By Darren Wall
For years, consumers have been trickling away from traditional television services. Largely, this is a result of the economy, which unfortunately is still on quite shaky ground. In an effort to bring affordable entertainment back to the masses, Sky is rolling out NowTV, an on-demand service available on several smartphones and tablets, as well as gaming consoles.
Sky Now TV
What does this mean for you? If you’ve got a basic television hookup, you can watch the latest blockbusters, cool indie flicks or whatever your little heart desires, all without the price and long-term commitment of a traditional television subscription.
Sky Now TV – The Drawbacks
Since I’ve yet to experience this service myself, I am woefully unable to comment on many aspects. However, one sticking point did catch my attention – the channels which will soon be available, according to sources, will only be available through gaming consoles. This means that unless you’ve got an Xbox, you won’t have access to the sports, comedy and drama channel that Now TV is hyping. We can only hope that this will be addressed quickly.
Sky Now TV – The Good Stuff
At first glance, especially for households already strapped for cash, the £15 per month subscription fee might sting a little. Especially since established giants like Netflix and the more recent Amazon LoveFilm (no, it’s not porn) have a much lower price range, approximately £5 to £7. Is it worth the extra cash?
As far as I can tell, the answer is yes. One gripe which has plagued Netflix and LoveFilm is the lack of big blockbuster movies – or any new releases, for that matter – in their on-demand selection. Often, customers have to wait months for a movie which is available through other on-demand providers and even at kiosks within days of its video release date.
With Now TV, this, apparently, will not be an issue. Reports state that Now TV has the rights for many big blockbuster movies light-years before the competition, making it a great choice for those who’ve been stuck watching straight-to-DVD snores while waiting for the latest hit movies to become available. Even better, Now TV is anticipating a great lineup of channels as the year progresses, including dedicated channels for Premiere League, cricket, rugby and golf, as well as Sky1, Sky Arts and Sky Atlantic.
In addition to all these popcorn-munching goodies, Now TV also offers pay-as-you-view options. For prices ranging from 99p for older flicks to £3.49 for new releases, you can pay for only what you want to watch.
TV On Demand – Is It For You?
Whether or not you’ll get significant value from Sky Now TV depends entirely on your situation. If you’re a big household looking for a cost-effective alternative to long-term television contracts, I think this looks like a truly spectacular deal. If you only watch a few movies per month, then you won’t save significant cash over other pay-as-you-go services such as Amazon.
For the amount of content already available, and the promised channels by years’ end, I think Sky Now TV is a great deal. Sure, it’s more expensive than the alternatives – but in our film-obsessed minds, getting those new releases while they’re still actually new is a massive bonus. Try it out for yourself – I haven’t been able to find any sneaky, hidden long-term agreements, so as far as I can tell, you’ve got nothing to lose and hours of high-quality, on-demand entertainment to gain, at home or on the go.
Author: Darren Wall writes about the latest iOS, Windows and Android applications for Smartphone’s and tablets and likes to share his thoughts with others.