Sky’s revealed plans to launch a new Now TV set-top box that will mix free to air TV with streamed subscription content.
In its latest set of quarterly results, Sky mentions that the new device will launch ‘later in the year’ and ‘offering seamless access to over 60 free-to-air channels alongside the pay content’.
It’s currently being referred to as the ‘new Now TV Box’ although it could be called something else to avoid confusion with the Roku-based mini streamers that are already on the market.
That said, the available press renders of the device do bear a remarkable similarity to the Roku 4, which supports 4K Ultra HD video. Is Sky about to mix 4K streams with Freeview content, sell it on the cheap and take the jam out of BT’s doughnut in a seriously epic way?
All Sky’s saying at the moment is: “This will be our most advanced NOW TV product to date and will offer a streaming service to customers who want to access live free-to-air television alongside some pay content, all in one integrated offering.”
The word ‘integrated’ could mean that the new Now TV Box will come with a backwards EPG, which gives users access to missed shows via catch-up services like BBC iPlayer, in a manner similar to that of a YouView or Freeview Play set-top box. Or, it could simply mean that this is a standard Freeview set top box with some fancy Now TV branding. More on this, as and when we get it…
Edit: Sky’s issued a press release for the new device, which is called the Now TV Smart Box.
Gidon Katz, Director of Now TV said: “The launch of our new homepage on the NOW TV Box will make it easier than ever for our customers to quickly find and watch their favourite shows. And when the new NOW TV Smart Box arrives later this year, it will be the perfect one-stop box to get a contract-free, flexible way of watching the best of pay TV and free-to-air content all in one place.”
Sky’s also confirmed that it’s once again worked with Roku on this new Now TV hardware, but it’s unclear just how similar it will be to the Roku 4 specifications-wise.