Sky has launched its first Now TV streaming stick, a plug-in dongle which provides access to a selection of TV programmes, films, kids’ content and live sports.
The smart stick will cost £14.99 when it goes on sale next month, and can be purchased in conjunction with monthly passes to the service’s Entertainment, Cinema, Sports or Kids bundles, starting at £2.99.
Like Netflix and BBC iPlayer before it, customers will be able to download programmes to watch later without an internet connection. Its children’s programming will be the first package available to download, with the others following later in the year.
The Stick can be controlled via voice command (Photo: Sky)
The Now TV stick plugs into a TV through an HDMI connection, and gives users the option of navigating programming using its included remote control or via voice search, activated by pressing the remote’s voice button.
It is effectively a less expensive, more flexible way of watching Sky’s channels, films, sports coverage and boxsets, and will compete directly with Amazon’s Fire TV Stick and Fire TV, Google’s Chromecast and Roku’s plug-in devices.
Video streaming platform Netflix doesn’t require any hardware to access. Now TV was launched in 2012 as an internet TV service, and has been available through a series of set-top boxes since 2013.
It is Sky’s solution for customers who may want access to certain channels, such as sports, without paying for a full package, and can be used abroad.
Users can also access catch-up TV platforms from channels including iPlayer, All 4, ITV Hub and Demand 5, and YouTube and Vevo video apps.
Sky TV customers will be able to watch films and programmes without a satellite dish later this year, as Sky’s 270 channels will soon be available to those paying for the company’s broadband.
NOW TV’S PACKAGES EXPLAINED
– Entertainment Pass (£7.99 p/m) – over 300 Box Sets and 11 channels not on Freeview
– Sky Cinema Pass (£9.99 p/m) – over 1,000 movies on demand
– Sky Sports Pass (£6.99 per day, £10.99 per week, £33.99 per month) matches and events on 10 Sky Sports channels
– Kids Pass (£2.99 p/m) – six live channels and thousands of episodes on demand
This article originally appeared on our sister site iNews