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djrabes
Mentor

NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

Hiya everyone, 

 

I recently have upgraded to a 4K TV and have been using my Now TV Smart Stick (purchased in early 2019) on it. We have all 3 Now TV passes as well as the Boost pass. 

 

I've noticed that the bitrate and general clarity of the picture is very poor when streaming Now TV content, but when using other apps on the Stick, such as, YouTube, BBC iPlayer etc the picture is stunning. 

 

While viewing the Formula 1 Testing on demand earlier, there was some serious blurring and 'blocky' artifacts around the on screen graphics. I compared this to YouTube's videos of the Formula 1 both on the Stick at 1080p quality and on the TV's YouTube app at 2160p (4K) - both of which were crystal clear. 

 

This is also an issue when watching anything through 'Watch Live' as well. 

 

I've made sure in Settings that the Stick is set manually to 1080p, and gone into the menu by pressing Home 5 times, RW 3 times and FF 2 times, to change the Streaming Bandwidth to 12MBPs. 

 

These problems were not apparent on our 8 year old 47" 1080p TV, and since swapping to a 50" 4K screen this seems to have started to occur. I can only guess that the bitrate is what is causing the issue, as the higher resolution screen and downsampling to 1080p is just exaggerated the issue. 

 

I will test the Now TV app on the TV later to see if this has a difference, but ideally will like to use the Stick as I'm logged in on everything on it, and hate using the TV remote to re-enter all the passwords! 

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated. 

 

TV: Samsung UE50TU7100

Broadband: TalkTalk : 80MB Download, 20MB Upload - 16ms Ping 

Now TV Smart Stick connected via WiFi about 3 metres from Access Point

 

 

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gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

@djrabes 

This might sound daft, but I don't own a Samsung TV. Does your TV not have the Now app avalaible to download?

 

What you have been finding out is that the Now stick is slowly becoming unreliable in terms of overall performance. 

 

What I could suggest for the stick is to reset it back to factory settings, its extreme but often squashes random bugs and gets everything working again. 

https://help.nowtv.com/article/hard-factory-reset-now-box-stick


FYI that I do not work for NOW, I am simply a NOW customer trying to help I am a Community Contributor This means that I know a lot about the service and like you I am still a customer. For any account issues you’ll need to contact staff via customer support.
djrabes
Mentor

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

Hi gavs,

 

Yes it does have the app pre-installed on the TV. 

Its just rather use the Stick when possible as it has all our other subscriptions app logged in.

 

I will try the app directly to the TV to see how that works, and I'll also try resetting the stick. 

 

I do have another stick and Roku Streaming Stick, so will try both of them as well to see how that goes as well. 

 

Thanks for your help.

gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

@djrabes 

If your talking about all the other subscriptions your Samsung TV will have all the other apps you use as well. 

That way the Now/Roku device can be used as a backup.

 

Take my Sony TV for example, it has all the apps I need. But I have an Amazon Fire stick as a backup, which I don’t use often.


FYI that I do not work for NOW, I am simply a NOW customer trying to help I am a Community Contributor This means that I know a lot about the service and like you I am still a customer. For any account issues you’ll need to contact staff via customer support.
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djrabes
Mentor

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

Yes, the TV has all the bells and whistles - the Now TV Stick already had all the accounts logged in, and typing in all the email addresses and passwords again is a right pain! Think its time to invest in a wireless keyboard for the telly though! 

 

I've tried the Samsung version of the app, and the Live section looks a little better, but when I was watching the On Demand catch up of the F1 testing it was still quite 'blocky' almost the same as the Now TV Stick

 

I noticed the Stream Quality was lower on the catch up as opposed to the Live channels. 

 

It looks to me like the On Demand is streamed at a lower quality - I can't see from the Samsung App on how to change the bitrate manually, just in case its to do with that. 

 

I've attached some screenshots for reference. 

 

Appreciate your help!

 

SkySportsF1_Live.jpgSkySportsF1_OnDemand.jpg

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gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

@djrabes 

It might seem elementary, but have you tried to unplug your router for a few minutes?

 

You could even “reset” the router?


FYI that I do not work for NOW, I am simply a NOW customer trying to help I am a Community Contributor This means that I know a lot about the service and like you I am still a customer. For any account issues you’ll need to contact staff via customer support.
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djrabes
Mentor

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

Yep. Restarted Broadband Router and my Wireless Access Points still the same. 

 

I think its the Sports on Demand that is at a lower quality now, as I tried multiple catch up items on that and its the same. 

Watched some Chicago Fire on catch up and stream quality was the same as watching live. 

gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

@djrabes 

Could be worthwhile perhaps popping onto live chat and you could discuss the issues?

Just make sure to click “chat online” within the light blue box.

https://help.nowtv.com/article/how-to-submit-a-complaint

Alternatively you can send an email to customer support. Address in the picture below.

EC71CB67-404A-42A9-A2C1-5681ADC0A3C0.jpeg

 


FYI that I do not work for NOW, I am simply a NOW customer trying to help I am a Community Contributor This means that I know a lot about the service and like you I am still a customer. For any account issues you’ll need to contact staff via customer support.
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schnapps
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: NOW TV Smart Stick - Poor Bitrate

Hi @djrabes 

 

NOW on Demand Sports and NOW Bonus Sports Streams are both capped at 720p 25fps (even with a Boost Membership 😠) hence the reason why your Samsung Smart TV with the native inbuilt NOW App only shows a figure of 4830.

 

It's the 25fps playback for Sports that's the killer for me and 50fps makes a massive difference than 1080p when watching fast action sports in my opinion (though i would prefer to see both 1080p & 50fps across all NOW Sports content both live and on Demand).

 

Where Chicago Fire is 1080p with a Boost Membership,