Now TV, Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime programmes and quality

Reviews and natter about all things on the screen and available, streaming wise.

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embleton
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Now TV, Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime programmes and quality

Post by embleton » Sun May 03, 2015 2:31 am

Now TV

Programme content is rather good but limited in the quatity of programmes available to stream. It is rather expensive for both the entertainment and films package, but if you cancel and take up offers both at the beginning of the subscription or during cancellation it's cheaper; be advised that you need to almost cancel the service to be offered discounts, it is approximately three steps that need to be taken before the discount offers. The service has no contract requirements and works well without stuttering or buffering on even low bandwidth connections of 3-4Mbps. It does have the major Sky box sets especially nice are the Atlantic box sets.

The streaming service isn't of the highest quality because it's not full HD, but this is beneficial if you have a limited bandwidth internet connection feeding your premises. We have had the film package previously, which offers around 800 films with films dropping and being added to the service on a weekly basis, about 4 in total weekly. The film titles are usually about a year and half after they've been released in the cinema, so if you frequent the cinema or buy DVD films you're likely to have seen the titles on offer because they are all mainstream programmes and films.

Sky

Offers the largest selection of live programmes but its on demand service is an extension of the same content as Now TV, plus free streaming services such as the BBC, Demand 5, 4oD, All 4, and ITV, which are available on Now TV boxes anyway as separate streaming application addons. Sky does offer more programming than that highlighted in their on demand service, but it is very expensive and the most expensive of all programme streaming on demand services. If you hate advertisements Sky is certainly the worst for advertising everything and its dog. The best channel in our opinion on Sky is Atlantic as it has a great deal of upto date original programmes.

The service is offered in almost full HD; it's only 1080i and not as crisp as it should be for their boxes aren't the best in the world and high compression ratios are used on their satellite broadcast feeds, SD feeds are absolutely appalling with blurriness and artefacts. The audio stream track is very poor also when listening to compressed lossy SD and even HD supposedly good HD feeds. With our setup we have an upscaling DAC for audio and this improves the quality considerably, but it's still not even near to the quality of other alternative streaming services. Occasionally you do get bricking on programmes that are basically downloaded first and played afterwards.

Sky do offer the Sky Go app for free with subscriptions for watching direct IPTV channel feeds, but upto date programmes are blocked from viewing because of licensing issues and the overall IPTV streaming service quality is appalling; it stutters, breaks up, has artifact bricks and generally buffers every half a hour, even on our 80Mbps hybrid fibre internet service. For a company that should be at the forefront of technology in this respect they need to improve their offering for IPTV and get their act together.

Netflix

Does offer a lot of content but most of it is outdated by years, there are some programmes that are original but they are few and far between. If you do like watching unusual off beat and often old material then Netflix is good choice. They offer a very cheap streaming service without advertisements; so if you hate advertisements it's a service well worth investing in monthly. Netflix are by far a good service for having programming rights for whole seasons of TV style programmes, some of them unique and upto date that are only available on Netflix.

Quality wise they stream in full 1080p HD and even higher quality than this for some TV programming, the audio stream is also very good streaming wise and of the highest quality. Because of its HD quality offerings you do need a high speed internet connection of the order of 10-14Mbps, but you can get away with lower speeds as the quality is adaptive; lower quality if your internet connection is of a lower overall speed than required.

Amazon Prime

For a streaming service Amazon Prime is good for TV programmes that are original and not on other platforms, this is really where Amazon Prime comes into its own. The TV style programming is fast moving in comparison to Netflix, which is more static. Amazon Prime's film offerings is poor, rather old and outdated. Again this streaming service doesn't advertise products that aren't related to the programming; so that's good for those that hate this rubbish, annoying and distracting product pushing content. This is a great service at its yearly price, but it is really a subscription for a year.

The quality is also full 1080p HD of slightly less quality than Netflix, and it does show occasionally. For this service you need a smart TV or preferably a Amazon Fire TV to watch the content to its maximum, but with the addition of kodi media centre that you can install on the box it's worth it.

Conclusion

If you have a Sky subscription then Now TV is pointless, otherwise Now TV is a good service to invest in monthly, as are Netflix and Amazon Prime for cheap entertainment. For those that love live TV outside the normal freeview channels you don't have much choice but to pay for Sky, which is very expensive in initial investment and a yearly contract.

For me I'd choose all the streaming services with the exception of Sky's live and streaming direct offering; it's the price and endless advertisements that really puts me off. The fact that Sky also charge a premium for HD content is disgusting especially for it's so poor quality compared to other streaming services.


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Re: Now TV and Netflix programming error on Apple TV.

Post by embleton » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:45 am

A Netflix subscription by iTunes on an Apple TV cannot be renewed once it expires because Netflix store the payment method and use it to establish whether a Apple identifier is able to obtain a free month trial, you cannot tell the Netflix app on the Apple TV to renew anyway without that free month, this is clearly a Netflix app programming error, get it sorted Netflix as you'll loose subscribers like myself!

The only reason I cancelled in the first place is another programming error stops one from modifying the Netflix plan, and I wished to up my subscription to 4 screens with UHD support at a higher cost.

Those who's debit/credit card expires I suggest cancel their subscription before the debit/credit card expires and restart their subscription for a free trial period subscription. Those with multiple debit/credit cards can rotate them for free trial subscriptions up to to the amount of payment methods they have in their pockets. The providers cannot stop this practice for it's really not permitted to store debit/credit cards on the debit/credit card providers file in the rules of these clearing houses provider rules. The provider can only go for recurring payments with the debit/credit card number, a hash cannot be used it will always be the same.
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Now TV Sky Netflix Amazon Prime programmes and quality

Post by byronred » Mon May 13, 2019 11:18 pm

Im really not sure how I feel about this. I want to be able to watch Amazon content in HDR, which I cant do with the current Fire TV or my UHD Blu-Ray Player the Sony UBP-X800. So it might be what I need? Im just concerned of it running slow, and that dongle HDMI. Does anyone know of an HDMI extension cable that would work properly with this?

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Re: Now TV, Sky, Netflix, Amazon Prime programmes and quality

Post by embleton » Wed May 15, 2019 12:52 am

I wasn't aware the Sony UHD DVD player was capable of playing Amazon Prime UHD streaming content? As for the Amazon Fire TV Stick and I assume the latest UHD one, almost any quality HDMI cable will likely do the job just fine.
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