EE and BT broadband customers can upgrade in-person as UK shops to reopen in days

EE and BT stores will reopen from June 15 allowing customers to upgrade their phones or broadband service in person rather than via call centres. These popular shops, which are shared by the jointly owned firms, were closed earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and the UK government ordering a total lockdown of the country.

However, with restrictions being slowly lifted, EE and BT are now reopening their retail spaces on high streets.

This will be a phased roll-out and there’s no word just yet on which shops will be open for business from the middle of June.

Explaining more, Lee Frankham, BT’s Retail Director, said: “At this difficult time for everyone, there is no substitute for personal, local service. We’re ready to re-open our stores to help our customers with the connections and help they need.

“Keeping our customers and our people safe is our number one priority, and we’ve been working tirelessly to introduce measures so everyone can be confident to visit our stores knowing that we can look after them and each other. We’re thankful to our amazing retail colleagues who have been helping customers online during the past month, and we are looking forward to welcoming customers back to our stores”


  • Sky customers finally set for the broadband speed boost they deserve

The telecoms firm says that an enormous amount of hard work has made the openings possible with a range of measures being enforced to make sure customers and staff feel safe.

Customers will need to book their in-store visit and retail advisors can add them into the GreetMe queue. Customers will also be alerted via email or SMS regarding appointments.

To avoid contact, the stores will have virtual demos available, complete with images, specifications, and comparison tool, showing customers the full range while social distancing.

3D Views will also let customers see the device properly, rotating as needed, with help guides detailing step by step instructions.

The news comes as Virgin Media has confirmed that it will not re-open its 53 high street stores when the lockdown ends.

According to Virgin Media, it has taken the decision to permanently shutter its store due to falling footfall from customers. The vast majority of sales and customer enquiries take place online or over the phone, it says.

The 341 shop workers who worked in Virgin Media’s store haven’t been furloughed. The company will be offered first refusal of some 300 newly created at-home customer service roles as well as 50 field sales advisor roles nationwide.

Source: Read Full Article

The next radical Apple MacBook design has been revealed in new plans

Apple could be looking to change its MacBook keyboard design …again. But don’t worry, the Cupertino-based company isn’t looking to revert back to its hugely controversial Butterfly-style keyboard, which – after years of reliability issues with the keys – was only recently banished from its line-up with the arrival of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro earlier this month.

Instead, a newly-discovered patent from Apple suggests that it’s interested in bringing gesture support to the keyboard… as well as a built-in wireless charger to top-up your iPhone while you’re working. The keyboard would be able to recognise shapes traced over the surface of the keys, so you’d be able to use a pinch-to-zoom gesture on the key caps themselves as a shortcut.

Swiping from right to left on the keys could be a quick way to cycle between images in an album. This should save you time – as you’re not constantly reaching down to the trackpad. That’s a good thing – as there might not actually be a trackpad to reach for.

According to another patent unearthed by Patently Apple, the Californian firm is looking into expanding the trackpad from a single rectangle that sits underneath the keyboard. But provided the technology makes it out of the R&D laboratory and into a finished product, Apple wants to transform the entire body of the MacBook into a trackpad.

Dubbed a “Dynamic Input Surface”, MacBook owners would be able to customise the size of the touch-sensitive area beneath the keyboard depending on their preference. According to the patent, the trackpad-like area would be able to run to the edge of the chassis. Provided you’re using the laptop on a desk – so that you’ve got somewhere to rest your palms – you’ll be able to take advantage of a vast trackpad.

Apple will use illumination to show the size of the trackpad, so you’ll always be aware of which area can be used to interact with the apps on-screen.

The company wants to use the same haptic feedback systems it currently uses to simulate a click on its Force Trackpad. The latter never actually moves, but sends a small vibration through the glass to make it feel as if the surface has depressed whenever you push to click.

Apple MacBooks already boast some of the most generous trackpads on the market, with its glass surfaces only leaving a small slither of aluminium to work as a palm rest when typing with the notebook balanced on your knees. If this patent is anything to go by, Apple wants to ensure it retains that crown.

