Is NOW TV a case of ‘WOW TV’?
Most people probably think of NOW TV as a film and TV streaming service. Understandable, because until quite recently, that’s exactly what it was.
But NOW TV has expanded - it's a broadband provider too, and a very interesting one at that.
Its new triple-play broadband, phone and TV bundle - the NOW TV Combo - is primarily about simplicity. You build your package out of straightforward, easy to understand components that make it very clear what you’re getting for your money. Plus, it’s one of the few national providers that sells no-contract broadband, for those who don’t want to commit to a full year.
But is it worth getting? Read on to find out exactly what you can get from NOW TV, what’s good, what’s bad, and how to find the best deal.
What does NOW TV do?
The ‘NOW TV Combo’ sounds a bit like something you’d order at a fast food joint, but that’s not the only thing it has in common with those meat ‘n' grease dispensaries. It also lets you choose the different elements of your meal - much like choosing a side, drink and a dip (I generally recommend gravy, by the way).
Essentially, you have to make three big choices: which type of broadband, the phone plan, and what television you want to watch. In doing so, you essentially ‘build’ the package - then the more channels and faster the broadband, for example, the more you’ll pay each month.
There are three broadband options available:
- Brilliant Broadband: Speeds of up to 17Mb
- Fab Fibre: Speeds of up to 38Mb
- Super Fibre: Speeds of up to 76Mb
Then, there are three phone plans available:
- Pay as you use: standard call rates, no inclusive calls
- Evening and Weekends: inclusive landline calls between 7pm and 7am Monday to Friday, and all day on Saturday and Sunday
- Anytime Calls: inclusive landline calls 24/7
Finally, pick your NOW TV pass. The new NOW TV box, which connects to your telly, includes a digital TV tuner, with up to 30 minutes pause. It gives you all the big free to air channels, including BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, so what you’re choosing here are extra channels and on-demand stuff to watch. And you can choose as many passes as you like.
- Entertainment Pass - 11 on demand channels, including Sky One and Sky Atlantic, and 250 box sets.
- Sky Cinema Pass - formerly known as Sky Movies. Gives you more than 1,000 movies to watch on demand, Sky Cinema live channels, and one new premiere each week.
- Sports Pass - all seven Sky Sports channels, covering Premier League football, Formula One, golf majors, and more. See our Sky Sports guide for more information.
- Kids Pass - six children’s channels, including Nickelodeon, Boomerang and Cartoon Network. Perfect for the little ‘uns - and the young at heart of course.
The channels and on-demand content you get with the Entertainment Pass are: ABC, Comedy Central, Discovery, Fox, Gold, ITV Encore, MTV, Nat Geo Wild, Sky 1, Sky Arts, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, and Viceland.
NOW TV - contract or no-contract?
One notable string to NOW TV’s bow is that it’s one of the few widely available providers that offers contract-free broadband. It operates on a rolling monthly basis, which gives you the flexibility to switch, cancel, or upgrade at any time. On the downside, you will have to pay a one-off setup fee.
Of course, the NOW TV Combo is also available on a 12-month contract, which has its own benefits - not least of which is that you waive the setup fee entirely. Ultimately, the choice comes down to: do you want to pay a little extra for flexibility, or commit to a year and pay less? Only you can answer that one.
What’s good about NOW TV?
- Bundles broadband, TV and phone together
- Wide choice of packages - lots of broadband, phone and TV options to pick from
- Superfast fibre optic broadband available - perfect for families, shared households and heavy users
- Gives you loads to watch, both live on-demand
- Can watch on-demand content on TV, computers, games consoles, smartphones, tablets and more
- Entertainment Pass gives you some Sky channels, including Sky Atlantic - the home of Game of Thrones and other hit US shows
- More than 250+ box sets available to watch at any time
- More than 1,000 films on demand with Sky Cinema - plus a new premiere every day
- Sports Pass gives you all seven Sky Sports channels
- Free to air channels, including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 ones, included with all packages
- Multiple phone plans available to suit everyone, from super chatty types, to those who barely call anyone
- No contract broadband gives you flexibility to switch at any time
- 12 month contracts also available if you prefer to spend less upfront
- New NOW TV box lets you pause live TV for up to 30 minutes
What’s bad about NOW TV?
- Fewer channels than Sky or Virgin Media TV
- Fibre optic broadband not available everywhere
- Setup costs apply if you go no contract
- Although catch-up and live TV are available in full 1080p HD, some streamed content is only 720p
- No broadband-only option
- Monthly bills can add up if you take multiple TV passes together