Sky Q boasts a huge catalogue of on-demand shows and movies from Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and in the coming days, Apple TV+. On top of the vast selection of live television channels available from Sky, there’s a dizzying amount of boxsets, blockbusters, sports and documentaries to binge as the nights start to draw in.
But most of that content is reliant on a solid internet connection. Of course, Sky Q isn’t quite as dependent as the all-new Sky Glass, which streams all live television via a broadband connection as well …something that some early adopters seem to be struggling to do.
Sky Q can be connected to the internet via Wi-FI or using a wired ethernet cable. And you don’t need to sign-up to Sky Broadband either as the system plays nice with the default routers from BT, Virgin Media and a number of the other biggest broadband providers. Amazon’s Eero mesh network system works well to extend the range of your Sky Q kit too.
If you’re struggling to download on-demand boxsets, stream the latest thriller on Prime Video, or binge a documentary series on Netflix, it can be tough to work out what’s causing the issue. While Sky Q offers an incredibly detailed settings menu that reveals the strength of your satellite signal to help you diagnose what’s behind a broken picture when tuning in to live television channels, there’s no equivalent for your internet connection.
Sure, there is a menu that reveals your current IP address, the broadband network you’re connected to, and whether you’ve got a connection to the router and/or internet.
But that’s it.
If you’re struggling with endless buffering, sluggish streaming or other issues …none of these settings are particularly useful in diagnosing the problem. Is your 2.4Ghz network resulting in slower speeds, is the 5Ghz network not reaching the Sky Q box correctly and ruining speeds, does an ethernet connection make enough of a difference to your speeds that it’s worth the hassle of trailing it across the length of the living room from your router?
Unfortunately, the default settings menu in Sky Q can’t help with any of these questions. Fortunately, there is a solution.
You’ll need to have an active Netflix membership for this trick to work. Thankfully, if you’re signed up for the Sky Entertainment bundle, that subscription is included as part of your monthly bill. Load up the Netflix app baked into Sky Q by heading to the main menu and scrolling down until you get to Apps. Sign-in to Netflix.
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When Netflix has loaded its main page, press the left arrow on your Sky Q remote to load the side menu. Scroll down to Get Help and hit the Select button. This will load the settings menu built into the Netflix app, which includes details about the devices signed in with your account and the ability to upgrade your membership to a different tier. At the bottom of the list of settings, you’ll see an item marked “Check Your Network”.
This feature acts as a network speed test – built directly into the Netflix app. Select this option and Netflix will connect to a number of its servers, verify that you have an active internet connection and then run a speed test. It can take a little while to complete the test, but the result displayed will reveal the speeds available to your Sky Q box.
Netflix recommends a minimum of 5Mbps to stream its shows and movies in High Definition, with 4K Ultra HD content working best with at least 25Mbps available. That’s a pretty good guide of what sort of speeds you’ll need to be beamed to your Sky Q box to stream shows, movies from Netflix, Prime Video, and from Sky’s own catalogue. If you’ve got anything less than that, you might want to look at moving your router closer to your Sky Q box or switching to a wired ethernet connection.