cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Amazon 4K Fire Stick NOW App Watching Sports Micro Stuttering

Been meaning to ask this question for a while.

 

Does anybody else notice any micro stuttering on the Fire 4K Stick NOW App when watching sports with a Boost subscription.

 

Doesn't matter which of the Sky Sports channels i watch there is definitely micro judder when watching on my television.

 

When watching sports on any other services or Apps the Amazon Fire Stick seems to run smoothly from my testing (apart from NOW sports) though i need to change the Stick Display back to Automatic which doesn't look great on NOW sports.

 

I have forced the correct display settings in the Fire Stick at 50hz and tried both 4K & 1080p and still see the micro stuttering.

 

Can't use Automatic or 60hz in the Fire Stick Display settings because the stuttering is far worse and unwatchable for NOW Sports.

 

Using the same television in question on every single HDMI port my other NOW playback devices (ie NowTV 4K Smart box and BT Youview 4K box) plays NOW Sports silky smooth with no noticeable judder.

 

Don't know if i am overly sensitive to micro judder and see it more than others.

 

Just wondering if anybody else notices it or its just me ?

38 Replies
gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@schnapps 

Sorry I am unable to comment, no longer have an active Sports membership. 

 

What I have done with my Amazon Fire stick is hardwire it thanks to the Ethernet adapter. Is your stick working through Wi-fi or Ethernet?

Not that the latter should really make much difference!

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @gavs82008 

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

I am using the Fire Stick over WiFi and the Router is only about 2m away from the Stick in the same room.

 

The Fire Stick has clear sight of the Router and i am getting 36Mbps down with nothing running in the background, where WiFI reception on the Stick is excellent.

 

i don't think it's a wifi problem because Boost on my NOW Cinema & Entertainment membership looks great.

 

When watching Amazon Prime Sports for example the picture looks fantastic and buttery smooth (well impressed).

 

I need to check out some football on BBC iPlayer with my Fire Stick set to 50hz to see if iPlayer on Sports looks judder free or not.

 

i was just curious if anybody else is noticing it with NOW Sports or it is just me on my end.

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Just done some testing on the BBC iPlayer App on the Amazon 4K Fire Stick watching a little bit of the games on Match of the Day and 10 minutes of Six Nations Rugby and playback looked smooth with no stuttering problems with the Fire Stick set to 50hz.

gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@schnapps 

That’s interesting to have pointed it out, if you were able to get a hold of the Ethernet adapter I’d still like to see if it helps the Now sports stream. 

Although like you’ve found it could very well be a unfortunate glitch with the Now stream. Which is a shame cause I rate the Amazon stick very highly. 

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @gavs82008 

 

Probably it's just me where i am susceptible to it on NOW sports watching on the Amazon 4K Fire Stick.

 

it looks to me i am seeing a frame being dropped now and again on the NOW Sky Sports live stream on the Fire Stick.

 

Strange i don't encounter it on my other NOW devices when watching NOW Sports.

 

Apart from that i am really pleased with my Fire 4K Stick purchase (love the forced HDR feature which brings my SDR content come to life on the Stick).

 

The picture really pops in forced HDR mode but still looks pretty natural or not over saturated when watching SDR.

 

Only other thing i wished the Amazon Fire Stick and NOW App would integrate together is Auto Frame Match which would save me going into the Stick Display settings each time i swap between the Amazon Prime App and the NowTV App when watching NOW Sports.

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

So i just done another test on my Amazon 4K Fire Stick and when watching Sky Sports Main Event live channel on the NOW App with Boost whilst viewing the Sky Sports News ticker banner scrolling across the television screen from right to left where the banner runs really smooth for a couple of seconds then suddenly i see a slight flash/ quick micro judder on the banner tape itself, then back to normal sliky smooth running.

 

Tried to time the interval gaps of the micro stuttering with a stopwatch, but the intervals seem random over a couple of seconds.

 

AlexB83
Scholar 2

I do have a bit of a problem with stuttering on the fire 4k stick, some apps play great so set on 50hz I use the stick to play now tv BT sports and YouTube but I still use the LG TV built in apps for Netflix, Amazon Prime and apple TV and have ditched the fire remote and just control it all with the tv remote. If I have it all set to 60hz then now tv and BT sport stutter and 50fps all the others stutter 

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @AlexB83

 

I don't subscribe to a BT Sports pass, but using 50hz on the Fire Stick settings would make sense for a smoother playback experience.

 

You mentioned NOW in your reply would that be watching NOW sports with a NOW sports membership?

 

I do have a Netflix Sub, but haven't been watching anything on Netflix since I purchased the Fire 4K Stick where the bulk of my streaming has been NOW sports and Disney +,

 

Disney + plays great when setting the Fire Stick to Auto.

 

Also my Roku Stick + was working great with its Adaptive Frame Rate setting on when watching most content on it until Netflix or Roku screwed it up when viewing Netflix. 

AlexB83
Scholar 2

@schnapps yes I use Now for for sports with the boost and it's absolutely smooth no stutter at all.

I use a mix of tv and fire stick apps so I'm not messing about with settings every 5 minutes and works perfectly well like that

Hawkeye47
Advocate

Hi,

 

For those still having this problem, I was faced with this and an uninstall (highlight the app and press the menu button on the remote) / reinstall of the app fixed it for me (but your mileage might vary). My gut feeling is it might be whenever there's an OS update for the FireTV stick and it optimises the apps, something weird happens (could be wrong of course). I've done this on both FireTV 4K and 4K Max sticks and had success with getting rid of the dropped frames.

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @Hawkeye47 

 

Thanks for the tip / suggestion though this didn't work for me on my Amazon 4K Stick using the NOW App 😠.

