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KeithP
Mentor

NO 5.1 Audio with 'new' but crippled NowTV app on AppleTV 4K

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.

 

 

13 Replies
gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@KeithP 

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. 

 

https://help.nowtv.com/article/what-is-now-boost

 

What do I need to get NOW Boost?

One of these devices: 

  • Apple TV HD (gen 4) or 4K (Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound not supported on Apple TV)
FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
KeithP
Mentor

Hi @gavs82008 

 

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!

 

 

gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

@KeithP 

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. 

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
nst
Expert 3

@KeithP 

 

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.

RichD
Advocate

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 …..

Flashf1
Advocate

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

ChiefSpaceGobln
Scholar

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.

Flashf1
Advocate

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.

RichD
Advocate

I can only see Stereo in on demand entertainment section unfortunately …. However clearly it can be provided (last time I called them they told me it was an apple issue!)
nst
Expert 3

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!!!!!!!!!!

Clem_Dye
Scholar

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?

nst
Expert 3

@Clem_Dye 

 

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.

Clem_Dye
Scholar

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.