Sky launches £10 Now TV box for on-demand streaming

Set-top box plugs into HDMI and connects to Wi-Fi for access to BBC and some Sky content

Sky has launched a set-top box that will let users stream content from the BBC, some Sky channels and Spotify on demand.

The device costs £10 and users will initially get access to Sky News, BBC News, iPlayer and Demand Five for free. Accessing Sky Sports and Sky Movies requires forking out for an additional subscription, or users can sign up for short-term "passes". A film pass costs £8.99 a month for three months’ access, while sports costs £9.99 a day – but buying a Now TV box will give you access to a free, 30-day trial to both.

It’s likely that Sky will add more of its own channels as it expands the Now TV proposition to appeal to viewers reluctant to fork out for a full subscription. Users can also log into their Spotify, Flickr and Facebook accounts to browse music and photos through the set-top box.

The white Now TV box plugs into a TV’s HDMI socket and connects to the viewer’s home Wi-Fi. It measures 84 x 84 x 2.4mm and comes with a remote control. The box is on sale from the Now TV website.

Cheap but limited

Sky's box is significantly cheaper than other streaming players - Roku's rival product costs £50 - but does lack popular channels like Netflix, LoveFilm and 4oD. It also doesn't let you record shows, unlike a Sky+ box or Virgin's TiVo. Digital TV analyst at broadband comparison site broadbandchoices.co.uk, Dominic Baliszewski, pointed out viewers after an "all singing, all dancing" service might want to fork out a little more.

"The devil is in the detail and customers need to look at exactly what they will get for their money," he said. "The Now TV box will not allow viewers to record shows, and although they will be able to download apps from the Channel Store, the choice here will be determined by Sky."

Baliszewski added that those who already own YouView, an Xbox, PlayStation or Roku box don't need a Now TV box to access Sky Movies or Sky Sports passes.

Reporting its financials this week, Sky said it would also start offering Wi-Fi equipped Sky+ boxes to customers as a standard, and wireless adapters to those with older hardware from September.

[IMG ID=197620F]Sky's Now TV box[/IMG]

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