The battle of the dongles kicks off as Sky Stream rivals Virgin Stream
In an interesting turn of events, Sky has rolled out a rival to Virgin Media O2’s Stream product and also named it Stream.
Sky Stream enters the market / Sky
A year after the launch of Sky Glass TV, Sky has diversified its proposition by developing a portable box turning any TV into a smart TV. Sky programming and Netflix come as standard and customers can build bundles with other streaming services.
Hitting the market on October 18, Sky Stream caters to consumers who can’t commit to a Sky Glass monthly contract or want to keep their existing TV set.
The product resembles Virgin Media O2’s dongle-style box, also called Stream, which launched in April. Virgin Media O2’s product also converts ordinary TVs into smart TVs and offers bundling options so customers can pick and choose which streaming services to sign up for and pay just one monthly fee to Virgin Media O2.
Stream was originally positioned as a competitor to Sky Glass. At its unveiling, Virgin Media O2’s chief TV and entertainment officer David Bouchier said: “We don’t believe we need to become a TV manufacturer... TVs don’t need to be junked, they just need to be upgraded.”
Now, Sky brings to market Sky Stream, which offers bundled streaming packages from £26 a month available on a monthly or 18-month contract. The kit doesn’t require an installation, but there is a £39.95 set-up fee which drops to £20 on the 18-month contract.
Both companies are offering algorithmic-generated recommendations to help with discovery and voice-activated remotes.