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The words here tell you that this is a movie news show and that you’ll probably enjoy listening to it. There’s only one way to find out if these words are correct.
This is a very late episode. There will be another one this week.
I also talk about movies and tv and stuff.
There’s a new box underneath my television and that means you get a review of it. As it goes, this one is quite a good one.
Now TV is one of the big three video subscription services in the UK, the other two being Netflix and Amazon. Now TV Provides you with the popular content from Sky and serves as an alternative to the full satellite package that we’re used to from Sky. Over the years I’ve considered giving up Sky, and now it finally happened. The ageing and noisy Sky HD box is gone, and the Now TV Smart Box is in its place.
If you’re interested in Now TV, you don’t need this box. The chances are if you’ve got a box that connects to your television, you’ve probably got something that already has a Now TV app. That might well do you, but the Smart Box has a little more to offer.
It’s actually a Freeview HD box, giving you access to a selection of free to air channels with just a television ariel. That was a feature that grabbed me. Our TV is new enough to have a Freeview tuner, but not new enough to have an HD Freeview tuner. Now I have one. Granted that the choice of HD channels is nothing compared to that of SkyHD, but for free, I can live with it.
As you turn on the box you’re presented with the last live channel you were watching, along with a selection of other featured Now TV content. What you see will depend on the package you subscribe to. There’s a choice of Entertainment, Movies, Kids, and Sports. So far the box seems to be doing a really good job of offering me content that I can watch, without constantly bombarding me with promotions of content that I’m not currently paying for. That’s a refreshing change.
The box is made in partnership with Roku, so it’s technically a Roku box, but not one you can buy as a standalone device. Consequently, there are apps, but the choice is limited. This is not the one box to rule them all. You can’t access Netflix or Amazon, even though there are Roku apps for those services. It was Sky’s choice to do that, and while it isn’t the end of the world, it does make the box a little worse than it could have been. Sky might argue that those services are competition for them, I would disagree.
You do get some applications pre-installed. There’s a catch-up TV section which includes content from BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. You’ll also see the premium content from the Now TV packages you subscribe to. These apps are basically the same as the versions running on other platforms. You can even send YouTube videos to the big screen from your phone, just like a ChromeCast.
The Now TV Smart Box is £39.99 and provides you with live HD content, and all the good stuff from Sky, without a contract. When you do decide to pay, the cost is very low and reasonable. While I have absolutely no problem recommending this device, and really enjoy my own, you should think long and hard about how it’s going to fit into your life. Do you really need a separate box to play Now TV? If you’ve got a PS4, XBox, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku, attached to your TV, then you probably don’t. However, if you’ve got a TV in need of a Freeview HD upgrade, this is a no-brainer. At the price they’re charging, it’s hard to go wrong.