Sky is hoping to shake up the set top box market with the launch of a £10 box that plugs into your TV and gives you access to Now TV, BBC iPlayer, and other internet services.
Priced at just £9.99, the box will allow people without a smart TV to connect wirelessly to the internet and get many of the same on-demand apps.
Once connected, homes with the Now TV box will get contract-free access to BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News, plus Now TV. This last service from Sky offers access to Sky Movies both live and on demand for a monthly fee, while Sky Sports access can be added on a pay-per-view basis. Users will also get access to Spotify, Facebook, and Flickr.
Available from today at nowtv.com, the box looks remarkably similar to the Roku boxes (Sky is an investor) and is a massive weapon in Sky's fight against services like Lovefilm and Netflix.
Now TV is already available on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, selected Android smartphones, Xbox, PS3, YouView and Roku, but many argue that even the cheapest device in that list is £50.
The device itself is smaller than a pub beer mat, measuring in at a trim 84 x 84 x 24mm.
Sky says users will be up and running in minutes. "Plug the box into your TV set via the HDMI cable provided, connect to your wireless internet connection and you’re away," it says. Presumably, you'll need power too.
The broadcaster also claims that over time there will be even more for people to enjoy with the addition of new content and apps to the Now TV Box.
That's not going to be Netflix, we suspect, but there could be other on-demand services like 4oD and ITV player.
Apart from the initial £10 outlay, Now TV costs are currently free for 30 days for new subscribers, then £8.99 for three months rising to £15 a month. Sky Sports can be added for a £9.99 daily pass. Sky News's live feed and library of news clips, BBC iPlayer, the BBC's News app, Channel 5's Demand 5 catch-up service, Spotify, Facebook and Flickr are all free to access.
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