Sky Stream vs Now: TV streaming services compared | The Sun

STREAMING services have revolutionised the way we watch TV and two of the best providers out there is Sky Stream and NOW.

So we’ve put the two giants of the streaming world head to head to help you pick which will work best in your home.

  • Sky Stream & Netflix: from £26 a month for 18 months – buy from Sky
  • Now TV Entertainment: from £6.99 a month for 6 months – buy from Now

Sky and NOW offer users fuss-free streaming subscriptions that work over wi-fi, without the need for satellite dishes or complex wiring.

The subscriptions have made it easier and more accessible than ever to tune into your favourite shows or movies.

Operated by Sky, NOW (formerly Now TV) launched as far back as 2012, while Sky Stream is a relative newcomer, coming in late 2022.



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Both offer users greater flexibility and choice over the content they pay for, but are they in the same league?

We find out by taking a look at what you can expect for your money, including content and channels, to their respective picture and sound qualities.

Our Senior Tech and Science Reporter Jamie Harris tested Stream in his Sky Stream review and gave his verdict, while our Tech Editor Sean Keach tested Skys streaming TV in his Sky Glass review.

We've also found the best Sky deals at the moment, including Sky's Sky Q box, Glass, and of course Stream.

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There's also a wave of Sky Black Friday deals this month, running until 28th November, with deals on TV and broadband packages to save on.


Join Sky today and enjoy Sky Stream with the Sky Entertainment & Netflix package for just £19p/m for 18 months.

  • Sky Stream, Sky Entertainment & Netflix, £19p/m for 18 months – buy from Sky

Sky Stream vs Now: At a glance

Sky Stream and NOW are both great options for anyone in the market for a plug-in streaming box.

They offer more control and freedom for customers with no strings attached, but which you choose will depend on what you're looking to get for your money.

If you want more channels, a glossy interface and plenty of add-ons then Sky Stream is your best bet.

While NOW offers its users a fuss-free experience with plenty of choice at an affordable price.

We're taking a deeper dive into both these platforms so you know exactly what you're getting before you sign up.

Sky Stream vs Now: Price

Both streaming boxes offer customers monthly rolling contracts, giving them more flexibility when it comes to cost.

You're also in control of the channels and add-ons you want, so you can tailor both Sky Stream and NOW to your preferences, be it cinema or sports.

NOW beats Stream hands down on price though, with the basic Entertainment package offering a 6-month minimum contract for £6.99, which includes a seven-day free trial.

Once the six months are up the subscription renews at £9.99 per month, or you can opt for the fully flexible plan for £9.99 and cancel at any time.

Sky Stream, on the other hand, is a pricey affair, with the basic Sky Entertainment and Netflix package coming in at £26 per month on an 18-month contract, or £29 for the 31-day rolling contract.

So if you don't want to be 'tied in' for months then NOW is your best bet, but you may get more out of Stream.

  • Sky Stream & Netflix: from £26 a month for 18 months – buy from Sky
  • Now TV Entertainment: from £6.99 a month for 6 months – buy from Now

Sky Stream vs Now: Content and channels

The beauty of both these streaming boxes is the choice is in your hands when it comes to the channels your want and what you pay for.

In terms of numbers alone, Sky Stream takes the crown with access to over 300 satellite channels and 100 premium channels including Sky Atlantic, Sky 1 and FOX.

On top of which you can choose add-ons like Sky Cinema, Kids or Sports as well as other streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ and their huge libraries of content.

But numbers aren't everything and NOW offers huge flexibility with its memberships.

You can opt for the standard Entertainment pass, and all or any combination of the Cinema, Sports, or Hayu memberships on a month-by-month basis, the choice is yours.

And as NOW operates under the Sky umbrella, its entertainment channels include Sky favourites like Sky Atlantic, Sky Showcase, and more.

Opting for all passes will give you access to around 45 channels, which can't compete with Sky's offering, but of course, you can access your Netflix and Disney+ accounts through your NOW box.

NOW may just have the edge when it comes to on-demand content though, with access to boxsets and catch-up TV included in your membership, while you'll need the Box-Set upgrade at an additional cost with Sky.

Sky Stream vs Now: Picture and sound quality

Sky Stream streams content in 1080p resolution as standard but also supports 4K streaming with the UHD & Dolby Atmos add-on for £6 per month on a rolling contract.

When used with supporting content Dolby Atmos delivers immersive sound – but it requires a compatible UHD and audio TV setup to work.

NOW on the other hand isn't quite as advanced, streaming in just 720p as standard – which won't blow you away but is fine for the average viewer.

Like Sky though, you can opt for an upgrade in the form of NOW Boost, which streams in 1080p and if you own a sound system offers immersive audio with Dolby Digital 5.1 for an extra £6 per month.

The win here for Sky Stream is easy though, with better picture quality and audio on its basic package than NOW can offer.

As ever, to get the most out of either you'll need to own a compatiple UHD TV or sound system.

Sky Stream vs Now: Interface

Your day-to-day interaction with either Sky Stream or NOW will happen through their interfaces, and while Stream comes with all the bells and whistles, NOW is more rudimentary.

Sky Stream uses the same interface you'll find on Sky Glass, which is personalised and based on your viewing history.

It's made up of  Top Picks, Playlist, TV Shows, Movies, Sport and more, as well as content pulled from BBC iPlayer, Netflix and Disney+.

NOW on the other hand is very uncomplicated and somewhat basic, with segregated content, including Home, Movies, TV Shows, Sport, Kids, Hayu and the TV Guide.

There's a watchlist you can add content to, and a 'continue watching' row for programmes you've started.

Stream has a more full-fledged Playlist function to which you can add content from Sky and third-party apps like Netflix.

Sky Stream vs Now: Which should you buy?

Ultimately, Sky Stream offers more for your money, including more channels, plenty of content, add-ons, and an excellent user experience.

Whereas, NOW offers more limited content at a much more affordable price, while still giving you access to top channels and the latest shows.

Here is our verdict:

Choose Sky Stream if…

  • You want access to more channels
  • You want higher picture quality
  • A longer contract period

Choose NOW if…

  • You want affordability
  • More flexibility
  • Basic streaming needs

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  • Sky Stream & Netflix: from £26 a month for 18 months – buy from Sky
  • Now TV Entertainment: from £6.99 a month for 6 months – buy from Now

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