UK members -Sky Now Box

Discussion in 'Tech Section for Gadget's and Toys discussions' started by Gabriel1, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1
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    As a confirmed gadget monster I thought I'd share my latest purchase with you, the Sky Now Box!

    I have just ordered this so I may post more when it arrives.

    I love my media consumption but not wishing to pay for a Sky subscription (I already have a subscription to BT Vision) I was looking for a way to get movies and sports content to my HD TV, especially as BT has done away with Sky Sports 1 & 2 in favour of BT Sports 1 & 2 (which stops me accessing my beloved Golf majors coverage). Initially I downloaded the Now TV app but I have been somewhat put off spending my 10 beer tokens for one days sports coverage because of the poor reviews but now now Sky have teamed up with Roku to deliver this little beauty.......



    image-444654068.jpg

    It will enable me to watch the latest movies or sports events (along with news, etc) without tying up my iPad or iPhone and without having to subscribe to Sky, so for the few events I want to watch each year (some F1, Golf majors, rugby internationals like the Lions tours, etc) by just paying for what I watch.

    So, if you are like me and are annoyed that you have lost access to something that floats your boat you can now do something about it......and the cost of the box, a surprisingly good price of £9.99 which includes postage.

    Check it out here https://shop.nowtv.com/home

    Combined with my Apple TV, BT Vision and WD Live boxes this opens up a whole new world of pain for my audio visual senses.

    I'll post a review when it arrives.

    The Archangel
     
  2. skimonkey

    skimonkey
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    Woohoo--another Gadget toy for "Gadget Gabe!!"

    Look forward for the review! :)
     
  3. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1
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    I've enrolled myself in GA (Gadgetoholics Anonymous) as I need to do something about this affliction. You know it has gone too far when you start hiding gadgets in desk drawers at work or in the back of cupboards at home then, when no one is around, you find yourself plugging them in and downloading a film from iTunes or a TV programme from BBC iPlayer, hoping all the time that you won't be discovered! Geez, I don't even watch the downloads, just watching the progress bar for the download move across the screen is enough to ease the withdrawal shakes that I get!

    The Archangel
     
  4. skimonkey

    skimonkey
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    I think we can keep your little known secret here! There may be a few of us that might need to enroll in GA as well....or at least block Apple Store and Amazon from our iPads! Just love browsing those sites!

    Anyways-have looking forward to seeing all the feature you'll get with that! :)
     
  5. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1
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    Well, my Now TV box just arrived so here are my initial thoughts.

    First, should you buy one, well, without even digging too deep into what it can do I can answer that if you have a TV with HDMI connections then the answer is a resounding yes. The box arrives complete with an HDMI lead so even if you throw everything else in the package away you just got yourself an HDMI lead for £9.99 and free postage!

    So, you've got an HDMI lead, what other benefits does it bring? Another easy answer here, it's made by Roku so you get access to lots of channels to feed your media consumption desire. What you don't get is Netflix App and the like (fairly obvious really as they are direct competitors with Sky who subsidise the box) but apparently there are hacks available to load them although you can't control or stop updates so if they decide to close that loophole then you can't stop it from happening. It's not much of a downside as it's easy to get Netflix through other means and anyway, I now have access to Sky Movies alongside what's available on my Apple TV and the BT Vision on-demand movie channels.

    The box is easy to set up, connect it to the TV, plug it in and off it goes, not even an on/off switch to worry about. It found my wireless network easily and it was simple to input the network password with the shiny white remote control. The box then updated it's firmware and presented me with the main screen. A few channels are pre-loaded (BBC iPlayer, BBC News, Sky News, 5OD and Now TV) but there is an icon for the Roku App Store where you can download other channels at the touch of a button. It's worth noting that the output is 720p rather than 1080p but I can live with that. All the menus are smooth and easy to operate.



    image-880766021.jpg

    The box is subsidised so aside from the available Roku Apps they need to make their money back. They do this by providing access to Sky Movie channels and Sky Sports channels. At the moment a Sky Movie pass is available for 30 days free trial then £8.99/month for the next three months at which point it roughly doubles in cost.....but you can subscribe and unsubscribe at will which is good if you don't want to be tied into a long term contract. Sky Sports day passes are available at £9.99/24hrs which is a significant amount if you watch a lot of sports. For me, it's a good deal, I was paying around £18/month for access to Sky Sports 1 and 2, so if I invest in no more than 21 Sky Sports Day Passes in a year then it costs me no more (but I now get access to all of their sports channels instead of just 2) but I also have free access to BT Sports 1 & 2 through my BT Vision box as well as anything that is shown on Freeview.

    Personally I won't be bothering with the movie channels (I have more than enough movie content right now) but I will be taking advantage of the Sky Sports day passes.

    One last thing, the Now TV box is tiny, even smaller than my Apple TV!

    So there you have it, for £9.99 you really can't go wrong, it's an excellent addition to my other boxes.......now I just need to find the time to watch all the content that I now have access to!!

    The Archangel
     
  6. Gabriel1

    Gabriel1
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    I had an interesting side by side comparison last night with my BT Vision box. I was using the BBC iPlayer on BT Vision and it crashed, locking up the box, so I quickly switched to the Now TV box. Both of these boxes claim to output at 720p however the programme I was watching was in SD......the differences were as follows:

    Now TV was way quicker at negotiating through the iPlayer menus.

    Now TV didn't display any of the buffering which BT Vision has at the start of a programme.

    The blacks in the picture from the Now TV box were much blacker and the picture was much sharper (even on SD), I don't know if the sharpness and clarity is as a result of the better blacks or if there is another reason.

    All in all, the Now TV experience is really impressive and in future BBC iPlayer will be run exclusively on this device.

    The Archangel
     

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