Hi @LoneWolf24, just out of interest how do you judge the Smart Stick as being better than the Smart Box? I’ve used the Smart Box pretty much since it was launched, it’s a great piece of kit, but I’m considering the Stick if it’s worthwhile making the change.
Thanks for any pointers you can give me.
I'm generally impressed, if you're familiar with the standard NOW TV box look and feel is generally the same, but noticeably snappier with no particular lag when moving around the interface, aided by the fact that the remote is Wi-FI Direct so you can point anywhere and don't need to have line of sight to control the stick. Setup was also as simple as the normal boxes, the remote pairs with the stick easily and it's just a couple of steps needed to enable the remote to control the volume and standby function on most TVs.
Wifi reception is great, the dense walls in my house aren't the most wifi friendly environment but I get excellent wifi connection on both 5GGz and 2.4GHz even tho the stick is stuck behind an amp amidst a load of wires in the corner of the opposite end of the house, never experienced any connection dropouts or streaming dips (although NOW TV's 720p doesn't push it too much). I don't miss not having an Ethernet option at all.
Voice search works more often than not, but there's still plenty of misses. It shines if you want a specific title or simple inspiration, eg searching NOW TV content by title, director, actors, genre etc (’show me horror films') but it's still easy to trip up (’horror films with Alfred Hitchcock' brings up Psycho but not The Birds, 'top horror films' brings up Top Cat cartoons!)
The problem is after voice searching you still have to use the remote to select it, wait for the app to open, play it manually etc. You can't get too clever, so whilst you can tell it to open installed apps, you can't tell it to 'go to TV Guide', or 'watch Sky One' etc. Depends how you like to look for stuff, but I find it more novelty than useful feature and tend not to use it much.
No issues with freezing up, glitching, having to restart it, pretty much rock solid in operation. The My TV shortcut on the remote is also surprisingly useful.
For the price, and as a replacement to the standard black box, it's a thumbs up.
For a few third-party reviews you could check out
how do you judge the Smart Stick as being better than the Smart Box?
@Gareth_Davis The Smart Box with built-in Freeview? If so obviously you'll lose the ability to connect an aerial and watch Freeview, if that's an important feature for you.
If you don't need Freeview, then it's not an essential upgrade, the stick feels just slightly quicker than the Smart Box (but noticeably quicker than the standard black box).
Apart from that it's just a series of 'nice to have' features - the ability to tuck behind the TV out of sight, the ability to power via TV USB port if you wish, the point anywhere remote is a big plus, the ability for the remote to control your TV volume and standby is nice but not groundbreaking. Voice search I suspect is the Marmite feature, people will either love it and use it often or after the initial novelty just forget it's there.
For the price you can pick it up and try it without worrying, much neater but as I say not an essential upgrade.
Compared to standard black now tv box, I like:
1. Ability to pause live tv, streamed football for example
2. Volume control of TV sound (not amplifier sound though) on remote
3. Remote does not need line-of-sight to stick to work (uses wifi I believe)
4. No need for ethernet cable
Don't like that it protrudes out of side of my tv, with power cable sticking out even further