(Pocket-lint) - Now TV is a great alternative to regular paid TV services in the UK, as it doesn't need a satellite or installation.

It essentially offers access to a wide array of Sky and other paid channels, box sets, movies and sports, both live and on demand. And all without a long-term contract or commitment.

Here is everything you need to know about Now TV, how much it costs, what devices are compatible, and more besides.

What does Now TV offer and how does it work?

Now TV is a Sky-owned video streaming service that offers a range of TV channels and on demand content for a no-contract monthly fee.

It is effectively Sky TV without the need for a satellite dish. You do need half-decent broadband, however, as everything is streamed, and a device or smart TV that carries the Now TV app - but support is wide and varied, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue.

There are a number of Now TV passes that you can purchase for monthly rolling payment, which can be cancelled at any time. Each will give you access to a set number of live channels and, often, on demand box sets or films.

All content is presented in up to 720p and stereo sound, and is available to view on two devices (of six registered) concurrently. However, if you pay for Now TV Boost on top of your existing pass(es), you can upgrade that up to 1080p video and 5.1 surround sound, plus view on three devices concurrently.

How do the Now TV passes work and how much do they cost?

There are five main TV passes for Now TV. You purchase one or more, with each giving you access to a suite of live channels and, where applicable, box sets of TV shows or movies on demand:

Sky Sports Pass

There are three options for Sky Sports - you can choose to get a one-day, one-week or one-month pass. This is flexible allowing you to pay only for the action you want. Say, a one-day pass for the League Cup final, or one-week pass for the entire coverage of the US Open.

A Sky Sports pass on Now TV does not include on demand content, but you do get the entire line-up of Sky Sports channels to watch live: Main Event, Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, F1, Action, Arena, and Sky Sports News.

Entertainment Pass

The Entertainment Pass includes live access to the following channels: Sky One, Sky Witness, Sky Atlantic, Gold, Comedy Central, Sky Comedy, Syfy, Sky Crime, Sky Arts, Fox, Discovery, MTV and National Geographic.

You also get hundreds of box sets on demand, including Sky Originals programming, such as Save Me Too and The Trip to Greece, and HBO shows, such as Westworld and Game of Thrones.

Sky Cinema Pass

The Sky Cinema Pass gives you access to the live showings on all of Sky's movie channels: Premiere, Hits, Musicals, Disney, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Comedy, Thriller, Drama, Sci-Fi & Horror, and Super Heroes.

In addition, you also get access to all of the movies shown across those channels to view at any time on demand.

Kids Pass

The Now TV Kids Pass offers a selection of Kids TV channels to view live: Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Nickelodeon, Nick Toons, Nick Jnr., and Cartoonito.

You also get access to a vast array of on demand shows and content from each of those channels, plus Sky Kids, Milkshake and more, including Peppa Pig, Adventure Time, and Teen Titans Go.

Hayu Pass

Hayu is a catch-up and on demand service dedicated to US reality TV shows, including just about everything the Kardashian's ever do and Queer Eye.

In addition, you can purchase a Now TV Boost for £3 per month to up the video quality to 1080p and the audio to 5.1 surround sound. The number of devices that can be used at the same time is also upgraded from two to three.

Now TV / Sky

What devices can run Now TV?

You can register up to six devices on a single Now TV account and use up to two devices at a time (three if you also pay for Now TV Boost).

You can also swap up to three devices on your account per month (unregister old linked devices and register new ones).

Now TV has offered several devices of its own in the past, including set-top-boxes, but has simplified its offering in recent times to the Now TV Smart Stick.

Pocket-lint

With an RRP from £24.99, it provides simple access to all Now TV content (in 720p and stereo) by plugging directly into the back of your set. It can also access other free and paid streaming apps, including BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, BT Sport and Netflix.

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Alternatively, there are Now TV apps for a wide array of different TVs, set-top-boxes, games consoles and other devices, as below:

  • Android phones and tablets
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • EE TV
  • iPad
  • iPhone
  • iPod touch
  • LG smart TVs
  • PC & Mac computers
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • Xbox One
  • YouView

How to cancel a Now TV pass

Although you do not need a contract for a Now TV pass, you do need to cancel one if you do not want it to continue as the fee will be taken out of your account automatically each month.

Alternatively, you might not want to pay after a free trial period.

It's easy to cancel it, however.

  • Just head to the NowTV.com website in a browser.
  • Head to My Account tab at the top of the page and sign in.
  • Now scroll down to "Passes & Vouchers" and click/tap.
  • There you will see any passes you are currently subscribed to, with a big box under each enabling you to cancel.
  • Just tap or click on that box and follow the steps to cancel the pass. Simple.

Any pass that is cancelled will still work until the expiry date.

You can also use the same page to buy new passes or apply any vouchers you come across on the internet or through an email from Now TV itself.

Writing by Rik Henderson.