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Expert 3

A question to those with a Boost Pass AND a 5.1 sound system

Hi all


A little niche.. granted... but im interested to hear from those of us that:


1.  Have an active Boost Pass

2.  Use a platform that supposedly supports 5.1 (most just not the AppleTV)

3.  Have a 5.1 surround sound system that can tell you the sound format being supplied.

4.  Have an entertainment and movies pass.


As we have noted - we are paying £3 for this pass, and expecting to get content as advertised.


It has become increasingly clear that many things are supposed to be 5.1, labelled as 5.1, and yet being delivered as 2.0.


Personally, I have messed around with settings etc etc and come to the conclusion that the Movies pass content does seem broadly OK - ive not seen a movie advertised as 5.1 not deliver.

However.. the Entertainment pass stuff is mostly delivering 2.0 even though its supposed to deliver 5.1.


The latest example I have is I have started to watch 'A discovery of Witches' and again... its only 2.0 despite being labelled as 5.1


I am now at the point where as a matter of principle I will be cancelling Boost.  It seems completely wrong to accept the 2.0 streams.


Of course, for many boost subscribers they may not have a 5.1 sound system, and be more than happy with the other elements of the boost package.  I suspect these are in the majority of the boost subscribers which is why NowTV can 'get away' with it.


Anyway, to those with boost, and the ability to verify the audio stream - whats others experience with this?

4 Replies

@nst I can tick all 4 of your boxes. Since completing the beta trial, we almost always use the Roku Streaming Stick+ (3810EU) for all NOW TV viewing (that’s Entertainment, Cinema & Sport). I don’t religiously notice/check that every show or movie that we watch is supposed to be 5.1, but do occasionally notice that the odd Entertainment show’s sound isn’t perhaps as 5.1 as it ought to be (sometimes I wonder if only the bits with music are as dialogue & effects sounds distinctly a bit 2D). Of course, the other aspects of Boost (such as 1080p & 50fps on Sport and 3 streams instead of 2) are of value to us, so on balance it’s still worth having it for us (notwithstanding the arguments that full HD is standard on other services).

Expert 3



I think thats the crux of the problem.


NowTV are providing 5.1 on movies as advertised... but probably intentionally not on some, or many of the entertainment shows.


The reason they can get away with it is that even on a 5.1 system it sounds 'fine' as 2.0 is often intelligently shared around the speakers and sounds 5.1-like - depending on your system.


I have found on many occasions that helicopters, or car chases still come from the rear speakers even on a 2.0 feed - so I can totally see how the vast majority of customers would never even think of checking up on the sound source.


The thing with picture and fps, is that someone would immediately visually notice the difference.... but with sound, as you quite rightly say, you dont check it all the time.


I still think its highly suspect for them to even try to get away with this....

@nst Good point about helicopters etc. I think you’re most likely totally correct in your assumptions. Forgot to say we also use a Sonos system, so checking is easy, but to be honest I don’t always bother to look 😮  Apart from movies & sport, not currently watching much entertainment on NOW TV. Obvs sound is fine from “other providers” apps on the Roku and the Apple tv 4K (we watch 99.9% via streaming here, no dish, no PVR).

Expert 3



Exactly so.


I, too, have a Sonos and as you say its quite easy to check the sound source being received by the Sonos speaker.


Ordinarily I wouldn't be checking much... but with the AppleTV 5.1 debacle, along with beta testing etc etc... I have got used to checking whether I am getting what I am expecting (and paying for).


So, when the firestick app was released, supporting boost as the AppleTV one a week earlier had so woefully managed to avoid.... I was of course checking that using the Firestick app I was indeed getting 5.1 sound.  This is where im coming from now.. as I routinely check as im paying for this service...and i make no apologies for doing so!  Given that... its is shocking how much stuff is NOT 5.1 even when its labelled as such.


The way it looks to me at the moment... Movies pass.. FINE thats 5.1 - ive not found something that wasn't. Entertainment pass... RARELY getting things with actual 5.1 soundtracks despite being labelled as such.


If its so hard for them, they should hold up their hands and say 5.1 is only available on movies  - at least we would all know where we stood and make a more informed choice as to whether to pay £3 a month.