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Stormoak
Mentor

Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

I have been using my Samsung Smart UHD tv with the Now TV app for some time. Apart from fairly frequent freezes on loading or exit it has worked ok. The TV is connected to a decent surround system that produces good results with Amazon and Netflix. I recently upgraded Now TV with a boost pass. I get 5.1 sound now with my cinema pass and a 78** something stream at the same time. This confirms that my pass is active, that I have enabled surround sound in the App Boost settings and that I do not have a technical issue with the TV or surround system. Oh and my internet speed is around 35mbs, give or take and I can easily stream UHD on Amazon and Netflix. So, what's the problem? Well, we have been watching Tin Star on the Entertainment pass and despite the content being labelled as having 5.1 sound and HD picture, it consistently plays with stereo and a 48** stream which is what it would be without the Boost pass. I did have one episode stream at 78** and surround but have been unable to replicate that. I have tried restarting the TV and the App, I have signed out of the App and reinstalled it then signed in again. I checked to see if the Boost pass and the surround sound setting were still active and they were - but the problem is still there. Is there a software issue in the App? Has the content been mislabelled? Does the stream quality get downgraded when the servers are busy? It is not my internet connection as I can switch to a movie and instantly get a 78** and 5.1 sound. Likewise with other streaming services. Since we watch more box sets than movies help would be appreciated as the pass seems a bit of a waste at the moment.

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nst
Expert 3

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

hi @Stormoak 

 

If you follow other threads you'll see that boost can be a thorny issue.

 

To cut a long story short.. it appears that even if your platform "supports" boost (and ALL elements of it) its still no guarantee it always works.

 

On the AppleTV they implemented boost but withheld 5.1 so the boost pass is missing 5.1 - strikes me as a weird and important thing to leave out but apparently some are content to have this missing as they only have 2.0 sound systems which makes sense.

 

Anyway.. as an owner of a very decent 5.1 system its important to me, as it seems to be to you, to have what you pay for i.e. 5.1 sound.

 

I have been forced to juggle a few platforms and having abandoned what should be my number 1 choice.. the AppleTV, I have been using the builtin LG TV WebOS app.. and lately the newly released Fire Stick app.  Both of which apparently "do" support 5.1.

 

However, here's the rub.. and I suspect you are having the same issue.... I have found on numerous occasions that content on NowTV that is specifically labelled as 5.1 and HD often in fact is not.  Frankly this is pretty unforgivable of NowTV as they can't label things in one way yet deliver them in another.  I have found this pretty random at times... some episodes of a series are 2.0 and some are 5.1 - I am able to cross check by switching between LG and Firestick and when content is 2.0 its 2.0 across the board.

 

I can only surmise that sometimes.. well... NowTV just doesn't work... or perhaps they have bandwidth issues and decide arbitrarily to pause 5.1....  Personally I think this is appalling and they charge for 5.1 they should deliver it all the time.

 

I have noticed this on the entertainment pass, and not the cinema one as that seems more consistent.

 

Of course NowTV would squarely put the blame on the individual channel's shoulders.. (even things on Sky1 and Sky Atlantic they will blame the originator) however they cannot and should not get away with still labelling the shows or episodes as 5.1 when that's not what they are delivering.

The situation is worse on the AppleTV right now as they are not providing 5.1 at all in the boost pass however this information is buried deep in their support pages and yet they still label all their content in the AppleTV app as being 5.1 when it clearly isnt.  This is a trading standards issue plain and simple.

 

Anyway, in your case.. its just that sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't... even though they say they do.... as annoying as that is.

 

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9 Replies
nst
Expert 3

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

hi @Stormoak 

 

If you follow other threads you'll see that boost can be a thorny issue.

 

To cut a long story short.. it appears that even if your platform "supports" boost (and ALL elements of it) its still no guarantee it always works.

