What is Sky Live? And how does it work? Here's what you need to know...

It's the oh-so clever new camera for the Sky Glass TV

Sky Glass with Sky Live device with a woman using the workout fucntionality
(Image credit: Sky)

You may have heard the words 'Sky Live' mentioned on the TV. You may already be a Sky subscriber and received emails or details through the post about it. But what exactly is Sky Live? And how can it make your home a smart home?

In a nutshell, Sky Live is the brand's latest gadget, exclusive to its award winning Sky Glass TV. It's an interactive camera with motion control, all housed inside a small box, measuring around H3xW14xD4cm in size and designed to sit on the top of a Sky Glass. 

It doesn't look too dissimilar to the (now discontinued) Facebook Portal and shares some of its functionality, but Sky has added extra functionality and as it it pairs with with the brand's TV, it is much easier to control.

Sky Glass with Sky Live device

(Image credit: Sky)

Inside this compact package, the Sky Live houses a lot of clever tech. The 4K 12MP camera has an extra wide field of view. It features a built-in microphone with noise cancellation and an ambient light sensor so it automatically dims the screen to match the light in the room.

Sky Live has four main functions, and all are controlled either via remote or voice control on a Sky Glass.

Sky Live - what does it do?

1. Video call

Sky Glass with Sky Live device with a family on video call

(Image credit: Sky)

While the mere mention of Zoom parties may make most shudder with memories of being crowded around a laptop during lockdown, there's still plenty of value in speaking to people face-to-face, even virtually. 

These days we tend to do most of our social video calling using our smartphones or tablets. Video calling on a smartphone is never a great experience - the camera always seems to capture you at an unflattering angle, and the tendency for someone (invariably the very young or old) putting their fingers on the microphone and having muffled conversations is just far too common.

Tablets are less complicated but conversations can become discombobulating if the person you're speaking to moves their tablet around, or worse still, moves from room-to-room.

Video calling via Sky Live ensures your hands are freed up from holding a screen when on a video call. What's more, the clever wide-angled AI-powered camera lens will also detect the people in the call and automatically zoom in or pan out to keep everyone in the frame.

You can speak to anyone who has the Zoom app either on their phone, tablet or on a computer (or indeed, anyone else with a Sky Live). And if you're on a call but need to move to another room? Provided you have have the same Zoom profile on your phone as you do on Sky Live and you're signed into both, you can easily switch from the TV screen to your phone (and visa versa) without dropping the call.

2. Watch together

Sky Glass with Sky Live device with watch together screen sharing ability

(Image credit: Sky)

Ever heard of 'Event TV'? The term applies to those best TV shows that are hotly anticipated, the big ticket football matches or cultural 'live on TV' events that you know you simply can't miss. Now, with Sky Live you can share the experience of watching these events together with friends or family, even if they live miles away.

Called a 'Watch Party', you and up to 12 other Sky households can watch anything you like on the TV at exactly the same time with no delay or lag. Alongside the screen you will all see smaller squares showing everyone else on the call and you can all hear each other's reactions (though these can be muted if you'd rather focus on the action on the TV). 

The caveat again here is that you can only do this with existing Sky customers who own a Sky Glass and Sky Live device. 

3. Workout

Sky Glass with Sky Live device with a woman using the workout fucntionality

(Image credit: Sky)

Together with fitness app Mvmnt, Sky Live's capabilities have been expanded further, with hundreds of workouts available, from strength and cardio, to balance and meditation.

The clever body tracking tech in the Sky Live maps and monitors your form, while the Mvmnt instructor suggest ways in which you can improve it as you go along, much like you would get in a real life gym class.

There are groups of classes that are tailored to different needs, like a collection dedicated to small living room ideas, or those that focus on low impact exercise, to name a few. 

4. Play

Sky Live menu page

(Image credit: Sky)

Finally, Play is - you've guessed it - games. Except these games make use of the AI-tech that maps your form and detects motion so your physical actions power the games as you play. It's a little like a handsfree Nintendo Wii, if you ever played that back in the naughties.

Have a go at Fruit Ninja, where you karate chop flying pieces of fruit for points; or try moving your hands and body to the beat of a host of popular pop tunes in Starri. Kids will inevitably love this and adults will look ridiculous playing it (making kids love it even more). 

Is Sky Live easy to install?

As it's exclusive to Sky Glass, set up is a piece of cake. Place it on the top of your Sky Glass - magnets hold the box in place - and there is a single lead that runs from the box which divides into two (USB-C and HDMI) both which plug into the back of the set. 

The Sky Glass then detects that you have a Sky Live and it walks you through the entire set up on screen. Easy peasy.

Is Sky Live safe?

Stories of people's smart security cameras being hacked are not uncommon so you may have genuine concerns about your privacy with a Wi-Fi enabled camera in your home.

Sky Live has this covered with not one, but two privacy settings. The first is a simple light on the front of the device. When lit, it indicates that the smart camera is on. Unlit and it's off. The other is a button on the top that when pressed, disables the camera and microphone. 

As for physical safety, because of the nature of the games and workouts, having plenty of space in front and around you as you use it is essential, so it's advisable to  clear as much space as possible (push furniture back, etc) around you when playing.

It's worth nothing that games will also alert you if you're getting too close to the screen.

Ginevra Benedetti
Deputy Editor (Print)

Ginevra Benedetti has been the Deputy Editor of Ideal Home magazine since 2021. With a career in magazines spanning nearly twenty years, she has worked for the majority of the UK’s interiors magazines, both as staff and as a freelancer. She first joined the Ideal Home team in 2011, initially as the Deputy Decorating Editor and has never left! She currently oversees the publication of the brand’s magazine each month, from planning through to publication, editing, writing or commissioning the majority of the content.