In April, Sky launched its NOW TV service in Ireland, an online on-demand service to rival Netflix, without the need for a contract or equipment (beyond a broadband connection and a HDMI cable). The service offers access to box sets, films, live sports and more for set periods by purchasing a pass. For example, if you want to watch the Master’s for a week, you can simply purchase a week’s pass for Sky Sports for €15.
There are two ways to use the service. If you have a laptop, you can simply connect it to your TV using a HDMI cable. Alternatively, you can pay €25 for a Now TV box that essentially turns your TV into a smart TV.
The Irish Times’ Peter McGuire and tech journalist Andy O’Donoghue discussed the topic on The Last Word with Matt Cooper this week, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of the new service.
In other news, if you’re planning on taking a holiday abroad over the summer, the Irish Independent warns travellers to be wary of exchanging their currency. Sinead Ryan takes a closer look at exchange rates and offers some tips when swapping your euros for local cash.
“The first rule is to ignore all those signs on currency kiosks that announce ‘No Commission’ or ‘No Fees’ because their fee is built into usually extortionate exchange rates,” she advises.
Finally, the Help to Buy incentive – launched as part of Budget 2017 – will be the subject of a review by the Department of Housing, according to RTÉ.ie. An incentive for first-time buyers, the scheme was designed to assist those buying or building a new home for the first time, with relief of up to €20,000 through tax refunds.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy has expressed concerns over the possible ‘inflationary’ nature of the scheme. Speaking on RTÉ’s The Week in Politics, Minister Murphy noted that “It is a concern of mine, and it’s a concern that perhaps it hasn’t achieved the delivery on the supply side that we need, and that’s why in my review at the moment I’ll be looking at direct supply-side measures to make sure that we actually get the stock there.”