon-to-be old sky Q app if this still is not the case. The new app would be still 100% useless as the whole purpose of sky Q box is to record multiple shows and have them on demand but if you cannot access them you cannot play them thank you in advance sky

Submitted by SkyAccess on Friday, August 16, 2019

Hi Michael. There is no change in that respect. Sky Q customers will be able to view recordings, but the Multiscreen is required.
Please do call our accessibility team though to discuss your particular situation.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, August 16, 2019

I believe I've got the new version here. Much better experience. Thank you for including us in the update. It means a lot.

Is there any indication that sky go might come to apple TV? Possibly under the multiscreen arrangement?

Submitted by SkyAccess on Friday, August 16, 2019

Thanks Oliver, glad you like it.
I'm not aware of any plans right now, but that's not to say it'll never happen. If it does, we will be working hard from the start to ensure it is accessible.

Submitted by James O'Dell on Sunday, August 18, 2019

HI all

Just to add regarding the new Sky Go app, it is a much improved and more functional and accessible experience than the previous Sky Q app.
As well as the points referred to above by Sky access re being able to access the Playback controls when streaming material from the Sky Q box and the improved and easier navigation with tabs at the bottom of the window, there are some other very welcome changes.
With the multi-screen add-on which Sky have agreed to refund for blind customers who cannot navigate the Sky Q interface, it is now possible to stream both live TV and recorded shows from the Sky Q box with audio description. This is not possible with the sky q app. I know that the upgraded app has made the difference here as I can stream the same recording from the Sky q box to both apps and AD consistently only works with the newer Sky Go app.
So you can access AD through the app for any recorded show which has AD and are no longer limited to shows which can be downloaded or the time limits for viewing which apply to downloads. So you can now access BBC AD via Sky Q. Previously this didn't work as BBC shows are not available for Download through Sky Q and AD only worked on downloads.
It is also possible with the new app to manage series links and delete recordings from the Sky Q box. When you delete an episode, Voice Over reads a message along the lines of "this show is no longer available, check your network connection or go to downloads" which doesn't quite fit the context, but at least deleting works.
The issues with the phone not responding to every double tap with Voice Over when navigating the interface also appear to have been resolved.
So the only things that you cannot do with the new app are change channel on the TV or play a show on the TV connected to the box, which I realise will be very important for some people.
I haven't tried to Airplay from the app to an Apple TV yet so don't know if that would be a solution for people who want to play programmes on the TV for children and so on. If no-one else tries this I will give it a go in a few days and let you know if it works.
There are some minor issues with the new Sky Go app. Firstly, when using the "flick" gestures to move through programmes in the TV guide, the record button for a programme appears before the programme title itself. So, for example you may flick right and hear "Record Match of the Day" and then flick right again and hear "match of the day", flick right again and hear "Record BBC News" followed by "BBC News". this is a little counter-intuitive as it would normally be the other way round, but at least the label for the "record" button includes the name of the programme, so there is no doubt what you are recording.
There is a more significant issue with recording shows from BBC channels with audio description. I am in Wales but I think that this issue applies to anywhere outside the BBC London region for BBC1 and anywhere outside England for BBC2. There may also be a similar issue with regional variations of Channel 4 in England but I am not sure about this so will use the BBC as my example.
Unless I am missing something, there is no AD on channel 101 unless you are in London or 102 unless you are in England. Only BBC 1 London (channel 954 outside London) and BBC2 England (channel 969 outside England) carry audio description, so you have to scroll all the way down the channel list to reach these channels to set a recording. searching for a BBC programme title only seems to show you the local version of the BBC channels, although admittedly I haven't tried recording from search results. There is no easy way to get to the bottom of the list of channels to reach 954 for BBC1 or 969 for BBC2. If you land on the first tab control at the bottom and flick left you land on the last visible channel in the guide,not the very bottom. You can't just display your favourite channels in the sky Go app guide as far as I know, as you can in the Sky Plus app. So you have to scroll the whole list which is several hundred pages long using three-finger gestures to scroll up and down . a partial solution is to select the "entertainment" genre of channels in the guide in the app, which cuts the list down to 49 pages of channels, but that is still quite a list to scroll through. Adding favourites functionality to the app or a keypad where you could type in a channel number would solve this. This issue does not stop you recording these channels, but it does take a while!
I don't think ITV is affected by this issue as I understand that all regional versions of ITV on Sky carry AD, so you can access it on channel 103.
However, these are very minor issues with a much improved app. I can tell that Sky have really made a significant effort to improve the accessibility of the sky Go and Sky Q experience with Voice Over and this is really encouraging. I hope that we continue to see progress and it was really heartening to hear that Sky is committed to bringing speech output to the Sky Q box. I agree that this will be the most inclusive way of ensuring accessibility for visually impaired people as a lot of people who enjoy TV are not able to master the skills to use mobile apps.
Thank you.

