Why the Sky Now TV Box is my favourite gadget of 2013

If Rich Trenholm had to pick one highlight of 2013, it would be the Sky Now TV Box, turning any telly into a smart TV for just £10. He explains why it's his favourite product of the year.

2013 was the year I stopped watching TV, and started watching what I want, when I want. It's been a great year for Netflix, LoveFilm, iPlayer and the rest, but if I had to pick one highlight it would be the Sky Now TV Box -- turning any telly into a smart TV for just £10.

The Now TV Box gives you Sky Sports and Sky Movies and assorted online telly without paying through the nose either for a Sky subscription or a fancy smart TV.

This year, Netflix won proper TV awards and loads of viewers for its own-brand shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, not to mention being the first place to see hit shows Breaking Bad and The Killing before they're on British TV. iPlayer started showing new episodes of BBC comedies before they hit your TV. And Sky's Now TV added sporting and entertainment action to the movie service launched last year, all of which you can enjoy without forking out a fortune for a dish.

Which brings us to the Now TV Box. It's a tiny little box that turns any telly into a smart TV with access to iPlayer, Sky Movies, Sky Sports channels and other TV shows. Amazingly, it costs just £10, and that includes delivery. Bargain!

Once you've got the box, plug it into your telly and before you can say "The Sky's the limit" you're watching iPlayer, BBC News, 4oD, Demand5 and more, or adding apps like Spotify, Facebook and Flickr -- all without paying another penny.

To sign up for cinematic and sporting action, it costs £9 per month to watch as many movies as you like, or £10 for a day of sporting action. I'm pretty happy with the Now TV movie catalogue -- Sky's grip on new movies means there's more new releases than on rival services like Netflix, and I've found Now TV doesn't stop to buffer constantly. Fingers crossed next year sees Sky, Netflix and the rest address the final piece of the online viewing puzzle and beef up the quality.

It's up to you whether a tenner a day for sports is good value -- a full day of F1 or cricket action or a particularly high-stakes Premier League game could be worth it. And you can always get some mates round -- just make sure they bring the beers.

How do you watch TV? Will your television always be the best place to watch your favourite sports, movies and series, or have you adopted phones, tablets and laptops to watch the highlights when and where you want them? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our square-eyed Facebook page.

 

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