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its_a_mystery
Occasional Poster

How are Devices identified

Hi,

 

I'm a new user - having received a Now TV Smart Box for Christmas.

 

Having become accustomed to Netflix I was surprised to see a limit on the number of devices that can be used. Restricting to two simultaneous sessions at any one time makes sense, however limiting devices doesn't. We have a smart blu-ray player, smart TV, Now TV box and three laptops in our houshold - well over the maximum four device limit. Two of the laptops are multiboot systems.

 

Does anyone know what information is used to identify the different devices once they are registered?

 

Reason I ask is because the laptop I am using to write this is a multiboot system with three different operating systems on it. If I log on to Now TV from the different Operating Systems on the same hardware will they be registered as seperate devices? Whilst I could test this by watching movies from two different OS's on the same system I'm reluctant to waste one of the limited devices by doing so.

 

So is anyone able to confirm how devices are identified?

 

Using the MAC address would make sense - however if the same laptop is connected via a wifi card and then ethernet, then that's two seperate devices.

 

Regards,

 

a n00b

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10 Replies
SeeMoreDigital Champion 5
Champion 5

Re: How are Devices identified

Hi @its_a_mystery,

 

Perhaps the following topic may be of interest: https://community.nowtv.com/t5/Account-Offers-Promotions/What-identifier-is-used-to-determine-my-dev...


• If I've been helpful please press the THANKS button • If I've been really helpful please also press the ACCEPT SOLUTION button • Please note: I'm not a NOW TV employee, I'm a regular NOW TV customer, like you! •

LG TV 1 = Model no: 43UH668V | Software: 04.30.70 | OS: webOS 3.31 • LG TV 2 = Model no: 65UH770V | Software: 04.31.10 | webOS •

All TV's = NOW TV app: 2.27.0 | Post Processing Features: All disabled  • Networking Spec = ISP: Virgin Media (75Mbps) | Devices connection type: Wired | IP address type: Fixed (device permitting) •


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its_a_mystery
Occasional Poster

Re: How are Devices identified

@SeeMoreDigital

Whilst I appreciate the response, the referenced thread does not answer my question. Andy states that devices are not registered using IP address, but goes on to state that "... I'm not exactly sure what identifier they use for Chromecasts, I imagine MAC is as good as anything. ..." - not sure why the thread is marked as solved as the OP has not yet responded and no clear answer has been given.

 

Anyone know what information is actually used for registering devices?

 

Regards,

 

its_a_mystery

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SeeMoreDigital Champion 5
Champion 5

Re: How are Devices identified

@its_a_mystery,

 

If your intention is to open up a discussion regarding how to circumvent the current device restrictions. Such discussions are not permitted on this forum...


• If I've been helpful please press the THANKS button • If I've been really helpful please also press the ACCEPT SOLUTION button • Please note: I'm not a NOW TV employee, I'm a regular NOW TV customer, like you! •

LG TV 1 = Model no: 43UH668V | Software: 04.30.70 | OS: webOS 3.31 • LG TV 2 = Model no: 65UH770V | Software: 04.31.10 | webOS •

All TV's = NOW TV app: 2.27.0 | Post Processing Features: All disabled  • Networking Spec = ISP: Virgin Media (75Mbps) | Devices connection type: Wired | IP address type: Fixed (device permitting) •


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its_a_mystery
Occasional Poster

Re: How are Devices identified

Based on the range of hardware in my household and multiboot setups on two laptops (see original post) this is in my opinion a legimate question. If Now TV are going to restrict to such a limited range of devices and only allow one new device to be added per month once the device limit is reached (and only then if one of the other four devices is removed) - then providing some basic information about how devices are registered is common courtesy to avoid wasting one of my precious four spaces.

 

This has nothing to do with circumventing device restrictions. Lets say for example I used a different OS on the same laptop and this used two of my devices up, then used the ethernet instead of wifi to connect from one of these OS's and used another device - that could potentially be my one device (my multiboot laptop) taking up three of my four device slots.

 

Not allowing more than two simultaneous sessions makes far more sense and I am not complaining about this particular limitation. I would prefer a straight answer to a straightforward question to avoid using up such a limited device restriction. Failing that I will have to take a risk and play around.

 

Regards,

 

its_a_mystery

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its_a_mystery
Occasional Poster

Re: How are Devices identified

So having read that "...When you first set up your account, you can watch NOW TV on up to four devices. Once you've reached your limit of four, you can replace one device every calendar month..." and having realised that we are due to enter a new month imminently, now seemed like the perfect time to play around.

 

So I already had two devices registered - my Now TV Smart Box and an old refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad. The Thinkpad is a multiboot system with Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 operating systems in self contained partitions - the Windows 8.1 system was in use when the device was registered with Now TV (I started watching a movie in a web browser - this registered the device).

