NOW TV has staked its claim in the streaming space. Is its Pandora’s box of entertainment right for you?
Since launching in Ireland in mid-2017, NOW TV has grown in leaps and bounds. Key to this impressive expansion success story has been the NOW TV Smart Box. Armed with this easy-to-use streaming hardware, parent company Sky means to mobilise NOW TV against box-less mega-rival Netflix and its fellow US-based behemoth Amazon Prime.
You’re certainly not spoiled for choice here, so the question of the hour is: what does this joy-dispensing rectangle do exactly and does it deserve a spot next to your favourite TV screen?
What does the NOW TV Smart Box do?
In plain speaking, this so-called Smart Box one-ups NOW TV’s other device on offer, the Smart Stick. The box offers 4K streaming, the Stick does not. The only minor downside to the Smart Box we can see: this more-features-rich rectangle takes up a bit of your entertainment unit space, whereas the Stick is a USB dongle that hangs out the side of your Smart TV, like an excited hitchhiker’s thumb.
Beyond that, either option will allow you to mix and match your selection of the four NOW TV Passes. On-demand viewing and catch-up are also supported, as is NOW TV’s “super snappy voice search” function.
The best news though is the NOW TV box runs on Google’s Android operating system and will have access to the Google Play store, allowing users to download compatible apps and get access to regular software updates.
Basically, what we have here is a repurposed Roku 3 box, with a few key differentiators that explain the much lower cost. Most importantly, it’s worth noting NOW TV parent company Sky has locked down the operating system to prevent the unit from being repurposed to serve its content-providing rivals. Costs have been cut with I/O as well – the side USB and rear Micro SD ports may as well be painted on.
What services is the NOW TV Smart Box compatible with?
The box is a gateway device to the best of NOW TV. This means you’ll get access to Sky Sports, movies, TV stations and several thousand hours of entertainment in general. The good news: getting access to all that doesn’t mean a lock-in contract or a large yearly subscription price. NOW TV operates via a number of passes that can be paid for as you go, on a month-to-month basis.
If it’s not NOW TV you’re craving tonight, you can always switch to Netflix or YouTube.
What other apps are available on the NOW TV Smart Box?
- All 4 (formerly known as 4oD)
- NOW TV
- Redbull TV
- Sky News
- Sky Sports Box Office
- Sky Sports News HQ
- Sky Store
- Tune In Radio
- Your Photo Feed
How much does NOW TV Smart Box cost?
At the time of writing, the NOW TV Smart Box is not available for purchase online. It has been replaced with the NOW TV Stick.
The Smart Stick will cost you €25 upfront but you can save up to 40% by bundling the Smart Stick with a NOW TV pass. Head over to our guide for more information on the NOW TV Smart Stick.
NOW TV Smart Box specs
- Height: 210mm
- Width: 1,250mm
- Depth: 1,250mm
- HDMI: Yes
- Ethernet: Yes
- MicroSD: Yes
- Remote control: Yes
- Video quality: 720p, 1,080p and 2,160p
What plans is NOW TV available on?
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
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