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    Respected alanjg007's Avatar
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    Now TV Box (2015) review

    Two years ago, Sky caused a splash with its teeny, tiny affordable Now TV Box that cost a mere ?10 and could stream plenty of digital goods into your home. It's now got a sequel with this year's Now TV Box that costs ?5 more, but looks slicker, sleeker and it's a lot more powerful too. Can it be your streamer of choice? We took one for a spin to find out.

    The good

    For ?15, you get a lot of bang for your buck. This year's Now TV Box looks like a rebadged Roku 3, right down to the menus and remote, but with a Sky tinge to almost everything - that's not a bad thing at all. The Roku 3 it's based on is one of the best streamers available, Gone is the childlike white and blue colour scheme of the previous box, and in with a neat black puck that looks great underneath your TV. You won't find much in the box itself: just the Now TV box itself, a remote, a HDMI cable and the power adapter, and it's pretty easy to hook up too.

    The remote itself is much similar to the one that shipped with the original Now TV Box, only it's now in a sleek black and grey colour variant that won't look out of place next to your other remotes. Getting set up is simple too: all you need to do is plug it into your telly, a power source, and you're pretty much good to go - and as it hardly draws any power, it's always on too, meaning your streamed flicks are a button press away and you won't have to wait for it to boot up.

    Once you're all plugged in, it's pretty smooth sailing, with access to plenty of different channels including YouTube, Spotify, Demand 5, Facebook, CrunchyRoll and more, along with Sky's offering of movies, sport and exclusive channels for a bit more cash. There's plenty of choice for ?15, and you can get full HD video beamed to your telly even though Sky claims its Box only supports up to 720p. That's largely dependent on your connection too, although Sky's offerings are at 720p though - still, it's nice to know its affordable player can handle HD streams if needed.

    The bad

    As it's Sky's own little box, it's largely boasting about it's own Now TV services, so you won't find the likes of Netflix or Amazon Prime Instant Video here, which is a shame if you're a fan of either services and you're wanting to keep one small box to watch all your favourite shows.

    Despite boasting a microSD slot and a USB port, you won't be able to load up your own media and play them back through the Now TV Box which is a bit odd, and there's no media player channel either, as the Roku Media Player app is missing. That means you have to stream down everything you want to watch, and if you want to watch your own media, you'll have to sideload an app like the excellent Plex to take advantage. For some users, that's a frustrating workaround.

    The bottom line

    The original Now TV Box was already a steal, and this year's version is even better, with improved performance, stylish looks and it's pretty much future proof. It's a steal if you like to tinker around with sideloading apps, but while it does lack the likes of Netflix and its own media player, if you're wanting to cut the cord and have a flexible way of grabbing Sky's best channels, movies and sport, it's well worth a look.
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  3. #2
    Respected alanjg007's Avatar
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    wonder if you can turn it back into a roku3 box?


    Prob not, have read that roku's go through an individualization process before leaving the factory :-(
    Last edited by alanjg007; 08-09-2015 at 05:24 PM. Reason: speeling
    "Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." -- H.L. Mencken

    "The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog" - Carl Jung

    Nexus 7 wifi 32gb 1st Gen XenonHD-4.4.2 Build 1
    HTC one x cm-11-20140205-NIGHTLY-endeavoru

  4. Thanks berley, notanotherone, DessertDog thanked for this post

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