BSkyB is offering potentially millions of viewers the chance to convert their TV set into an Internet-connected ‘smart’ TV for under £10.00 (€11.60) with the launch of the NOW TV Box. The box bears witness to Sky’s investment in streaming device manufacturer Roku. In mid-November 2012, Anthony Wood, chief executive officer for Roku, revealed that BSkyB was working with Roku on a set-top box to distribute to subscribers its recently-launched NOW TV online TV service.
Available at nowtv.com, the compact and easy-to-use box connects a TV wirelessly to the Internet. Once connected, homes with the NOW TV box will enjoy convenient and contract-free access to BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News, plus NOW TV – offering instant access to Sky Sports and Sky Movies. They can also access other popular online services such as Facebook and Spotify – all delivered over broadband to the big screen TV. In due course, new content and apps will be added to the NOW TV Box.
BSkyB notes that despite the explosion in connected devices such as Sky set-top boxes, games consoles and connected TVs, there are still up to tens of millions of regular TVs in the UK that cannot currently connect to the Internet. It suggests that the NOW TV box provides an affordable and simple way for any broadband-connected home to join the online TV revolution.
Until now, unless receiving catch-up as part of a pay TV subscription, consumers have needed to pay tens or even hundreds of pounds to purchase Internet-streaming devices to watch catch-up TV on a regular TV. With the new NOW TV Box, for less than £10, customers can access the best in catch-up TV. They also have the opportunity to upgrade to access live sport and on demand movies from NOW TV.
Smaller than a pub beer mat, the NOW TV Box measures 84mm x 84mm x 24mm and can be up and running in minutes. “Simply plug the box into your TV set via the HDMI cable provided, connect to your wireless Internet connection and you’re away,” says Sky.
The box launches as new research from NOW TV reveals the nation’s ever-increasing appetite to watch what they want, when they want. Over two thirds of Brits have now taken advantage of on demand services on their main TV sets – whether via Smart TVs or other connected devices, with two in five of us streaming must-see shows or settling down to a movie on a weekly basis.
Over half the nation (56 per cent) use more traditional Internet-connected devices such as tablets, smartphones or laptops to access TV on demand whilst in the home. For these people, the NOW TV Box will offer a simple and affordable way to enjoy catch-up TV, live sport and on demand movies on the big screen.
Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV, comments: “Millions of people are switching on to the convenience and flexibility of on demand TV, choosing when and how they want to watch. Now there’s an easy and extremely affordable way to make every TV a ‘smart TV’. For under a tenner, the NOW TV Box offers the best terrestrial catch-up, plus pay-as-you-go access to must-see sport and the option to enjoy latest blockbuster movies on demand – all on the big screen. It’s also easy for anyone to use – simply plug in to your TV, connect to your WiFi and you’re away.”
NOW TV is already available on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, selected Android smartphones, Xbox, PS3, YouView and Roku.