I have/had a Now TV smart box (the black one with blue writing on the front).
I bought this more or less when it first came out.
Recently it looks as though it is on its way out, as it keeps freezing and restarting the live TV (the catch-up apps etc. are OK).
I'm looking for a replacement and saw that that one is no longer available - there is a similar black one with pink writing on it but I gather that that doesn't have the Freeview player built in.
I'm using this for the spare room - so I need Freeview and the apps for catch up/on-demand services, YouTube and, if possible, Netflix.
Any ideas as to what is the nearest thing on the market to the box I currently have?
I'm not too fussed about recordings because, as I said, it's only for the spare room, not the living room where we have a BT YouView box.
As you have found out the NowTV Freeview smart box with the blue NowTV logo on the top of the casing of the box is the only NowTV branded device that offers Freeview via a TV aerial.
Before going out and buying another streaming device, have you tried a full factory reset in the box menu settings and a fresh rescan of the TV channels to see if that fixes the issues with your NowTV Box.
My NowTV Freeview box is still going strong since i was on the box hardware trial.
The newer NowTV 4K smart box should have incorporated a Freeview TV tuner in my opinion where a lot of people have asked for this feature on the newer box.
If you can wait a little the BT Youview boxes are getting the full NowTV passes on the NowTV App and in my opinion this might be the Stella Box to own, with Youview, Netflix, Amazon Prime, NowTV, and the Four Main Catchup TV Apps such has BBC iPlayer etc.
So maybe once the NowTV App goes full pass compliant, then maybe a second hand BT Youview box from places like Gumtree, Ebay etc.
Hopefully a full factory reset on your NowTV smart box will resolve your problems and there will no need to swap it out.
You could look at a Roku Express or Roku Stick Plus using the TV Player App, though the free TV channels don't cover the full Freeview channel range and a lot of the channels are on a subscription service and when i tried out the App a while ago PQ looked a bit ropey to me over the internet rather than using a TV aerial.
More info here about TV Player App and website.
Hopefully you can fix your existing NowTV Freeview smart box.
I totally agree about leaving out the Freeview tuner on the new boxes. I love my NowTV Smart box, especially because i can use the TV Guide similar to a Sky HD or Q box to have both the Freeview channels and my NowTV live subscriptions all on the same view.
Watch Freeview directly on the TV you have been using with the Smart Box.
Add a NowTV Stick, £19.99 including a Movie Pass one month or Entertainment two months, for the NowTV programmes.
(There’s a corner case where this won’t quite suit if you have an HD TV that can’t tune in the HD Freeview channels, but these haven’t been made since 2009).
Yes, we’ve used TV Player in Spain to watch live UK broadcasting, and change channels without having to switch from Player to Player.
But as @schnapps describes above, it carries by no means all the terrestrial channels someone might want.
We’re still a long way from FreeNet, as an internet version of Freeview might be called.