Sky (UK) Now TV box

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I saw this on techradar and thought it is interesting, and for a good price. It also gives access to iplayer.

 

http://www.techradar.com/news/television/tv/make-your-tv-smart-for-10-sky-launches-now-tv-box-1168680

 

As for from Germany, then I assume that this won't work due to IP blocking. But if you could connect it to a network that routes via VPN or proxy, then it might offer options to people.

 

Has anybody had any luck routing their Sky (UK) STB via a VPN or proxy permanently?

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I've ordered one to test out.

 

This seems to be a Roku box rebranded, and Roku boxes do not have any ability to configure VPN's or even DNS's. However, the easiest way is usually to set the SmartDNS in one's router.

 

I have a US Roku box working this way to access Hulu, netflix, PBS etc from the US Roku, and this little box may work the same way. It might work straight out of the box for some services like the BBC iPlayer, but it may need a request to the SmartDNS folk (in my case Overplay).

 

It certainly does look like an amazing little box for £10! (plus DNS per month which is usually around £3 or close)

 

As it happens, I have a 6month test contract with Sky Now anyway, so maybe this whole thing will work pretty good as well. I was terribly disappointed with NowTV via web or iOS (lower than SD quality and no proper AirPlay) but I have been told that some of their other platforms offer HD, so this would likely be one.

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I saw this on techradar and thought it is interesting, and for a good price. It also gives access to iplayer.

 

http://www.techradar.com/news/television/tv/make-your-tv-smart-for-10-sky-launches-now-tv-box-1168680

 

As for from Germany, then I assume that this won't work due to IP blocking. But if you could connect it to a network that routes via VPN or proxy, then it might offer options to people.

 

Has anybody had any luck routing their Sky (UK) STB via a VPN or proxy permanently?

 

If its of any use I get Sky Go here on my smartphone using SmartDNS from overplay.

 

I was hoping to watch other UK live shows as I do with the BBC iplayer on my larger screen but the Sky Go app recognises when a HDMi cable is connected and blocks it. I believe it's the same with the Desktop version but never bothered trying.

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This isn't Sky Go, though, it's NowTV, which is a different service offered by Sky. The box is specifically designed to hook up to your telly.

 

The box might be cheap, but the service doesn't appear to be - £9.99 for 24hours of sport is quite a lot, especially if you want to watch an F1 weekend, for example. Plus some weekends you strike it lucky with loads of sport, other weekends there's very little on, so at least for the sport offering it's only for very occasional use, otherwise you might as well subscribe to Sky.

 

Still, if you don't have a box at all at the moment (I have a Freesat box and an Android box), it's probably worth it just to get iPlayer on your telly.

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Hi All,

If I'm on the wrong thread, please let me know. I have a digibox for english TV, but obviously no On Demand content.

 

Anyway; I've cancelled my BBC iPlayer Iternational subscription, as I find it too expensive for the content available.

 

Now I've found Expattelly.com. If it is as good as it sound, I'd have access to all Players/Catch-up's on my tablet as well as access to US TV. The price is €59.99 for the year which isn't bad (cheaper than BBC iPlayer International). They don't do a free trial though, so if anybody who has used it or seen any reviews on it could reply to this with their thoughts I'd really appreciate it.

 

The only review I could find is below

 

http://www.bestvpn.com/blog/5390/expat-telly/

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You are on the wrong thread, but since you are here, then there are plenty of such services available. Many people use SmartDNS from Overplay which is technically a little different but easier to setup, has similar flexibility for changing your perceived location, and costs about 38€/year (or 3.80€/month if you only want to try it)

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Thanks Yorkshire Lad, I'll check it out :)

 

I found another more appropriate thread, but don't know how to remove a comment once posted.

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I have Sky Go on my laptop and use a proxy and always connect my Laptop to my TV via HDMI and it works fine. I use my parents Sky Go password so I get most English channels, then use iplayer for BBC. All works fine for me, just would like a better option that my current proxy as it is a bit expensive at £6 a month, tight i know ha!!

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All this Sky Go talk, but now back to the thread... Sky Now.

 

My Sky Now box arrived today. It is basically, as expected a re-branded UK Roku LT but for only £10.

 

Yes, a set-top box for a tenner.

 

It has a pile of free apps on it, and no, you don't need a Sky Now subscription to work it (though you need at least a free account with them)

 

Before people get confused, there is a big difference between Sky Go and Sky Now (and all this is referring to UK Sky, not the German version). Sky Now requires no long term subscription. They offer a month by month subscription which can be cancelled at any time (end of month) for the basic movie channels. Generally speaking, it seems you get the UK movie channels as on-demand or live but nothing else. That in itself is interesting as their movies tend to be more recent than say Netflix or Lovefilm. I have them from a special which only costs me £2.50 per month, but usually it is dearer - oh, they also have a day-pass to sports which is really expensive at £10 a day. Only worth it for that odd match you just can't miss.

 

Anyway, all that aside, even if you want nothing to do with Sky, this little box will get you the BBC iPlayer on your television in HD for £10.

 

You will need a SmartDNS service (Overplay who I use works out of the box for the BBC iPlayer) but you have to set this in the router, since there are no proper network settings in a Roku or Sky Now box. But that works for most routers and is quite easy to do. Overplay charge around €3,77 per month, or cheaper if you go for a long term payment. Keep in mind other DNS servers may work, but they will have to be configured for this device, and not all are.

 

So, if you have someone in the UK who can ship you this device, it is a cheap way to get the BBC iPlayer.

