Sky’s new Now TV box arrives in the UK on the 6 August and boasts a number of updates over the original box launched a couple of years ago.
The new Now TV box (2015) will now feature an Ethernet port to support a wired connection, as well as, a processor that is five times faster than the original offering.
Still made by Roku, the new now TV 2, if you want to call it that, will cost £14.99 and promises customers an even faster and smoother experience, as we found with a quick play with the new device in the Pocket-lint office.
The box itself measures 89 x 89 x 25mm and weighs 141 grams. Networking speeds are supported up to 802.11 a, and video offers 720p and 1080p with audio covered by HDMI up to 7.1 surround pass through, but it's worth noting that Sky's Now TV service only offers 720p footage rather than 1080p. The 1080p connection is there for future options (theoretically), but many so you can benefit from Full HD services from others.
There's also a USB slot to get in extra content and a MicroSD slot too.
The new box features changes to the user interface, that will also be rolled out across Now TV supported devices over the coming months, that as Sky suggests, that makes it even quicker and easier for customers to get to the channels and content they want.
To encourage people to use the Sky Store and Now TV features of the box, the new Now TV remote will feature two quick action buttons allowing you to get back to the Now TV homepage and to the Sky Store and is Infra Red so you'll still need direct line of sight.
The new box comes in black rather than the previous white and comes with a HDMI cable in the box.
Like the previous Now TV box, users will be able to access a number of channels from Roku’s streaming channel portal like BBC iPlayer, YouTube, and others, however won’t have access to Netflix.
A quick spin through the interface proved fruitful. The interface is zippy, and movies, TV shows, or sports events played almost instantly, even more so when we connected the box to a wired connection.
Even more appealing for sports fans is the introduction of the Sky Sports Month Pass that costs £31.99 with no commitment to subscribe. Available in time for the new football season it means those without a dish will be able to watch the footie with ease.
Sky has promised further updates will be rolled out later in the year that will include an improved search function as well as allowing customers to automatically play next episodes and the ability to easily tag, save and find favourite shows.
If you are after Sky content, like Sky Atlantic or Sky Arts, or are a movie or sports fan, the Now TV box will work really well for you, especially if your budget can’t stretch to the £59 for the Roku 2.
The only real drawback here is that as this is by Sky, you can’t have Netflix as well. If that doesn’t bother you, then this is a great offering from the broadcaster.