Unfortunately the Now TV Player for Samsung TV is horrible, the worst player of all streaming services out there:
- Default resolution is 720p, additionally paid resolution is 1080p with low bitrate, no 4k. What year is this?
- The 1080p suffers from visual glitches most likely due to low bitrate. Haven't had that problem with any other player
- Non-skippable adverts before each episode
- No "skip intro" option
- Can't pause playback with a single click on the remote. Need to click twice to stop playback and then twice again to start it, as a single click brings up the menu.
Horrible, horrible player 😑
I dont want to rain on your parade...
But, basically, welcome to NOW.......
The player experience is pretty universal across multiple platforms - it ranges from Bad to Worse.
The service itself is light years behind all the other streaming players in the market - which is extra bad considering its actually the most expensive.
720p as standard is unacceptable. the paid upgrade only goes as far as 1080p so doesnt come close to 4K and ATMOS audio that others are routinely providing.
Non skippable adverts.... yep... theres that. Always surprises me how ANY subscription service also serves adverts - aren't we paying to NOT have ads here?
Player controls are highly dependant on the platform and the remote. Think yourself lucky as if you have an AppleTV although you can pause pretty easily given there is a play/pause button on the remote... if you want to FF/RW its a nightmare as they refuse to use the AppleTV native controls and you have to click and then select FF/RW then press again then move back to the play button - its awful.
It is horrible but NOW dont seem to care much.
Those aren’t adverts before the shows. They are promos.
So that’s alright then 😛
No, they aren't they are adverts,
If you dont pay for boost you get a promo AND ads before a show.... on the entertainment pass at least.
The same promos that you get with Amazon prime videos 🤔
At least however with them you get to skip them!
no! They are actual adverts.
April 1st was yesterday stop gaslighting me 🙂
Seriously - I get one or two ADS for cars/washing powder/etc etc - THEN the promo for NOW content... then the show starts!
And no, not skippable 😞
Ouch that sucks, so non boost customers have to deal with all that then the promos for NOW/Sky 😳
The skip feature is something that should be added. Especially for recaps and intros!
Would be nice to skip the promos if you have boost too.
On a side note, I almost caved in on buying an Apple TV 😲
it very much does!
On the one hand I very much disagree with ANY paid-for streaming platform showing Ads - Thats what we are paying for - funding the service and NOT paying money to then see ads.
Netflix have a lower cost ad-supported tier but thats OK - the price is less because of it and you have a choice.
NOW, as the most expensive UK streaming service to ALSO serve ads to paying subscribers is plain wrong. Ive always argued that SKY ONE/Atlantic etc etc should never have ads as you can only watch it with a subscription but Sky have done this forever and dont seem to want to stop.
I may have an explanation as to why some of you are disagreeing that Ads exist... Firstly, it's a 'benefit' of a boost pass that you dont get any Ads (apart from unwanted, unskippable NOW promos)... so if you pay for boost you get 'ad free'. Secondly... I used to have a boost pass - when it lapsed I STILL didnt get ads - they never appeared... I put this down to some kind of most welcome glitch on NOW's side.... however that all changed for me when I took another Boost offer and had it half price for 3 months.... it's only when that lapsed that I started to get Ads.
So some of you are obviously ad-free because you are paying for boost, and some are ad-free in a post boost pass world because of a NOW glitch - top tip if thats you.... dont take out another boost sub because when that lapses you will get ads.
Yes, I see we were at cross-purposes there 😢
But currently, we are watching the slow disintegration of Now, as series we once took for granted on Now peel off to other streaming services - Disney, Paramount, what-have-you.
And the trickle will become a flood when HBO goes in a couple of years.
But unlike the other services, Now doesn’t live or die by what it puts out, isn’t worried about the lack of 4K, and so on, because it doesn’t see itself as an expensive streaming service, it sees itself as Sky’s bargain basement.
And from that mindset comes the ‘let them eat cake’ view that “Hey, here’s unique content cheap (compared with the other ways you can get it from us), no contract, and if you want 4K, we offer that on Sky Streaming, on the internet like Now, still no contract; or full-blown Sky on satellite.”
So try to look at it with Sky’s mindset, get inside their head, see how they are thinking.
Now is Sky wringing the last drops out of the wet tea-towel of its content revenue, from people who aren’t going to pay for Sky’s more premium services.
