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Anonymous User
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Blotchy / Blocky Picture On Sports Channels

When watching the sports channels with boost activated the picture has a blotchy / blocky effect. The stream is certainly 1080p and 50fps watching through my now tv stick. The same issue isn't present watching BT Sport through youview or other channels. Its very noticeable on green grass when the camera is panning around and even more so on darker backgrounds. This isn't something I've noticed on the Sky Cinema channels.


Anyone have an idea on the cause or a possible cure? I have a picture of the problem but can't see how to upload it. 

98 Replies

Same problem here. I bought a Amazon Fire Cube a month ago as my 4k Samsung TV is an older generation and I felt the processor wasn't up to running UHD content smoothly over the TV apps.  Both Now TV and BT sport did a lot of buffering even though I've have 300mb ethernet. 

Noe buffering problem with Now Tv via the Cube, but all the sports channels have a sort blotchy, purplish 'watermark' effect. Doesn't happen with other apps, and doesn't happen with Now TV app on the telly.... It HAS to be an issue with the Now TV / Amazon Fire combo.

So frustrating! 


Think its safe to assume its not a device issue. Ive tried now on following devices:

now tv stick;

now tv box version;

apple tv gen 2;

apple tv 4k;

fire tv stick;

fire tv stick 4k;

roku pro stick 4k;

ps4; and



tried ethernet and wifi connections and still happens. Have bt fibre 2 and all other apps (disney, prime, netflix etc) have no issues. All devices up to date and apps too. I changed tv settings, swapped hdmi cables, bought new ethernet cables and no change. I even placed my current apple 4k tv unit to sit outside my routers firewall as NOW said it could be my router, so even swapped out my bt router for a friends tp link one and guess what no change. NOW can put the blame on devices, equipment, cables and internet etc when its not there own. And problem is simple, more people last two years have swapped to streaming services which is probably putting more pressure on their servers. The problem is NOWs streaming capabilities which they still havent solved. When asked to fill out one of their surveys the other day one question asked would i rate them answer is no, when asked would i stay with them when my contract / offer ends, simple answer no unless they sort this issue out. 

NOW needs to listen to their customers and fix this problem otherwise well leave and you wont have any customers left!



Is anyone able to summarise the latest on this? What is causing the issue and when are NowTV fixing it?


It’s been going on for most of the season now which is ridiculous. 


The current picture quality for Tottenham vs Arsenal on Main Event HD with Boost is terrible.


Constant grain or film effect over the picture, most noticeable during panning shots against the green background of the grass. 

This is only a problem with NowTV content, and on multiple devices (NowTV Stick, BT Box, PS5). All the same issue. 

The stream quality simply doesn’t seem high enough. Is this a bandwidth issue (cost saving measure?) at NowTV end? Or something else? Thanks. 


I too have this "issue" I have been chasing Now for almost a year around this "issue" and even sent pictures & video (even though it is hard to capture).  I am still no nearer to a solution? The last I heard from them was that it was with the higher technical team,  that was at least a couple of months ago and have had no update, even after prompting them, they just seem to be ignoring me (and the "issue").


As it has been around for quite some time now I am not hopeful, so I think it is time to ditch Now for good. It just isn't worth the hassle and frustration having spent many hours toing and froing with them.


Sorry this does not answer your question as to what is causing it and a likely fix but as Now do not appear to be too eager to help I don't think there is a short answer?


This is a problem with the conversation of the signal. I have an AppleTV and I needed to change the Video Settings from 4K 50hz (HDR) to 4K 50hz (SDR).


I imagine you would need to do the same with your box/tv settings.


Another 6 months down the line and this ###### is still happening. Now TV do not care about anyone or anything. 
it is not anyones setup, it’s it not the internet, it is not the tv, it is THEM and their crap stream. 
I seemed to of narrowed it down to only happening on live events and not catch-up. So football, soccer am, sky sports news. All noticeable all the time. 