 

This time I logged in from the Windows 10 operating system on the same Lenovo laptop - I'm sure everyone will agree that this is the same physically device. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that another one of my four device slots was taken up - the same device has been registered twice just because a different operating system was in use. I wouldn't be surprised to see another device being registered were I to use a different web browser on the same system.

 

I don't think that our household is unusual in regards to the number of devices we could potentially use to log in to Now TV - in fact when I listed the devices in our household in the first post I forgot to mention that we also have two phones and a tablet (or two). Having one of my hardware devices take up two of the four available slots due to p15s poor hardware registration is pretty poor Sky/NowTV.

 

Regards,

 

a very dissatisfied new customer

 

P.s. Anyone able to clarify what information is used to register a device? This is not about circumventing the maximum number of devices - if such senseless limitations are in use then it seems fair to warn people about how this feature works in order to avoid inadvertently taking up one of the very limited slots.

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Andy Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: How are Devices identified

@its_a_mystery

 

NOW TV have never publicly stated what information is used when identifying devices, and I doubt it's the sort of thing they would divulge either. The unique fingerprint for web browser use is more than just a MAC address though as significant changes in hardware or software are detected and can result in it being seen as a new device.

 

The dedicated NOW TV app from the Windows Store  is recommended over browser use for users on 8.1 and above as it removes the problems associated with Silverlight. However the app is classed as a different device from browser watching for the purposes of device limits.

 

At the end of the day under the current system you will need to choose one OS to boot into to watch NOW TV on your PC if you want to keep some flexibility over other devices that can be used. The only alternative at this point in time is to set up a second account and pay for extra passes to give you an additional 4 device slots.

 

its_a_mystery
Occasional Poster

Re: How are Devices identified

Thanks @Andy.

 

This helps to clarify things further, however until more information is made available the question is still not answered - and if you are correct probably never will be!

 

For me the whole point of using IP based TV is the ability to log in anywhere (accepting geographic restrictions) on any device. I'm not at all impressed with the number of device restrictions and even less so with how the devices are registered. This will be a significant factor in whether I choose to continue with the Now TV service.

 

Regards,

 

its_a_mystery

C0untd0wn
First Poster

Re: How are Devices identified

Hi all
I have to agree about the maximum device per account limit.
I'm pretty impressed with nowtv, especially the new smart box.
I'm in a similar position / frame of mind about multiple devices.
I work away all week. (potentially one nowtv box)
I'm home alternate weekends (potentially second nowtv box)
My partner lives away from my home, so I'm there every other weekend (third nowtv box)
When working away from home at hotels, I'd like to use my laptop OR tablet OR mobile phone, depending on which is most suitable / charged / signal strength etc (up to three more devices).
Since nowtv is flooding the market with highly discounted basic and smart nowtv devices, combined with multiple month passes, there are multiple (and apparently from web searches, mostly unused / sold on / given to parents, friends or family) nowtv devices which are largely unused, having been bought only to obtain a cheap monthly passes.

I can understand and accept the two concurrent streaming device limit as per other comments.

However, a maximum of four devices per account seems highly restrictive and unnecessary.

It would be interesting for nowtv to trial a 6, 8 or even 10 device limit, for say 1 to 3 months, and see how that impacted sales are of the hardware AND what the "passes to devices" ratio changed to, if at all.
They may well see an increase in the number of passes bought, as families might consider buying eg a cinema, entertainment AND kids pack, for use at different times of the day, and weekday versus weekend (kids pass early evening and weekend days in kids room, then entertainment pass for family time together in main room (via box or xbox etc) then cinema pass when kids in bed, or parents bedroom device...
In terms of the original question posted, and coming from an IT background, I'd also assume the nowtv box mac address is used to differentiate between identical nowtv boxed (eg 4 different identical nowtv smart boxes), but like you, I'd rather NOT risk reducing my device limit to find out!
With nowtv clients for xbox, (ps4?), Ipad?, mobile phone, laptop, tablets and even smart TV?, it seems archaic to restrict the number of registered devices if concurrent streams are limited anyway...
😞

Cheers

Glen
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Sangareth
First Poster

Re: How are Devices identified

I agree. In my household we have a main lounge smart TV (with the NowTV app installed), an XBox (with the NowTV installed) in another room, and then a TV in our kids playroom. I have the NowTV app installed on my Surface Pro (as I work away from home a lot), and my wife has it installed on her phone.

 

So we're at our 4 device limit already. Having just purchased a 6 month Kids pass, my intention was to purchase a NowTV stick to connect to the kids playroom, but I can't because I don't have any free device slots. Their device limit has actually lost them the sale of some hardware. And it seems so pointless, given the limit to two streams (we often utilise the two streams, but would like more flexibility in WHERE we utilise them).