We are well into the summer holidays now which if you are anything like us, you probably went into them saying something like “Oh they’re SOOOOO ready for it”, in reference to your children… fast forward four weeks and despite us having a holiday wedged in the middle, it feels like we’ve seen the last of the gorgeous summer weather (up North at least) and there is an expectation from H that every night is justifiable for a late night stop up. If I’m honest, I don’t mind given that he is on school holidays but the thing that annoys me is usually this means H takes over the TV and I either find myself staring into my phone all night or staring into space… that was until NOW TV got in touch with their NOW TV Smart Stick to help us gain back our summer evenings whilst improving H’s.
NOW TV has been around for a while now, I think of it as Sky TVs cousin, all the good stuff but without the contracts or adverts. This year they released their latest offering, the Now TV Smart Stick. This handy device plugs into any TV with a HDMI port and once connected to the internet via built in wifi, provides the ability to purchase any of their viewing “passes” on a non-contract month by month basis (day passes if you like your football matches) and stream thousands of programmes to your TV.
Last Christmas, we took the decision to give H our old TV for his bedroom and although it has a built in DVD player and basic Freeview, being a child of this generation, he’s already grown accustomed (as we all have) to on demand viewing, regularly clogging up our living room SkyHD box with all kinds of kids programmes he loves. The TV we gave him doesn’t have any kind of smart functions nor the ability to pause, rewind or play his favourite programmes….. well this is exactly what the NOW TV Smart stick does… it has transformed his TV!!
This £14.99 smart stick (or £19.99 with a months pass included) is amazingly great value as not only does it come with the ability to sign up to the NOW TV passes (Kids, Movies, Entertainment and Sport) but also comes pre loaded with several other apps such as iPlayer, ITV Hub and even YouTube.
The passes are great value as well with the Kids Pass costing just £3.99 a month for access to 1000s of ad free episodes from programmes such as Horrid Henry or like H’s favourites, LEGO Superheroes.
NOW TV threw in a few extra goodies including a pillow and drinks bottle so he could get comfy and hydrated whilst enjoying his cartoons… they also conveniently provided a cool personalised suitcase of his favourite show for our impending holiday which was extremely handy as well.
The user interface of the NOW TV Smart Stick is incredibly intuitive and H wasted no time in getting to know the menus. Everything you need is included in the box included an easy to use remote which even has voice search built in (just to make it even easier to search for your favourite shows). The only thing I think is missing from the stick is a parental control function which although isn’t an issue for us as we plan to have just the Kids Pass only installed on the stick for H’s bedroom, if you did purchase other passes, having such a function would be really useful.
UPDATE***** UPDATE ***** UPDATE****
Thanks to the lovely peeps at NOW TV as once they saw my post, they quickly let me know that there is actually a parental control function for the NOW TV Stick, its accessible via your online account whereby you can set up a 4 digit pin number and restrict certain age range programmes so all is now great in the world 🙂
UPDATE***** UPDATE ***** UPDATE****
Another added benefit is the ability to download the NOW TV iOS or Android app to your phone or tablet device whereby you can download shows from the passes you subscribe to, really handy for us during our recent holiday as it meant with could download some of the children favourite shows for the four hour flights we took.
The fact this low cost stick has the ability to transform any non smart TV into one means its a no brainer in my mind to purchase, even if you decide not to go full on with the passes. The fact that they are available on a non contract basis means you can turn them on and off as you please. Maybe just subscribing through the holidays (Summer, Christmas and Easter) or even during the winter months when the ability to be outdoors as much is reduced. Either way, you also have the other on demand apps available as well to really compliment the offering.
Thanks to NOW TV, we now have our main TV back and SkyHD hard drive freed up to enjoy some much needed binge watching or movie nights for Mrs F and I whilst H has what feels like a brand new TV with all his favourite shows on which he can replay, pause or rewind to his hearts content…. You’ve saved our summer and my sanity. 🙂
Until next time
NB: We were provided with a NOW TV Stick and complimentary passes as well as some goodies for the children, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are our own.