Having been on sale for a few months now, you’ve had plenty of time to get a Sky Q box set up and sitting under your TV. It’s a lovely service, with a great span of movies and TV shows to watch, and a striking interface to catch it all in. But it can also sometimes be a bit confusing, and some of its useful features aren’t always very clearly highlighted. Enter our Sky Q tips and tricks, pulling together some nifty nuggets of info to help you get the most out of your new subscription telly box.
We’ll be updating this post as more tweaks are made to Sky Q, and more Sky Q tips and tricks present themselves, so keep this page bookmarked and keep checking back. We’ve avoided listing all the most obvious controls (you’re not idiots, right?), but if you’ve got a Sky Q trick that we’ve missed out, let us know in the comments section down the bottom.
Turn out the Bright Blue Q Light
For that true cinema experience in your home, you’ll want to a) draw the curtains, b) dim the lights and c) pour coke all over the carpets. Points a) and c) are easy enough, but with Sky Q, dimming the lights is a little harder because of its constantly glowing blue status light around the front. Though there’s no way to turn it off permanently, you can temporarily switch off the light by swiping right on the circular touchpad, immediately followed by the “Back” button. Either that or bung it around the back of the telly or put some tape over it.
Help Finding a Lost Sky Q Touch Remote
Sky Q Touch Remote lost in the depths of a toybox or down the back of the sofa? Fear not! Head over to your Sky Q box, hit the glowing Q symbol and it’ll send out a signal causing your Touch Remote to beep, helping you track it down.
Fixing the No Satellite Signal Bug When the Sky Q Box Wakes Up
This one is particularly annoying. You may find that your main Sky Q box may struggle to find a satellite signal when it wakes from sleep overnight, preventing you from watching anything on the telly. A dirty fix for this is to unplug the box from the main for a full reset, bringing back the signal. But a more thorough fix is to head through the menus to Settings > Setup > Preferences and then change to “Standby Mode” from its default “Eco” setting to the “Active” setting instead. This will use a little more power, but it’ll stop the annoying loss of signal that “Eco” mode causes, at least until Sky roll out an update to squash the bug.
The Back Button is Your Friend
The Sky Q Touch Remote has some odd quirks to it, the most obvious being the lack of a stop button. The same goes for using its “Sky”, “Home” and “i” info buttons – where you’d expect pushing each of these buttons once would open their respective menus, and pushing them again would close the menus. Except they don’t. The Back button, to the bottom left of the Touch Remote’s circular pad, sorts out all of the above instead, closing menus and stopping playback.
Search Days Forward in the Planner
Scanning way into the future of the Sky Q box EPG can be a bit of a chore, keeping the Touch Remote’s circular pad swiped and held to the right. If you want to jump a few days forward in a hurry, hit the remote’s Fast Forward key to jump days at a time. The Rewind button works the same when jumping backwards in the EPG.
Speedy Fast-Forward and Rewind
Here’s another tip using those same two buttons – if you want to jump through a show more quickly, you don’t have to be limited to the 2x fast forward or rewind speeds. Keep tapping those fast-forward / rewind buttons and you can jump from 2x speed to 6x, 12x and 30x the scanning speed.
Automatically Get the Best Quality Downloads
Ain’t nobody got time for Standard Definition anymore. Jump into the menus and go through Settings > Setup> Preferences and then change the “On demand default download format” setting to “HD”. You’ll then always get the highest-quality recording of on-demand content available saved to your box.
View Facebook Photos on Your Telly
This is a great little addition. Sky’s let you you look at photos on your TV through the Sky box before, so long as they’re saved to your phone first. That feature is still present. But the Sky Q box also adds Facebook into the mix. Hit the three-dot “Apps” button on your remote, scroll down to Photos, and then select the Facebook option. You’ll then need to visit sky.com/myphotos, which will talk you through syncing your box to your Facebook account, which requires a pairing code that your Sky Q box will generate. You’ll then be able to access all your Facebook photos through Sky Q, separated into their appropriate album structures, and even set them up to scroll through as an auto-playing gallery.
Make the Sky Q Remote Control Your TV and Home Cinema Receiver
Well worth the effort this one. Go to Settings > Setup > Remote control, and then pick the appropriate Sky Q remote you’re currently using. You’ll then be walked through a process which pairs your remote with your TV and/ or home cinema receiver, letting you use the remote’s buttons to control volume, mute the TV and select AV sources. Hook your TV up, and a long press of the power button will turn it off too when you’re finished watching.
Fix Sky Q Lip-Sync Problems
You may initially notice that the Sky Q box can have some problems syncing up words with mouth movements, a lip-sync problem that makes everyone look like ventriloquist’s dummies. You can fix this by heading into the menu and going to Settings > Setup > Audio Visual and then tweaking the “Digital audio output delay” setting, ramping up or down the number of milliseconds between the audio and visual signals being sent from your box. Handily, Sky’s set this up with a picture-in-picture view, letting you see in real-time if your tweaks have fixed the problem.
Turn on Subtitles or Audio Description with Sky Q
It’s hidden away, but getting subtitles to show up in Sky Q is actually incredibly quick and easy when you know how. The same goes for Audio Descriptions. Simply hit the “?” button on the bottom of the remote while watching a show and the options will appear onscreen.
Sky Q Recordings Shortcut
No faff with this one – the “Sky” button at the top of the remote brings you straight to your recordings from anywhere in the Sky Q interface.
Check Your Sky Q Bills and Payments
Kids figured out your pin code and been spending loads of money on Pay-Per-View WWE events? You can check the damage by hitting the home menu button, scrolling all the way down to where it says My Account, and then browsing the onscreen bills and payments breakdowns, showing you exactly what’s been spent. It’s here that you can change your Sky pin number, too.
Restore a Deleted Programme
If you’ve accidentally deleted the finale of your favourite TV show, it’s not the end of the world. Sky Q actually stores its deleted shows in a bin of sorts, which only permanently deletes stuff if you expressly ask it to, or if your storage space is completely full, at which point it removes oldest deleted content first. So, providing neither of those things have happened, you can go back in and save a deleted show or film by hitting your remote control’s “Sky” button to enter the Recordings menu. Then roll down to Deleted, scroll over to the show you want to restore, swipe right once more so that “Undelete” is highlighted, and select it. Saved! You’ll also see that below “Undelete” is the option to “Delete forever”, too, should that be required.