Sky has finally taken the wrappers off its Now TV Smart Box and is selling it as part of bundles for the first time. The streaming box sits above the existing Now TV Box – which stays on sale – and adds live TV and live pause, along with all the usual catch-up services and Sky Passes.
Live TV integration means you'll be able to watch terrestrial channels like BBC One, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, among the 60 or so free-to-air channels that are available. As such, the user interface has been given a bit of a tweak.
The Now TV Smart Box is available either on its own for £39.99, or you can buy it as part of a contract-free triple-play deal – that offers you TV, broadband and landline calls. It's called the Now TV Combo, and it's the first time a triple-play offering has been available with no minimum contract.
Here we take a look at how it works and what you get for your money.
Triple-play without the commitment
Here's how it works. First, you choose which pass you'd like – you can choose from the usual Sky offerings: the Entertainment Pass, Sky Cinema Pass, Sky Sports Pass or new Kids Pass.
Then you pick a broadband speed: options are Brilliant Broadband (up to 17Mbps), Fab Fibre (up to 38Mbps) or Super Fibre (up to 76Mbps).
Finally, you choose which calls package you'd like. Pay as you use means you only pay for the calls you make; Evenings and Weekends gives unlimited calls to UK landlines, UK mobile numbers and 0870 and 0845 numbers, 7pm to 7am and all day Saturday and Sunday.
And Anytime Calls gives you free calls to UK landline and mobile numbers, and 0870 and 0845 numbers, at all times.
There's no contract, so you can cancel at any time. Prices start at £9.99 a month for the most basic package, though you also have to pay £17.99 a month line rental and a one-off fee of £40 for broadband installation (this rises to £50 for the faster two broadband packages).
All in, prices start at £27.98 a month, and go up to £69.98 a month.
You can swap your Pass options each month if you like, and your monthly bill will change accordingly.
You can also cancel the line rental at any time, so you really do take it on a month-by-month basis.
Like previous Now TV Boxes, the Now TV Smart Box is made by Roku. It's based on the Roku 4, which is Roku's latest streaming box.
It shows content in high definition, though not in 4K. Sky is saving that for its Sky Q service. It also has the power to pause live TV for up to 30 minutes. So you needn't miss a thing if you nip out to put the kettle on.
And like previous boxes, it can run apps like YouTube and Spotify, bringing more content to your TV screen.
Want more? Read our head-to-head comparison of the new Now TV Smart Box and the standard Now TV box here.