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Sky’s Now TV arrives on Xbox

Now TV, the new over-the-top video service from UK broadcaster BSkyB, has now gone live on the Xbox 360 games console, offering 720i resolution streaming and access to all 11 Sky Movies linear channels, as well as an on-demand library of over 1,000 films on the Sky Store, spanning recent blockbusters through to classics.

The service is available via an app on the Xbox homepage, and owners of the Kinect peripheral will be able to navigate and control the service using voice and gesture controls. Sky is also offering a 30-day trial of the Sky Movies pass for new customers interested in trying out the service.

Now TV offers both pay-as-you go and subscription offers: for GB£ 15 (US$ 23.70) per month, users can receive the full Sky Movies pass, which offers all 11 Sky Movies channels and a library of over 600 movies from major Hollywood studios such as Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros. and Universal, all of which can be watched on-demand for free.

There is also a ‘pay & play’ option for instant access to over 1,000 movies through the Sky Store, including the latest ‘now on DVD’ releases, with rental charges ranging from GB£ 0.99 for classic titles to GB£ 3.49 for the latest blockbusters.

Now TV launched last month on the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, selected Android devices and YouView boxes. Customers are limited to accessing the service on two registered devices – much like the existing ‘Sky Player’ service which Sky has been operating for a while as a value-add to its existing pay-TV customers.

Editor’s view: This move brings the service within reach of millions of TVs and in one fell swoop makes it a contender to become the UK’s leading online destination for premium linear channels.

However, content is currently a bit lacking: the Sky Sports channels will only join the service by the end of this year, followed by Sky’s popular stable of other channels next year, such as Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts and Sky Living.

Only once the broadcaster has done this will it have a good chance of mopping up the (considerable) segment of the nation’s TV viewers which doesn’t desire a satellite TV subscription but is still interested in Sky’s premium content.

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