Update: March 7 - You can get up to 35% off a Now TV streaming stick and a content pass if you buy one of the bundles offered on Now TV's own website. Check the offer here.
Now TV, Sky's UK-based on-demand streaming service, has a lot of good qualities, but one that may cause people trouble is how modular it is. Not only do the passes unlock only specific kinds of content, but you can also access the service in a few different ways, making it far more intimidating than the easy sign-in and go methods of Netflix and its ilk, or the box-based simplicity of Freeview and Sky Q. If you’re considering Now TV, but aren’t sure if you need the accompanying devices, then let us help you find the best option for your needs.
Now TV Account
No matter how you want to watch Now TV, you will need an account first. To do this, go to Now TV's website and sign up, which will require your name, email address, physical address, and payment information.
Your new account then lets you buy 'passes', which are Now TV's packages of content, roughly separated by genre. You can either buy passes when you set the account up, or add more or remove passes from your account settings later on if you wish. If you want to know more about what's on offer, we have a guide that can help you out.
You can register the same account on a maximum of four devices, and can watch content on two devices at the same time. If you want to check the compatibility of a specific device, then you can look through Now TV’s own guide here, or see our quick reference below.
When it comes to viewing Now TV's content, there are three main routes to take. Watching online, via the Now TV app, or a Smart Stick or Smart Box.
Credit: Now TV
The Now TV App comes in various forms, but can be found on:
iPhones (4S or later), iPads (2nd generation or later) and iPod Touch (4th generation or later)
Android smartphones (4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or later)
Windows smartphones and tablets (Windows 8.1 or later)
PC and Mac computers
Playstation 3 and Playstation 4
Xbox 360 and Xbox One
LG smart TVs
Samsung smart TVs (models sold from 2015 onwards)
YouView (only works with Sky Cinema pass content)
If you’re watching via 3G or 4G, Now TV gives 180Kbps as the minimum speed required to watch its content. If you’re on a home broadband connection, then the minimum is 2.5Mbps.
The iOS and Android apps have a unique feature: you can download shows onto them to watch offline. Unfortunately, this only applies to content from the Kids TV pass. You might be disappointed, but it’s great news for any children you have at least.
The online option is similar, but just involves navigating to nowtv.com in your browser of choice and logging into your account. This is just like a lot of streaming services, and is likely your best option if you’re watching on a full sized computer or laptop. You can do this with devices running Windows 7 or later, or MacOS 10.9 (Mavericks) onwards.
Now TV Devices: Smart Stick and Smart Box
The Now TV Smart Box. Credit: Now TVIf you want to get Now TV with an easy set up, then consider a Smart Box or Smart Stick. These plug into your TV, and once you’ve connected it to the internet (Now TV recommends a minimum broadband speed of 2.5Mbps), and set up an account (or logged in to an existing one), they give you access to Now TV’s content.
The stick and the box are identical in several ways - both give you Now TV access, plus any other on-demand or catch-up streaming apps you already have thanks to its Roku-powered operating system, and voice search via their remote controls.
The Now TV Smart Stick. Credit: Now TV The big difference is that of maximum quality. With the stick, you max out at HD resolution, while the box delivers 4K. This is then reflected in the other major difference: prices. The stick is £14.99 on its own, while the box costs £45.99 on its own. This doesn't include the price of any passes by default.
The stick and box also provide a method of watching other video streaming services on your TV, such as Netflix, YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc. You don’t need a TV aerial to use a Smart Stick or Smart Box, unless you want to watch Freeview channels through them.