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NOW TV Launch New Smart Box with 4K UltraHD and Voice Search

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 (9:22 am) - Score 3,627
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Sky’s sibling NOW TV video streaming service, which also offers a contract-free broadband ISP and phone package (NOW Broadband), has introduced a new Smart Box device for UK customers that now includes support for 4K (Ultra HD) video quality, Netflix and Voice Search.

Just to recap. NOW TV is owned by Sky and offers a useful little broadband-based video streaming service to those who don’t want to be tied down to the full Sky TV product. Customers who join NOW TV get access to some of the most popular premium live TV channels (Sky Atlantic, FOX, Sky One, SyFy etc.) and related video-on-demand content via the purchase of monthly “Passes” (Entertainment Pass £7.99 a month, Sky Cinema Pass £9.99 a month, Sports £33.99 a month etc.).

On top of that NOW TV also offers the the option of a broadband (ADSL / FTTC) and phone line bundle (NOW Broadband), which is essentially a re-branded version of their parent’s Sky Broadband product but without the need to take a longer contract term if so desired. Pricing for this is similar to Sky, although the deals do vary.

Previously new customers who purchased one of the NOW TV packages will have also been supplied with either a Roku powered NOW TV Smart Stick (a small HDMI streaming adapter for your TV costing £14.99) or the more feature rich Smart Box. Sadly both only supported HD video quality.

The good news is that NOW TV has just launched a new Smart Box, which adds both support for 4K (UHD) video streaming at up to 60fps, HDR, voice search and Netflix. Admittedly they’re a bit behind the times as some of their rivals have been offering 4K via similar devices for awhile, but better late than never.

Gidon Katz, MD of NOW TV, said:

“With 4K and Voice Search the powerful new NOW TV Smart Box gets you to your favourite shows faster than ever and lets you explore the expanding world of 4K content across our apps. Plus, settle in and stream the shows you love all in one place as we end the struggle with TV inputs by adding Netflix to our NOW TV Smart Stick and Smart Box.”

The box itself is priced at £45.99 or £49.99 if you buy one at Argos or Currys PCWorld with an included 1 month pass for Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids and Sky Sports Day Pass.

Key Features of the 4K NOW TV Smart Box
* 4K capable Box with Ultra HD streaming at up to 60 fps and HD.
* Voice Search to quickly find shows, films, actors or directors or dive straight into your apps.
* Download over 50 apps including Netflix, Sky News, YouTube, UKTV Play and Vevo.
* Browse the best UK catch-up services, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 and Demand 5.
* Live pause technology across NOW TV’s premium live channels.
* Switch to ‘Night Mode’ to reduce loud sounds, like explosions in your favourite action movie, so you don’t wake the whole house.
* Micro SD storage so you can save additional apps.
* A Wi-Fi remote that can turn your TV on and off and control volume – to reduce the need for multiple remotes.
* Direct access buttons take you straight to My TV, TV Guide, Kids and Sky Store.
* The Walking Dead returns to Box Sets from 1st October.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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13 Responses
  1. Neb

    Will 4K be coming to the Smart TV app?

    Do we know if it’s just up-scaling or actual 4K content coming to their channels and sent to users?

  2. spurple

    Yea, I wish Sky would focus more on HDR than 4K. 4K virtually makes no difference for movies. It merely results in bigger download sizes. The few HDR titles I’ve seen on Netflix however are a welcome improvement on SDR.

  3. Optimist

    My Sony Bravia’s built-in YouTube app recently ceased to function. Fortunately I have a Now TV box (purchased several years ago) with the capability.

  4. jrhop

    Does this mean any of Sky’s actual content (Entertainment package or Sky sports) will be in 4K or even Full HD, or will it still be shown in 720p?

    • The device supports 4K, although content depends upon the source. Netflix supports 4K so you’ll get it from that, but I don’t think all of Sky’s content is 4K.

    • spurple

      sky sports is in 4K on special occasions such as a big football match (if you use Sky Q).

    • Matthew Williams

      I doubt any of Sky 4K content will come to NowTV until SKY Q launches over internet.

      This device just sets them up on the hardware I suppose to allow that.

      But yeah some Sky Sports is in 4K F1 and some football matches.

    • Mike

      Could be a while considering the state of internet for most people.

    • Matthew Williams

      @Mike

      I think it’s actually a slim majority [Mix of FTTH and Cable] these days that can get over 100MBps which is certainly enough for 4K Streaming

    • Paul

      I thought Now TV content was streamed in 720p already. Thing is if they were to allow 1080p or 4K it could potentially have a negative impact on Sky HD and Sky Q subscribers.

      Annoying, but I can see why it’s in their best interest not to offer it.

  5. Graham Thomas

    Currently, for example, a 24 hour sports pass streams in HD on the Smart Box. I doubt this box will allow 4K streaming, or am I being cynical?

  6. Craig

    I would love the opportunity to be able to watch Sky Cinema offline, but this functionality is only available through Sky itself at £10 for Sky Cinema and then £5 for the Sky Go Extra, very expensive when compared to Amazon Prime or Netflix.

  7. Phil

    I’ve just bought one of these today and realised that they have taken the free view tuner off the back. The old one used to have this. Also if it only streams in 720p if you don’t have a 4K tv then I might as well return it and stick to my amazon fire tv stick which streams in 1080p. Note: I bought this as I am planning on getting a 4K tv soon.

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