Hands-on review of the NOW TV box powered by Sky
On Friday the NOW TV box powered by Sky was launched. This box turns your normal TV into a Smart TV – the selling point, it’s only £9.99! Here is our review and unboxing and configuring video.
Available now from nowtv.com, the compact and easy-to-use box connects your TV wirelessly to the internet. Once connected, homes with the NOW TV box will enjoy convenient and contract-free access to BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News, plus NOW TV – offering instant access to Sky Sports and Sky Movies. They can also access other popular online services such as Facebook and Spotify – all delivered over broadband to the big screen TV.
From launch, the NOW TV Box will let people access:
- Sky Sports: Experience the best sporting action from Sky Sports with the Sky Sports Day Pass. In the next month alone, sports fans can enjoy the climax of The Ashes series, the return of the Premier League and Football League, Formula 1® Belgium Grand Prix™, the start of Andy Murray’s defence of the US Open title and much more, across 6 channels all for just £9.99 a day.
- Sky Movies: Sign up for a Sky Movies Pass to access hundreds of films from Sky Movies – the UK’s most popular subscription service – including more of the latest and biggest movies 12 months before Netflix or LOVEFiLM Instant. New customers can also take advantage of a 30 day free trial of the Sky Movies Pass and enjoy the likes of Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and Argo in the next month.
- Sky News: Stay up-to-date with all the latest breaking news from Sky News. Access a 24/7 live feed of Sky News’ award-winning coverage including all breaking news from home and abroad, as well as dedicated business, political and entertainment coverage. In addition, catch up on specific stories at any time of the day via an exclusive on demand news library.
- BBC iPlayer: The BBC’s popular video on-demand service which received 2.32bn programme requests in 2012 gives you the option to catch up on your favourite BBC programmes when you want to – and now on your TV set through the NOW TV Box.
- BBC News app: Giving viewers access to BBC news reports, interviews and videos at the touch of a button on their TV.
- Demand 5: Catch-up on a wide selection of Channel 5 shows for at least 7 days after they first broadcast.
- Spotify, Facebook and flickr: Listen to music, catch up with friends and even share your photos all through your TV set.
What’s in the Box?
The box contains the NOW TV box itself, some manuals, an HDMI cable, a power connector and a remote control, with batteries.
A Closer Look
As you can see, the remote fits into your hand – it feels a little plasticy but let’s not forget the whole thing costs under a tenner!
The rear of the box has an HDMI port, an A/V Out port, a reset switch and the power in. There is no on/off switch as the unit itself draws very little power and is expected to be left on all the time.
Unboxing and Configuring the NOW TV box (Video)
To show just how quick and easy it is to unbox, setup and configure, I made a short video:
If you looked at the NOW TV box and thought it looks a lot like a ROKU box you wouldn’t be wrong – it is a ROKU box. It does look a little plasticy (just like the remote control) but again, the overall cost is £9.99 (which includes postage and packing) so it doesn’t really have to look spectacular. It is very small though, measuring 84mm x 84mm x 24mm and weighing hardly anything at all!
Setting up the NOW TV box was simple and fast (just look at the video above) and I was streaming away in no time at all. One thing I was impressed with before I even plugged it in was that there was an HDMI cable in the box. This may not seem like a big deal but a lot of considerably more expensive devices don’t include one in the box, and so that just adds to the costs, thankfully not it this case.
The box is wireless only – which is great if you have a really strong wireless signal in the room you want to use it, but not great if you don’t! Because everything is streamed to the box over the Internet if you have a poor wireless signal you will get a lot of buffering, which will ruin your viewing pleasure.
If you don’t want to buy a subscription to Sky Sports or Sky Movies you don’t have to. You can use all the free services such as BBC iPlayer and Sky News. You can also easily add other services from the vast catalogue, all at the touch of a button on the controller.
If you do want to watch Sky Sports you can easily by a day pass for £9.99 a day, and Sky Movies is currently £8.99 a month, which will rise to £15 month, although there is a free 30 day trial as well.
I really liked the NOW TV box, it is extremely good value for money, easy to setup and use and breathes new life into your older TV. The only disappointment for me was that the maximum resolution is 720P, but for older TV’s this probably won’t be an issue as the older TV may not be able to go any higher.
So for £9.99 its a bargain and I highly recommend buying one today.