Multi-national technology companies, like Apple and Google, patent technology and designs that never end up in finished products. So, there is no guarantee that the designs seen in these documents will ship in a MacBook in the future. There are a number of hurdles to overcome here.

Edge-to-edge designs look stunning, but often have drawbacks in functionality. For example, dual-curved touchscreens, like the ones seen on the Samsung Galaxy S20, can register false taps and swipes as you grip the smartphone. With such a vast trackpad area, Apple would need to ensure its software is smart enough to know when your palms are resting on the touch-sensitive area.


  • iOS 13.5 has an improvement every iPhone owner needs right now

Not only that, but usual wear and tear from watch straps and wedding rings could damage the sensitivity of the expansive trackpad. There’s no point having a trackpad that extends across the entire body of the laptop if huge portions of it are irreparably damaged by scratches.

Finally, there is the possibility of a charging point built into the body of the laptop. How this gels with the touch-sensitive surface remains to be seen, but it’s a really fun idea. The ability to place your iPhone on the body of the laptop to charge while you’re in a video call, watching a movie on a train journey, or working is supremely enticing.

Apple recently updated its MacBook Air, 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. So, we might be waiting a little while for the next design overhaul to see whether any of these patents make it into a finished product that will be stocked in an Apple Store.

Source: Read Full Article

Marshall Monitor II ANC review: rock solid headphones, but not quite the headline act

The Monitor II ANC are the latest Sony WH-1000XM3 rivals from legendary audio brand Marshall. With its second iteration of the wireless headphones, it has added active noise-cancellation and a huge battery boost – with up to 45 hours of continuous listening time between charges.

But has Marshall done enough to become our go-to recommended pair of Bluetooth noise-cancellation headphones? Well, that depends.

One thing the Marshall Monitor II ANC hold over the Sony WH-1000XM3 and the BOSE 700 Series – two of our favourite noise-cancellation headphones on the market right now – is personality. The design is an elegant balancing act between a compact, modern headphone and the rich guitar amp history of the brand. Of course, if you’ve never heard of Marshall, the coiled wires and brass control button on the Monitor II ANCs might not conjure any fuzzy feelings. But anyone who has recently trawled Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton performances on YouTube will be chuffed with the nostalgic feel to these headphones.

And even if you don’t fall into the latter category, there is something more tactile and interesting about the design of the Monitor II ANCs compared to the sleek clean lines and minimalism of the Bose 700 Series. And honestly, anything is better than the utterly bland design of the award-winning Sony WH-1000XM3s.

Another thing that Marshall has really nailed compared to the competition is the controls. The aforementioned omnidirectional control brass button is a really convenient way to skip forward or backwards around your playlist, adjust the volume, play and pause. A physical button is a failsafe way to do all of these – compared with the swipes and taps on you’ll need to do with the touch-sensitive ear cups on rival headphones. The latter always works well enough in the shop showroom, but can be teeth-grindingly annoying when you’re hot and bothered, crammed into a commuter train while wearing the cans.

So, Marshall Monitor II ANCs get a lot of the basics right. The headphones look good on and off your bonce, the controls are rock-solid. The ear-cups, covered with generous padding and faux leather covering, are extremely comfortable. Despite enveloping your entire ear in the cups, the Monitor II ANCs still manage to cut a slim figure. And they collapse down compact enough to pop into the bundled carry case when you’re done – so you won’t have to keep them around your neck when you’re not listening to save space in your backpack.

Of course, if you think it looks cooler to keep them around your neck throughout the day – feel free, daddio.

When listening, the leatherette-covered foam on the headband remains comfortable even after hours and hours of listening. And that’s a good thing because the Marshall Monitor II ANCs pack a serious punch when it comes to battery life.

Marshall quotes 45-hours with the active noise-cancellation switched off. And that has undoubtedly held true in our time with the Monitor II ANCs – despite their compact footprint, these headphones last and last and last.

If you’re on an aeroplane or working in a noisy office, the active noise cancellation drops the battery life to 30-hours. That’s exactly the same as you’ll get from the current leader of the pack, the Sony WH-1000XM3.

