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Advocate

Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

When trying to cast NowTV to a Chromecast plugged into a television, I am met with four coloured circles spinning in the centre of a black screen - I recognise this as the loading screen.
If left for a long period (five to ten minutes), it goes back to the Chromecast 'idle' screen, and the NowTV app then considers itself disconnected from the Chromecast device. This happens whether just clicking "cast" and waiting for the "NowTV Ready" screen, or when playing video on the phone and then trying to cast the video.


I have tried a significant number of fixes, and this has been going on for months. Below are details of the entire saga.


Firstly: I am aware that NowTV (contrary to industry standards) count a Chromecast as a device that is registered on the account against the six streaming devices allowed. There are currently three empty device slots available on my account, so this should not be an issue (the device limit is not the underlying issue that I am facing).


These issues first occurred last summer, and affect two Chromecasts.


Initially, I tried all the regular 'fixes' such as rebooting the Chromecast devices, etc. with no luck. I eventually got in touch with NowTV customer services, who sent links to articles and information.


More things I tried:

  • Ensure
  • Reboot Router
  • Sign out of iOS App, then back in again
  • Reboot iPhone
  • Ensure available "device" slot in NowTV account, and under the limit for the maximum number of additions/swaps in a given month.
  • Ensure the Chromecast is using the power adapter and cable supplied with it
  • Reinstall iOS App
  • Remove Chromecast from Google Home App, then add it again
  • Factory Reset Chromecast

I also tried many of these in various combinations. For example, factory resetting the Chromecast and reinstalling the NowTV app before trying again. Then the same but with the addition of a router reboot, etc.

 

None of these combinations worked.


NowTV eventually claimed that, rather than the NowTV service being at fault, both Chromecasts must be faulty. For clarity, both Chromecasts work flawlessly for other services such as YouTube, Netflix, Prime Video, iPlayer, All4, Spotify, ITV Player, etc.


Since then, the situation has developed:


My internet connection has been upgraded (from a respectable 36Mbps down to 70Mbps down and 8Mbps up to 15Mbps up). Though I never had any issues streaming services (non-NowTV) in 1080p / 4K with the old connection, this new speed can't hurt the situation!


The router/modem has been swapped out for a new, completely different, model.


After all the other troubleshooting, we even tried creating a new NowTV account, but with the same issues still.


Ultimately, after multiple software updates (to both the Chromecasts and the NowTV app), new accounts, new internet, device resets, etc. I decided to humour NowTV customer services, and elected to return the two Chromecasts as "faulty".


This (unsurprisingly) was a painful process, as, when the customer assistant asked why they were being returned, I had to tell them "because NowTV customer services told me they were faulty". When asked if I had any issues with other services I had to be honest and tell them "nope, they work flawlessly for everything else...", which perplexed the customer assistant as much as it did me. A lengthy discussion then ensued:

  • Does NowTV genuinely use hardware in the Chromcast that no other streaming provider makes use of? (Conclusion: Possible, but unlikely).
  • Is it more likely that two Chromecasts have the same fault, or that there's an issue with the NowTV software/service?
  • Is 36Mbps down / 8Mbps up enough to stream the maximum of 720p that NowTV delivers (without paying the brass-necked £3 a month extra for 1080p)? Is the upgrade to 70Mbps down / 15 up going to make the situation worse?
  • Have I taken appropriate steps to remedy the situation?
  • Could the tech specialists at the shop think of anything I hadn't tried?
  • Does NowTV work on my home network at all? (Yes, on the phone app and a NowTV Stick)

After all of that, the shop agreed to replace both Chromecasts with brand new (sealed box) units.


I just got them home. Plugged them in. Connected them to the new router, with the new internet service, using my new NowTV account, and a freshly signed in and installed iOS app.


Unfortunately, I hit the same problem: a black screen with spinning, coloured, circles (loading). After many minutes, the app "stops casting", and the Chromecast returns to its idle screen. 

The new Chromecasts have been verified as working with other streaming services without issue.


At this stage, it seems obvious that NowTV is at fault, not the hardware.

Has anyone else has had any issues similar? Are there any reasonable steps I could take that I have not tried?

Lastly: NowTV, how do you propose we move forward with this issue? I've done everything you've asked and more.

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22 Replies
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Advocate

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

I also just tried enabling uPnP in my router settings just in case, but that didn't help either.