 

On the AppleTV they implemented boost but withheld 5.1 so the boost pass is missing 5.1 - strikes me as a weird and important thing to leave out but apparently some are content to have this missing as they only have 2.0 sound systems which makes sense.

 

Anyway.. as an owner of a very decent 5.1 system its important to me, as it seems to be to you, to have what you pay for i.e. 5.1 sound.

 

I have been forced to juggle a few platforms and having abandoned what should be my number 1 choice.. the AppleTV, I have been using the builtin LG TV WebOS app.. and lately the newly released Fire Stick app.  Both of which apparently "do" support 5.1.

 

However, here's the rub.. and I suspect you are having the same issue.... I have found on numerous occasions that content on NowTV that is specifically labelled as 5.1 and HD often in fact is not.  Frankly this is pretty unforgivable of NowTV as they can't label things in one way yet deliver them in another.  I have found this pretty random at times... some episodes of a series are 2.0 and some are 5.1 - I am able to cross check by switching between LG and Firestick and when content is 2.0 its 2.0 across the board.

 

I can only surmise that sometimes.. well... NowTV just doesn't work... or perhaps they have bandwidth issues and decide arbitrarily to pause 5.1....  Personally I think this is appalling and they charge for 5.1 they should deliver it all the time.

 

I have noticed this on the entertainment pass, and not the cinema one as that seems more consistent.

 

Of course NowTV would squarely put the blame on the individual channel's shoulders.. (even things on Sky1 and Sky Atlantic they will blame the originator) however they cannot and should not get away with still labelling the shows or episodes as 5.1 when that's not what they are delivering.

The situation is worse on the AppleTV right now as they are not providing 5.1 at all in the boost pass however this information is buried deep in their support pages and yet they still label all their content in the AppleTV app as being 5.1 when it clearly isnt.  This is a trading standards issue plain and simple.

 

Anyway, in your case.. its just that sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't... even though they say they do.... as annoying as that is.

 

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Stormoak
Mentor

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

Thank you for the brilliant reply! I suspected it was something like this and it helps me to know it is not something I can do much about except perhaps vote with my feet (or should I say Mouse). You are right that 5.1 sound is important to me and I sit looking at the surround amp willing it to display the 5.1 sound symbols. However the picture is also noticably better in full HD as opposed to the approximation that Now TV serves up as standard. From what I have seen if you do not get 5.1 you also only get 720p on the display. It is very easy to see the difference on a large screen UHD TV. I will let my pass run a little longer so I get a better idea of how bad the problem is and then maybe stop it while they get their act together (if they ever do haha). Oh, and thanks for the tip about the Firestick - I didn't know that Now TV was available on these now. I have two Fire TV boxes (one a cube) in other rooms. Is it available on those as well? In one room I have been switching between an old Fire TV box and an old Now TV Roku box. These are also hooked to a surround amp via hdmi so i could do a similar check to the one you mentioned with the content. Many thanks again for your time and trouble in replying!

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nst
Expert 3

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

@Stormoak 

 

You are welcome.  I am no expert by any means but can only tell you as I have experienced too.

 

I think the reason they seem so able to "get away with it" is the attitude of some, if not most the boost subscribers (I don't mean this in a bad way before anyone gets upset).

 

I was recently "put in my place" in another thread about my moaning about 5.1 not being provided on the AppleTV boost pass as another poster was perfectly happy with 1080p 50hz, and multiple streams withhout getting the 5.1.  I tried a discussion but wasn't very successful - he seemed to think that as he had no use for 5.1 then nobody else should either and be happy with not getting it at all....  the reality being that different people want different things.

 

As Ive explained in the past... taking the 4 elements of the boost pass i.e.

 

1080p.

5.1 sound

50Hz

Multiple streams

 

Personally I only have use of 2 of them... those are 1080p and 5.1. I think 50hz is only really noticeable on sports which I don't watch.. and I live alone so im not fussed about additional streams.  I am, on paper, very easy to please with the boost pass!

