Sky launches £10 Now TV box for on-demand streaming
By Shona Ghosh
Posted on 26 Jul 2013 at 14:14
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.
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This would be ideal for my in-laws just for the iPlayer. I was thinking of building an XBMC/Pi box for them, but that would be more expensive and overkill for their needs.
By The_Scrote on 26 Jul 2013
Shame Amazon haven't yet released a cheap box like this, would be handy since they recently dropped support for a TV I have.
By tech3475 on 26 Jul 2013
"while sports costs £9.99 a day"
Thats a bit pricey !! Surely a typo?
By Wadey on 26 Jul 2013
Not a Typo...
The Sky Sports Day Pass costs £9.99. It lets you watch all six Sky Sports channels including Sky Sports F1 live online for 24 hours through your broadband connection.
Ouch - I'm only paying that a month !
By Gareth1107 on 26 Jul 2013
No its true.
By tech3475 on 26 Jul 2013
By shonaghosh on 26 Jul 2013
I wonder if this will let you use a Sky Go Monthly Pass on it? That'd be ideal!
By rowanparker_uk on 26 Jul 2013
Wow, thats a crazy amount !!
By Wadey on 26 Jul 2013
If you already pay Sky for Sports can you use it without further subscriptions??
By BAKERDAVE on 27 Jul 2013
I tried NowTV trial through the browser. Not the sports. I didn't sign up.
"NowTV powered by Sky" and "Sky Movies Pass". At a cost of £15/mnth, to me that imply's you get the movies that are available on SkyTV, but guess what....
By hypocapnia on 29 Jul 2013
The competition is starting to bite!
The bandwidth required to stream movies, even in HD is around 6Mbs.
BT is rolling decently fast broadband (>10Mbs, and much more in places) out into many urban areas, making its "Vision" box pretty nearly a useful as Sky's Sky+. This is, to all intents & purposes, "Digital Cable" by another name.
The big battle, of course is in the content. At present that's advantage Sky with its current arm-lock on many sports, most notably football. BT's recent foray into Sports might well loosen Murdoch's death-grip though.
This move by Sky, and their new-found willingness to sell services on an ad-hoc basis indicates that BT's efforts at competing are having some success.
In Urban areas at least, BT's offerings are technically simpler, neater and potentially better-integrated than Sky's. Murdoch's current USP in the form of the universality of satellite reception is still a benefit, but as Broadband gets faster it starts to become an overhead[sic] instead.
By wittgenfrog on 29 Jul 2013
absolute minimum speed
At a typically pitiful sub 1Mb/s, my "Broadband" (?) is unlikely to seeing any of this passing along its wires.
By nickallison on 29 Jul 2013
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