I even cancelled Boost to see if it was that. Still the same. 

what is interesting is my picture isn’t any worse without Boost. So it shows how crap that service is too. 

Legend 5
Legend 5


Boost is only supported with certain devices for 1080p and 50fps. WhT device are you using?

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

Hi, thank you for the reply. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with Boost. I just cancelled that to see if it would make any difference as they refused to suspend it for a check. 
it’s been a problem pre boost. It’s just bad service. 

Legend 5
Legend 5


If you cancel boost you will still get the features up until the next payment would have been due. It doesn’t stop working instantly.

Please humor me to what device your using?

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

I cancelled it months ago. It’s definitely not streaming at the higher rate and the sound is not 5.1 but really cannot tell the difference. 

watching Gangs of London the picture looks excellent and the Sonos is processing the 2.0 to make it sound like surround anyway. 

In built Samsung app in one room and AppleTV 4K in the other 


This issue has been around for far too long, iv used many different devices to stream now and every single one has done the same thing. Tried it with and without boost and problem persists. However ipads and tablets using their app no problem. Few months ago i was clearing out our garage and found our old 2007 samsung 32” so thought id try that with our apple tv, now tv stick and fire tv stick 4k. What i found was the picture quality didnt show the blotches. But on our 50” 4k tv its there. What i don’t understand is now standard stream is 720 which is meant to better than dvd quality but i get better quality on a dvd. Boost supposedly give you bluray quality but its just poor. Okay it could be down to tvs but if thats the case its nows issue to resolve as how many people are using a tv thats 15 years old? Its either that or 4k tvs that are are bigger and using 60hz or more cant handle the poor streaming and trying to compensate for it. But as 4k tvs are becoming the norm and much cheaper. This is going to start to happen to more and more people. NOW need to get with the times and provide a better streaming quality.


Totally agree. I don’t see how they can see it’s acceptable. 
I’ve worked in TV and streaming all my life. We insist on testing every major device and setup to ensure of no issue. They know the problems and are just ignoring it. 


It's some kind of anti-piracy 'camo effect' watermark that NOW overlay their streams with but it isn't obvious at all on older/smaller TV's because they're simply not good enough to make it stand out. I had no idea about it for years when watching NOW streams on a 2013 55 inch LG, but soon as I upgraded to a 65 inch 4K screen it became instantly visible.

I also have a theory that if your TV uses upscaling tech then that makes the watermark overlay stand out even more, but I have no way of knowing because there's no way to stop my TV from automatically upscaling.


Ok… so returning to this topic I have found something out by chance and done some further testing.

I just received a BT TV Box Pro and the issue does not occur (from within the App)! I don’t have a Now subscription via BT.

Repeating the test on the exact same event. The issue does occur on both the Roku Now TV Smart Stick, and the old YouView box. 

I copied all TV settings to the various HDMI inputs, and even physically moved the devices to different HDMI ports. Same result.

I even forced the BT TV Box Pro into 1080p mode and couldn’t make it replicate the dirty screen effect.

Therefore I can only conclude that the stream quality from NowTV itself is fine.

The issue here is either the App itself for that particular device, or the device hardware isn’t powerful enough to process the stream. 

For those of you familiar with this issue I would be very interested to know if the problem occurs on Amazon Fire TV sticks.

Side note: I didn’t try again on PS5 as as far as I’m aware it can’t output at 50Hz so is totally useless in that regard for streaming TV. For clarity this is a totally different issue and will cause stutter and jumping in the picture particularly for sport.

The issue in this thread is for 50Hz smooth output but with a haze or dirty screen effect over the grass! Particularly noticeable on larger 4K screens and faster panning shots / movement.

Hope this at least helps someone. 


Weirdly the BT TV Box Pro NowTV App doesn’t let you pause or rewind. I wonder if it’s somehow related. The issue definitely isn’t occurring though.