An impressively modern catalogue, but not a comprehensive one. That, and a few teething problems, make its monthly price seem too high.
NOW TV UK Review
by on December 7, 2012
There’s a veritable onslaught of on-demand streaming services these days, and NOW TV UK is more Sky’s answer to Netflix and LOVEFiLM than it is the likes of BBC iPlayer.
You can basically think of it as Sky Movies on demand, though presumably Sky is avoiding calling it that in the hope of attracting non-Sky subscribers. Anyone can enjoy its catalogue, but it’ll cost you £15 per month, a steep increase over the £5 LOVEFiLM charges for just streaming.
What you get in return is a much more up-to-date catalogue for the most part – one that frankly puts Netflix to shame in terms of its modernity, and bests LOVEFiLM, too.
Even brand new films are available, for a paid rental fee that’s roughly equivalent to iTunes Store rentals in SD. In terms of comprehensiveness, it doesn’t quite match Netflix – criminally, there’s no Godfather, for example – but it’s the newness that wins points.
Browsing the catalogue is very similar to the Netflix app in that it’s rows of scrollable movies sorted by category, though you get slightly less on-screen at once here. It’s very clean and easy to follow, though, with large clear writing.
The video quality is fairly high, though you get occasional artifacts, even on great connections, and streaming begins quickly once you choose to watch something. There are problems, though. There were a bunch of films that just wouldn’t play – we got an error that explained nothing, but they failed however many times we tried. Others worked fine, but you want to be able to play whatever you like if you’re paying £15 per month. And sadly, but possibly predictably, AirPlay output isn’t supported for video – just audio. It’s a complaint you’re probably tired of reading, and we’re definitely sick of making, but it’s a situation that’s holding back what should be a killer feature for all entertainment apps on the iPad.
The range of films available on NOW TV will draw fierce envy from Netflix and LOVEFiLM subscribers – Sky’s app is leagues ahead in the UK – but the price is just too high for us, especially considering it only includes movies and not TV, and it’s not all that deep a library. It’s possible that we’re being unreasonable, and the only reason it gets such desirable films is that the price is high. In many ways, it doesn’t matter – when the competition costs only a third, we’re inclined to put up with a older catalogue.
Download this app: Now TV UK for iPhone and iPad
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Review courtesy of Tap!