 

Still have micro stutter when watching NOW Sports which is unwatchable for me.

 

This was when forcing 50hz playback (automatic frame rate is much worse).

 

It's a shame the Fire Stick can't do auto frame matching when using the NOW App like my Roku Stick +.

 

I really like the Fire Stick 4K, but have to revert to my Roku Stick + when watching NOW content (especially sports which gives me silky smooth playback with 50fps on my NOW Boost Membership).

Popeye13
Scholar

Have this issue and its doing my absolute nut in. I got the Fire TV 4K Max to replace the Apple TV, and the judder (Despite correct settings) is just beyond a joke. I've emailed CS and not had a response yet. I need a fix for this ASAP as its properly ruining the Sky Sports quality.

 

Has anyone found a work around besides the uninstall trick? 

Thanks 

Popeye13
Scholar

Have found that turning off surround audio in the settings of the app, the stutter stops.

Turn it back on, the stutter is there again

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @Popeye13 

 

I think you have nailed it from my quick test watching Sky Sports News with the ticker bar.

 

Another observation when going back to Auto in the Display or Auto Frame Rate Adjust under the Amazon Fire Stick Settings (which i use on Amazon Prime Video has an example regularly) then when using the NOW App again and forcing 50hz playback on the Stick from my quick testing you need to go into My Account on the NOW App each time to toggle between Stereo to Surround Sound and back to Stereo.

 

For me, if i don't do this every time going from Auto to 50hz when swapping Apps back to NOW the micro stutter reappears back on NOW 😠 (until you toggle from Stereo to Surround Sound, back to Stereo under My Account on the NOW App).

 

This is a pain which i can live with in the short term, but your workaround does remove the micro stutter when watching sports on NOW from my 10 minutes of testing.

 

Lucky for me i am not using the Fire Stick 4K on a 5.1 surround sound system at the moment.

 

I wish the NOW App would work with the Fire Stick Auto Adjust Frame Rate, but it doesn't (maybe NOW can work with Amazon to provide this in the future).

 

I will pass this information to the NOW Community Manager sometime tomorrow and ask him to pass these observations onto their Tech Team to investigate further.

 

Until my Amazon Fire Stick 4K gives me stutter free motion and the ability to have 5.1 surround sound with NOW Boost, i would say it's not fully resolved but what you have noticed from your testing (which i appreciate) will hopefully point the NOW Tech Team where the micro stutter bug lies.

 

Because only a few people have provided any input on this thread i am not sure if the micro stutter bug is widespread on the NOW App with the Fire Stick or the people who have reported it here on this thread are more sensitive to stutter than others.

 

Anyway cheers bud and your input has been extremely helpful and at least now i can use the NOW App on my Fire Stick 4K watching Sky Sports, without swapping to my Roku Stick Plus.

Popeye13
Scholar

The fact you've also been able to reproduce this and you've also found an additional bug with regards to going back & forth between auto and 50Hz is hopefully something they can isolate and address.

Sadly this means that yet again, im unable to use 5.1, as i did have an Apple TV box, which the NOW app doesn't offer proper 5.1 through.

 

Tested this on my other Fire Stick 4K, plugged into a HD TV, and got the same result, so id say it was a widespread bug issue.

 

The lack of auto support is strange, as the only two im able to find that do support it are Prime and BT Sport, the rest ignore it and you get the judder effect unless you know the framerate and can change it accordingly using the remote-keys

 

Was your message to the community manager sent and replied to at all btw?

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @Popeye13 

 

I have made the NOW Community Manager aware of this thread and asked him to pass onto the relevant NOW Dept to investigate.

 

I have also asked if the NOW App can incorporate running with the Amazon Fire Stick Auto Frame Rate feature by a NOW software update or by some other means (if it's practically possible).

 

I am lucky myself at the moment that i haven't got the Fire Stick plugged into a 5.1 surround system (just using the speakers from the TV).

 

Haven't received anything back from NOW yet (including any acknowledgement of my message sent).

 

If i hear anything i will post back here.

 

Popeye13
Scholar

Excellent mate, thanks alot.

Fingers crossed for a quick solution going forward

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @Popeye13 

 

Knowing how NOW tend to work, you need more than keeping your fingers crossed for a quick solution.

 

Though i am hoping they agree with our observations that there is micro stutter when watching the NOW App (especially more noticeable on live sports for me) when using Boost with the surround sound settings switched on under My Account on the NOW App on the Amazon Fire Stick.

 

If i hear anymore i will update this thread.

sdan10
Expert

iam new to fire stick and also getting micro stuttering on now sky sports and sky news 

i have had to set fire stick to 720p to stop the stuttering i have the boost to 

hope now can fix this its doing my head in

 

schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @sdan10 

 

Which model Amazon Fire Stick do you have ?

 

Does it max out at 1080p or 4K ?

 

Do you have the NOW Boost Membership and if so do you use 5.1 surround sound on it ?

 

From @Popeye13 workaround (which i appreciate he found it) and since using the workaround i have found setting my Fire Stick to its forced max resolution in my case 4K and when watching NOW use 50hz rather than 60hz.

 

Plus leaving my Boost surround settings under My Account on the Fire Stick NOW App to Stereo.

 

Not ideal if you want 5.1 when watching NOW.

 

To be honest i have never really watched Sky News on my Amazon Fire Stick or any NOW device (more a BBC News man myself) but if it has a news ticker bar moving across the screen then this is a stress test for smooth motion. 

 

I found using some TV motion processing on my new television helps masking / reducing the amount of stuttering i see (but this only helps slightly on sports) where on other NOW content such has movies you obviously see the Soap Opera Effect which i hate.