Sky has officially unveiled the next step for Now TV, bringing live TV integration to its dinky set-top box – but no 4K, unfortunately.
At a dedicated launch event in London today, Sky revealed a new (and significantly bigger) Now TV set-top box that features live TV integration, set to launch in early July. Sky confirmed that the new Now TV box was coming back in January, but didn't reveal intimate details about the device. However, the new box – manufactured by US firm Roku – is now official.
However, contrary to early rumours, the box does not feature 4K video support.
“We like to mix things up. Today we’re revealing an exciting new service. It’s a UK first – no one else offers these services,” said Gideon Katz, MD for Now TV.
Official: Now TV Smart Box launched today
“Today we’re mixing things up. We’re announcing the launch of a free triple-play bundle,” said Damien Read, Director of Product Marketing at Now TV, revealing a new broadband, TV, and phone bundle that’s contract-free and comes bundled with the new Now TV box. Read also confirmed that the box has been "18 months in development".
Excitingly, the new Now TV Smart Box also features live TV integration, which means you'll be able to watch terrestrial channels, including 60 free-to-air channels like BBC One, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5, as well as all of the usual paid-for and on-demand content.
Creating a Now TV Combo
Firstly, check you're in a Now TV area, then select your TV, available broadband, and call options based on your needs.
Then choose how you want to be entertained. You get one pass as part of your bundle, but you can obviously layer additional passes on top of your core package – for example, a day or a week's Sky Sports on top of the Entertainment Pass when you wanted to watch the footy, or a Cinema Pass to enjoy some extra flicks over Christmas.
- Entertainment Pass – 11 channels not on Freeview and 250 box sets
- Cinema Pass – Over 1,000 on-demand movies at a new premiere every day from July
- Sports Pass – Biggest matches and events live on seven Sky Sports channels
- Kids Pass – Six dedicated channels and thousands of episodes on demand
Next, choose your running speed from three unlimited broadband options:
- Brilliant Broadband – Up to 17Mbps
- Fab Fibre – Up to 38Mbps
- Super Fibre – Up to 76Mbps
Then, choose a call package from the following:
- Pay as you use – Only pay for calls you make
- Evening and weekends – Unlimited calls to UK landlines, UK mobiles and calls to 0870/0845 numbers during evenings (7pm to 7am) and weekends
- Anytime calls – Unlimited calls to UK landline and UK mobile numbers and calls to 0870/0845 numbers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
The no-contract Now TV Combo comes with a one-off setup fee of £40 for Unlimited Brilliant Broadband, and £50 for the other broadband options. There's also a 12-month special pricing offer across all packages, with prices ranging from £9.99 to £51.99 per month, plus line rental at £17.99 per month.
Note that if you go for the 12-month saver option your broadband and line rental are subject to a 12-month contract, so it's only really the streaming element that's 'contact-free' here.
If however, you opt to pay the £40 set up fee (or £ 50 for fibre) you then have the flexibility to change or cancel the combo whenever you wish – including your broadband and calls packages as well as content passes.
The 12-month time frame only applies to those who opt for the 12-month saver deal, which removes the setup fee.
Alternatively, the new Now TV Smart Box will be available as a standalone purchase for £40 from early-July, when the new bundles also launch.
Earlier this year, Sky unveiled Sky Q, a new platform that supports 4K content. Then earlier this month, Sky revealed that it was rebranding Sky Movies as Sky Cinema, bringing 4K movies by the end of 2016. The name change is set to go live on July 8 this year.
Unfortunately, there's no word as to when Now TV will get 4K support.
Related: Sky Q vs Sky+ HD
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Do you own a 4K TV? Let us know in the comments.