 

It also has Demand 5, but I have just asked Overplay if they can also support this. At the moment, it is not supported. ITV and 4oD are not yet present, but Sky has said they hope to have them in the future. (Also, Sky Now is not yet supported either by Overplay for that matter)

 

I'll be doing a full review over at Eye on-Demand hopefully this or next week, which will also include some of the others services they offer, and how easy it is to set up, etc.

 

Overall, my first impression is pretty good. Even if nothing else works but the BBC, it is great value for money for those who just want a cheap way to easily watch the BBC on their television in a sofa-friendly environment (i.e using a proper remote and not plugging laptops in etc)

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Yes, it is only the BBC iPlayer and their catch-up material. Unlike the iOS app or web, there are no live feeds.

 

At the moment, ITV Player and 4oD are not present, but there are always hopes they will be added later.

 

I'm working with Overplay at the moment to get Demand 5 working via their SmartDNS.

 

So, for tenner, all you get for free is the BBC iPlayer catch-up, but that is in HD for many new shows, and although not live, that doesn't bother me since I rarely watch live TV outside of sport and news these days. Ever since my sat dish gave me a PVR with hard drive and series link, I started moving away from live TV.

 

For what it is, the interface is responsive and the video quality excellent. Unlike a laptop connected to a TV, it is also an excellent sofa-friendly UI, i.e. just point a remote and select content from your armchair.

 

Oh, for American's here, there is a USTVNow channel as well, which does include excellent quality live US television (CBS, NBC, ABC etc) for a modest fee, presuming of course it works the same as their Roku channel.

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Ok, I have a review up for the Box at Eye on-Demand. It focuses also on using outside of the UK, and what is currently working via Overplay's smart DNS (which is not a lot at the moment, but it is new)

 

To be honest, it is already my favourite iPlayer box as it streams the BBC iPlayer at 720p HD and for ten pounds, it is more responsive than my expensive smart TV.

 

Basically, it is a £10 iPlayer box, that hopefully will also be able to access some of the other UK catch-up services in the future.

 

(The link to the iPlayer review also discusses that particular app on the Now TV box in more detail)

 

I have tested USTVNow, and it works on the box as well, but for that you need a subscription. Could be interesting to US expats here as it offers live streams of the ABC, NBC, CBS etc direct on your TV's.

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Having decided to have a look at the Now TV service, and failed to get it working on both Windows 7 and Android (the device support for Android is extremly poor anyway), I'm not surprised Sky have decided to launch their own box. The support for getting it working on mainstream devices is appalling.

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Hmmm, what SmartDNS or VPN service were you using?

 

Overplay have only just added Now TV to their Smart DNS service, and I don't know of any other DNS supplier that supports Now TV yet. Of course, within the UK none of this is needed, but it is geographically restricted.

 

I've tested it on a Mac, iPad, iPhone and the Now TV box and it works a treat: Review here:

 

As for the service itself, it does cost more than Netflix or LoveFilm, but the films are often far newer. Many films can not even be rented on iTunes (or even Vudu) but are available under the Now TV subscription. For those who really want to watch the newest release films, this (along with the Now TV set top box) maybe a good subscription.

 

Though for those who don't mind waiting, a combination LoveFilm UK/Netflix subscription is probably better value.

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Hmmm, what SmartDNS or VPN service were you using?

 

I've been away for a while and haven't yet tried out my Sky Now box, but I don't think the problems I experienced above were VPN-related, I'd put them down to piss-poor support for Android (i.e. none, they support a few devices at individual hardware level), and the vaguaries of their DRM implementation on Microsoft Silverlight. I'd put money on the senior executives not having any of those systems, otherwise it would be sorted. Even so, you'd think they'd take a look at market figures and be concerned about how much of the market they are excluding.

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Just a head's up here. I'm currently testing Sky's Now TV Entertainment package. This was just launched and costs around £5 a month in a contract-free form (no long term commitments).

 

It gives access to a pile of UK Sky's Entertainment channels like Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Fox, and more in both catch-up and live streams.

 

So far, through Overplay, I'm having great success via the Now TV box for catch-up (which includes entire seasons), and live works well, but right now I'm getting some buffering issues on the live streams. Not sure if that is being in Germany, the time of the day, Sky's own issues, my Wi-Fi or even t-online throttling, but since the live stuff generally ends up on catch-up shortly afterwards, it is not an issue for me.

 

Once fully tested, I'll write up a review over at Eye on-Demand.

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There is a very expensive sports package for the Now TV box, which costs a tenner for a 24hour window. It is meant only for a "special occasion", i.e. a match or game for people who don't want a full package.

 

I haven't tested it though.

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Here is some other good news for the Now TV box, Overplay have got Demand 5 working on this platform.

 

That now brings two free UK services to this £10 box, BBC's iPlayer & Demand 5 (along with other pay services if you want). Nope, you don't need a Sky subscription for this box.

 

4oD is scheduled to arrive on the Now TV box this year. Of course, this doesn't mean that it will work outside of the UK, but we are of course hoping.

 

The box can now be bought on some high street stores in the UK now, so if it interests you, you can pick one up over xmas when you go over. Otherwise you can have one bought online with free delivery to a friend or relative back in blighty and have it sent over.

 

Of course, you do need a compatible smart DNS service to work with this device, and one catch - you need to be able to set that up on your router! Most allow this, but some ultra cheap or locked down ones provided directly by ISP's may not.

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