BSkyB started investing in Roku last year and it’s leveraged that involvement to develop this new Now TV set-top box. Going on sale today for just £9.99 (including shipping), it brings a rebranded Roku 2 XS with software built for Sky’s IPTV platform and a curated list of additional channels. Notably missing from the list are Netflix, Lovefilm, ITV Player, and 4oD, however Now TV (of course), iPlayer, Demand Five, Spotify, Facebook and several Sky channels are included. It gives up a bit in flexibility compared to the standard player, but the ultra-low entry price certainly makes for a compelling option. Roku is facing more competition than ever with new game consoles, Google’s Chromecast and even Apple’s TV ambitions, we’ll see if partnering with traditional providers makes it the “operating system for TVs” CEO Anthony Wood wants it to be.
For Sky, this is just part of a multi-pronged plan to move its TV offerings into the future, detailed in today’s earnings report. Starting in September it will offer a WiFi equipped Sky+HD box to customers as the standard, and low cost wireless adapters to those with older hardware that isn’t already connected. It’s also enhancing Sky Go, with plans to add 10 new channels in the next year while marketing Sky Go Extra more. Finally, it’s adding more content to the Catch Up TV and Sky Store VOD bundle — check the PDF linked below for more details.