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Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

Hi @RebeccaG 

 

I doubt this is relevant in your particular case, but when i was using my Chromecast with the NowTV App on my phone whilst on the BT Broadband service i had to go into the BT Hub Router to switch off the smart setup feature on the Router for the NowTV App to work for me (all other Apps was fine whilst casting apart from the NowTV App prior to disabling smart setup on the BT Hub).

 

Obviously if BT is not your ISP and you are not using a BT Home Hub Router then the above is of no help 😡.

 

I haven't used Chromecast in years with the NowTV App to be honest so i won't be much further help sorry (apart from make sure you force the 2.4ghz wifi band on your Router & Phone and if your Router automatically adjusts the dual band frequency on the fly, go into your Router settings and manually split the two wifi bands, where again i doubt this will make any difference because your other Apps are casting to Chromecast without issues).

 

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Advocate

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

Thanks for the response!

 

We're with Plusnet, but use our own router (EdgeRouter X) and our own Wi-Fi (Unifi AP AC Lite). My other half works with computers, so understands all that stuff.

 

We'll try setting the Wi-Fi bands to 2.4Ghz instead of 5GHz, but (as you said) the Chromecast is working for all other services, so I wouldn't have thought it would make much of a difference.

 

Turning on UPnP (or UPnP 2) yesterday did not help. Even after rebooting (router and Chromecast) to make sure settings took hold, there was no difference.

 

I've been googling lots, and just had another look online. Still no luck. I have found a couple of posts here and there from people with identical symptoms, but they mostly either trail off with no update/resolution, or the poster gives up entirely. One or two seem to have solved the issue with a factory reset/rebooting devices (all of which I have done - multiple times!).

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Scholar 3

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

@RebeccaG 

Hi. I read your post with issues using Chromecast & NOW TV App in Apple device .

 

Would should do is as follows to fix issue

Close down NOW TV App

Close down Google Home App

Reboot your Hub/Router

Reboot Chromecast 

 

Then try it and it will work how i had same issue.

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Advocate

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

Pretty sure I've done this before, but trying again can't hurt.

Just tried:

 

  1. Close iOS NowTV App
  2. Close iOS Google Home App
  3. Reboot Router
  4. Reboot Access Point (Wi-Fi)
  5. Reboot Chromecast
  6. Try Casting from NowTV App

Still no luck I'm afraid. I tried the same process but with a factory reset of the Chromecast too, for good measure. And a reinstall of the app. Still the same black screen with spinning circles.

 

Hey @NOWTV-Team, is there any advice you can give now that I've followed all the available advice (as well as taking more extreme measures such as replacing chromecast/routing equipment entirely)?

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Scholar 3

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

@RebeccaG 

Hi. Why not use router that’s with current broadband provider and sign out of NOW TV app but don’t know why you have issues when I tried my Chromecast 3rd Gen works fine 

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Advocate

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

I'm having exactly the same problem albeit without having jumped through all the hoops to resolve it that you have! But it's the same on both a v1 and a v3 Chromecast - no problem at all with Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer or Emby (my home media server setup) but just the 4 spinning balls. I'd hoped to replace the naff little Roku knock-off box, which I'm only using to try the Boost add-on, as the Apple TV app hasn't been updated in something like 5 years. I'm also a PlusNet customer so maybe there's something in that? Seems unlikely though.

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Advocate

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

Okay, it's some sort of router issue for me. I'm using  a TP-Link Archer V900 and just tried enabling the guest network on that, then doing a factory reset on the Chromecast, putting it and my phone on the guest network. It al connected and worked straight away.

 

Obviously not an ideal solution as I don't want my phone / iPad on the guest network but it looks like it's time to start working through the router's settings to see what NowTV doesn't like.

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Advocate

Re: Chromecast - Loading / Spinning Circles

I've been suspecting a router issue for some time now.
In an email thread I currently have going with NowTV's support team, I asked if there are any specific router/internet requirements for NowTV to work via Chromecast. Regrettably, they completely ignored this request and responded with another troubleshooting step, rather than any details about router/internet requirements as requested.

I have been in touch with Google who took me through extensive tests and troubleshooting (rather than just "please reboot/reset the device").
They confirmed that streaming providers build their own "third party apps" for the Chromecast; This means the service providers are entirely responsible for how the app works. Due to the fact that every other tested app (also third-party) is working without issue, any issue must be down to NowTV.
@NOWTV-Teamcan you please provide the specifications/requirements that NowTV has in regards to using a Chromecast? Are there specific router settings/features needed?

 

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