What's the best way to watch Now TV?
The number of platforms offering Now TV continues to grow. The service is currently available on: Chromecast, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Roku, LG Smart TVs, PC or Mac, plus apps for iOS and Android (4.0 and above) apps for both mobile and tablet.
Alternatively you can buy the dedicated Now TV box. Available directly from the Now TV website, there are a number of packages you can choose from (as we have outlined above) and you even get an HDMI cable bundled. The Now TV box is both a dedicated portal to Sky's own services, as well as host to a range of third-party streaming content, including BBC iPlayer.
There's also a Now TV Smart Box available which has a built-in Freeview tuner in addition to the streaming smarts.
Now TV doesn't promote itself as a high-definition service, instead using adaptive bitrate streaming to cope with different broadband speeds. A fast broadband connection will reward with very acceptable image quality.
Viewed via a VirginMedia fibre connection, we found the service consistently delivered an acceptable level of image quality, although we can't help but wish it was a full 1080p.
Navigating the user interface is reasonably quick and intuitive. There are usability caveats though. Buffering can be an issue, and when a big show like Game of thrones hits, the Now TV servers have experienced outages.
The Now TV service is a fantastic one when it works well and you can navigate your way through the myriad ways to watch the content.
For some, particularly those without a Smart TV or games console, then the Now TV Box is a super cheap device that's an essential purchase. Even if you don't buy into Sky's content then you will have iPlayer, 4OD and other to use as freely as you wish.
For others then the app is the way to go. The problem with this is that quality is changeable, and it is not necessarily the fault with Sky's own app. For instance, on the PS4 the app stuttered for us, but worked perfectly when used on the Sky TV Box.
The mobile versions of the app are buggier than the TV apps, though I didn't find much wrong with watching Now TV on iOS. It was on Android that I started to have intermittent sound issues and apps crashing.
On the whole, the app and the service worked well and you simply can't fault the content that is available through the service.