Anyone who keeps up with the latest and greatest in media technology will probably have heard of the SkyStream Pro 8K, which is one of the first streaming media players with 8K streaming capabilities. No doubt it won’t be long until this is standard, but at the moment, SkyStream is ahead of the game.
But does that mean you should be rushing out and buying a SkyStream Pro today? Let’s try and answer that exact question by taking a close look under the hood of SkyStream’s latest and greatest streaming media player release.
Spoiler alert! I love the SkyStream Pro, and if you have an 8K TV, I think it is the best option on the market for 8K streaming. But even if you aren’t yet 8K ready, and let’s be honest, there also isn’t that much 8K content to stream, this is still one of the best media streaming players on the market. It performs well, is designed to be easy and intuitive, and I just love the remote.
SkyStream Pro Review
Released in early 2020, the SkyStream Pro replaces that SkyStream Three (read our review here), which was one of the most popular streaming media players in 2019. The new box looks pretty much the same on the outside, but has some nice updates on the inside, which mean significantly better performance, including streaming up to 8K.
Specs At A Glance
- Processor: AMLogic S905X3 Quad Core
- Android OS: Android 9.0 Pie
- Storage: 4 GB RAM, 32 GB internal storage, expandable via USB and mini SD
- Supported Resolution: Up to 8K Super Ultra HD at 24 FPS and 4K at 74 FPS
- Video Decoding: H.265
- Audio: 51 Audio Passthrough and Dolby Digital
- WiFi: Dual-band 802.11 b/g/n/ac (MIMO) 2.4 and 5 Ghz
- Ethernet: Gigabit
- Ports: 1 x USB 3.0, 2 x USD 2.0, 1 x HDMI 2.1
The SkyStream Pro has a 64-bit Quad Core and runs off a lightning-fast S905X3 by Algomatic, which puts it at the absolute top end in terms of tech when compared to all the media streaming boxes currently on the market.
The SkyStream Pro also has new and improved software, running off Android 9.0 Pie, designed specifically for TV boxes. Previous versions of the SkyStream didn’t run TV box specific versions of Android, so the new experience is smoother and less glitchy.
This means the player can deliver up to 8K Super Ultra HD at 24 frames per second, and 4K at 75 frames per second. You won’t find better quality with any other player.
The Pro has 4 GB of RAM, but, surprisingly, only 32 GB of internal memory. The SkyStream Three had 64 GB, and there is no clear reason for this reduction. But the Pro offers lots of other ways to get your content onto your device. It also has two USB 2.0 ports and a USB 3.0 port, plus a micro-USB slot with expandable memory up to 128 GB.
As well as the streaming media player itself with a power cable, when you get the SkyStream Pro, you also get an HDMI cable included, which sadly isn’t always the case, and a remote with batteries (which is very unusual). With this, SkyStream lives up to their claim to be plug and play.
The remote that comes with the new SkyStream is a big improvement on previous versions. This new remote is native, pairing automatically via Bluetooth and designed to work seamlessly with the box. It is a simple streamlined remote, much like you see with most Smart TVs and streaming players, but it also has air-mouse functionality for easier navigation. It is also set up to work with Google voice command.
This remote will probably be more than enough for the majority of users, but you can also purchase an air-mouse remote separately with the box. This remote has the benefit of a complete keyboard on the back of it, which can make complex searches significantly less painful.
The SkyStream Pro comes with the majority of apps that you might want for a streaming player already downloaded or they are easily accessible to download from the home screen.
Naturally, if you don’t find what you are looking for there, you can always go to the Google Play store. The SkyStream also supports APK Pure for anything outside the app store you might want to install on the device.
You will need to pay your normal subscription fee to access all of your favorite streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video, through your SkyStream. However, SkyStream also comes with a number of apps and channels included that unlock hundreds of hours of content completely free.
The majority of this content is available via the SkyStream TV app, which is available on various media streaming devices and not just SkyStream devices. It offers access to films and programs from more than 65 networks.
The Pro has a WideVine certification, which means you are authorized to stream YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video in HD but not in 4K, which is a big disappointment. Surprisingly, this is not true of all the new 8K streaming media devices on the market.
Kodi fans will be pleased to see that the latest version of Kodi also comes pre-installed, and you can choose between adult and family-friendly modes.
