Netflix and Lovefilm are two of the most popular providers of on-demand Internet streaming media, but their supremacy is threatened by other services that promise to take over the world. In 2012, Sky plc, the British media company and pay-TV broadcaster launched Now TV, a service that is available only to watch using a computer. Now TV competes against Sky TV, and below, we’ll tell you the differences between them.
Prices and content
Currently, the NOW TV Entertainment Month Pass costs £6.99 a month, without a contract and you get 13 live television channels: Sky Living, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, Sky 1, MTV, Gold, Fox, Disney, Discovery, Comedy Central, Nick, Nick Jr and ITV Encore. Plus, there is an extra channel that’s available for box sets. The Sky Movies pass offers has a 30 day free trial and the viewers have to pay a monthly fee of £9.99, which will be renewed after one month. The Sports Day Pass has a monthly fee of £6.99 without a contract and the viewers have access to six Sky Sports channels.
Sky TV’s Original Bundle has a monthly fee of £20 a month (+ Free 32” Samsung TV, Microsoft Band or £100 reward and there are 35+ entertainment channels); the Variety Bundle costs £30 a month (75+ entertainment channels); the Family Bundle costs
£36 (75+ entertainment channels and Sky Box Sets and exclusive entertainment in 3D); the Sky Movies Bundle costs £37 a month and has in addition 11 movie channels, including Sky Movies Disney; the Sky Sports Bundle costs £45.50 a month and comes with another 7 sports channels and 127 live Premier League games. Lastly, the Complete Bundle has all the benefits of all bundles, plus over 300 Sky Box Sets and it costs £75.75 a month.
Now TV can be accessed via the internet, on Windows or Mac OS, or you can install the app on your Android or iOS mobile device, but it’s also compatible with the following consoles: PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. In addition, the service is supported by LG Smart TVs and if you prefer set top boxes, then you can buy the Apple TV, or a Roku, Now TV Box or YouView. The Sky Sports Day Pass content can be streamed via Apple’s AirPlay. From January 2014, the ITV Player has been made available on the NOW TV box.
Sky TV offers Sky Go, which allows the users to view channels from a laptop, tablet or mobile, but they are allowed to register only two devices. In addition, the users who join Sky TV or upgrade to the Entertainment Extra + package can record 60 hours of HD content, or 185 hours of SD content with Sky+HD PVR. The Sky+HD 2TB box allows them to store up to 350 hours of HD content/1,180 hours of SD content. The montly subscription for Sky Go Extra is £5, but if the users are paying for Sky Multiroom, then Sky Go comes free. Sky Go without a Sky subscription has a fee that starts from £15.
Now TV vs Sky TV: quality
If you’re looking for top notch sound and vision quality, Sky TV wins hands down. Image quality from the satcaster’s HD channels is excellent and Sky transmits Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound on movies and TV shows when available. The service can be considered the gold standard when it comes to TV quality.
Now TV is a little less clear cut, as the user experience depends on the speed of connection and playback device. While not officially sold as an HD service, adaptive streaming technology can give surprisingly good results when your connection is fast.
Image quality can be bolstered by upscaling in the playback device; set top boxes and the brand’s own Now TV box upscale to 720p. Audio though is stereo only.