 

I am happy to pay the full £3 a month knowing I don't want 2 of the 4... but I do feel im within my rights to expect to get those 2!  and on whatever platform they say supports "boost" - my point being if it doesn't support all 4 then arguably they shouldnt ofer it at all as its not the full boost pass that they are charging for.

 

Horses for courses here of course.  You and I have 5.1 systems and want.. no expect.. to get the advertised 5.1 sound  - it makes a huge difference in sound quality.  I expect that many people either watch via a tablet/phone... or just use the left/right channel speakers in their TV, or have an average.. or even fancy sounder which still is quite common for it to only supply a left, right, and centre channel and not the rears - or if it does then they are those horrible 'simulated' ones and I suspect you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a 2.0 and 5.1 signal in that case.

In these cases, of course boost subscribers are happy with 3 out of the 4 benefits of boost and couldn't care less that 5.1 was not being provided.

 

However, that all being said.. I strongly believe that if you say you are providing 5.1 then you must!... especially if you label it as such - I don't see how that can be argued against.

 

Voting with your feet is one thing - telling them why is another - although I suspect they will not pay any attention.

 

From my perspective, despite what I say, Im still content to be a boost subscriber.  I do wish that they fully supported boost on AppleTV to enable me to use the app - and I also wish that they provided it everywhere they say they do - its totally unacceptable to not.   Watching TV content on the entertainment pass and discovering that its just s 2.0 feed is not acceptable in my opinion.

Again, that being said, as much as I want 5.1 on TV shows... its mostly of benefit on Movies and I have to say that ive yet to settle down to watch a movie where the 5.1 soundtrack is missing via the boost pass.

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boygarland
Scholar 2

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

I’ve been experiencing this too.  A lot of content that should be HD and was previously HD is not HD.

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nst
Expert 3

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

@boygarland 

 

I think its nothing short of scandalous that they can get away with it.

 

You pay for one product.. they label it as such... and yet they deliver something of inferior quality.

 

Can you imagine any retailer getting away with it?

 

If they are having bandwidth or capacity issues then they need to be transparent about it and label the content accordingly.  

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Daveyboy12345
Scholar

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

Yes, glad it’s not just me. Now tv boost pass as well and programs on now tv which were in full HD and 5.1 are now in lower bandwidth 4833 and only stereo sound and no 5.1. 

we are paying money to have two options available. Full 1080p and 5.1 sound. Neither of these are working with entertainment pack programs. 

why is this?

 

im wondering if it is a bandwidth problem due to the amount of people using the service but if that’s the case then they should state this and temporarily stop charging for the pass

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Carey11
Advocate

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

Same issue for me on a Samsung TV. With the boost pass it rarely hits real 1080p and often looks like a poor 720p despite saying the bit rate is 7810. I don't get this image quality issue on Netflix or Prime so it's not my internet connection. I've re-installed the TV app but can't do anymore.

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gavs82008
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

@Carey11 

Have you tried to set the TV back to factory settings? 
This has often proven to squash bugs on the system and for whatever reason get things working as they should again.


FYI that 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 and like you I am still a customer. For any account issues you’ll need to contact staff via customer support.
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Stormoak
Mentor

Re: Samsung TV App and Now TV Boost Issue

Many thanks for taking the time to reply. To be honest I have not done this. It takes me ages to get all the settings how I want them with a new set. There are many things like noise reduction and motion smoothing that to my eye make the picture worse. Not to mention having to reenter all my passwords for the streaming services I have. If I could back up my settings and restore them I would be more likely to do it. Also since I reliably get full HD and 5.1 sound with my Cinema pass I do feel that it is not likely to be a problem with the TV itself, although I accept I cannot rule that out 100%. If Sky are anything like Amazon they appear to have some sort of priority system for their own devices. When Amazon first started streaming football we could not get on the service at all with our TV while it was on and yet if you had a Fire TV device you still could. The Roku Now TV box that I took out of retirement does seem to be more reliable in this regard.