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Sky announces streaming service

It’s been rumoured and talked about for awhile and now Sky has announced its online streaming service called Neon.

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“Neon is a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service powered by Sky. Neon offers exclusive TV series, hundreds of movies, great factual entertainment, documentaries and brilliant family viewing,” their press release said.

As with all of these services, there are three things you need to know:

  1. What content do they have?
  2. What can I view it on?
  3. What does it cost?

The answers are:

What content do they have?

Neon will be offering TV shows and movies that make it more akin to Netflix’s offerings. What will be interesting is seeing which HBO shows and other Sky exclusive titles they will offer.

There is a very short list of shows and movies on the Neon website at the moment but you can bet there will be a string of titles released before the December launch date.

Updates can be found at neontv.co.nz, on Facebook and on Twitter.

What can I view it on?

You’ll be able to get Neon through your PC or Mac using a browser and it’ll also be available on iPhones and iPads through the Neon app (for newer devices running iOS7 or higher).

In order to watch Neon on an actual TV screen you’ll need to stream via Airplay using an Apple TV or you could connect your laptop to your TV using an HDMI cable. There are also plans to have a Neon app for the Xbox 360 and selected Samsung Android tablets and phones, by the end of the year.

Users can register up to five different devices and watch on two at the same time.

Neon will use “adaptive streaming”, which should give the best possible video performance depending on the internet speed being used as well as clear settings to help customers manage their data usage. Also Neon is available via any internet provider. However, Sky is working with Vodafone to bundle Neon with Vodafone broadband plans. We will see if there are data cap exemptions for Vodafone users.

What does it cost?

Like other recent SVOD services, the first month is free. This gives you a chance to figure out if the service is right for you and if your home internet can give you the picture quality you need.

After those first 30 days, Neon will cost $20 a month. This is more expensive than Spark's Lightbox and much more expensive than subscribing to Netflix from New Zealand (including having to subscribe to a service like UnBlock-US.

So now we wait and see what Neon will offer us in terms of content. November is going to be a month of announcements and we’ll all have to add up what’s on offer.

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