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.
@RichD This is precisely the route ive taken.
If im being honest, Sky Cinema content falls into two categories for me. 1. A movie I saw at the cinema and am very happy to watch it a second time on NOW when it appears, and 2. A movie I want to see but not want enough to pay for cinema tickets to do so.
That said, I cancelled my NOW movies and boost subscription back in Feb this year - since then there have been only 4 movies that would fall into those categories.... 1 ive seen before, and 3 I haven't.
I paid £4.99 to rent one of them when it appeared on Apple - of course I got that movie in 4K quality and ATMOS sound - so a vastly superior experience than Sky Movies on NOW can muster, That said, I haven't yet been bothered to rent the other 2 of the ones ive not seen... and it makes you a bit more discerning on wanting to re-watch the one I haven't. Of course that rental window in Apple is itself quite small as it disappears when NOW get it, and then all you can do is buy it.
My rationale is this. it would have cost me £70 for NOW cinema pass in the last 7 months, and if I had rented those 4 movies then it would have cost £20.
Ill be honest, and for a slightly balanced view... often some slightly obscure movie appears on NOW that id not even have contemplated watching but it peaks my interest enough to watch it and many times ive enjoyed it. I do miss that flexibility. Again, if you wait long enough once a movie comes off NOW, it will inevitably appear on Netflix or Amazon... so wait long enough and you'll get it.
I would like to say that I will do a single month's Cinema pass and watch those other 3 movies as on offer, having cancelled a pass they will give it back to you for £5.99 - but what stops me especially for a movies service is the non HD and 2.0 sound - even thats not worth £5.99 to me to watch it like that.
Actually, I’m quite a fierce critic of Now, though not usually in public. But given all the faults with the service, it’s amazing how many people over-egg the pudding when they complain about it. So my ‘excuses’ for Now tend to be of the “I know it’s bad, but it’s not that bad” kind.
But don’t think I’m not aware of where the bodies are buried; though if I list them, I doubt you will find me on here tomorrow 😛
And yes, people will start pulling their horns in, and there will be a lot more of the multi-household sharing that worries Netflix, and of dipping in and out of subscriptions, month by month, something the providers will try to combat by dribbling out new episodes instead of launching whole box sets at once. And various other measures.
But content is king, and as long as Sky/Now have HBO, they can run Now as a second string to Sky, carefully configured not to cannibalise Sky subscribers, which Now might, if it had UHD and HDR, and as good a router as Sky, and as seamless a service as Sky.
This is something that affects Now like no other streaming service is affected, and goes to explain a lot.
Now thinks it is in competition with Netflix, Disney, and so on. (And Now is right).
Sky thinks Now is in competition with it. (And Sky is right).
But the steps Sky are taking to limit the competition that Now presents also limit Now’s ability to match its competition technically.
So Now has to compete on the content it offers.
You want what Now has, in UHD? If you care enough, move to Sky; that’s Sky’s take on it.
@RoyB you are correct in everything you say there.
I would slightly disagree with you, with respect, when you think people 'over egg' their criticisms - I cant really say ive got that from these forums and everyone has genuine gripes.
remember of course a forum is the place people come to solve problems and not sing the praises of something.
I find NOW's future fascinating. To me, its always been the poor man's SkyQ and yes they take very deliberate steps to differentiate the two services. For sure, 4K will certainly never be an option on NOW as if you want that you'll need Q, Glass, or Stream (the puck). BUT where will this all end?
On the one hand, NOW has to exist in context of Netflix, Disney+, Amazon prime - it is hand in had with these and directly in their peer group of services. In that context NOW is very poor given its cost, and quality (no 5.1 etc etc).
On the other hand, NOW has to also exist within its own ecosystem of offerings of Sky Glass and Sky Q, and Sky Stream. Sure, in this context NOW cannot have 4K and Atmos otherwise who would buy Sky Stream, Glass, or Q? Theres nothing left to upsell on. Its the upsell stuff which is very fragile here.
NOW will either ultimately fail and certainly come a distant last place to Netflix and Disney+ - or it will thrive as Glass, Q, and even Stream customers will seek ways to get the same content they want but even cheaper.
The closest interesting thing is Sky Stream - I thought that it was due to launch by now but seems it hasn't yet - I found prices a while back and its still way more than NOW.
The best competition that NOW has is in fact from Virgins Stream system - you can get sky movies and entertainment for only a few quid more than if you used NOW passes and they give you 10% back per month including Netflix and Disney subs too. The downside for me is that I don't want another streaming box thanks - my AppleTV blows them all out the water and the TV app that syncs across devices is worth its weight in gold frankly - and its Free.
Sounds like we are pretty much on the same page 🙂
The crunch point for Now Entertainment will come in 2024, I think, when HBO will want their ball back, and probably start their own streaming service over here.
I recently bought an Apple TV+ device; we haven’t even tried to watch Now on it, though the device is certainly a cut above the Sticks (as it should be, at 3-5 times the price!), and we are devouring the Paramount+ Yellowstone on it at present.
Virgin is an odd one; can you get their service if you aren’t on Virgin Broadband? We’ve never been in a Virgin-cabled area, though we did have its predecessor Telewest, pre-2007, when BT said we were too far away from their exchange.
For an example of ‘bad but not that bad’ though, here’s a recent one:-
No malice, but tarring the whole of Now with the same brush having apparently tried only the PC app. Where the Apple TV Now app is pretty near the pinnacle by comparison 😛
Welcome to the AppleTV.
You must get to grips with the TV app - its really great when it works (granted not always!) but it keeps track of all your content across all the streaming apps (apart from Netflix sadly) but NOW is included. If you also have an iPhone or iPad it syncs across those too.
