Sky’s NOW TV boxes (and the recently launched NOW TV Stick) have always been decent TV streaming boxes for UK cord cutters, serving not only Sky’s NOW TV content, but also BBC iPlayer, the ITV Hub, and several other content apps. But there was always one glaring omission – the NOW TV streamers didn’t have a Netflix app – and that’s finally going to change.
This week, Sky and Netflix announced a new partnership, which will bundle Netflix along with Sky’s services – the Sky Q platform for “traditional” Sky subscribers, and the NOW TV boxes for us cord cutters:
The agreement with Netflix also extends to Sky’s contract free streaming services. In the UK and Ireland, Sky will launch Netflix as a standalone app on NOW TV’s family of streaming devices including on the recently launched NOW TV Smart Stick.
NOW TV is Sky’s answer to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video – for a cheap monthly price, and no contracts, you can get access to a library of movies (with the £9.99/month Cinema Pass), the latest TV programmes and box-sets (with the £7.99/month Entertainment Pass), live sports (£33.99/month) and programmes for kids (£2.99/month).
To watch NOW TV, you needed either a third-party streamer (such as the Google Chromecast or the Roku box/stick), a supported Smart TV, or one of NOW TV’s own streaming devices. With NOW TV being a fierce Netflix competitor, it was understandable why the app wasn’t available on NOW TV’s own boxes – but that’s going to change this year.
Will The NOW TV Boxes Be The Ultimate Streaming Devices Now?
With the NOW TV devices offering most of the UK catch-up services apps, and with Netflix being added later this year, these boxes are certainly a favourable choice. The NOW TV Smart Box even offers Freeview channels (as long as you connect it to a TV aerial). Alas, there are a few downsides to these boxes as well:
- No Amazon Prime Video support (yet?)
- No 4K Video support (only up to 1080p, Full HD)
- The older boxers are pretty slow
Still, the addition of a Netflix app means the Smart TV box or stick can fill MOST of your TV streaming needs, if not all. The main catch? it’s not here yet, and will only be available later in 2018.