Well, I went through my boxes of old tech (rather proving my wife’s point that I am a hoarder), mining the strata through old Now Sticks, the black NowTV box, my Sky hub, and just when I was about to give up, in box five finally, a white NowTV box, in museum condition with its transparent plastic wrapping not even peeled off, and with its power supply and remote, though no HDMI cable.
Smaller than I remembered, like a schoolteacher met in later life, but otherwise much as expected.
A quick check on the NowTV-supplied batteries in the remote showed that, amazingly, they were still in pristine condition and giving 1.54 volts, which is more than some of today’s batteries can manage.
So I plugged it into a TV from 2012, and fired it up. Had to teach it the current WiFi, but after that, I got a series of icons for the Roku Store, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Tune In, some media app called Play-something, and Sky News.
I could access the Roku Store, start the iPlayer but it just went black, start Demand 5 but it said it couldn’t access the server, Tune In worked fine and I could listen to internet radio stations, had nothing to use Play-whatever with, and Sky News started OK, but again just went black.
This was on software version 4.something, from the last time I used it.
Updating it, it went to 9.something, and now all I get is a start screen apologising for the box no longer working, and not letting me past to get at the apps any more.
So yes, it would still play some of the apps, possibly even let me have more (the Roku Store offered me Prime Video, though I didn’t try to download it), but the latest software release, or wherever that takes me to, cuts me off from all that.
I did try a reset, and that gets you to a more modern dialogue than 4.x offered, to set up networking, scroll through interminable and non-skippable T&Cs, and so on, but the end result is still the “Sorry, but,,,,” screen.
So the white box is still a partially workable app platform, but now with a start screen that doesn’t let you access any of them. A bit 🐕🦺 in the manger 💩, but there you go…
Like a Now Pass on renewal date, it’s too late for her to switch 😛