Personally, I couldn't have taken the plunge and left my old paradigm of SkyQ recording queue without the Apple TV app to hand - and frankly its a superior and zero cost experience.
The Apple TV on Sky Q and Sky Glass now supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos before it was limited to Stereo Audio. I wonder if this might have been part of the reason Now was gimping the Apple TV app to Stereo. Probably not but we will see if an update soon fixes it to 5.1
@Enapace Do you mean the AppleTV+ app on SkyQ?
If they do finally "fix" 5.1 on the AppleTV NOW app, for me its too little too late. The App in its current form is now nearly 2 Years old. The world of streaming is ever evolving, and at a breakneck pace. Since this app launched in December 2020 there have been several new streaming services launched in the UK.. the most recent of which being Paramount+. Now, I firmly believe that these multiple disparate streaming services will ultimately collapse under their own collective weight but NOW has to evolve and adapt quicker than it has done. To NOT be providing 5.1 on a platform when one of its USPs is a movies channel where it seems content to charge £15 a month to 'include' 5.1 and actually NOT include 5.1 is just laughable and people will vote with their wallets. I believe the concept of 'boost' itself... let alone charging £5 a month for the privilege, is rapidly going to become a liability and they should bundle that in free of charge if they expect to survive.
Ive always believed the non-5.1 restriction has been artificial and deliberate for whatever reason given how straightforward it seems for all the other apps on the platform to provide 5.1 and have been doing so for the last 10 years.
Yes I do the AppleTV + app now has Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos Support it didn’t before and had stereo audio.
I cancelled my Now TV sub ages back but I've just resubbed to watch the Game of Thrones prequel thing. Of course I checked to see if they had finally got off their backsides and fixed the broken 5.1.... but no, it's still stereo on a box which routinely outputs Atmos from multiple streaming apps.
Stereo. In 2022. On a service which is £15 a month. Apple TV+ is £5 a month and is 4K Dolby Vision at a vastly higher no bitrate than Now TV and of course everything is in full Atmos. It's beyond pathetic. It's insulting, infantile, idiotic, absurd, offensive, and imbecilic.
Needless to say I shall watch the Dragon show at high speed then unsub again. What a truly awful service. Fingers crossed they go out of business and HBO can sell their content to a company which actually gives a damn.
Is it safe to assume they still haven't enabled 5.1 audio for ATV users yet? If so, what a joke.
I think it must now be safe to assume that they have no intention of fixing it. I don't think they are even investigating it. I assume for some commercial reason that I cannot fathom they just don't want AppleTV users to benefit from 5.1 audio (let alone Atmos, QHD etc etc.) on their platform. I have completely given up on it ever happening.
And yet they seem content to carry on charging AppleTV users the full whack for the boost pass despite not providing full functionality for the add-on.
Weve covered this over and over - and yet nothing happens.
We were promised when the 'new' app launched TWO YEARS ago - yes it's been 2 years now... that 5.1 was going to be fixed - and here we are.....
Unfathomable. Inexcusable. Laughable. Embarrassing.
Heads up, I’m in Ireland and the NOWTV app here (which was always a slightly modified version of the UK app to allow for bt sport) has had a major refresh which from my first looking has the following benefits:
- Dolby 5.1 added finally on Entertainment and Movies on demand, however while Sky never claimed to support Dolby 5.1 on live content (even though it did) it no longer appears to work in this new version unless I’m mistaken.
- The video player moved over to the apple format for menus etc
- It appears to be based off the other iOS apps as the version number is already 25.0.1
I assume the UK app will get this refresh in the coming days, note you can’t use a UK login on the Irish app version so don’t waste your time trying.
FYI from @carlos321
Also I got myself an Apple TV 4K mainly for the smart bulbs I recently bought. Although I am in awe on how slick and fast the device is!
Definitely glad I bought it and used some of the streaming apps on it which were great compared to my Sony TV. If the app is updated in the ROI to what is mentioned from @carlos321 then hopefully us UK folk aren’t too far behind!
That’s really interesting.
There’s always been disparity between countries versions of the app. I remember when we were waiting for the new Apple TV version others got it well in advance of uk.
that said this is huge news if they have made such a big change as you described.
according to the boost page today they still explicitly say that the Apple TV doesn’t support 5.1.
Is it possible to post some screenshots of the new interface?
@carlos321 can you confirm the new version number on TVOS now?
Im sure that we will have very different ones anyway but your post has given me hope that NOW will finally make the app decent in the UK.
The biggest issues were with boost support and the playback interface... but if you are saying they fixed these then theres hope.
Im very surprised to see them support the AppleTV player - but thats significant.
I eagerly await if we get the newer version in the UK.
The new ROI version on TVOS is 25.0.1.
I thought that the 5.1 wasn’t working on live tv but a few mins into the Liverpool game it kicked in so maybe some fine tuning going on.
Hi @carlos321 ,
Is your watchlist missing from the updated app? I can't find it anywhere in the new application, it's not even way down on the main page like it was recently.
The watchlist was missing when I first logged in to the new ROI app but the day after it appeared, maybe try restarting the app or the Apple TV
Thanks @carlos321, it appeared when I added a show to the watchlist on Apple TV. It doesn't appear to be syncing with my accounts watchlist at the moment as changes aren't reflected on the Apple TV device only, probably a bug like the live TV pause buffering indefinitely if you try to catch on the live broadcast. Nice to have working 5.1 though after all this time.
In the UK, or at least on my appletv right now.... im on 7.4.0.
25.0.1 at least version-wise seems significantly different.
Out of interest the current iOS version is 36.0.0.