Charging is handled via USB-C, so if you’ve got a relatively recent MacBook, Android smartphone, iPad Pro or Nintendo Switch, you’ll be able to travel with a single charger to top-up all of your gadgets on the road. Getting to 100% can take a couple of hours, but a quick 15-minute top-up will leave you with five-hours of extra listening time – so you’ll be able to keep listening (almost) continuously even on the longest journeys.

But all of this would be pretty meaningless if the Marshall Monitor II ANCs didn’t sound any good? So, you’ll be pleased to know that the sound is pretty great from these compact cans.

As you might expect given the brand, the Marshall Monitor II ANCs handle rock really, really well. The sound is incredibly clear – despite the fact that Marshall has chosen not to support the AAC codex (for Apple) or aptX codec (for Android).

Despite what the codec conundrums might suggest, the Monitor II ANCs have some serious audio oomph. The headphones can also manage the likes of R&B, pop, and soul with aplomb. Although, if you’re looking for teeth-shattering bass, you might be better picking up a pair of Beats.


  • Latest Consumer Tech Reviews From

While the active noise-cancellation is solid – it’s not as breath-taking as you’ll find on the rival pairs. It will easily goggle-up the throb of a plane engine, or the hum or the office printer behind your desk – but smaller sounds can still creep-in. If you’re looking for the ultimate isolating noise-cancellation, you’ll find that with BOSE and Sony.

Like most modern Bluetooth headphones, there is a listen-through mode, dubbed Monitoring Mode by Marshall. So, if you can see a friend or colleague angrily mouthing at you – you can quickly cut the music and let their tirade cut through the noise-cancellation without taking the headphones off your head. It’s really handy when listening out for train announcements, but it’s a shame that Marshall insists on cutting the music completely, rather than dimming it like some other brands.

Marshall has made a companion smartphone app that offers a frankly ridiculously number of options, but the ability to keep the music in Monitoring Mode isn’t one of them.

Marshall Monitor II ANC review: Final Verdict

There’s so much to like about the Marshall Monitor II ANCs – they have bags and bags of character (something of a rarity in a sea of almost-identical bland modern cans), not to mention bags and bags of battery life too. The sound is great and the controls are the most dependable on the market.

Unfortunately, the noise-cancellation isn’t as rocking as some similarly-priced rivals on the market. If that’s the only reason you’re looking for a new pair of wireless headphones, you’d be better off with the latest from BOSE or Sony. But if you’re not planning to flick on the active noise-cancellation until your next plane journey and you can get a good deal on these Monitor II ANCs, there’s a lot to love here.

Source: Read Full Article

Sky TV free upgrade could not have come at a better time for customers

Sky Q users might want to fire up their set-top boxes and try out the latest free upgrade that’s just been released by the satellite TV firm. Anyone who happens to have the latest Sky Q box installed in their homes can now head to the App section of the home screen and discover a swathe of free games which will certainly help to kill some time during the current lockdown.

This fun update comes courtesy of PlayWorks with a total of 20 titles available to play right on your TV.

The mini-games include classics such as Tetris, Solitaire and Mah Jongg, as well as mobile hits like Doodle Jump and Crossy Road.

All can be controlled using the Sky remote so you don’t need additional hardware. If you’re struggling to find this feature you can simply use the voice control on the remote – just say ‘Open PlayWorks’ and things should launch without you having to scroll through endless menus.

Here’s a full list of all the games available on Sky Q from today.

Text Twist • Strike • Doodle Jump • Super Collapse 2 • Moodies • Solitaire Classic • Carrot Mania Pirates • Hearts • Space Moodies • Tetris • Purple Rescue • A Maze-ing MAC • Darts • Letter Sense • Carrot Mania Space • Vs 100 • Crossy Road • Solitaire Towers • Mahjongg • 2048


  • Virgin Media reveals the truth about your broadband speeds

Along with this new gaming app, Sky is boasting that it will be adding a specially curated selection of apps across fitness, music and learning in the coming months.

There’s no word on exactly what extra apps are coming to Sky Q but the firm will, no doubt, announce more news on this soon.

