I recently dumped the increasingly expensive SkyQ in favour of NowTV, since we mostly watch Sky Altantic or Sky Cinema anyway and for that the monthly Sky fees really didn't stack up.
Having checked it was supported, I also bought 2 AppleTV 4K boxes. Of course, folks here on this forum know the issue ( Update NowTV app for AppleTV thread ), but it is very easy to miss this bit of information when you are doing pre-purchase research. And who on earth would even imagine they would release a new app for this hi spec box without supporting multichannel audio?
I thought it worth posting a new thread here in the hope I might help someone else make the mistake.
I have had an extremely frustrating and utterly useless exchange with NowTV support on the issue. No information on whether an update to enable 5.1 is likely any time soon. The only offer is 1 month off ether Entertainment or Cinema. If I want decent audio with NowTV, I will have to buy a NowTV stick or FireTV stick etc. on which it is supported. Another purchase, another interface, another remote.👎
No wonder so many people are tech-phobic. Maybe one day 'stuff' will just work... but for now it seems 'Plug and Play' is still a long way away.
The boost article indicates clearly that 5.1 is not supported for Apple TV. Yes its very far from ideal, but is something that is "advertised" so to speak.
What do I need to get NOW Boost?
One of these devices:
I know the information is there, and I discovered it pretty quickly once I actually identified the issue. My point really is that it is quite easy to miss when you are purchasing.
The main NowTV landing page has a 'How to Watch' link, where it tells you that you can watch on over 60 devices. AppleTV is listed (with a note about versions 1,2&3 not being supported, no mention of any other limitations).
So click the AppleTV link https://www.nowtv.com/devices/appletv and now we have the AppleTV page. There is a nice big panel advertising BOOST on this page 'Full HD, ad-free streaming'. Again no mention of limitations on audio.
So if I click on 'What do I get with NOW Boost' toward the bottom of the page I see I can get Full HD and Surround Sound Dolby Digital 5.1. This is on the AppleTV section. At the bottom it says 'Available on selected content and devices. See here for more information. I have to follow that link, and then I have to expand the 'What do I need to get NOW Boost' before finally I see a little note that there is no Dolby Digital 5.1 on Apple TV HD (gen4).
If you ask me, that is pretty well buried news!
Don't get me wrong, I totally understand the baffled frustration on the lack of 5.1. Espeically when it comes to movies and a large chunk of entertainment content.
When NOW released the long waited app after what I noticed of months of beta testing, the ommision of 5.1 was a surpirse to me. More so when they launched it on Amazon Fire sticks with all the bells and whistles on it.
From what I remember reading an article in June I saw a mention of Apple TV and 5.1 listed for later in the year.
For those spending a LOT of money on the Apple TV devices I really feel for them, espeically when the fire stick is around the £30-£50 mark and they get 5.1 whereas Apple devices don't.
Im not sure we need another thread on the subject as its been done to death and beyond elsewhere.
I certainly agree with everything you've said. Yes, the information is there if you look for it but I can understand when buying the 'best' streaming box where 'boost' is supported you'd automatically assume that an OLD audio technology i.e. 5.1 would be fine on a box littered with apps that already do it and in fact go further with 4K and ATMOS.
I dont understand Now's problem.
I do believe they will finally fix it sometime. Why the delay and why they thought its OK to only half support a boost pass whilst charging full price for it and leaving off a main feature which is more important for cinema pass watchers baffles me.
Although its astonishing and unforgivable id say 2 things to you.
1. I believe the AppleTV 4K is the best box out there. The TV app and integration with all the streaming services (including Now, surprisingly) is worth the price of the box alone and it beats every other one on the market. You made the right decision.
2. 5.1 must, surely, be sorted at some point. Im assuming this year. Unforgivable that it isnt yet but hey.. hold out for it its worth sticking with AppleTV.
Hear Hear … as you say done to death but I am another aTV user waiting … and amazed that NOW TV support claim it’s an issue on the apple side …..
So I see it’s working now, Apple TV, Now TV with boost is giving us DD 5.1 at last! Looks and sound great
Is 5,1 for the NowTV app solely for live TV or is it available for on demand content as well on ATV 4K?
Keeping an Entertainment subscription going for Fringe & the latest season of Grey’s for my wife (both watched on demand, not live). Can just about live with 720p (watching on a Sony 4K Dolby Vision capable set), so an extra £5 a month for a modest uptick in picture resolution hasn’t been worth it without 5,1 With 5,1 though for on demand content I’d consider it, especially with an occasional Cinema pass.