One thing that really sets SkyStream apart is their support. While SkyStream works all over the world, they have a local support center in the United States that offers fast and direct support. There is also a Facebook support group where your questions have probably already been answered.
They have taken things far with the Pro as well, with over the air updates now seamlessly integrated. So now, whenever they make an update, it should automatically update on your box with pretty much no work for you.
The SkyStream Pro 8K will set you back between $125.00 and $150.00 depending on when and where you buy, which means it is pretty expensive for a streaming media player, but cheaper than other places offering 8K, such as the new Nvidia Shield.
If you want a SkyStream Pro 8, currently, you will need to buy it directly from SkyStream, or an authorized distributor.
The media player comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee, though the customer is responsible for return postage costs. There is also a one-year warranty for faulty units as standard and a two-year extended warranty available at time of purchase.
Pros And Cons
What We Like
The SkyStream Pro is one of the most powerful and high-end media streaming devices on the market, and one of only a handful available that can deliver 8K streaming.
The Skystream Pro is incredibly easy to use, and it is pretty much a case of plug and play. It comes with everything you might need in the box, down to the batteries for the remote. Pretty much all you need to do is connect to Wi-Fi and sign into your chosen Google account.
Not only does the remote come with batteries, the new remote is also extremely good. It is a native remote that connects automatically and comes with air-mouse functionality and Google voice for easier navigation.
Also, unlike many new slim devices, the SkyStream Pro still has an ethernet port. No matter how good Wi-Fi is these days, nothing offers better streaming stability and speeds than an ethernet connection.
What We Don’t Like
My main complaint with the SkyStream is that it only unlocks Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in HD and not in 4K. Netflix and Amazon only offer access to their content in 4K on certain authorized devices, so this is down to politics rather than lack of functionality or capability. Hopefully, this is something that will be resolved.
What Is A SkyStream Box?
SkyStream is a brand of Android TV Boxes that allow you to stream media over the internet directly to your TV. This includes popular streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video if you have a subscription. These media streaming boxes are popular among “cord cutters” looking to save money by cutting off their cable and instead finding the content they desire from online streaming services.
Is SkyStream TV Legal?
SkyStream boxes, such as the Pro 8K, and SkyStream TV are two separate things. The Pro 8K is a TV box, which is a piece of hardware that allows you to stream content from a variety of services to your TV.
SkyStream TV is an application that provides access to content from over 65 different TV network channels. According to sources, SkyStream TV has bought rights to a contract that allows them to offer access to this content with a few limitations, suggesting that the service is legal.
How Do I Set Up SkyStream?
The SkyStream Pro is incredibly easy to set up, either by syncing with your mobile phone or directly on the box with the remote. Simply register with your Google account, much like you would on an Android phone, and you are ready to go.
The SkyStream comes with the most popular streaming apps already downloaded, so all you need to do is sign in to services such as Netflix and Hulu to access your account. You can also download other apps from the Google Play store or via APK Pure if the application is not available via Google.
How Much Does SkyStream Cost?
A SkyStream Pro 8K, with remote and HDMI cable included but no additions, currently costs $124.99 when you buy directly from SkyStream.
If you are looking for a new media streaming box, the SkyStream Pro should be near the top of your shortlist as one of the best, if not the best, option currently available.
The box is often known as the Pro 8K, which shows just how powerful it is. It can stream content in amazing 8K quality. Of course, to actually deliver on this quality, you also need an 8K TV (which is probably already smart), and there is very little 8K content that is available to stream. But this is not the only reason to think about choosing the SkyStream Pro.
It is also one of the best media streaming boxes overall in terms of performance. It is simple to use and is truly plug and play. In its box, it comes with everything, including the batteries that come with the remote, that you need to get it working.
Pretty much all you need to do is connect to Wi-Fi and sign into your Google account. It comes with most of the apps you could want already downloaded, and anything additional is easy to install.
The remote that comes with the SkyStream as standard is also one of the best available with air-mouse included. And the box hasn’t skimped anywhere, including three USB ports and an ethernet cable port, which is often missing on new devices.
So, the SkyStream Pro isn’t just about getting 8K; it is also one of the best streaming media devices on the market for getting access to 4K and UHD content. Really, all we are waiting for is for the new Skystream to be authorized to access 4K content on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
What do you think? Is the SkyStream Pro 8K one of the best new media streaming boxes on the market, or do you have your eye on something else? Let us know by leaving a comment below.