While gaining access to the best of premium TV means a Sky subscription and the installation of a set top box, there’s a far more flexible – and affordable – way to get access to the stuff you can’t watch on Freeview. NOW TV is a streaming-based service that combines the best live TV channels, such as Sky One, Sky Atlantic and Fox, with a huge library of on-demand content that you can watch at whatever time suits you.
Of course, the best way to watch NOW TV is on your favourite TV. While you can stream NOW TV channels and shows anywhere using their mobile apps, nothing beats kicking back on the couch for a solid binge session in front of the big screen. So if you’re looking to put your NOW TV monthly passes to their best use, here’s how to get the action onto your TV.
1: Check if your TV is Smart!
One of the best things about NOW TV is that it works with a huge range of different devices, so it’s available pretty much anywhere you want to watch (which makes it a lot more flexible than conventional Sky TV!) If you’ve got a fairly recent LG or Samsung smart TV, chances are it’s already got a NOW TV app built in (or easily available from the TV’s app store). If that applies to you, you’re already good to go. Everyone else, though, will need a device that can stream NOW TV from your broadband connection and put it onto your TV.
2: Get a Streaming Device
If your TV’s not one of the lucky few to have its own NOW TV app, don’t worry – because you can use many popular devices to stream in HD direct to your TV, and they’re available at a wide range of price points, from super-budget (such as NOW TV’s own £14.99 “Smart Stick”) to rather expensive (NOW TV’s Roku-based, 4K-compatible, £46 “Smart Box” or the much-liked but seriously pricey Apple TV). These dedicated boxes simply need to be set up to use your internet connection (via either Ethernet or wi-fi) then plugged into a spare HDMI port on your TV. Then you just load up the NOW TV app, sign in and start streaming.
3: Try your Game Console
If you’re not keen on the idea of forking out extra cash for another thing to plug into your TV, consider making use of your Playstation 4 or Xbox One game console if you’ve got one set up at home. Because while their primary purpose is to play games, they also happen to be brilliant media streaming devices, all ready to roll and connected to both your broadband and your telly. You’ll just need to download the free NOW TV app from the Playstation Store or the Microsoft Store, then sign in and you’re off and running. If you don’t like the idea of browsing channels and shows using the game controller, both consoles have low-cost media remote controls available for exactly this purpose.
4: Use Your Phone to Cast to your TV
If all of the above options aren’t working for you, you’re not out of options just yet – because thankfully, NOW TV is incredibly versatile. You can pick up a clever little device called a Google Chromecast for not very much money, which plugs into a spare HDMI port on your TV – and then lets you send video to it from your phone or tablet. This process is called “casting” and NOW TV supports it on both its iOS and Android apps. And if your TV uses the Android TV operating system (as many recent Sony TVs do) you don’t even need to buy a Chromecast – there’s one built right in to your TV!
5: Buy a Long HDMI Cable
If none of the above options work for you, there’s one more simple option – it won’t give you the best user experience in the world, but it will work. Simply pick up a HDMI cable that’s got the right sized HDMI plug for your desktop or laptop computer at one end, and a TV-sized HDMI plug at the other. Connect the two, then get your computer to send video to the TV (in Windows 10, just click the “Project” button in the right-hand pop-up menu).
As you can see, pretty much everyone’s got some way of getting NOW TV onto their TV screen for relaxed viewing on the couch – and once you’ve got it set up it’s a brilliant thing to have around. With everything from the latest premium drama like HBO’s Euphoria and Westworld, the latest movies on Sky Cinema and live sporting action from Sky Sports, what you watch is entirely up to you. And with a special currently on that gives you two months for the price of one on the Entertainment, Sky Cinema, Kids and hayu Passes, it’s the perfect time to get yourself all set up to stream!