Live football today on sky sports, not certain about sports extra. Also, live and on demand on the free cinema trial. Don’t use the entertainment section.
yet another false alarm?
We know it works in Live content.
it has been doing so since August 2021.
NOW refuse to acknowledge that it does and still refuse to say if and when it will.
Meanwhile its officially just a 2.0 app (though we know it isn't).
...... about time they fixed this isn't it!!!!!!!!!!
I’ve been itching to buy an AppleTV 4K box for sone time now, but have held off because of the lack of 5.1 audio from NowTV with the Boost pass.
Looking at this thread, I’m a little confused. Is it actually working across the service now, for things like Entertainment, is it limited to just live streaming, or have I completely misunderstood and in fact, 5.1 audio is still missing?
Me again replying you 🙂 pick a thread.. any thread 🙂
current situation is that 5.1 is NOT supported. Still.
When you ask about it you are told that 5.1 docent work on the AppleTV app...... YET... we know that it works perfectly well on the 'Live' channels. As soon as you try to watch something from on demand it will only do 2.0.
This has been the case since August 2021 when we first noticed the 5.1 working for Live. NOW have repeatedly denied that the app can support 5.1 and this is obviously wrong.
Technically there seems to be no reason why the app cant support 5.1 especially as all other apps on the platform have managed it for 10 years or so now!
On the other point... buy the AppleTV. Its a great platform, and in my opinion the best. Im sure that someday NOW will pull their finger out and make it work.
I can't justify an ATV box if part of the reason for buying it is to support NowTV if the app. is still so flawed. I also believe that the latest ATV box doesn't offer 4K HLG support on the iPlayer app., another piece of 20th century bilge that we're expected to make do with.
I can't believe that this still hasn't been fixed, none of the other apps I have on the ATV 4K have an issue outputting 5.1. That said, I can't believe Now Make you pay for that, the upgrade in quality and no ads, fine, I can accept that but really, in this day and age not having 5.1 as standard if your device supports it is ludicrous. I mean, the upgrade should really be to 4K but that's never gonna happen LOL..
There are two sensible reasons for cancelling Now:-
(i) there’s nothing you want to watch
(ii) you can’t afford it
Both reasons apply no matter how good or bad the service is.
Anything else is just pique.
@RichD im totally with you.
I cancelled my cinema pass and my boost pass a while ago. I still watch a fair bit of content on the entertainment pass and as I was never getting the 5.1 I was paying for anyway.. plus the non-fullHD picture is actually very good or at least completely passable for a streaming service...ive kept that one going.
But NOW will not be getting my money again - over 18 months of support promising that 5.1 was coming and never did. For many many reasons weve gone over and over in here its just unacceptable. 5.1 works for live on AppleTV... its has done for over a year now yet when you ask NOW they deny it.... therefore of course the app is capable of 5.1 (the box certainly is!) but for some reason they have not allowed it on the on demand content for reasons that are unfathomable.
@RoyB - call it pique if you like but don't make excuses for NOW. The way they have handled this is appalling. They need to explain to customers that choose to use an AppleTV why they cant have 5.1 on demand. Its a bit embarrassing trying to explain why their app is incapable of something that they provide on most other supported platforms and in itself is a decade old and since surpassed by 4K and ATMOS which other apps on AppleTV have no difficulty providing. They have to remember they are in a competitive environment and their offering needs to be compelling.
Furthermore as @Handsomeinked has said, to think of 5.1 in 2022 as an optional extra is laughable... HD and 5.1 should be a baseline in modern streaming services.
What I find interesting is that NOW as a company seem to think that sub par service is something that people will both pay for and put up with.... As Netflix will tell you.... in the cost of living crisis that we are really only at the beginning of, most people start to cancel the non essentials and Netflix is seen as non essential by many people given their drastic drop in subscribers. I think for Netflix those subscribers will return but in a more discerning way i.e. Pay for 1 month when theres enough content available and binge it all then cancel again. NOW will end up in a much worse state than Netflix - I imagine its the first thing people will cancel - especially as they have the cheek to charge £5 a month for a boost pass - theres a £5 saving straight away that most people could make.
I certainly can see NOW in the months ahead losing many subscribers.
Legally? Do please tell us how.