It’s been almost 5 years since Sky Q was launched in the UK, and it’s fair to say that it’s proved to be pretty popular. One of the obstacles that television providers have always faced in the UK is getting a wireless connection between the televisions in your household, as no one wants to have wired connecting all through the house.
Sky Q has given us a solution to that, with it’s Multiroom feature being one of the best ways to do this. However, there are some who think that it’s additional cost isn’t really warranted, as once the technology is paid for, that’s it. Folks would probably be a lot happier with Sky Q Multiroom if it was just a one off payment and not a subscription service.
So is there any way of getting around this, and getting Sky Q multiroom without paying? Or are you destined to have to pay an extra fee per month for this convenience?
Can you get Sky Q Multiroom without paying?
Unfortunately, there’s no way that you can get Sky Q multiroom without paying the additional monthly fee. Although there are alternatives for you to consider, the way that multiroom is set up makes it impossible to hack or trick your way into a free service.
So whilst in the future there might be a solution to this without having to pay extra, at the moment there’s no alternative to this if you want to watch Sky Q using their multiroom method. But, there are other ways to watch Sky in different rooms in your house. First, let’s touch a bit on what exactly Sky Q is.
What is Sky Q Multiroom?
Since it’s inception in 2016, Sky Q has now become the main way for you to watch Sky if you’re in the UK. New users are signing up to Sky Q, and even older Sky+ users are being encouraged to switch over to Sky Q instead of sticking with their current service.
Essentially, Q is Sky’s way of incorporating everything you could possibly need when watching TV all into one little box. After the massive increase in streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, is was only a matter of time before they listened to customers and built everything into one top box.
It has pretty much everything you need, from streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, to all you catch up channels like BBC iPlayer and the ITV Hub – it even has Spotify preinstalled on the device too. So, it’s not a surprise that people want this usability around their entire home.
Multiroom isn’t something that’s completely new to Sky Q – older Sky+ users will have had the ability to get a multiroom card in the past, which would allow you to watch Sky in another room in your house then too.
However, now Sky’s line is pretty much flat out that you need to upgrade to the Q top box to be able to use Sky multiroom at all. So for new users and for those looking to upgrade their older Plus box, the only way really is to go with Sky Q.
Sky Top Boxes
When you’re looking at top boxes, there are generally three different types out there, and there are different variations of them too. The first one is the standard Sky Q box, which you might have a 1TB version, but nowadays it comes with 2TB instead. This is what you’ll get with a basic Sky Q package.
If you do decide to go with multiroom, then you’ll get a Sky Q mini box. Although you can have more, Sky recommend that you don’t actually connect more than 4 mini boxes to your main one. These mini boxes work in a similar way to a mesh wifi system – they essentially piggyback off of the main Sky box.
Those that have been with Sky for a while might still have the older Sky+ box. If you want multiroom, you’ll need to upgrade to Sky Q (annoying, I know).
Sky Broadband Hub
I mentioned that the intention of this is to get all of the services into one top box platform. Sky are also trying to corner the broadband market here as well, so you can bundle all of your internet and television needs into one and play one fee each month for it. It’s a pretty good idea, and to do this they’ve introduced the Sky hub.
This is the best out of all the Hub’s Sky have released, and it includes Broadband Buddy for parental controls. So, it can be a good match if you want Sky Fibre to go with your television. Anyway – back to Sky Q.
Possible Alternatives to Sky Q Multiroom
You will need to pay for multiroom if you want to use it to it’s full effect. But, there are a couple more ways that you could use to watch Sky in different rooms in your house.
Sky Go on Consoles
In many cases, you might be trying to get Sky in the bedrooms in your house for one of the kids. There’s also a good chance that this same child has a gaming console in their bedroom. Well to be fair, there’s even a good chance that many of us adults might have a gaming console in the bedroom too (yes, it’s socially acceptable to be super excited for Cyberpunk 2077 in your thirties, Mum).
The good news here is that the Sky Go app is actually downloadable on consoles, as well as laptops, phones and tablets. You can access pretty much everything you need to with Sky Go, so this could be a way around paying the additional fee for the Multiroom subscription and the additional box.
Use a HDMI splitter
If there’s not a ton of people in the household desperate to watch different shows at the same time, then a very simple solution could be investing in a good HDMI splitter. This is one of the cheapest ways that you could get your Sky package working in two different rooms at the same time.
Essentially, all a splitter does it split the output from your Sky box so you can go ahead and watch it on two TV’s at the same time – you use the HDMI input on your TV as you do with any television nowadays. You’ll also need to think about the wires in this case, as you’ll likely need a long cable in many cases.
If the room you want Sky in is just next door in a small apartment, then this could be an easy fix. But if you’re in a large house and need to run it upstairs, then this is going to be too much hassle for most of us.
Use a Wireless Video Sender
Another potential solution is that you could use a wireless video sender with your Sky box as well. Essentially, this works much like a casting device, where it shows what you’re watching on one device onto another one.
Whilst this is a solution, they tend to be pretty expensive and they’re not the most reliable of connections out there. So, make sure you do a bit of research on the product before you commit to it.
Do you definitely need Sky Q in all rooms?
By this point, you’ve probably understood that there’s no way to watch Sky Q in multiple rooms without having to sign up for their multiroom package. This costs £12 per month in the UK at present, which adds up to £144 over the course of a year.
This is without the Sky Q mini box for another room. In most cases, you can get a free loaner from Sky themselves. For any more, they cost £99 a piece. So the question is, what kind of TV could you get for less than £144, which is our yearly fee?
Alternatives to Sky Q
The main reason to go with Sky Q multiroom above many of the other options out there is essentially to take advantage of the channels that they have.
Depending on the package you’re on, it might actually prove to be a better idea to opt for a freesat or freeview box in your additional room instead. You can pick these up online for the same price as a few months subscription fee with multiroom, so it can definitely be a cheaper option. Obviously, you won’t get all of the channels hat you get with Sky Q.
In some cases, you might be able to save quite a bit of cash by lowering your Sky Q package down and opting to go with Now TV instead – this is essentially Sky’s own streaming service. With Now TV, you can stream both Sky Sports and Sky Cinema too, as well as Sky entertainment.
Often, these packages can be a tad expensive, but you can usually find good deals on the sport if you pay in advance. You can often find all of the sport channels at less than £20 a month when it’s on sale. And, you can watch this on three devices simultaneously with their Now TV Boost feature.
So if you wanted to get the sports on three different rooms in your house at the same time, then maybe Now TV would be a cheaper option. When you add the multiroom cost to your already pretty big Sky bill, things can get expensive.
All in all, Multiroom is designed in such a way that there’s actually no easy way for you to work around it. For many people it will just become part of their monthly entertainment bill, which is growing for all of us nowadays. If you don’t want to foot this extra subscription fee, then there are other options out there for you to consider.