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(Pocket-lint) - Now (previously 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, how much it costs, what devices are compatible, and more besides.

What does Now offer and how does it work?

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

There are a number of Now memberships 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 720p and stereo sound, and is available to view on two devices (of six registered) concurrently. However, if you pay for Now Boost on top of your existing membership, you can upgrade that to 1080p video and up to 5.1 surround sound, plus view on three devices concurrently.

How does Now membership work and how does it cost?

There are four main TV memberships for Now. 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:

Sports

There are a couple of options for Sky Sports - you can choose to pay for a day's access or get rolling monthly membership. This is flexible allowing you to pay only for the action you want.

Sports membership on Now includes on-demand content. You also get the entire line-up of Sky Sports channels to watch live: Main Event, Premier League, Football, Cricket, Golf, F1, Action (currently), Arena, and Sky Sports News.

Entertainment

Entertainment membership includes live access to Sky's main channels, some kids programming, and a few other stations. This includes Sky Max, Sky Atlantic, Sky Comedy and Nick Toons.

You also get hundreds of box sets on demand, including Sky Originals programming and HBO shows, such as Peacemaker and Succession.

Cinema

Cinema membership gives you access to the live showings on all of Sky's movie channels.

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

Hayu

Hayu is a catch-up and on demand service dedicated to US reality TV shows.

In addition, you can purchase a Now Boost for £5 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.

What devices can run Now?

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

Now has offered several devices of its own in the past, including set-top-boxes, but is in the process of phasing them out. After all, just about every other connected device you can imagine has Now access anyway.

The Now Smart Stick can still be bought from some retailers though and is a relatively cheap way to get direct access.

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It provides simple access to all Now 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 apps for a wide array of different TVs, set-top-boxes, games consoles and other devices, as below:

  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android phones and tablets (Android 5.0 and above)
  • Apple iPhone and iPad (iOS 13 / iPadOS 13 and above)
  • Apple Mac
  • Apple TV (from 4th Gen on)
  • BT TV Box
  • Chromecast
  • LG smart TVs
  • PC & Mac computers
  • PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5
  • Roku
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • Sony Android TVs
  • TalkTalk TV 4K Box
  • Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S
  • Windows PCs and tablets
  • YouView (newer boxes only)

How to cancel a Now membership

Although you do not need a contract for any of the Now memberships, 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.
  • Click/tap on Manage Account in the box that pops up.
  • Click/tap on "Your membership".
  • There you will see any memberships 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 memberships or apply any vouchers you come across on the internet or through an email from Now itself.

Writing by Rik Henderson.
Sections TV