Sky owns and offers two on-demand streaming services, Sky Go and Now TV.
Both of these services provide access to Sky content on the go. With Sky Go and Now TV you can watch Sky channels and movies on your laptop or PC, phone or tablet (iPhone, iPad and selected Android phones for now) and through your Xbox 360, if you’re an Xbox LIVE Gold subscriber.
You can sign up for either or them, regardless of whether or not you’re a Sky TV subscriber. Contracts are worked out on a rolling monthly basis with no long-term obligation.
So what are the differences? Let’s take a look.
What is Sky Go?
Sky Go gives subscribers access to a greater degree of Sky channels on the go than Now TV does.
Sky channels including Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky News, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1 can be viewed live, as can all six Sky Sports and all of the Sky Movies channels.
Sports fans can stream matches from EPSN and British Eurosport and parents can sign up for the Disney Channel, Disney XD and Cartoon Network for their kids. It’s worth noting however that not all of the channels are available on all device that can get Sky Go.
How much does Sky Go cost?
Depending on what you want to watch, the monthly cost of Sky Go can vary.
A Sky Go Monthly Ticket costs £15/month which will give you access to the Entertainment channels. These include Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky News, Sky Living and Sky Arts 1.
If you want to watch things like movies and live sport through Sky Go you’ll have to take these in addition to the Entertainment channel pack. Currently you can just get the football or the movies on their own.
The cost of Sky Sports plus the Entertainment channels works out at £35/month. ESPN channels can be added for either an extra £9/month or £12/month, depending on whether or not you take them with Sky Sports (in which case it’s £9/month) or without Sky Sports (in which case it’s £12/month).
Sky Movies, which gives you access to films shown on all 11 Sky Movies channels, plus the Entertainment channels works out at £32/month.
For those who want it all, you can get Sky Entertainment plus Sky Sports and Sky Movies for £40/month, once again throwing in ESPN for £9/month, making the grand total £49/month for absolutely everything.
What devices can I watch Sky Go on?
All of the above channels are accessible on iPhones, iPads, selected Android phones and Windows and Mac laptops and desktops.
The Android phones capable of downloading and running the Sky Go app are the HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy Note.
Right now, PC, Mac and Xbox 360 owners can access extra Entertainment channels which aren’t available on mobile devices. These include MTV, National Geographic Channel, History Channel, G.O.L.D. and Eden, which aren’t yet available for iPhone, iPad and Android users. This is due to broadcast rights not being available across all devices.
What is Now TV?
Now TV is a new service that’s right now more comparable to things like Netflix, Lovefilm Instant and Blinkbox than Sky Go.
At the moment Now TV is purely a movie streaming platform that gives access to hundreds of titles on-demand and on a pay-per-view basis.
Movies available include titles like Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides, Team America: World Police and Puss In Boots. A recent deal with Warner Bros will also see popular titles like the Lord of the Rings films and the Matrix trilogy coming to Now TV.
Part of this and other deals will see new movies coming to Now TV six months after they’ve finished their commercial run in cinemas. This means Now TV will get these movies before anywhere else – before Netflix, Lovefilm or Blinkbox.
How much does Now TV cost?
Now TV costs £15/month and comes with a 30 day free trial. There’s no long-term obligation to sign up for Now TV longer than a month so you’re free to cancel whenever you want and renew as you see fit.
While most movies available on Now TV will be available to watch on-demand for no extra cost, there are some which are only available on a ‘pay to play’/pay-per-view basis. Prices for these films range between 99p to £3.49 per film, with most of the films tending towards the latter price.
What devices can I watch Now TV on?
Now TV is available on Windows and Mac laptop and desktop, iPhone, iPad, selected Android phones and Xbox 360. It’s also available as a YouView app, on Roku streaming devices and will be coming to the PlayStation 3.
Currently Android phones that can work with Now TV include the HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE, Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, Galaxy Nexus and the Samsung Galaxy Note. These are the exact same phones which are compatible with the Sky Go app.
So why get Sky Go over Now TV or vice versa?
Sky Go has the greater amount of choice. So if you want movies, football and a bit of entertainment on the go then you should go for Sky Go.
However the fact that you’re required to pay for both the Entertainment channels and Sky Movies together means that if you’re a movie fan, Now TV is perhaps the better option.
At £15/month compared to the £32/month you’d pay for Sky Movies plus Entertainment (Sky 1, Sky Atlantic etc) you’re paying less than half what you would with Sky Go.
Also, Now TV is available on a greater number of devices and is platform agnostic, content-wise. Or in other words, any movie you can get on the Now TV iPad app you’ll be able to watch on your laptop, your Xbox 360 or your Android phone. Not all of the Sky Go channels are available across all of the devices.
Sky Go definitely has more going for it in terms of choice right now. But we understand that channels such as Sky Atlantic and Sky Sports will also be coming to Now TV in the near future.
Sky hasn’t revealed its pricing plans for these new channels yet but we’d imagine that you’d be able to pick and choose based on what you wanted to watch.
For updates and full details on pricing and how these services work check out: