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Mentor

Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

All,

I have seen countless posts in this forum from users who are experiencing problems with the picture quality of their live Sky Sports streams.

In equal number are the useless and quite frankly insulting 'canned responses' from offshore support either through live chat or responses to postings suggesting problems with broadband bandwidth or user equipment.

Having been through all of this myself and having been appalled at the lack of response from NowTV within the forum despite repeated requests from users, I have written to and made a formal complaint to NowTV. Their complaints procedure acknowledges they have 7 days in which to respond.

NowTV provided me with a report that illustrated all of my viewing over a 2 month period, the programme watched, the connection method (broadband or Cellular), the duration and connection speed. They tried to argue I was experiencing problems as my bandwidth was showing a very slow. Like most other users, having a rock-steady fibre connection with no other streaming or viewing issues and with 25 years of experience as an IT consultant I was not going to be let this matter rest.

I obtained a bandwidth monitor report from my ISP for the same period and it clearly illustrated that my average connection speed was monitored and recorded as 44Mbps during the same period which completely debunks the claims made by NowTV.

So, don't waste your time any further with NowTV tech support. The problem is absolutely related to either the NowTV Roku Box/Setup/Configuration or a steaming/bandwidth issue directly from NowTV. 

I will post updates on this matter as soon as I receive a response from NowTV. 

 

14 Replies
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Scholar

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

Amen to that! The response from NowTv has been insulting. Suddenly my internet sucks after 2 years of flawless viewing of Sky Sports? Give me a break. Those morons on live chat are useless.

 

Let us know if you get a response because this is beyond a joke now how long the blurring has been happening.

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Scholar

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

Brilliant at last someone who can get this resolved 

well done

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Scholar 3

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

I am almost certain as you have said, the picture quality issue is not down to your internet speed.  I had similar issues for months last year where certain live channels were flickering and flashing horizontal lines randomly, and live chat were quick to blame low connection speeds my end, although i knew this was not the case, until finally months later, NOW TV finally admitted it was an issue their end - The tech support need better training and not just fob people off with insulting remarks that go no where.  I also think NOW TV should offer refunds while this issue persists as SKY Sports isn't cheap.

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Scholar

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

I was on live chat last night and the girl on the other end admitted they had a problem at thier end, she said it was a temporary problem I explained this has been going on for weeks and that the forum was full of people complaining about it. She tried to get me to do all the usual fixes but I said what's the point if as you said you have a problem. She then gave me a 1 month refund and escalated my problem to tech team. Let's all get on to them and demand a refund hit them in the pocket

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Advocate

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

Hi, well done on escallating.

I too am getting incessant quality drops on live sport viewing. Both on a wireless stick and and a wired roku box. Both are connected to a seriously good FTTC (BT) circuit managed by Zen with  Static IP.

Having spent a long session on chat line the 'technician' finally said he had changed my account settings. He would not say what parametric changes were implemented. After resets, there did appear a greater colour saturation and soe short term stability - both of which have now gone.

Symptoms are that the streaming will readily drop quality (unreadible text) but fail to restore. I made this quite clear, stating that there must be a problem with their authenticated streaming session, with no response from technician. The drop in quality affects any live sky stream from then on and for a very very long time - destroyed programme viewing.

I pointed out that any new session, on the same network but with different device and at the same time would be fine.  Also, that a power cycle (pull plug OR select power reset) on the failed device, ALWAYS and with ONE attempt, would result in restored quality.  NB. 42" Panasonic plasma 1080.

I was an electronic design engineer for >50 years and an IT manager for >15.

I would say there is a systemic failure at the streaming hub to maintain adequate quality for sport streams.

I would finally add that the predisposal to dropping quality is definitely linked to the time in the content stream - as the programme approaches a critical moment there are more colour bursts and dropouts.  This suggests that the system capacity is inadequate and that established streams are being downgraded to allow new ones  - probably at full available quality. This would explain the dreadful system behaviour. Obviously this is where 'broadcasting' will always win out over 'store and forward networking.

If this is going to be an extensible system, it will need to be seriously based on a distributed hub and spoke topology.

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Advocate

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

Thank you for this, I'm glad it isn't just me, I only bought my stick yesterday for the purpose of watching F1 the pixelation & buffering completely spoiled the experience. Once the race finished we sapped over to the Amazon Firestick which performed perfectly which leads me to beleieve the NowTV stick is the issue.

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Scholar 2

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

Does anyone get something similar to this (see attached file). That screenshot is from someone else on here. I also get a similar issue.

I think this issue is with the Sky Sports Main Event channel. Funnily enough, the screenshot from another forum user is from the Main Event channel. I've been seeing patches of green/blue/red pixels randomly appear on screen. It was happening with the Man Utd v Everton match on Sunday. I changed channel from Main Event channel to Premier League channel and the issue seemed to disappear. It's been like this for a few months now. I'm watching the NFL now (Main Event channel) and the issue is there as well.

I also get dark patches flashing on the Sky Sports Golf channel. Again, it's been like this for months. It's not the same issue as what I described above.

I'm using the LG app on my TV but there's still a problem when using the Xbox app.

 

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Advocate

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

Same problem here.  Picture quality on sports channels deteriorates frequently - Chelsea v Man Utd I had to do 8 resets by unplugging and plugging, Spurs v Man City I gave up and just watched the blurry white and purple figures run around.  Wired ethernet connection to the Now TV box and 160 mbps connection per Speedtest so this should not be the problem.  My four month deal runs out in December and at this rate I won't be renewing.  No such problems with BT Sport.

  

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Mentor

Re: Blurry/Pixelated Sky Sports - Official Complaint Raised

As promised, I received an update from NowTV today (31st October). I have removed personal information from their email (they did not respond to my letter). 

The email was sent from Emma @NowTV from email address [email removed]

*******************

Thank you for contacting NOWTV. Your case has been escalated to myself in the Executive Complaints team.

I have read your letter and I'd like to start off by apologising for the level of service you have received from NOW TV to this point. We do not want our customers to feel that their complaints have been ignored or not responded to their expectations.

I have reviewed your points and I agree that the issue you have been having is strange and would indicate a technical issue. I do not wish to subject you to any further Troubleshooting as I feel this is more to do with software issues rather than hardware or setup. There have been two factors that could be influencing your viewing. The first is more recently than June though. This was an issue that was raised specifically to the Sports pass. There were issues with lag and also pixelated picture. The second issue related to the NOW TV Box itself and the same issues present here but have been intermittent across different programmes, different passes, different channels. This has taken us longer to resolve and we needed to liaise heavily directly with Roku who supply the hardware for the NOW TV equipment.

The issue relating specifically has now been resolved and there is an update rolling out to over 60,000 device between 27/10 and 01/11. Please make sure to update the app if you are prompted to do so. If not you can go to the home screen and search for updates under Settings.

I would like to offer a full refund for all Sky Sports pass you have purchased since June. The reason for this is that you have had this issue for a prolonged period of time and we have been unable to supply a resolution. Hopefully the new update will improve the viewing if not rectify it entirely.

In addition I would like to offer you a months free Sky Sports pass in order for you to trial the services once the new update comes. You can then feedback to us on your findings. If there has not been an improvement I would like then to gather as much information as possible and then link in with our Technical teams. Upon your acceptance, I will be happy to provide you with the voucher code.

I hope you find the proposals I have put forward to be adequate and fair and we will work together to get this resolved once and for all. If you feel I have missed any points you have raised please feel free to highlight these in your reply.

*************

 

As you will see I am offered a refund for my viewing from June when NowTV stipulate the problem started, although I experienced the problem before this and one-month free pass to Sky Sports. Suffice to say, I am going to reject this offer. I suspect this will result in deadlock and then in line with their code of practice I can then escalate my complaint to CISAS (Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme)

In addition, they state that during the one-month free pass, I can liaise with them from a technical standpoint to solve any issues if their proposed fix does not work and f I experience further problems. 

The fundamental issues relating to the quality of offshore support, the lack of representation from NowTV within the forum and the expectation that consumers will continue to help resolve issues by offering their time free for a service they are paying for and expect to receive is quite frankly ridiculous.  It would have taken very little time for NowTV to properly investigate and resolve these issues and a public apology should be issued to NowTV and refunds offered to all customers during this period with a free 3-month pass of their choice.

Companies used to have UAT (User acceptance testing) departments which tested developments prior to their release. Across the technology industries, these areas have been predominantly decommissioned, instead, the pressure to release updates and new features before existing products and services are stable results in the responsibility for testing and troubleshooting falling at the feet of consumers.  You wouldn't take your car to the garage and help them troubleshoot what was wrong with it, would you? So why am I expected to do this with technology service providers?

Customers should not be expected to raise a complaint to be compensated for a 'known and accepted' problem. 

I suggest you all do the same and I hope this helps you all. 

I will post an update when I have sent a rejection notice and I receive the next response.