Once launched, these will join the likes of Netflix and YouTube which are already available on Sky Q and Disney+ which recently launched on the popular platform.

Disney+, which costs £5.99 per month, offers instant access to hundreds of shows and movies from franchises including Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel.

You can now purchase Disney+ directly through Sky as long as you’re an existing Sky Q customer. Once you have purchased, Disney+ will be added to your monthly bill.

Sky also says that those who purchase Disney+ through their service will see recommendations side by side and be able to manage bills together in one place.

Source: Read Full Article

Google Pixel 5 disaster? Mastermind behind award-winning Pixel camera has quietly left

It’s no secret the camera is one of the greatest weapon in the Google Pixel’s arsenal. The flagship smartphone series regularly tops the charts as one of the handsets on store shelves right now. While the Pixel series might not have the performance found on the likes of the OnePlus 8 or the stunning edge-to-edge designs found on the Galaxy S20 series, it will always be our go-to recommendation when it comes to smartphone photography.

However, the smartphone might lose that crown with the next entry into its flagship series.

That’s because two executives who were instrumental in the computational photography technology that powers the Pixel camera have left the company in recent months, according to a report from The Information. Engineer Marc Levoy and Pixel general manager Mario Queiroz have both left the team developing the future of Google Pixel hardware.

Queiroz is believed to have quietly moved from the Google Pixel team two months before the launch of the Pixel 4 into a new role which reports directly to Google CEO Sundar Pichai. However, Queiroz appears to have departed Google in January – after a few weeks in the new role. Marc Levoy left Google in March, which has been confirmed in an update to his LinkedIn.

According to the report in The Information, which broke the news of the crucial executives turning their back on the Pixel teams, there are growing criticisms inside the Californian company about the leadership of hardware boss Rick Osterloh.

It states: “At a hardware team all-hands meeting in the fall, ahead of the October launch in New York, Osterloh informed staff about his own misgivings. He told them he did not agree with some of the decisions made about the phone, according to two people who were present at the meeting. In particular, he was disappointed in its battery power.”

According to unconfirmed sales figures in the exclusive report, the Pixel 4 has failed to shift as many units as its predecessor, the Pixel 3. Google purportedly only shipped some 2 million Pixel 4 and 4 XLs in the first two financial quarters following the launch of the handset last year.


  • Google Chrome update fixes browser’s worst trait. Here’s how to try it

In the same period last year, Google shipped 3.5 million Pixel 3 phones and almost 3 million more affordable Pixel 3As. The Google Pixel has always enjoyed a very vocal fanbase, however, the sales have never caused heavyweights like Samsung or Apple to flinch. According to figures from IDC, Apple sold 73.8 million iPhones in same quarter as the Pixel 4 was launched, for example.

Google typically announces its latest flagship hardware, including Google Home smart home gadgets and Chromebooks as well as the next entry in its smartphone series, in October. Whether it will keep to the same schedule this year due to the ongoing global public health crisis remains to be seen.

However, the Google Pixel could lose some of its charm due to these very high-profile departures and lose its crown as the best smartphone camera available to rivals Samsung and Apple.

Source: Read Full Article

Android finally gets the messaging feature iPhone fans have loved for years

Android smartphone owners could soon get the option to send simple replies to messages thanks to a new feature being launched by Google. The new reaction style update was first spotted earlier this year but it appears this change has now begun rolling out across the world in beta version of the Android messaging app.

This upgrade brings Android in line with the iPhone with users of Apple’s smartphone already able to respond to a message with six instant reactions such as a love heart, thumbs up or question mark.

Apple rolled out this feature back in 2016 and it’s proven to be a hugely popular addition to its Messages platform.

There’s no official word on when everyone will see the new Android feature but Android Police is stating that it is rolling out more widely to beta testers which could mean a mainstream release isn’t far away.

Last year Google started rolling out its newest messaging initiative – Rich Communication Services, better known as RCS.


  • iPhone SE has competition: Samsung, Sony and Huawei fight back

The Mountain View firm sees RCS as the next-generation of communication that advances traditional SMS by allowing conversations over Wi-Fi or mobile data and to send photos and videos at a more rapid pace.

