There was a recent programme about Thomas Hardy on Sky Arts, which I recorded on my YouView box. And I’m glad I did, because finding it and watching it on Now is almost impossible.
We have quite an investment in Thomas Hardy, because after we came down to visit his cottage, we found the area so lovely that we moved here, and now live just a few miles from the town that Hardy called Casterbridge. So naturally, we were interested in the programme.
I don’t know if anyone else will ever chance upon it, though, unless Now fix this mess 😢
On Now on my LG TV:-
Put Hardy in the Search; nothing.
Put Thomas in the Search; get Thomas the naffing Tank Engine.
But the programme is there, and here’s how you find it from the Home Page:-
5 clicks down to Entertainment ( You have to know Sky Arts is under Entertainment, though that is a reasonable guess)
1 click to get in
15 clicks down to Channels
1 click to get in (don’t scroll across looking for the channel, as you will only come to another View All)
12 clicks down to Sky Arts (again don’t scroll across, as you will only get to another View All)
1 click to get in
325 clicks to get to the Hardy programme, 649 of 680. Though you can at least just hold on to the Down Arrow key here, it still has to unnecessarily show you the hero screen for every programme you pass over on the way, so it’s a leisurely journey 😢
(It’s slightly easier on the iPad, as you get the programmes in most recent order, and this is the most recent one, but I’m not going to cast it just for that).
But it’s no different from the LG TV on my Roku Express 4K, except that that does at least say that the third (why third?) icon on the first row on the Home Screen is the TV Guide, something the LG version of the app hides from you.
And it’s not just the Hardy programme that isn’t in the Search; it’s most, but not all, Sky Arts programmes.
This is one of the reasons i have been harping onto NOW to bring back their more sophisticated search which you can find only on the NOW branded devices by clicking the back button from the home screen to get the older search option that also incorporates search for Director, Actor or NOW content.
This screen shot was taken from my NOW 4K Smart box under the older style search tab which i would like NOW to reinstate on all their playback devices if possible.
Once i click on Thomas Hardy after saying on the next page that pops up you need a NOW subscription, it then takes me directly to the Sky Arts folder in question to watch.
I am assuming this is the TV programme you are talking about ?
Here's some more screen shots of the more sophisticated search only found on the NOW branded devices by pressing the back button from the home screen page and navigating to the old style tab on the left hand side.
I am sure this more sophisticated search was present on other NOW playback devices until NOW changed the Home Screen UI a while back 😠.
@RoyB @schnapps there are annoying variances in the search function and organisational format across all platforms. Using search on the Android app finds the aforementioned programme first time but no luck on Roku.
Search has always been a mess, particularly when the same show has seasons or specials split into multiple folders. It may find some folders but not all.
Roy, you mention that on iPad shows are organised under the Sky Arts tab by last broadcast, but on Android they're organised in alphabetical order, so like LG and Roku, you'd have to scroll right to the bottom to find Thomas Hardy.
It has always been my biggest bugbear with Now - the lack of consistency between platforms. It's almost like they have different departments designing and implementing for each that don't communicate with each other.
That is indeed the programme I am talking about.
The iPad actually gives you the choice of Recently Added, A-Z, or Release Year. Maybe you have this option on Android also?
And yes, it seems pretty crazy that Now has all this code knocking about, but can’t create a superset of it all to give a consistent approach across all platforms.
But what’s even crazier here is that most Sky Arts programmes aren’t even included in the searches I did on Title. I can see no reason why that can’t be fixed tout suite, even if restoring the more complex search (the one we used to take for granted!) will take a bit more time and effort.
This is another thing i have been harping onto NOW about with regards to the Entertainment channel folders are mixed up.
Some are listed A-Z, some channels are listed has the latest added TV show loaded onto the service first on the list.
I have always preferred A-Z alphabetical order personally myself.
But listed has Recently Added has also have its benefits.
I believe the NOW website Entertainment webpage when using the PC NOW player and internet browser gives you the option to choice either A-Z or Recently Added or Release Year.
This would be great if this feature setting was offered to all NOW playback devices and you can decide yourself the format layout, either A-Z or most recent added.
See the option top right, to select sort order on my iPad. Looks like it works across all channels.
Well duh, my bad, that was from the website on the browser (Safari in this case) where you get that choice, as schnapps said.
Going into the Now app on the iPad, it’s alphabetical order only. On the other hand, it does come up on a Search from the Home Page, first item up of two, the other Hardy being from Laurel and….
And Hardy brought up nothing in a Search on the Now Home Page in the Safari browser.
But then I tried it in Chrome, and up it came; so I went back to Safari, and this time it was there.
Now my brain hurts so bad….
I start a brand new tab on Safari, and I get this screen:-
From which a Search for Hardy is successful.
But once I have pressed What’s On, I get the screen below, which calls itself the Home Screen, so the one above, only now accessible, seemingly, with the browser Back button, or by starting a whole new tab, must be some other, non-Home, screen:-
From which a Search for Hardy is not successful,
So the Now website is not even self-consistent, having two separate Searches, one of which works for the Hardy programme, and one of which doesn’t.
And apart from having a pre-screen to the pre-screen, which I would probably get if I wasn’t signed in already on Safari, the website, on Chrome and DuckDuckGo both, behaves identically.
Who threw together this mess?