YouView will not get high definition Now TV

YouView will not get high definition Now TV
YouView - bringing Now TV, but not in HD

Although it was billed as a key addition to the YouView platform, Sky's Now TV will not be available in HD on the forthcoming IPTV service for the UK.

Sky's Now TV is the company's non-subscription streaming service and it is one of the launch offerings on YouView.

However, the Now TV service is platform agnostic and will also be available elsewhere – including the Xbox, Android and iOS at its launch on July 17.

Console yourself

According to Sky, only the games consoles will offer HD content, with the focus more on consistency of service than high definition quality on other devices.

"They are working up 720[p] for Xbox, so there will be some high quality experience," a spokesman told TechRadar.

"For the big screen experiences with consoles that's the intention, but with other devices the focus is on uninterrupted viewing."

This would mean that the Xbox, for instance, carries a big proportion of the on-demand content that is available for YouView – including Channel 4, Five and the BBC – along with an HD version of Sky's Now TV and offerings from Blinkbox and Lovefilm.

Considering an Xbox retails for £140 – significantly cheaper than the £300 for the first standalone YouView boxes – it could ask another question of potential buyers.

There are other factors, of course, YouView will also feature a PVR and linear channels on a clever backwards EPG and the offerings from BT and TalkTalk will see significantly cheaper subsidised boxes as part of a subscription.

Hope remains

Sky told TechRdar that it was not ruling out adding additional HD services in the future, with director of Now TV telling us that, should rights holders become more comfortable with offering high-definition content, things could change.

"What we know from our research is that, particularly with streaming, it's important to have consistent viewing, so we spent time on the adaptive bitrate and streaming capability across all of our streams, said Simon Creasey.

"But we'll continue to develop. This is the start, but if the technology move on and the rights holders get comfortable and want to move into HD then we'll be there."

Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.