Available since July 2012, Now TV is an internet-based instant streaming TV service powered by satellite provider Sky that's designed to persuade you to switch from Lovefilm and Netflix, but it will soon supply sports as well as movies.
Available across multiple devices, it's based around Sky Movies - and promises the best films first.
There's no contract, but it's not exactly cheap. Here we explain all about Now TV.
Where can I get Now TV?
As well as being accessible through any web browser, there are Now TV apps for iOS and Android devices (though it's not on Apple TV) so Now TV can get into all smartphones and tablets on Wi-Fi or 3G internet connections. But unless your device has an HDMI output to hook up to a TV, the service arguably makes most sense on set-top boxes and games consoles.
Now TV apps can be downloaded to YouView boxes from Humax and BT, and the Roku streaming boxes such as the Roku 2 XS and Roku LT. Those with an Xbox Live subscription can download the Now TV app to an Xbox 360 games console.
Although it's designed to work across all of these devices, you can only register two devices at any one time. These can be changed, but only once per month, so it's not a case of 'anything, anywhere, anytime'.
Now TV is also strictly limited to the UK, so there's no way of watching movies while abroad.
What can I watch on Now TV?
Now TV is all about Sky Movies. At the time of writing the catalogue included top-line titles including The Dictator, The Grey and J. Edgar, and Sky has already confirmed that it will stream Anna Karenina and Les Miserables before anyone else (Despicable Me 2, The Bourne Legacy and Ted will appear a year before Lovefilm and Netflix, too).
Titles - which include plenty of back-catalogue titles - are grouped into collections, with 'New In', 'Most Popular' and 'Must See' on the home page.
'Collections' currently leads to groupings of Oscar Winners, Rom-Coms and Anti-Valentine's movies, while the entire database can also be accessed alphabetically, though it's still organised by collection (from Action and Adventure to Western and World movies).
Choose Live TV and you can access anything currently playing across any of Sky's 11 movie channels.
Can I download movies on Now TV?
No - Now TV is strictly a streaming service that requires a 2.5MB broadband line. That restriction makes little difference if you're watching it from an Xbox 360 at home, but Now TV on a tablet or smartphone requires a constant Wi-Fi or 3G signal to stream data.
Jet-setters will consequently write it off as a quaint parochial service and stick with the likes of BBC iPlayer when travelling. But it's not Sky's fault; Hollywood studios still divide the world up into markets, and licence movies for specific regions only.
The same applies to sports events, which is a huge shame; there's not a petrol head out there who hasn't had to sacrifice at least one F1 race weekend each season because of a holiday, and would happily pay a tenner to download it to a phone while in an airport. Or is that just us?
What about Sky Sports?
It's coming. From spring 2013 you'll be able to watch Sky Sports through Now TV, though it's best thought of as an occasional treat.
For £9.99 you'll get a 24-hour pass to all six Sky Sports channels, which could be handy on the occasional Sunday if a Sky-exclusive F1 race and two Premier League games are broadcast in succession. With BT's deal for the 2013-14 football season, however, that likelihood could fade.
How much does Now TV cost?
The first 30 days are free, though you do, of course, have to hand over your credit card details upon sign-up. After 30 days Sky charges you £8.99 per month for the next three months, then it increases to £15 per month.
Is Now TV easy to use?
It couldn't be simpler. It's all based around cover art, which together with a refreshingly bright blue spots-on-white design creates a visually arresting UI.
Our only criticism is that the search box - which invites film titles, actors, directors and genres - doesn't find related content, and nor does it use predictive text. If you don't get the spelling of a Polish director's surname correct, forget it.
A simple A-Z list of movies would be appealing to some, though Sky is clearly trying to steer clear of lists.
A 'save for later' planner wouldn't go amiss, and nor would pages for significant actors and directors, although from Sky's point of view that might show up holes in its catalogue.
Is Now TV's picture quality high definition?
No, it's standard definition for now, which does make it less loveable if you have an HD-ready TV. The picture quality on an iPad is rudimentary, though stable.
What it does do is stream immediately, and very stably; in our iPad test The Dictator started playing a mere 10 seconds after we'd selected it.
Watched through an Xbox 360, The Dictator appeared soft, but acceptably so.
Still, if you've got a home cinema that you use only occasionally, Lovefilm's postal service for Blu-ray discs is still your best option.
What are the alternatives?
Now TV's main rivals in the subscription movie streaming sphere are Lovefilm and Netflix. Neither will be hosting any live sport anytime soon, and neither can challenge Now TV in terms of top titles; Sky gets the top titles a clear 12 months before anyone else, and promises to add 20 premieres each month.
That exclusivity, however, is the main reason why Now TV is the most expensive option. Existing Sky subscribers will have no need for Now TV, with the far cheaper Sky Go service option available to them on Xbox 360, PC, Mac, iOS and Android.