Programming & Channel Listings
Powered by Sky is the tagline embedded atop this tiny little box. There are three different passes offered with the initial purchase. Firstly there is the 2-month movies pass, which will give access to some 1,000+ movies and 16 premieres a month. Secondly we have the 3 month-entertainment pass, which gives you access to some 13 channels “you won’t find on Freeview”. And lastly, there is the highly coveted 2-day Sky Sports pass; yes you read that right, 2-day Sky Sports pass.
When you first turn on your NOW TV box it will ask you to connect to your Wi-Fi router, and upon connecting you will then need to sign in, or create an account by going to nowtv.co.uk, and that is also where you active your pass.
Upon activating your pass you’re pretty forced to subscribe to that very same package, effective immediately when your pass runs out. You can however always cancel your subscription.
The NOW TV box makes use of a plain white plastic body with a black base. This gives it a ‘white goods’ feel, but in actuality you pay a premium for each of the various subscription packages on offer. Similarly, the remote also makes use of a glossy white plastic body with a black upper tip.
Though it looks cheap, this little box does have it’s benefits in that it is made from a very solid plastic and it is rather light. It’s easy to see why its attractive and at the same time easy to overlook.
User Interface & Controls
In terms of the graphic user interface, Roku, the creators of the NOW TV box opted for a simple yet sleek tile icon design.
Though sleek and well designed, the GUI does not respond well to the remote control if triggered from afar. The box needs to be positioned in a fairly open space without anything interfering with the signal.
The remote control has 13 buttons controlling functions such as apps, home screen, d-pad and options, amongst other key controls. Absent however, are the volume control buttons, so this means that you have to get up and control the volume on your speakers.
Value for £££
Though offering three different passes to choose from you when you initially buy the box, it is just another streaming device without the Sky’s catch up and live stream offerings.
At £10.99 a week for a Sky Sports pass, it’s hard to justify the exuberant price seeing as Sky Sports with any of Sky’s TV bundles is an extra £25 per month. To match that you’d have to pay £43.96 a month for a NOW TV pass.
At £6.99 a month and £9.99 a month respectively, the entertainment pass, and the movies pass both come at a slightly more reasonable price. You will however, have to take into consideration the monthly broadband bill.
When you take away the premium Sky offerings and the ridiculously priced Sky sports passes at £6.99 a day or £10.99 a week, then what you have is an easily replaceable catch up tv box.
The various on demand apps such as the BBC iPlayer, ITV Player and Youtube.
The ability to search for programmes by channel & programme listings.
The 3 different premium Sky packages to choose from.
Being forced to subscribe to the £6.99 monthly subscription once your free pass expires.
How unreliable the remote control can be, unless aimed directly at the box.