Now may be one of the most popular streaming services right now, but unfortunately it doesn’t offer Full HD content with all its standard passes – meaning that you won’t be getting the best quality picture from your telly.
However, there is a way to do this through
Now Boost. Alongside this, you’ll need the right equipment and internet speeds for 1080p content to run smoothly. We’ve compiled it all here in our quick guide to watching Now in HD. You can also find out similar advice for
watching Netflix in 4K.
If you’d like to know what other streaming platforms are out there, then take a look at our
comparison of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+ and more.
What do I need to watch Now in Full HD?
A Now Boost add-on pass on top of an existing Now pass
- A device that supports Now Boost
- A minimum internet speed of 12Mbps
- For better sound content, a dolby digital 5.1 surround sound speakers or sound bar (though these aren’t a necessary requirement)
These are the steps in their most basic form. Keep on reading to find out what passes are needed, the types of devices that support Now’s Full HD content and how to check your internet speed at home.
Do I have the right Now plan?
Now Boost is available as an add-on across all plans, with one caveat. The plan you have must be
from Now directly, and not via a Sky Sports Mobile Month Pass or from a third party provider like iTunes or Vodafone.
Adding on Now Boost to your current plan will set you back an extra £3.99 a month. Along with Full HD content, you’ll also get an extra device for streaming, making it three instead of two. Boost also adds 50fps onto Sky Sports programmes (Main Event and Premier League) for smoother action.
You can add the Boost pass onto one of the following accounts:
- Entertainment Pass for £8.99 per month
- Cinema Pass for £11.99 per month
- Kids Pass for £3.99 per month
- Sky Sports Pass (applies to day, week and month passes) available from £5.99
Not sure if Now Boost is right for you? Like all other Now passes, there’s a free trial available for new customers. You can add this on in the My Account area.
You can always cancel your Now Boost pass, which will renew automatically on all accounts, bar the short-term Sky Sports passes. You can find out more on the
Does my device support Now boost?
To get Now Boost, you’ll need one of six things:
NOW Smart Stick
- Any NOW Box except the older white box
Roku Streaming Stick or Roku Express
- A supported Samsung TV (see how to find this out on Now’s website)
- LG Web OS TV (excluding 50fps)
Unfortunately, if you’re watching Now via any other means – such as on the PC or via the Xbox One app – then Boost won’t be available.
How can I check my internet connection?
It’s all well and good having the right pass and equipment, but you’ll need the right internet speeds to match for smooth streaming. Now Boost requires a minimum speed of 12Mbps according to their website.
Not sure what your speeds are? Head on over to
SpeedTest.Net and use the eponymous diagnosis program.
If you want to have a stronger connection, then consider connecting to your broadband via an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi. If you try and load Now Boost with anything lower than the recommended speeds, then you’re extremely likely to encounter buffering issues.
Does my sound system matter?
If you’ve not got a premium sound system, then you’ll still be able to run Now Boost. However, having the right equipment will allow you to benefit from Dolby Digital 5.1 sound quality.
To get this, you’ll need a soundbar or surround sound system. Once you’ve added on Now Boost, you can switch to surround sound on your device using the
guidelines available on Now’s website.
What shows and movies are available in Full HD on Now?
For live TV, Now Boost works across all the Sky Sports channels, the Sky Cinema channels (and on-demand movies), all Entertainment channels bar Fox (and selected box sets) and the live Kids channels, with the exception of Cartoonito and Nicktoons. Hayu box sets aren’t available in Full HD right now.
Unfortunately there isn’t a full list of which shows and films in the streaming library are available in 1080p, but Now states that most new content on the Entertainment and Cinema passes will be available in Full HD, and that they’re working on upgrading the existing library.
Once you have Now Boost, you’ll be able to tell if a show or film is available in 1080p if it has the symbols HD and 5.1 on the description. You can find an example below: