New home technology

New home technology

Chris Collinson, Sales and Marketing Director at Sky explores how technology is penetrating the home and looks at how developers can ensure new homes are fully equipped for modern living.

In July this year the UK government launched an inquiry into the capacity of the housebuilding industry to meet demand for new homes. This inquiry called for evidence from across the sector and indicates there may be nervousness around the government’s target of one million new homes by 2020. Housebuilders are under significant pressure. Competition is high. Build costs need to be squeezed. Timings are tighter than ever and land is at a premium.

The housebuilding sector is a tough place to do business. Not only is there a question about how to meet the demand for new homes, developers also need to ensure that their properties meet, if not exceed, buyer expectations.

In a recent survey commissioned by Sky of over 1,000 UK residents, 4-sky-q-app-content-garden70% of people said that they think more could be done to make new build properties better equipped for modern living and that includes technology. We only need to look at how fast TV entertainment is developing to see that technology solutions in the home are no longer a value-add, but integral to the connected home of the not too distant future, where all our devices and appliances will talk to each other.

Influence of technology

As a nation, new technology is already having a profound effect on our social and working habits. Consumers want to access data, watch TV shows and contact friends from wherever they are, whenever it suits them and on whatever device they choose. In the latest Ofcom Communications Market Report, data showed that most 16-24 year olds are watching on-demand and catch up programmes on computers and smartphones rather than on a TV connected to a set-top box. Nearly six in ten young people (57%) regularly watch on demand and catch-up TV on their laptop or PC. Almost half (45%) watch on a smartphone, and four in ten (40%) switch on a set-top box.

In February this year, Sky launched the next generation home entertainment system that changes the way we can watch TV. Sky Q has been designed around how we now live our lives and inhabit our homes. The new family of products, Sky Q, Sky Q Silver, Sky Q Mini, the Sky Q touch remote, the Sky Q Hub, and the Sky Q app all connect wirelessly to create an ecosystem that makes TV viewing seamless.

People are increasingly watching programmes on their mobile devices in the home, in addition to their TV. The new laws on the TV licence here in the UK echo that trend with the licence now covering watching or recording any live TV online or downloading and watching BBC programmes on iPlayer. With Sky Q, you can pause a programme in one room and carry on watching it in another on a TV or tablet, not limiting movement around the home to interrupt watching your favourite programme. You can take recordings with you wherever you go, which means you can pick up where you left off last night on your commute into the office on your phone or tablet.

Quality content

TV technology developments are also being driven by the explosion of quality content that we are now able to access on our screens. Each family member has so much to choose from that we have to be able to give them flexibility, both within and outside of the home.

With Sky Q, you can record up to four shows while watching a fifth and the clever Sky Q touch remote means the days are gone when you needed to point at the screen to change a channel.

Customer satisfaction

Sky is now working with eight of the top ten UK housebuilders and a number of fibre providers to offer great Sky Q offers to homebuyers, alongside our walk-in working services, to help developers to build properties that will be wired up for the future and with added value features. For many developers, they also know that better customer satisfaction means a better rating on the HBF/NHBC Star Rating Scheme.

sky-q-iconWe work closely with each of the developers to co-market the availability of Sky Q and walk-in working as part of their overall proposition to potential homebuyers. New homebuyers then benefit from exclusive rates for the TV or TV & Broadband offer. We also know that a common issue for many homebuyers is that it can take some time to get a phone line in their new home. Sky works with BT Openreach to speed up this process.


And installing Sky Q really is quite simple to organise. Once the homebuyer has agreed to the Sky package, their contact details are passed to the Sky installer in their local area and the customer confirms the moving in date. BT Openreach install the phone line and the Sky installer installs the dish and connects the box. On moving day, the homebuyer has nothing to do, but put their feet up at the end of a long, stressful day and start to enjoy their new home. 

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