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Sky's Now TV Smart Box looks a lot like a Roku 4

The broadcaster outs another new streamer just five months after its last one.

Matt Brian , @m4tt
01.29.16 in AV
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While Sky might be busy readying its new Sky Q service, the company has also found time to show Now TV customers some love. Just five months after it launched its second-generation Now TV streamer, Sky has ramped things up a bit by introducing the new NOW TV Smart Box, a device that it says will bring together a "wide range of pay TV content and over 60 live free-to-air channels."

The Now TV Smart Box is the latest device to emerge from the partnership between Sky and Roku. To the trained eye, it looks remarkably like the Ultra HD Roku 4, which went on sale at the end of last year. Sky won't confirm specifications or a price but says it's a product of the Roku Powered licensing program that has not hit the market yet.

Roku, on the other hand, has been a little more generous. In a separate announcement, the company confirmed the Now TV Smart Box will be a "hybrid" streamer that offers "linear and streaming services through a single device." Sky will be the first Roku partner to combine a streaming service with traditional (Freeview) TV channels.

Now TV customers will have to wait until "later this year" to get their hands on the Now TV Smart Box, but Sky will keep existing owners sweet by rolling out a new UI to their streamers from next month. The new update will offer better recommendations on what to watch across catch-up apps and Now TV content, as well as a new "Best of Catch Up" section that will display a curated list of things you may have missed.

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