Sky has dived into the Netflix and Lovefilm movie-streaming tussle by launching its Now TV service, which goes live tomorrow.
Unlike its Sky Go app, you don’t need a satellite subscription to use it. Just bring your internet connection and a compatible device (see below), and you’ll be able to access Now TV’s monthly and ‘pay & play’ offerings.
The £15 per month 'Sky Movies Pass' (available with a free 30 day trial) will bag you on-demand access to Sky's 600 'top tier' films, plus the eleven Sky Movies channels.
With Lovefilm and Netflix’s offerings costing £5 and £6 per month respectively, that seems a tad pricey – though all of the ‘Sky Movies Pass’ films are exclusives to Now TV for at least a year, and include three quarters of the top 100 box office movies.
If you prefer to snack on older classics, a 'pay & play' service will let you rent from a catalogue of around 1000 movies for between 99p and £3.49 a pop. Films stay in your 'My movies' library for up to 30 days, and you get 48 hours to watch after you’ve hit ‘play’. Unlike iTunes, there's no charge if you don't start watching.
And those compatible devices? Now TV will be available on PC, Mac and Android devices from 17 July, the iOS family from late July, Xbox 360 later this summer, and PlayStation 3 and Roku in late 2012. Sky says it's also working on bringing the service to smart TVs soon.
Streaming quality at launch will sadly only be standard def, but Sky says it’s planning for Now TV on Xbox to match Netflix and Lovefilm and by streaming in HD quality. Like Netflix, the Sky offering also lets you pause a film on one of your two registered devices and resume from the same place on another.
There’s good news for sports nuts too – Sky will launch a similar service for Sky Sports channels before the end of 2012, followed by online streaming of Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living in 2013.
Want to check out the competition? See how Netflix fared against Lovefilm in our head-to-head battle.
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