ThreeNow review | Price, features and content
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Since 1989, when it launched as New Zealand’s first privately-owned television channel, Three has been a household television staple. The network has come a long way since – now you can watch your favourite Three and ThreeLife shows online, as well as tune in for content from sister channel Bravo. Catch-up service ThreeNow lets you watch and re-watch anything you may have missed during its original free-to-air broadcast.
While there’s a focus on news and current affairs, you can tune into Three for everything from comedy and light entertainment to reality. There’s also a nice mix of local and international programming available to watch online – about half the shows featured on Three are home-grown.
Popular programmes like NCIS and Law and Order: SVU are available to watch for a period ranging from weeks to a month at the click of a button. You’ll have to wait until after the free-to-air broadcast before you can stream ThreeNow programming online.
However, in some cases international content is available to watch before the local broadcast. This means you may be able to watch the latest episodes of some popular overseas television series right after the American broadcast.
ThreeNow works with a number of devices. You can stream on selected Apple and Android smartphones and tablets by downloading the native application.
You can also access content through a range of Internet browsers, including Chrome and Internet Explorer. Just make sure you have the latest version of the web browser installed on your machine.
Prices and packages
ThreeNow serves advertisements during playback, which is one of the ways they keep the service free. Not to worry – these ads are unobtrusive and do not detract from the overall viewing experience.
You can stream ThreeNow content on your mobile data connection as well as your home Wi-Fi connection. You can even select the video quality you want to match the type of connection you’re using. International viewers may be disappointed to hear that most content is geo-blocked, which means you need to be in New Zealand to be able to catch up.
Top picks on ThreeNow
- Law and Order: SVU
- Blue Bloods
- Come Dine With Me NZ
- Below Deck Mediterranean
- Dancing with the Stars
- Chicago Med
- Australia’s Best Houses
- Hawaii Five-O
Three offers a fun mix of content, with a little bit of everything from comedy to reality. You can live stream ThreeNow content online – all you have to do is click “Live TV & Guide” in the menu bar at the top of your screen and select the channel you wish to watch.
Or, you can browse their vast content library to find your favourite series. There are also programmes focused on news and current affairs (like NewsHub), some sports content (mostly motorsport) and a small selection of movies.
Additionally, users also get access to extra content from streaming channels owned by the parent company, MediaWorks. These channels include: Newshub, EdgeTV, The Rock, MoreFM, George TV, Mai FM and The Breeze.
How do I sign up to ThreeNow?
You can watch all your favourite ThreeNow programming for free. In fact, you don’t even need to become a member of the catch-up service to stream its content.
If you do decide to register your details with ThreeNow OnDemand, you get access to the other content streaming channels owned by the parent company, MediaWorks. These channels include 3News, FOUR, The Edge, The Rock, George, Mai FM, RadioLIVE, More FM, The Breeze, The Sound and Magic.
Log on to the TV3 OnDemand catch-up website and follow the links to join the service. Accept the terms and conditions and wait for an email to confirm your membership with MediaWorks. When you receive the email, click the link contained in the message to confirm your email address and you’re good to go.
Membership is free and there are no financial commitments to stream content. You can cancel your membership and unsubscribe your email address at any time.
How does ThreeNow compare?
ThreeNow pros and cons
- You can finish watching across multiple mobile devices, use AirPlay and Chromecast to watch on your TV and live stream your favourite Three shows. Low definition is ideal for 3G and 4G mobile data connections, and high quality is best for home Wi-Fi connections.
- Extra content is a big win for the online television viewing experience. A quick look through the ThreeNow application and you’ll notice that several shows offer behind-the-scenes videos, fun articles and more.
- Advertisements, although there are far fewer ads than you would see on regular television. ThreeNow serves up advertisements before content playback and this is what keeps the service free. That said, we’d complain less about the ads if the mobile apps were more reliable. Speaking of which…
- Reports claim that the iOS and Android applications crash during playback. When we had a look at the ThreeNow iPad application, it worked as it should have, but clearly this has not been the experience for all users.
- Not all TV3 shows are available to watch from mobile devices. You may only be able to view a show from a desktop computer.
Convenience is a big selling point for online television catch-up services and for the most part, ThreeNow provides a quality complement to free-to-air broadcasting.
To stay relevant to an online viewing audience, application glitches and incompatibility with certain devices can make viewers switch off from one channel and turn to another. That being said, the ThreeNow platform is a great way to stream your favourite shows, especially if you’ve missed an episode.
What devices and platforms are compatible with ThreeNow?
If accessing via computer, make sure you have the latest version of the Internet browser installed on your machine for the service to work properly.
Although you can watch ThreeNow programming on your iOS and Android device, screen sharing via HDMI and Airplay or Chromecast has been disabled.
Reviews for the ThreeNow Apple and Android applications show that there is room for improvement. As of September 2018, the majority of users have given this application a rating of just one star on the Apple and Android app stores. There are various issues with the application crashing and freezing during playback – issues that ThreeNow needs to address if it wishes to satisfy a growing segment of customers that rely on streaming.