Now TV pauses Full HD trials



Now TV has paused trials of its long-awaited HD streaming option, which allowed viewers to access higher quality streams.

Until now, the highest quality stream available from Now TV has been 720p, depending on the device and internet connection - more than standard definition, but less than full HD.

On its customer forums, Now TV has confirmed that some users had been invited to try out a new "Now TV Boost", which boosts the picture quality to full HD. The price being quoted in the trials was £3 a month, with some users getting a free trial period.

But the trial hasn't run smoothly and Now TV has announced it has removed the option to trial the service - anyone who paid is to be refunded.

Beyond saying it was making "further improvements", there was no explanation as to what had not gone to plan.

Now TV's availability in full HD had been rumoured to launch this summer, alongside a full integration in to BT TV, where only limited Now TV content is currently available in SD.

Sky, who own Now TV, have already launched a streaming product in Austria - Sky X - which allows users to stream linear and on-demand TV in full HD, providing they have a broadband connection of 10Mbps or more. Below this level, lower-resolution streaming is available via the Sky X app, but not via the Sky X streaming box. As a result of Sky X, Sky is no longer offering the equivalent of Now TV in Austria, known there as "Sky Ticket", to new customers.

It's expected that the infrastructure behind Sky X will ultimately fuse with Now TV to provide a fully-fledged dish-free television service in the UK, with full HD and a full EPG to navigate linear channels in the same manner as current TV services. Such a service was first announced a couple of years ago, but there has been precious little information relevant to the UK market since then.