Sky Now: new film streaming service from Sky
Sky has launched Now TV – a new on-demand TV service with no need for a dish on the side of the house or a subscription.
What's the deal?
Now TV users can choose a 'Sky Movies Pass,' allowing unlimited access to films at a cost of £15 a month.
Or you can 'pay and play' films with prices ranging from 99p to £3.49 depending on how recently the film was released. Sports and entertainment TV will also be added to the service later this year.
How does it work?
You can get Sky Now by connecting your TV to your computer with a cable or by watching directly on your iPhone, iPad, select Android devices, PC or Mac. It will soon be available on the Xbox 360 too.
All you need is a decent internet connection. You can check your device is compatible and raise other queries here.
How does it compare?
It's certainly more expensive than other film streaming services, such as Lovefilm and Netflix.
Lovefilm packages start at £4.99 a month – a third of the price of Sky's service. Lovefilm also offers a traditional in-your-hand DVD delivery service, so you don't have to rely on your internet connection. Meanwhile, Netflix costs £5.99 a month. For a comparison of the services, check out Netflix vs Lovefilm: the cheapest way to watch films.
Tesco is in on the act too with its blinkbox service, offering a pay-as-you-go rental service straight to your TV, computer or console with prices also ranging between 99p and £3.49. You can even buy films to keep.
However, Sky says it's offering a comprehensive range of blockbusters, with up to five new premieres added every week.
If you want to cap costs, the 'pay and play' offering is cheaper if you're unlikely to watch £15 worth of films each month (equivalent to four or fewer new releases at £3.49 each).
Now TV, Lovefilm and Netflix all offer a free 30-day trial too, so you can try-before-you-buy and benefit from three months' worth of free films.
Other on-demand TV services
The revolution of streaming TV and films to computers or smart TVs is gathering pace, with a host of new services cropping up.
Lord Sugar's YouView set was launched this month, where households pay a one-off £299 fee for the box, which streams free, on-demand TV. However, it could struggle to make waves in the market. Find out why in Lord Sugar's YouView set-top box is a letdown.
Apple TV offers a film, TV, music and photos service for £99, while the arrival of Google TV is imminent in the UK with a price tag of around £200. Both services can be controlled with a smartphone.
You might consider switching your broadband deal to a more comprehensive package.
Otherwise, streaming films via the internet means you could exceed your monthly allowance and incur additional charges. You can also compare broadband and TV packages with our friends over at Broadbandchoices.co.uk to make sure you get the right deal for you.
- Could Olympic viewing land you in legal trouble?
- BT Vision tops pay-TV complaints list
- BBC cost-cutting hits its stars