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Sky’s Internet Video Streaming NOW TV Reveals New Box and Upgrades

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015 (2:04 pm) - Score 2,834

Customers of Sky’s broadband-based NOW TV service, which among other things offers live streaming access and catch-up content for some of the media giants top TV channels (e.g. Sky Atlantic, Sky 1, Discovery etc.), has announced plans to launch a new set-top-box, a Sky Sports Month Pass and other improvements.

At present NOW TV customers who would prefer to stream their Sky Sports content rather than have a Satellite (Sky Digital) dish installed have the option of paying for either a day pass (£6.99) or a week pass (£10.99). By comparison the new month pass includes access to all 7 Sky Sports Channels like a normal subscription for £31.99 and it doesn’t lock you into a long contract.

Elsewhere the NOW TV service will also see some User Interface (UI) improvements, which will be rolled out to existing customers with supporting hardware “over the coming months“. The changes will apparently make it “even quicker and easier for customers to get to the channels and content they want“.

A further upgrade will also be introduced later this year to add improved search functionality, as well as enabling customers to automatically play next episodes from their TV series and the ability to easily tag, save and find your favourite shows.

Lastly there’s the little NOW TV set-top-box, which was originally based off a re-branded version of the first generation Roku streaming box that took the Internet by storm a couple of years ago (it also cost just £10 on NOW TV).

By comparison the new box will go on sale in August 2015 for £14.99 (one-off) and so far Sky are only saying that it offers a “faster and smoother experience” (5x faster CPU), plus there’s now an Ethernet port on the back for those who prefer wired connections to WiFi. We suspect they’ve just upgraded to the latest Roku 2 or 3 hardware.

Stephen van Rooyen, Sky’s Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, said:

NOW TV has established real momentum since it launched nearly three years ago. The acceleration in our customer growth shows NOW TV is attracting customers in a way that is complementary, not at odds, with the Sky TV service. As with the Sky platform we are committed to constant improvement so we can produce the best experience for customers as well as developing exciting new services and features for them to enjoy.”

Rooyen also revealed some of the things that Sky has learnt from their NOW TV customers since launch.

What Sky Learnt – NOW TV:

· They don’t crossover with the Sky customer base: Over 90% of customers had never considered Sky before signing up.

· They dip in frequently: On average NOW TV Entertainment pass customers watch over five hours per week of the best pay channels on the service while Movies pass customers watch almost six hours of movies each week.

· They like variety: Almost 30% of NOW TV customers buy more than one pass each month.

· They are enthusiastic streamers: Almost 40% of NOW TV customers also subscribe to Netflix and around 20% use it alongside Amazon Prime. NOW TV differentiates itself because Sky’s investment in content means it can offer more of the latest TV shows as well as twice as many of the recent blockbusters as those services combined.

Now if they could just add 4K support..

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. TomD says:

    No to 4K! Keep it simple! I didn’t expect it to, but NOWTV works completely seamlessly over our 1.8Mbps. Bells and whistles could well put it beyond our modest capabilities.

  2. Vince says:

    Has something changed then because when NowTV launched you couldn’t use Netflix with it… is that no longer a restriction?

  3. DTMark says:

    “[Now TV customers] don’t crossover with the Sky customer base: Over 90% of customers had never considered Sky before signing up.”

    That’s the comment I was making about Netflix the other day. It’s cheap and mostly, er, crap. If it had more decent content – even if only a massive back-catalogue – they might well be able to get away with making it (quite a lot) more expensive since if the pattern is similar, the users don’t have a Sky subscription to pay too.

  4. dave says:

    do you have to subscribe to nowtv in order to subscribe to sky sports or can you get sky sports without paying the £7-9/month that nowtv costs on top? Sky charges £25.50 for sky sports for sky tv subscribers btw in case anyone wanted to know that price.

    1. Kev says:

      You can buy Sports, Entertainment and Movies seperate from each other

  5. Andy says:

    And more importantly add subtitles to the service. They constantly bleat on about customer service and experience and yet constantly ignore the pages of feedback regarding subtitles.

  6. Venus says:

    Thanks for the article. Just want to inform all folks who live outside US that PS3 is a great media Player. If you want to access Netflix and other streaming stations on your PS3 you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.

  7. Dan says:

    I believe this is a really good thing. Seeing there upgrades makes me impressed more about them.

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