Now TV is Sky’s Netflix. It’s slightly totally different, although. You pay individually for films and TV. And whereas there are far fewer movies to chow down on, it tends to get some newer titles than Amazon and Netflix.

 It has cutting-edge content material, however the {hardware}? Not a lot.

This Now TV field goes some approach to fixing this, including 4K streams for the primary time. You can even, lastly, run Netflix on the factor.

 It’s the most effective Now TV field but, clearly. However, just a few elements nonetheless aren’t almost as spectacular as Amazon’s Fire TV.


Now TV {hardware} isn’t as formidable as some set-top {hardware}. It’s a approach to get you tooled-up with Sky’s Now TV providers, and also you get a bunch of different apps on the facet as a result of the design and software program and based mostly on the Roku platform.

Amazon could have eaten away Roku’s viewers, nevertheless it stays one of many important makers of straightforward, inexpensive sensible TV {hardware}.

The NOW TV Smart Box with 4K & Voice Search is a rounded sq. of plastic, sufficiently small to slot in entrance of your TV. Or behind it. Just plug within the energy cable and an HDMI and also you’re away. It makes use of Wi-Fi as customary, but when your router is dependable as a Tinder date, you possibly can plug in an Ethernet cable too.


You can place the field wherever. Well, wherever inside HDMI cable attain. The distant is without doubt one of the neatest a part of the Now TV Box. It makes use of Wi-Fi as a substitute of IR, so doesn’t want line of sight to work. You can use it from a totally totally different room. This is generally solely helpful to bother housemates and relations, however reveals this isn’t fairly as easy a gadget as it could seem.

The distant additionally has an built-in microphone. Press the mic button on the entrance and you may ask for film and TV titles, or for content material that includes a sure actor.

Don’t count on an excessive amount of from this voice search. It’s virtually comically dangerous in contrast with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Ask for “Jim Carrey”, for instance, and you must intentionally mispronounce his title, in any other case the field searches for “Jim Carey” with a single “r”, and finds nothing.

Nice work, Now TV

It will solely discover content material on the Now TV providers too. Ask for one thing is on iPlayer or YouTube, and voice search pretends it doesn’t exist. This isn’t any nice shock given how a lot of a tech problem getting this to work is, however does present voice search up as a little bit of a gimmick.

 It’s slower than legit voice assistants too, though admittedly often rather a lot faster than typing out present names with the D-pad. Still, Sky must tighten up this voice function. It doesn’t appear to have improved since Sky added it to the Smart Stick in January 2018. If something, it appears worse than once we first used it.

An Amazon Fire TV’s voice search is mild years forward.


Talk to Sky and it wold inform you the 4K Now TV field is all in regards to the newest leading edge tech. However, that the interface just isn’t techy is all a part of the enchantment.

Amazon’s TV software program is extra packed with stuff than a video games console or pill. Now TV actually seems to be and seems like a TV UI, with easy menus and regimented content material thumbnails.

Once you get used to which buttons to press to get round, you received’t get misplaced. That’s helpful in the event you reside with somebody so anti-tech they sigh each time they see you studying stuff.television.

The interface is a tweaked model of Roku’s software program, which is why it has this ground-up TV focus. Clean as it’s, it might actually do with a freshen-up, thoughts.

The Now TV field can deal with 4K streaming, however the precise UI is simply 720p. Text is super-soft and the blue theme, which you’ll be able to’t customise, is so primary it most likely thinks “Ed Sheeran” is rock music.

This does not have an effect on what the field can do, after all, nevertheless it’d look a lot slicker if the “4K” half utilized to the entire field.


So what elements are 4K? The Now TV field can stream YouTube and Netflix in 4K. Previous packing containers and sticks didn’t even allow you to use Netflix, and that is truly the largest improve right here, not 4K decision.

This means Netflix lovers who’ve a dalliance with Now TV on the facet (or vice versa) can lastly use this field as their important video streaming supply. Like to get Amazon Prime Video concerned too? No luck there, however we nonetheless depend Netflix inclusion as a giant win for streamers in all places.

 Now TV’s personal content material isn’t truly in 4K. It’s nonetheless, hilariously, 720p. A fast reminder: Netflix began 4K streaming in 2014.

Sky is to date behind the curve it’s unwittingly retro. However, we nonetheless have lots of time for Now TV.

When you join you possibly can select from its 4 totally different plans, which unlock TV, films, children’ content material and sport. You’ll pay £9.99 a month for the Cinema go, £7.99 for Entertainment TV, £3.99 for kiddie reveals and as much as £33.99 a month for Sport. In August 2018 Now TV additionally added Hayu, which provides a continually pumping pipe of US actuality TV bilge for £3.99 a month. It’s good for marinating the mind after a protracted day at work.

The films and TV plans get you some content material you received’t discover elsewhere, and the TV bundle additionally permits you to watch reside TV from Sky channels like Sky One and Atlantic. Easy as it’s to select holes within the tech, Now TV is an inexpensive approach to get lots of Sky content material for a lot lower than Sky Q prices, contract-free. Like Netflix, you simply pay month-to-month.

Third-party apps are the opposite necessary further the Now TV field nabs from the underlying Roku software program. You can set up iPlayer, YouTube, ITV Player, All four and Demand 5. Add Netflix and you’ve got a one-stop alternative for a crappy built-in sensible TV interface. And it’s a helluva lot cheaper than shopping for a brand new TV.

There are different apps too. pluto.television provides an entire bunch of different reside TV channels, together with one devoted solely to Mystery Science Theatre 3000, anime streamer Crunchyroll and the 24-hours-of-godliness Divine TV Catholic channel. However, if further apps are what you need, purchase an Amazon field or stick. It has significantly better goodies on provide, together with a great deal of nice video games.

NOW TV Smart Box with 4K & Voice Search verdict

In some methods, the Now TV 4K field is garbage. Its voice search is laughably dangerous, the promised “4K” is extra restricted than you may assume.

However, it’s additionally the proper resolution if you wish to attempt Now TV, or improve from a built-in sensible TV platform creakier than an previous door in a horror film.

Amazon’s 4K Fire TV Stick beats it in most respects. The voice search is miles higher, it provides hundreds extra apps and its 4K cred is superior. However, you possibly can’t stream Now TV on a Fire TV. Rather have Now TV than Amazon Prime Video? Buy one.