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Can Roku speed up my life?

I would have expected this to be in frequently asked questions but can’t find it.

I have been wanting to upgrade my ageing and SLOWWWWW NowTv box with something but not been able to find anything that meets my requirements.

I have the following for other duties

AppleTV 4K v2 – Does 50hz and HD but not 5.1

FireStick – 60hz, unless everything is set to 50hz and no 5.1

Humax Aura – Doesn’t support NowTV

Have looked at Roku before but read “No 50hz” I am now reading that it can, so my question is -

Can anyone confirm that the latest Roku Stick with Dolby Vision supports 50hz, HD and 5.1?


I’m going to accept my own answer for anyone finding this thread in the future as my actual question has not been answered.

Although my question may not have been answered my problem has been solved.

Thanks to everyone but mainly commanda6 for explaining where I had been going wrong.

I dragged the Fire Stick out of the bedroom, where it ended up after not doing 5.1, changed the setting and bingo.

It is only ever going to be used for NowTV so set it to 1080p 50hz and job done, I no longer need to buy a Roku and the old NowTV box will go in the bedroom.

View solution in original post

Elite 3

@DaveJ can you confirm why you think the Firestick doesn't support 5.1?

Roku supports up to 60fps and allows you to match the display refresh rate. See images below from my Roku Premiere.



Elite 3

@DaveJ on a side note. I don't own a Firestick but have used my parents one. There are some distinct differences in user experience.

While my parents wouldn't have need to, you can side load apps to the Firestick. For obvious reasons, Prime Video content is front and centre which can make it feel a bit cluttered.

Roku channel store is more limited but the interface is extremely simple. I utilise the Roku Remote app to control the box, listen via headphones and it has a basic content aggregator/save list so I can shortcut to my favourite shows (although Now content for some reason doesn't work on that feature).

Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @DaveJ 

I have the older Roku Stick Plus from 2017 (4K HDR10 with no Dolby Vision support) and the auto frame matching works really well on a number of Apps such has NOW, BBC iPlayer, Amazon, YouTube.

The Netflix App with regards to auto frame matching hasn't worked for a couple of years, but 60hz playback looks smooth to me and I am sensitive to frame stuttering.

From memory Disney Plus also is fixed at 60hz but again like Netflix it's smooth when watching content.

No problems for me watching in either HD or 4K or 5.1 (content permitted).

Coming from an older 2017 Roku player the speed navigation is a little bit slower than my Amazon 4K Fire Stick where Auto frame matching only seems to work on Amazon and when watching stuff like NOW you need to manually force 50hz which is a pain using the Fire Stick.

Legend 5
Legend 5

Hi @DaveJ @Saint1976 @schnapps 

I'm not sure if this is still the case that it certainly used to be the case that Roku would leave the match refresh rate function offered lower end devices only making it available on their mid range devices and above said to ensure that you have a function available to you. I recommend you go for a Roku express 4K or above. If you decide to buy a Roku

as @schnapps has also mentioned the older Roku's from 2017/18 have quite weak CPUs, making performance a bit sluggish , whereas the 'Roku express 4K and 'streaming stick 4K' have a significantly better CPU

The other thing to remember with respect to Roku is only by them from an official seller such as Amazon, Asda , for example don't buy one from eBay. A lot of the Roku's on eBay are the models that are sold in the US. These run significantly different software to those that are sold in the UK and UK services such as now are not like should to work on US Roku versions

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. But just like you I am still a customer. This means I cannot help you with issues that would involve looking into your account directly. A member of the now TV forum team or live chat will need to assist you with these issues.

Wow that was some quick responses, thanks.

I don’t have Netflix.

The AppleTV is for AppleTV, Disney+ and Prime.

The Aura is for Live TV, Recordings, ITVX with Britbox and iPlayer 4K, all 50hz stuff but there is no NowTV app.

@Saint1976 I’m not saying the Fire Stick itself doesn’t support 5.1 just that the NowTV app on the Fire Stick doesn’t, the NowTV app on the AppleTV also only supports stereo.

All I will use the Roku for is NowTV but only if it supports 50hz, HD and 5.1 as my old NowTV box does.


as others have pointed out to you... the Firestick NOW app is perfectly fine with 5.1 - you are doing it wrong if it isn't working 🙂 

AppleTV is by far, in my opinion, the best streaming box however NOW's utterly bizarre inability to provide a 5.1 audio is baffling.... totally baffling.

fun fact, despite NOW denying this, if you watch a LIVE movie via the AppleTV NOW app, it is 5.1.  Go figure.... from an app they swear blind cannot do 5.1 .  Very fishy..

This continues to be embarrassing for NOW - one of the most expensive streaming services in the UK, with Boost being an eye watering £6 to provide a measly 1080p and 5.1 (a 10 year old format for the other streamers) - and for some reason although literally ALL the other apps on AppleTV seem to manage 5.1 with their eyes closed... and surpass it with ATMOS... NOW seem baffled how to make it work and the latest AppleTV app has been out now for well over 2 years.



“AppleTV is by far, in my opinion, the best streaming box…”

I agree, but it (or its apps) are not perfect. Lack of NowTV 5.1 and iPlayer UHD are my main issues.

“…with Boost being an eye watering £6 to provide a measly 1080p and 5.1…”

You also get No Adds which is probably a large chunk of the cost.

And I would never pay £16 a month for Cinema+Boost. In fact all my streaming subs are on some sort of discount, except Prime.


I agree with all you've said of course.

Firstly, nobody can fathom why NOW can't support 5.1 - that one is a real head scratcher.

Secondly, the BBC have not rolled out UHD in any capacity - it's not supported widely across iPlayer's platforms and no surprise seeing as Apple TV's app has only recently got a LONG awaited update.... its not high up on their list.  I can understand that being on your wish list but I believe the Firestick 4K max is a recent supporter of iPlayer's UHD content too - but also remember just how little UHD content there is on iPlayer anyway - its still very much a little hobby for them.  Im given to understand that the new AppleTV models are technically capable of the odd UHD format the BBC have chosen to adopt - so there is hope for it being supported in the future if you have the newer model.

As for the ads... well of course theres a whole philosophical argument to be had about a premium streaming service serving obtrusive ads... unless a a discount in Netflix's ad supported case... and then thinking its OK to charge you an additional surcharge to get rid of them.... but of course Sky are a law unto themselves and most services that use ads are free - except for Sky and they have always thrown ads at you regardless of how much you pay for their services.

Legend 5
Legend 5


As much as paying extra for anything outside of the entertainment or cinema memberships does my head in, I of course am willing to pay extra for removal of third party adverts from on demand content. What I firmly don’t believe in is paying separately for its memberships and not even getting 1080p+5.1 sound as standard is a bit of a joke considering it’s prices (full price that is).

My gut is that NOW are thinking well your getting those extra benefits as mentioned by @DaveJ. Whereas in the States Comcast’s Peacock as it all in the service no matter what from the get go and it’s a standard $5 to remove adverts. Fair enough pricing and content models are different but keeping it simple is what it should be.

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