Neon review: price, features and content

Sky TV’s Neon streaming service shoots for the stars, but is it a hit or miss?

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Sky TV’s entry into the subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) space is Neon, a pay monthly service that gives you access to a wide range of movies and TV shows, including some hugely popular series from the United States (Game of Thrones, anyone?). It is more expensive than some other services, but with such a wide selection you get your money’s worth. Plus, it’s the only place where Kiwis can legally stream HBO content, so it may be worth the investment.

What is Neon?

Neon is an SVOD service operated through Sky, but it’s an entirely separate product from Sky’s other services. In other words, you can pay for Neon through Sky if you’re a Sky customer, but you don’t need to be a Sky customer to access Neon.

The platform allows you to watch TV shows and movies on demand ad-free and without a contract over the Internet. You sign up, pay every month and stream as much content as you can handle.

Price and packages


Subscribers have two options as far as Neon streaming plans are concerned. You can get a TV package for $11.99/month or a TV & movies package for $20/month. As the names suggest, the first gives you access to the Neon TV library, while the second also offers a wide selection of blockbuster movies. You can also switch between packages once you sign up, and there are no lock-in contracts, so you can cancel your subscription whenever you like.

Neon lets you register up to five different devices with your service and watch content on up to two at a time. If you want to swap out one device for another, you can choose to do so every 30 days.

Updated September 19th, 2019
Name Product Service 4K/UHD? Simultaneous streams Price Subscription length Min. cost
Neon TV shows
Neon TV shows
On-demand streaming
No
2
NZD11.99
Monthly
$11.99
Neon TV and Movies
Neon TV and Movies
On-demand streaming
No
2
NZD20
Monthly
$20

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What devices and platforms are compatible with Neon?

Neon is compatible with enough devices to ensure a smooth viewing experience. Subscribers can watch on computers (PC or Mac), as well as mobile devices (smartphones and tablets.) Plus, Neon is also compatible with PS4, selected Samsung Smart TVs and Chromecast/Airplay.

Top picks on Neon

  • Younger
  • Atlanta
  • Pose
  • Sharp Objects
  • The Affair
  • Westworld
  • Game of Thrones
  • Supergirl
  • Silicon Valley

Neon offers a wide selection of both TV and movie titles. It’s the only place to stream HBO content in New Zealand legally, so you can watch thousands of hours of acclaimed HBO originals like Game of Thrones, Westworld or Insecure. Moreover, veteran titles like The Sopranos and True Blood are also available to stream.

Besides all the HBO goodness, Neon boasts several DC Comic series like Supergirl and The Flash, as well as must-watch shows like Supernatural, Fargo and The Affair. The service allows you to browse the library before signing up, so you can make sure there is something you want to watch once your subscription is active.

On the movie front, titles that immediately catch your eye include Wonder Woman, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Dunkirk, It, Thor: Ragnarok and Atomic Blonde. Kids get their fair share of content as well, from series like SpongeBob Squarepants and Ben 10 to classic Disney flicks like The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast.

How do I sign up to Neon?

To sign up for Neon, head over to its website using any of the links provided. Browse the TV show and movie categories to make sure you’re ready to dive in.

When you click the link, it takes you to a simple three-step sign-up process.

  • Step 1: Enter your personal details and create a password.
  • Step 2: Enter your payment method.
  • Step 3: Register your devices and start watching.

Start by selecting your preferred package and take it from there.

Neon pros and cons

Pros

  • From brand new shows and movies, plus world-beaters like Game of Thrones, Neon has one of the best selections of content available in New Zealand.

Cons

  • The service is not currently compatible with Smart TVs or games consoles.
  • While there isn’t much in it, Neon is the most expensive streaming service available.

How does Neon compare?

Updated September 19th, 2019
Name Product Service 4K/UHD? Simultaneous streams Price Subscription length Min. cost
Neon TV shows
Neon TV shows
On-demand streaming
No
2
NZD11.99
Monthly
$11.99
Neon TV and Movies
Neon TV and Movies
On-demand streaming
No
2
NZD20
Monthly
$20
Prime Video
Prime Video
On-demand streaming
Yes
3
NZD5.99
Monthly
$5.99
Prime Video is currently available to New Zealanders at $2.99 per month for the first six months. Price reverts to $5.99 per month after the first 6 months.
Lightbox Standard
Lightbox Standard
On-demand streaming
Digital Movie Store
No
2
NZD12.99
Monthly
$12.99
Lightbox Premium
Lightbox Premium
On-demand streaming
Digital Movie Store
No
4
NZD15.99
Monthly
$15.99
Netflix Basic
Netflix Basic
On-demand streaming
No
1
NZD11.49
Monthly
$11.99
Netflix Standard
Netflix Standard
On-demand streaming
No
2
NZD14.99
Monthly
$14.99
Netflix Premium
Netflix Premium
On-demand streaming
Yes
4
NZD18.49
Monthly
$17.99
TVNZ On Demand
TVNZ On Demand
On-demand streaming
No
1
NZD0
No subscription
$0.00
Fan Pass Month Pass
Fan Pass Month Pass
Sports
No
1
NZD99
Monthly
$99.00
ThreeNow
ThreeNow
Catch-up
LiveTV
On-demand streaming
No
1
NZD0
No subscription
$0.00
Fan Pass Mobile Only
Fan Pass Mobile Only
Live TV
Sports
No
1
NZD15.99
Monthly
$15.99
This plan is only available on mobile devices.
Fan Pass 6 Months Pass
Fan Pass 6 Months Pass
Live TV
Sports
No
1
NZD55.99
6 months
$335.94
Fan Pass 6 Months + Google Chromecast
Fan Pass 6 Months + Google Chromecast
Live TV
Sports
No
1
NZD75.99
6 months
$911.88
This Fan Pass Plan comes with a Google Chromecast included.
Fan Pass Month + Google Chromecast
Fan Pass Month + Google Chromecast
Sports
No
1
NZD129.99
Monthly
$129.99
This Fan Pass Plan comes with a Google Chromecast included.
Acorn TV
Acorn TV
On-demand streaming
No
1
NZD7.25
Monthly
$7.25
Acorn TV offers British TV shows on-demand.

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How much data does Neon use?

The amount of data Neon burns through depends on a variety of factors, from your broadband connection to your device. On low quality, expect to consume an average of 124MB for a 22-minute TV episode, 241MB for a 45-minute episode and 735MB for a two-hour movie. On HD1080 quality, that amount increases to 1.0GB, 2.1GB and 5.5GB respectively.

Each time you launch the video player, you can use the bitrate selector to choose your streaming quality. As for Internet speed, Neon recommends 300kbps for mobile. If you’re viewing on a big screen over AirPlay, your speed should be at least 1.2mbps.

Verdict

Depending on your device set-up, Neon provides an excellent addition to your entertainment lineup. It isn’t available through the TV (unless you plug a laptop in via HDMI), but if you’re looking for a way to access hit shows and movies that aren’t available on TV, Neon could be it. The price is set a little bit high, but worth it for the great content available.

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