Do you need the NOW TV box? What channels do you get? How much does NOW TV cost? Just some of the questions answered in this Ask Andy.
Out of nowhere I received two emails yesterday with questions about NOW TV. I’m a big fan and think it’s a great way to watch Sky channels without a costly annual subscription, so here are the answers to Peter and Jimmy’s questions, and few more facts you need to know.
What is NOW TV?
NOW TV is an internet TV service from Sky. This means the programmes are sent via your broadband service rather than TV arial, cable or satellite dish.
You can either stream channels live, or watch them on catch up (like iPlayer). You can’t record a programme to keep.
How much does NOW TV cost?
You pay for NOW TV per month with no minimum subscription. There are three basic packages
- Entertainment covers TV channels such as Sky Atlantic, Fox and Sky One and costs £6.99 a month
- Movies is all the Sky Movies channels and costs £9.99 a month
- Sports is Sky Sports channels and costs £6.99 for a day, £9.99 for a week and £31.99
You can often save money with free trials and special offers, which I keep updated on my NOW TV deals page.
How to do you watch NOW TV?
Peter’s question was around how you watch.
“I keep reading about getting Now TV on computer etc., or on the TV via the Now box. Do you in fact need a box if you only want to view it on your computer.for instance? I cannot find anywhere where this is explained. Many thanks.”
The simple answer Peter is no, you don’t need the box at all. You can watch on your computer, tablet and even smartphone.
If you do want to watch it on your TV there are a few options.
The first is the NOW TV box. It’s a small box that’s just been updated (a version of the ROKU 3 if you know about these things). You plug it into your TV via an HDMI cable and connect to your internet either wirelessly or through a cable (the old white boxes are wireless only).
You can also send NOW TV to your TV with a Google Chromecast device. These are great. You simply plug it into your TV and use Google Chrome or an app to “cast” your programme. You can often get three months free NOW TV Entertainment when you buy a Chromecast, which is a great deal.
If you have a YouView box, Xbox 360 or One, PS3 or 4, LG Smart TV or Roku you can also access NOW TV there, while you can always connect your computer to a TV with a cable.
How does NOW TV save me money?
I get the monthly entertainment pass, largely to watch Sky Atlantic shows such as Game of Thrones, Sky 1 for Modern Family and Fox for The Walking Dead. Thanks to deals and offers I pay around £3 a month, though I also have around 8 weeks a year where I unsubscribe, so that is around £30 a year. This included three NOW TV boxes, so we have smart TVs in the bedrooms too.
To get Sky Atlantic another way I’d have to get Sky TV, with the cheapest TV package £20 a month. Yes there are offers and cashback deals which could bring down the annual £240, but even at full price NOW TV Entertainment is an absolute steal.
The standard Sky charges for all the movies is an extra £37 a month and for sport an additional £45.50 a month.
The great thing is you can also stop the service at the end of the month, a real saver if you are going on holiday or just really busy.
If you want TV and films then it does add up when compared to Netflix, though you are getting more recent releases.
What channels do you get on NOW TV?
Jimmy asked “Do you get normal channels on NOW TV like BBC 1 etc”
This depends how you watch it. If you have the NOW TV box, you also get iPlayer, All 4, ITV Player, Demand 5, BBC News, Sky News. It’s a great (and cheap) way to make your TV smart. These are mainly catch up only, but the iPlayer on NOW TV has recently launched a watch live service. You can even go to the start of the current programme if you missed it.
If you are just watching it via your computer or tablet, you’ll have access to those services through their own websites or apps.
What’s on the NOW TV Entertainment package?
NOW TV is the only way to get Sky Atlantic other than a full Sky subscription. You can stream live and on-demand the following 13 channels on NOW TV Entertainment:
- Sky 1
- Sky Living
- Sky Atlantic
- Comedy Central
- Sky Arts
- ITV Encore
- Discovery Channel
- Disney Channel
- Nick Jr
- ABD Studios
You can also access dozens of box sets such as Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, True Detective and The Sopranos. These do change though, and are often on for a few months before the new series starts.
What’s on the NOW TV Movies package?
If a film is currently on Sky Movies, you can watch it on NOW TV’s Movies package. You can watch live, or just chose the movie to watch when you want via the on-demand service.
The 11 channels are:
- Sky Movies Premiere
- Sky Movies Showcase
- Sky Movies Star Wars
- Sky Movies Disney
- Sky Movies Family
- Sky Movies Action & Adventure
- Sky Movies Comedy
- Sky Movies Crime and Thriller
- Sky Movies Drama & Romance
- Sky Movies Sci-Fi & Horror
- Sky Movies Select
What’s on the NOW TV Sports package?
You get all the Sky Sports channels with the NOW TV Sports pack for the length of your pass. I’m not 100% sure on this but I think you can only watch the sports live.
The seven channels available are
- Sky Sports 1
- Sky Sports 2 (currently Sky Sports Ashes)
- Sky Sports 3
- Sky Sports 4
- Sky Sports 5
- Sky Sports F1
- Sky Sports News HQ