Find out more about on-demand broadband and TV services, such as NOW TV and Netflix.
The way we watch TV has changed. On-demand TV services have become one of the most popular ways to watch, with streaming services such as NOW TV exploding in recent years. The convenience of being able to watch what you want, when you want along with the lack of commitment has made streaming services the TV platform of choice for many.
Along with TV, broadband services are now branching into no contract deals allowing users to pick and choose when and how they want to be connected. With so many to choose from, however, it can be difficult to work out which one is the right choice for your situation or even how each one works. Here’s all you need to know about on-demand TV and broadband.
On-demand streaming services come in a number of different forms. For some, they’re becoming the main way to watch TV. For others, they’re a handy addition to their standard TV subscriptions. On-demand essentially means watching what a service has to offer whenever is convenient for you, rather than being tied down to tuning into a certain channel at a certain time.
Many will be familiar with free on-demand services attached to standard channels, such as BBC iPlayer, All4 and ITV Hub. These platforms allow you to watch shows that have already been aired as well as watch the channels live.
Another type of on-demand streaming service is the paid subscription model. Offered by services such as Netflix and NOW TV, for example, these allow you to pay a monthly fee in order to watch anything they offer on the site whenever is convenient for you. This includes both TV shows and movies, giving you a massive library to choose from in most cases, with programming coming from the world over.
As well as the advantage of watching when you want, services such as these do not tie down the user to lengthy contracts like standard TV subscriptions do, making them a great prospect for those who don’t regularly watch.
On-demand services are versatile in that there’s more ways to watch compared to just sitting in front of your TV. This means that no matter what sort of device you own, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to stream.
Users can watch directly from the platform website in all cases, but many also offer mobile apps that allow you to stream from a smartphone or tablet.
Watching on a TV is also made possible in a number of ways. Streaming boxes such as the Roku Stick and the NOW TV Smart Box plug directly into your TV and allow you to watch as you would any other TV channel.
Gamers can also use services such as Amazon Prime and NOW TV via games consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
NOW TV features several Sky channels, allowing those who don’t subscribe to Sky TV to watch shows and channels broadcast both live and on-demand. NOW TV splits up its services into Entertainment, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports, with the option to mix and match any of these.
Recently, NOW TV has launched its own TV and broadband Combo packages, giving customers the chance to take both TV and broadband without signing up to a lengthy contract. NOW TV is at the forefront of contract-free broadband and TV packages, giving customers more freedom when they sign up.
Probably the most well-known of the streaming platforms, Netflix has become a worldwide success, offering a wide range of movies and TV shows for a monthly fee. Netflix currently only offers a standard streaming service, but has recently branched out into making its own programming and films for users to watch.
With regular updates and near-universal compatibility, Netflix lives up to its popularity.
Amazon’s venture into streaming services has been a largely successful one, with Amazon Prime Video being different enough from Netflix to be worthwhile. Like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video offers a combination of films and TV shows, as well as a selection of original shows you won’t see anywhere else.
Amazon Prime customers automatically have access to Amazon Prime Video when they sign up, but you also have the option to get the Video service separately.
On-demand broadband is a relatively new service that more providers are starting to integrate into their packages. On-demand broadband offers broadband services on a rolling contract, meaning that you can opt out of your subscription at any time. This differs from standard broadband subscriptions, where you’re often tied to lengthy contracts of 12 or 18 months.
Whilst this is still a new idea, providers such as NOW TV have recently introduced packages to make it viable, offering broadband, TV and calls together in one rolling contract.
The main benefit of no-contract broadband is obviously the fact that you aren’t tied down to one service for an extended period of time. This means that you can cancel or alter your service when you need to, which is ideal if you’re going away for a while and won’t be using the internet or if you feel like you need to upgrade or downgrade your speeds from month to month.
With no-contract broadband being such a new introduction into the huge amount of broadband packages available, the amount of variety is still quite low. NOW TV offers the only plans which feature both unlimited downloads and fibre options, with others from Tentel, for example, being locked to one speed and one data plan.
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