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When it comes to signing up for a pay TV provider, you’re not short of options. From the big boys like Sky, Virgin and BT to smaller providers like TalkTalk and streaming services from the likes of Amazon and Netflix, broadening your TV horizons has never been such a complicated choice.

For many, however, the choice will come down to two – Now TV and Sky Q. Though different in name and feature set, the two have a surprising amount in common, which has proven more than enough to confuse customers as to which one is right for them. In this guide, we’re going to share with you the similarities, advantages and disadvantages of each service. Let’s dig in.

What do the services have in common?

The simple answer is Sky. Both services are owned and operated by Sky, which means both services are managed by the Sky contact number and feature Sky channels and services. The fundamental differences exist in pricing and how the services actually work, as well as the number of channels they offer.

Sky Q – Advantages and Disadvantages

Sky Q is the replacement to Sky +, and works in a very similar way. Using a pre-installed satellite dish on your home, Sky Q pulls in the full range of Sky TV channels, like Sky Atlantic, Sky Movies, Sky Sports and the standard range of premium and free-to-air channels you’d expect from a Sky subscription.

Amongst its advantages, you can count the largest array of channels available in the UK, a huge variety of streaming and on-demand options from both Freeview and premium channels and even 4K programming across sports and entertainment. Indeed, 4K and Full-HD support are both well above what Now TV can offer, which maxes out at 1080p. You’ll also find that Sky Q has a 1TB hard drive installed, for recording your favourite TV programmes and films, as well as support for streaming to tablets and other Sky Q Mini boxes around the house, so you’re never without your TV.

On the downside, it’s significantly more expensive than Now TV – with even the most basic subscription setting you back £22 a month, whilst the Box Sets bundle (without Movies or Sports) costing £38 per month, on a mandatory 24-month contract.

Now TV – Advantages and Disadvantages

Now TV was designed to get great Sky TV into homes which may not be able to afford a full Sky subscription, can’t install a satellite dish or don’t want to tie themselves down to long contracts. As such, Now TV is a streaming service with no fixed contract, so you can dip in and out as it suits you.

In terms of advantages, you’ll see a wide range of exclusive Sky programming like Sky Atlantic and Fox in their Entertainment pass for just £6.99 a month. You can also take Sky Cinema (£9.99) or Sky Sports (£31.99 a month, day and week passes also available). If it’s just kids’ TV you’re after, the Kids pass costs just £2.99 a month. You can also take Now TV on the go with you, with mobile apps for all major operating systems, support for tablets and laptops, as well as built-in Now TV apps on games consoles and televisions.

In terms of downsides, Now TV can only manage a 720p output, and is reliant on your internet connection in order to watch TV. You’ll also find Now TV has a much more limited TV selection, compared to Sky Q.

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