- The latest TV Shows, Movies and Sports
- The best bits from Sky TV without subscription
- Catch-up TV, Boxsets and Live TV
- Watch on 2 devices with the same account
- No contract, cancel at anytime
- HD content is 720p not Full HD
- No 4k content (yet?)
- No 5.1 audio
- App could be better
Watch Live Sky TV
Unlike other rival streaming services, Now TV lets you also watch live TV. Yep that's right, if it's on Sky, it'll be on Now TV – how cool is that!
You are of course limited to the channels that come with Now TV but the ones that are included cover most bases.
It may not ooze the on-demand lifestyle you're dreaming of but it does give Now TV a very unique selling point over its rivals.
You have to be more aware of what's currently on as there's no EPG or Planner just a ‘Now and Next’ feature but with a little extra effort you can discover even more content that's available to you.
What's the quality like?
HD purists will be a little disappointed to hear that Now TV currently only supports 720p not full HD 1080p.
It's not the end of the world though as 720p content can still look sharp and detailed. I think for the most part it's perfectly adequate and a definite improvement over standard definition TV but not quite as good as Freeview HD.
With HD content capped at 720p it's probably not surprising then that 4K content is also absent from the features list.
Audiophiles will also be disappointed to learn that Now TV doesn't support 5.1 audio. All content is streamed in stereo. If you're just interested in the Entertainment or Sports passes then you probably won't lose too much sleep over it but movie purists with a good surround sound system may find this frustrating.
Given the competition from Netflix and Amazon though, I'd hope Now TV won't take too long to start offering more premium quality content to their loyal subscribers. Full HD should really be the minimum these days with 4K perhaps a premium option.
As for 5.1 audio, well DVDs with 5.1 audio have been available for around 20 years now so it's not too much to ask for in 2016, is it?
TV not smart enough? Try the Now TV Box
If you have no other way of accessing Now TV through conventional methods such as a smart TV or games console and you don't want to be sat in front of your computer, then all is not lost.
You have the option of buying the dedicated Now TV set top box. The great thing about it is you not only get access to Now TV but over 50 other apps including iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5.
There are of course a few notable exceptions such as Netflix and Amazon Prime but that's to be expected.
The Now TV box supports either Wi-Fi (802.11 dual-band a/b/g/n) or a wired Ethernet connection.
It's a tiny little thing (89mm x 89mm x 25mm) no bigger than the size of an average computer mouse so you're not going to struggle to find a home for it.
It's actually the perfect bedroom companion for those lazy evenings or Sunday mornings watching TV in bed!
For only £14.99 this little box of tricks basically turns your TV smart! All you need is a TV with a spare HDMI port and you're good to go. They even throw in a remote control and HDMI cable - absolute bargain.
You can get one direct from Now TV here Now TV set top box
How to cancel Now TV
If you ever want to cancel one or more of your passes, it's very straight forward.
- Sign into your account
- Click on My Account and then My Passes
- Here you'll be shown a list of what you are and aren't subscribed to
- Just click on the big CANCEL button and follow the instructions
Since there is no contract, there is no penalty for cancelling. You don't even have to wait until your renewal date to cancel. Simply cancel at any time and you can keep watching up until your subscription officially ends.
Now TV App
The Now TV app is available on iOS and Android (sadly not Windows phone), smart TVs, games consoles and of course on your PC or Mac.
I used the Android app on both tablet and smartphone with the built-in Chromecast feature to beam it directly to my TV.
The app on the whole is a little on the basic side but it does the job. It works well if you know what you're looking for and want to jump straight into something but it could do with some more advanced features and better search filters.
TV shows lack any kind of description or synopsis (you get this for Movies). So if you want to try something new, you either have to research it elsewhere or just take a punt.
There are individual episode descriptions for TV shows but these are often truncated (see the screenshot above) with no option to expand to read the whole description.
Not the end of the world but clearly there's plenty of room for improvement.
The playback controls are pretty simple. You get a Play and Pause function with the time-line showing you your current progress. You can skip to a particular time using the time-line but if you've ever used this method before you'll know it's not the most accurate or user-friendly experience. Not really a fault of Now TV, just the limitations of streaming.
There is a handy resume feature which remembers where you were if you stopped watching half way through. Select the content again and you'll be prompted to Resume or Start Again.
There is also a progress bar displayed on content you've watched in the menus but I found this to be inconsistent at times. Sometimes it shows your progress and sometimes it doesn't so I wouldn't always rely on this to remember where you left something.
My TV list and Profiles
The My TV feature is again pretty basic and gives you two simple views. Recently Watched and Watchlist.
Recently Watched does pretty much what you'd expect and shows you a list of everything you've watched, starting with the most recent.
This is good if you've forgotten what you were watching and will jump you straight back to where you left off.
The Watchlist is basically a favourites list. While browsing around you can add anything you find to your Watchlist for viewing later. It doesn't do much beyond that but it's useful nonetheless.
There are no such things as profiles (e.g. the app can't be personalised for different people) or recommendations like you get on Netflix. It's really a one-way experience but some may actually prefer the simplicity of it.
After a recent update to the app, the long overdue feature of cuing up the next episode if you are watching a TV series was introduced.
This is a nice touch (although Netflix has been doing this for ages) but unfortunately doesn't work if you're casting from the app. Annoyingly in this case you still have to manually select the next episode.
Unfortunately for the hard of hearing or for those of you that like to follow along with subtitles, this feature isn't currently supported on Now TV.
I'm a big fan of Now TV. I've spent a good amount of time with the other big two content streamers (Netflix and Amazon Prime) and Now TV is the one I've stuck with.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who sees the value in having the most up to date content at your fingertips.
There is something very satisfying about looking forward to the next big TV series or movie and knowing you're not going to have to wait a year or more before you have the opportunity to watch it.
For anyone into their sports and the type of sports that aren't available on Freeview then Now TV really is a no-brainer.
It's not the perfect service, the lack of Full HD (1080p) and 4K content may put some purists off. In fact it's probably the least technically accomplished service out there as they don't stream 5.1 audio or provide subtitles, so there's certainly room for improvement.
Plus the app is a little on the basic side and could do with a boost in features and functionality.
But aside from the negatives there is a lot to like and it's the service that gets my money.
It's so simple to use, cheap and there is a dedicated set top box for anyone without some sort of smart device.
In a world where content is king, it really doesn't matter how good or slick your service is, if you don't provide great content then you'll struggle to hold on to customers. This is what sells it for me, with great content at your fingertips what more do you want from a streaming service?
Check out the deals below or simply sign up for the free trial and test it out yourself. Happy watching!
9 / 10 (Excellent)
|The Entertainment Pass costs £6.99 a month||Try it FREE for 14-days here|
|The Sky Movies Pass costs £9.99 a month||Try it FREE for 14-days here|
|The Sky Sports Pass comes in three flavours:
- A Day Pass that costs £6.99
- A Week Pass that costs £10.99
- A Month Pass that costs £31.99
|Get your Sky Sports Pass here|
|The Now TV Box costs £14.99||£14.99 (one off payment)|