In a blog post discussing the feature, the Mountain View firm said: “Earlier this year, we enabled the ability for anyone in the UK, France, and Mexico to get chat features in Messages and we’ll continue to work on bringing this to everyone on Messages around the world.

“We’re also committed to working with our partners, including carriers and device makers, to provide a consistent and interoperable experience for everyone on Android.”

It’s possible that Google was going to announce more news on this upgrade during its I/O developers conference but with that event cancelled due to the current health crisis it could be a firm reveals more, via a news alert, in the weeks ahead.

In its place, Google will be holding a live stream that will lift the lid on what Android fans can expect of the next iteration of the mobile OS.

On June 3 a stream will be held that announces the first public beta for Android 11, and the broadcast should give a rundown of all of that software’s big features.

Google said the stream will have “news, updates, and announcements” on “connectivity, controls, safety, security, productivity, accessibility” and more.

The date of the stream is also when the first public beta for Android 11 goes live, offering everyday users the chance to get an early taster of it ahead of release.

This will be followed by two further betas for Android 11 in July and August in the run-up to the software’s full rollout in Q3 2020.

Source: Read Full Article

Why now is a good and bad time to buy a Samsung Galaxy Watch

Samsung’s popular Galaxy Watch range is a solid choice for anyone who wants a tech timepiece strapped to their wrists to answer calls, track calories burned, check their heart-rate and get the latest headlines direct to their wrist. If you’ve been eyeing up the latest model for some time, now is a good time to invest in one – that’s because a number of stores have slashed the price. For example, Currys is currently selling the 46mm Galaxy Watch in silver for £229 – that’s a saving of £50 off the original price • SEE THE DEAL HERE

As well as the generous discount, there’s also two years of interest-free credit which allows fans to spread the cost of this wearable. If that offers sounds like something you’d be interested in then there’s not long left to grab the discount from Currys with the sale ending today, May 11.

John Lewis has also discounted the Galaxy Watch with prices starting from £229. It offers shoppers the ability the spread the cost over four months and Argos also offers a “buy now and pay later” scheme.

As a quick reminder, the Galaxy Watch features up to seven days of battery life, built-in GPS, fitness tracking and easy access to all of your notifications.

There’s also a circular sAMOLED screen and health features such as sleep tracking and heart monitoring.


  • Samsung confirms its 4K TVs have got a vital upgrade

So, with all those features and a new lower price there’s plenty of reasons to invest in a Galaxy Watch …but if you’re the sort of tech enthusiast who always wants the latest and greatest gadget strapped to their wrist, now is a terrible time to buy one.

A number of reports suggest Samsung is planning to refresh its wearables. To add fuel to the speculation, new Galaxy Watch model numbers have recently been certified by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China.

The listing, which included the model numbers SM-R840 and SM-R850, was spotted by MySmartPrice and could confirm that an update is on its way. This would make some sense as the Galaxy Watch has seen a major refresh in almost two years.

Although nothing has yet been confirmed, so you’d still be buying the latest model in the current sales and promotions, it’s thought the next generation of Galaxy Watch devices will include a faster processor, more storage and extra health benefits. The Korean firm recently announced that it is bringing blood pressure monitoring to all of its wearable devices in the future.

Incredibly, Samsung has managed to bring this vital tracking system without any tweaks to the hardware.

“The Samsung Health Monitor app has the potential to help millions of people around the world who are affected by high blood pressure,” said Taejong Jay Yang, Corporate SVP and Head of Health Team, Mobile Communications Business at Samsung in a statement. “This is one of many examples of how Samsung is integrating its best-in-class hardware with the latest software innovations to innovate mobile experiences.”

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here

Source: Read Full Article

Samsung’s latest 4K and 8K TVs get a vital advantage over their rivals

Samsung has announced that its new 8K and 4K Smart TVs have received official verification that they will not damage your eyes when binge-watching. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading safety science company in the U.S., and Verband Deutscher Elektrotechniker (VDE) in Germany have both verified that various types of lights emitted by QLED TVs pose no photobiological LED hazard to viewers.