Hi JamesODell, your posting is very useful for me :)
I just need to clarify about the AudioDescription in new SkyGo app, which is your statement here = " it is now possible to stream both live TV and recorded shows from the Sky Q box with audio description. This is not possible with the sky q app. I know that the upgraded app has made the difference here as I can stream the same recording from the Sky q box to both apps and AD consistently only works with the newer Sky Go app.
So you can access AD through the app for any recorded show which has AD and are no longer limited to shows which can be downloaded or the time limits for viewing which apply to downloads."

I recorded some programmes that have AudioDescription to my Sky box and I hear their AudioDescription playing from my box, but I do not hear their AudioDescription when I play them in my new SkyGo app in my iphone, both from Recordings menu and from Downloads menu (after I download them to my iphone). I used 'Spiderman Into the Spider Verse', 'Elementary Series 7 episode 5', 'Ralph Breaks The Internet' which have the AD badge.
I know that AudioDescription has never been available when played in previous SkyGo app or SkyQ app before, so I am curious which programmes did you use that have AudioDescription available in new SkyGo app like you described?

Thank you in advance.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Could it be because you’re choosing to download the program to iPhone meaning it is downloading the OnDemand version rather than that on your box? Instead of downloading it to your iPhone, just choose to play the program in the apps recordings tab and see if the audio description plays then as that will be taking it from your box.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I realise this may not be the case for everybody, but for me the new sky go app is a game changer. Just in 24 hours, I’ve managed to completely clean up my recordings on the box, and have very easily been able to set recordings and scheduled recordings. i can watch programs, even live programs with audio description with very little effort. I would argue that this solution is now far better than Sky plus Particularly given that it is very easy to get your box to play a specific program using voice recognition as long as you give the exact name of the program which you can now see easily using the app. although Dave seems keen to pass on our feedback, I also intend to provide feedback direct to my contact sky so feel free to post any requests here and I will pass them on in addition to Dave‘s efforts just so we know we are being listened to. Does anybody else agree it would now be safe for blind customers to upgrade to sky Q? Of course making sure that they have a multi room subscription included for free in that package via the accessibility team as this is needed to be able to use the app in the way we’ve discussed.

Hi. If I understand you right. I still require a second sky Q box i.e. multiview which box. Which I need to still purchase for €17. A month for 12 months. So I can use the app to which 100% capacity. So the new sky go app will work with the second multiview each box. And if I do not have that I still not can’t access my recordings. I do not see the difference between the Sky Q app and the sky go app if this is the point. As in the sky Q app I could still get into my recordings and delete and money and record multiple shows with series link. So unfortunately if they do not fix the issue of requiring us to get a second box for €17 a month I personally do not see the point of moving over to the new sky go app

Submitted by SkyAccess on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hi Michael. I'll try to clarify this for you.
Previously, we had two separate apps, Sky Go and Sky Q. In reality, the apps were almost identical, except that the Sky Q app had some additional features, allowing you to browse and view your recordings from your Sky Q box on your iPhone or iPad.
Now, we have merged the two into a single app, just called Sky Go. Those features which were previously exclusive to theSky Q app, are now available in this new Sky Go app, but only too Sky Q customers.
So in a sense, feature availability has not changed. It's just that it's all done in the Sky Go app now, and the Sky Q app is being discontinued.
Yes, a Multiscreen subscription is required to access some of these features. But if you feel that is not appropriate for your situation, please give our Accessibility team a call and explain your situation.
As mentioned above though, there have also been a number of accessibility improvements to this new Sky Go app.
Hope that helps.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Michael, the differences between the new Sky Go app and the old sky Q app are that the Sky Go app is much more easy and accessible with voice-over. You can also delete and manage your recordings far easier in the new app. You could not delete recordings from your box using the sky Q app. Also, the playback controls in the app are fully accessible with voice-over which they were not with the sky Q app. Yes, you will need a sky multi room subscription. However, on a case-by-case basis, the accessibility team can consider as a reasonable adjustment whether this should be offered for free. Looking at previous posts, I think in that situation, you just wouldn’t receive the second box but would have the benefits of the multi room subscription within the Sky Go app. I think it’s important that blind customers are made aware that this is a possible option even though it isn’t guaranteed in every case.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Sunday, August 25, 2019


Just at my folks who have multi screen. I'm struggling to find how to view what is on their sky q box with the new go app. I can set something to record, but there doesn't seem to be a tab for what is actually on the box. I've also not been prompted, as in the sky Q app, to connect to the sky Q box. Am I missing something here?Thanks

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Sunday, August 25, 2019

If anyone is running iOS 13 beta, there is an issue with the app which means it will not find your box and bring up the recordings tab. Affix has already been found and I’m sure will be released shortly.

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