I do wonder how much longer NOW will be here. The new Streaming Puck box is a serious challenger to NOW with 100's more channels and UHD at a small price. You can go monthly (No contract) or an 18-month deal with the bribe of cheaper packages. NOW is a dinosaur in comparison, very outdated. Price wise, the packages are pretty much the same. Will they upgrade this, I doubt it very much, pushing customers towards the Puck.
In my opinion NOW will never be going anywhere anytime soon if ever. It clearly is marketed as the Sky branded channels with a small handful of other channels.
Whereas Sky puck you’ll get the full fat sky TV package with plenty of extra channels than what NOW offers.
Having had Sky in the past I have zero intention of going back to a TV package from them, especially when you have to get the device to watch Sky TV. Whereas NOW app is available on the majority of Smart TVs etc.
BT have bet the farm on Now for their Entertainment and Cinema offerings, and their box of choice, the BT Pro Box, is a YouView recording box that BT have managed to get the live Now channels on, such that you can record them.
Sky Stream, with its puck, is a very bad fit as a replacement for, or even an add-on to, BT’s offering. Expect the BT deal to keep Now alive pretty much as it is at present, just as BT is keeping YouView alive, though maybe the Now branding will go the way of the YouView branding; but it will still be Now under the hood. And retail direct Now will carry on just as retail YouView did, and to a large extent still does.
I see Sky have recast the puck price as a ‘setup fee’. Be a bit difficult to ask for them back if they were selling them 😛
BT likewise only lend out their BT Pro YouView PVRs, Though they don’t charge upfront for them. But if you don’t send them back, they charge a £120 ‘non-return’ fee, and the box still isn’t yours. If you do eventually return it within two years, this fee is refunded. It is not recorded what happens if you still don’t send it back after that.
Like the Puck, the BT Pro box has some teething problems still.