Interestingly, Samsung now becomes the first in the TV industry to receive such a certification. Both safety certification institutions, UL and VDE, tested the latest 65Q900T 8K and 65Q90T 4K models – both of which emit the brightest light among Samsung’s 2020 QLED TV lineup – for their blue light, ultraviolet rays and infrared rays.

“While Samsung QLED TVs emit high luminance and brightness, our TVs are designed to protect the eyesight without losing the truly immersive viewing experience,” said Yong Hoon Choi, Executive Vice President of the Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics.

“We are pleased to be recognized by UL and VDE for these efforts and will continue to make the safety of our customers a top priority as we develop our products.”

With Smart TVs getting ever bigger and brighter – this will be good news for viewers worried about what those eye-popping colours are doing to their health.


  • Your Samsung 4K TV just got a massively useful free upgrade

This latest update comes as Samsung has also announced two other big updates to its range of televisions. From this week, owners of the popular tellies will be able to access a number of wellness apps aimed at keeping you fit and healthy – even when you’re stuck inside the house during this period of lockdown.

Samsung says a total of six apps (four in the UK) will be arriving across the globe with a number of partners joining forces to bring this update to consumers.

The apps come from a number of fitness brands including barre3, Calm, Echelon, Fitplan, Jillian Michaels Fitness and obé Fitness. Together there’s over 5,000 hours of free at-home wellness content to be viewed.

Samsung has also just added Apple Music to all 2018 – 2020 models which means users can listen to over 60 million songs without needing a dedicated speaker.

Apple Music subscribers can also get customised daily recommendations and tune in to the innovative Beats 1 radio station, a global live stream with exclusive shows by artists like Frank Ocean, Nicki Minaj, The Weeknd, DJ Khaled, and Elton John.

Source: Read Full Article

WhatsApp is planning an awesome update that couldn’t have come at a better time

WhatsApp appears to have big plans to boost its built-in video calling feature. That should make the chat app, which is currently the most popular messaging service with more than two billion users worldwide, a more viable alternative to the likes of Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime and Skype for conference calls, or catch-ups with friends and family. And like it’s most recent update, this one could also still only be available for iPhone owners.

As millions of people stay at home in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus, video calling apps have become increasingly popular. Apps like Houseparty and Zoom have raced up iOS and Android charts as these allow large groups of people to chat.

As it stands, WhatsApp limits video calls to four people. But given the vast number of people already using WhatsApp to host their expansive group chats, the ability to immediately hit a button and launch a video with everyone could be a huge win for the Facebook-owned firm …and bad news for Houseparty, Zoom, and Google Duo (which recently expanded its video call capabilities as well).

So, how do we know what WhatsApp has planned?


  • The next Apple MacBook update should seriously boost your battery

Well, thanks to the clever folks at WABetaInfo – a Twitter account that trawls through the latest beta versions of WhatsApp to find hints about any features coming soon from the Facebook-owned messaging service. According to the latest code for an upcoming version of the app for iPhone, WhatsApp looks set to be planning to increase the limit for video calls. Of course, it’s possible the new feature will arrive on Android in the future too, there’s just no sign of the as-yet-unannounced feature in the code.

Another thing there’s no mention of – what the new limit for the number of video callers will be.

WABetaInfo reports that the code includes a warning message that will appear when trying to add people to a video call that states “all participants need the latest version of WhatsApp for calls with %D people”. Hopefully, WhatsApp will reveal what number “%D” equates to very soon.

Of course, it’s possible WhatsApp is still working out what is possible with its systems.

The new change isn’t available to test. However, we’ll be sure to pass along the new limit – as well as any other features in the pipeline that are likely to improve your video calls with friends and family when they roll out worldwide in the coming weeks. So stay tuned.

Source: Read Full Article

Sky TV update brings new way to pay for thousands of extra movies and shows

Sky customers can now add a Disney+ subscription to their monthly satellite bill. New customers will be able to add the streaming service to their Sky bundle during the checkout process. If you’re already a Sky customer you are now able to add the Netflix rival to your monthly bill by heading to your Account details online.

