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Review: Now TV Box – For £9.99 can you afford not to buy it?

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Sky have released a new set-top box for Now TV. At the most basic level it turns any TV into a Smart TV by giving you access to the likes of BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News, plus NOW TV – offering instant access to Sky Sports and Sky Movies. You can also access other popular online services such as Facebook and Spotify – all delivered over broadband to the big screen TV.

At just under £10.00 it is an absolute bargain and there is a lot more to discover in the little white box.

Basically, it is a repurposed Roku box (although NetFlix and LoveFilm are disabled on this version) and measures 84 x 84 x 24mm. Once out of the box all you need to do is plug it into a power supply and connect it to the TV via HDMI cable which is provided. Once connected to your wireless network you are good to go.

You need to be a Now TV account holder (which takes moments to set up on their web site), but you do not need to be a paying subscriber.

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It then gives you the following:

  • 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.

As you can see, you will need to pay extra for Sky Movies and Sky Sports, but the fact you can pick and choose when this is (or ignore them all together) means it is a lot less expensive then a full Sky subscription. Plus if you keep checking all the different offers from Sky you can end up with some bargains.

The menu system is clean and simple to navigate.

The Now TV box does support HD streaming, but at the moment it only streams in SD apart from the BBC iPlayer which is in 720p HD.

I was very impressed with the ease of set up and the various options available. Perfect for a second TV. It is a shame it is not fully HD, but at such an affordable price it is hard to let that bother you too much.

There will also be more content available as time goes on.

You could go for Apple TV or a Roku box, but for the price of £9.99 this is a bargain. If you are after a cheap alternative to a Smart TV or just want to dip into Sky Sports at certain times then the Now TV Box is for you.

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