Getting frustrated with the growth of chunky boxes under your TV, or wanting to add support for catch-up TV to your dumb but otherwise great picture HD TV but don't want to spend a fortune? Well for a day or so you were probably looking at the Google Chromecast device wishing it was in the UK for the same $35. Friday morning we wake up to find that Sky has launched a £9.99 device that allows you to stream NOW TV and other catch-up services to your TV via a HDMI cable.
The NOW TV box is small at 84mm x 84mm x 24mm and adds another remote to your collection, so in that sense it is not as neat a solution as the Chromecast, but it has the advantage of being available now and offering access to NOW TV (if you have a subscription) and BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News. Additionally there is access to Facebook and Spotify with the ability to listen to music and share pictures via the TV.
NOW TV is a subscription service offering access to Sky Movies and Sports. The movie subscription is available on a 30 day free trial with the next three months at £8.99/month (standard price £15), though people with a Xbox Live Gold subscription might want to look out for extra offers where you sometimes get extra points to spend on Xbox content.
This new venture by Sky further enhances their broadening away from being just a satellite TV provider and really should be no massive surprise after they put $10 million of investment into Roku last year, when it was announced this investment would allow them to sell boxes under their own brand.
Update 10:15am As usual we have done some more reading and can let everyone know that the £9.99 includes postage & packing and includes a HDMI cable supporting 720p HD , older TVs without HDMI can use the mini-jack to left/right/composite video RCA socket, but no cable is included. The creation of a NOW TV account is needed to activate the device, which means signing up for a NOW TV account with the option of joining the 30 day free movies trial or buying a Sky Sports day pass (£9.99). The BBC iPlayer and Spotify Premium functionality is independent of any paid transactions with Sky for movies or sports.
Update Sunday 28th July We have updated the body of this item to reflect the answers we had from Sky which indicate that beyond creating a free NOW TV account you are not required to take part in the 30 day free movies trial to activate the NOW TV streaming device.