When Disney+ launched in the UK last month, Sky Q was one of the first platforms to support the streaming service with a designated app. During the initial announcement, Sky teased that it had plans for a much greater level of integration with the service in future. And now that tighter integration is here.

Sky says that the ability to subscribe to both Sky channels and Disney+ is an advantage because “when you have Sky TV and Disney+, we’ll consolidate your bills into one, making them easy to manage. Your monthly subscriptions to Disney+ and Sky TV will be collected together on your usual payment date.”

The company previously added the ability for new and existing customers to subscribe to Netflix from their Sky account. However, the streaming service comes bundled as part of its Sky Ultimate deal, which costs £25 a month and includes on-demand access to 2,500 series from Sky as well as exclusive live channels like Sky Atlantic, Sky Comedy, MTV, Comedy Central, VICE, Eurosport, Sky Sports News, National Geographic and more.

BT, Sky, Virgin Media: everything that’s changed with your internet, TV and monthly bills


  • Virgin Media customers can now get Sky TV’s best channels for FREE

As such, there are a number of reasons to pick this bundle. Not only Netflix.

With the Disney+ integration, you’ll be charged the same as a standalone subscription from Disney. The only advantage is the fact that you’ll have an easy-to-manage single monthly bill for your entertainment leaving your account each month.

With the ability to pay for Disney+ with the rest of your Sky channels and optional add-ons, Sky also confirmed improvements to its Disney+ app coming soon.

Unlike the tight integration available with Netflix – which appears alongside results from the TV Guide and Sky on-demand shows whenever you search for a show, an actor or director using your Sky Q remote – for the time being Disney+ is relegated to the Apps section in the menu.

There’s no way to search for content available on Disney+ without pawing through the menu, loading up the app and using the separate search functionality inside Disney+.

If you’re looking for a certain film and are unsure whether it’s available on the Sky Cinema Disney channel or in Disney+, it can be laborious and time-consuming. Especially when compared with Netflix. For that, all you need to do is use the keypad on your Sky Q remote (or the voice search button and your best public-speaking voice) to search for the title and Sky will immediately reveal whether your title is available on Sky’s live channel, on-demand library, the Sky Store, or Netflix. Or all of them – leaving you to choose.

Another glaring omission from the Disney+ app on Sky Q is the streaming quality.

Unlike Netflix, which charges a higher rate to unlock Ultra HD streaming quality, Disney+ allows anyone to watch in 4K quality – as long as they have the right amount of bandwidth on their home broadband to support the pixel-packed format. HDR is also thrown-in for free with Disney+.

So, if you’ve recently upgraded to a 4K TV with support for HDR10, you’ll be able to see the difference when streaming animated classics, Pixar movies, Star Wars or Marvel Studios films. Except if you’re watching on a Sky Q box, that is.

Despite supporting Ultra HD – Sky has one of the biggest libraries of 4K movies and sports fixtures – viewers are unable to watch in the format when streaming from Disney+. There’s also no sign of HDR on Sky Q. If you have the option of using another device, like a Chromecast Ultra or PS4 Pro to get Ultra HD quality or Nvidia Shield to ensure you get HDR quality from your £5.99 subscription, then you should do so.

Sky has confirmed that it’s now looking to fix a number of these issues.

The UK broadcaster plans to bring side-by-side recommendations of both Sky TV and Disney+ shows and movies to the TV guide – in exactly the same way as you’ll get with Netflix. Deeper integration – like the ability to search Sky, Netflix and Disney+ content at the same time using the native search function on your remote will be coming over time, Sky says.

As for Ultra HD support for Disney+, that will be coming “this summer”, Sky has confirmed.

Unfortunately, it’s not worth holding your breath for HDR. Sky Q was tipped to get the colourful upgrade back in February 2017. However, according to someone who purports to be a Sky employee a long-running forum thread on the Sky Community website – the company is now targeting a late 2020 release date at the earliest.

The Disney+ app joins an unrivalled range of other apps on Sky Q including; Netflix, Spotify, YouTube, BBC iPlayer, Sky News and more, all in one place.

Source: Read Full Article