So they look at postings like yours, go “Great, we aren’t too cheap then”, note that you are still subscribing, and then go “Great, we aren’t too expensive then”, and continue charging what the market will bear until they are.
Also looking gleefully at the considerable extra revenue they are getting from BT TV, where, no matter how much BT slice off the top, armloads of people are apparently happy to pay top whack for Now, without a sniff of the retention deals we all snag for ourselves that renders quoting Now’s headline prices a touch academic 💷💷💷
Sadly, you aren't wrong there.
NOW is, indeed, Sky's 'poor mans cousin' and as long as its just a bit cheaper than Sky Glass/Stream/Q AND significantly hamstrung such as no 4K or ATMOS options, then it is cheap enough in Sky's eyes and gives them a springboard product from which to up-sell to the more expensive options.
But also, as many have mentioned, NOW refuses to see itself in its correct context i.e. just one of several UK streaming services all competing for those all important monthly subscribers. Like it or not they share the pool with Netflix, Disney+, Prime Video, Paramount+ etc and this is direct competition.
Customers do not have infinite finances, and WILL be more discerning with their streaming services. Most people dont subscribe to ALL of them so services like NOW really cant go on ignoring this forever.
As many of us seem to know.... yet none of us work at Sky of course.... NOW's days in its current guise are numbered - I really believe that. NOW refuses to change and continues to try to rip off customers with very poor service and standards and people will certainly vote with their feet. NOW seem to be relying on high profile tentpole acquisitions such as The Last Of Us, or House of the Dragon - but those will dry up someday and a single show is not enough as they seem to think it is.
In my opinion we will see one of the following outcomes in the next few years:
1. NOW simply disappears - enough people have been convinced to take up Sky Stream to make NOW very niche. NOW as a 'portable service' accessing content through an app will be rolled into the Stream package and all content will be available through Sky GO via the stream subscription. The functionality remains but no longer called NOW but significantly more expensive to access.
2. NOW folds itself into another provider like Netflix - this is possible as there is not room for all the multiple services long term. In the same way we get peacock rolled into NOW entertainment... and Paramount+ is rolled into Sky Cinema for non NOW customers.... This is already happening inevitably and in the USA several stand alone "me too" studios who tried their own streaming service for their own content have had no choice but to give up and merge.
3. NOW changes significantly and is forced into changing its output in line with its competitors - it no longer differentiates between Movies and TV shows as none of the other services do - and it lowers its price AND raises its quality so you end up with a service that has Movies, TV, minimum 1080p but preferably 4K all for £9.99 - £12.99 price range per month.
It will be interesting to see where this goes. Change is already afoot but behind the scenes.
Good analysis. To see where it’s going, maybe look at Xfinity and NBCUniversal in the US; not a lot more entertainment than Peacock on NBCUniversal, but XFinity pushing themselves as a broadband supplier and aggregator of other, individual, subscription services.
Your option 1 I see as possible; 2 likewise, but rolled into Comcast-owned Peacock, not some third party. 3 is possible, but not with Sky’s current mindset.
Can I suggest maybe Option 1a? Sky Stream comes down in price to something doable for Now customers, maybe adding, or being, something second tier to the current Sky Stream, as Sky will no longer have the expense of running Now; maybe they can de-puck Sky Stream, or offer the puck nearer to Now box/stick prices?
I wonder how Sky are getting on with Sky Stream now - these days, they’ve now got two products cannibalising full-blown Sky, Now built with the technology available ten years ago, and Sky Stream with today’s technology,
Sky know there will always be holdouts against their dish/contract full offering, but I don’t think they will be happy going forward for the long term servicing two levels of holdouts.
Technology has changed a lot. I believe if it hasn’t happened already that the time will come very soon. sky will no longer offer physical dish installs. products like sky Q will be phased out and customers will be encouraged to move to sky stream. I can see the sky stream platform being the only way to watch a sky in the future.
The sky glass device I believe has very limited appeal in the market as many people are happy with their televisions and simply want to add sky. The sky stream puck is perfect for this and sky know that.
It is certainly true, that NOW is an aged service. Ironically, perhaps a little ahead of its time when it was launched.
I can certainly see sky stream and NOW eventually being merged, but as you say, the sky stream service will probably end up as an app that runs on a number of platforms with no need for a physical device. If the customer already has something suitable, the Apple TV box is a good example of this as it’s computationally far more able than even the sky stream box is and an app which simply gave you the sky stream experience, seems a very straightforward thing to provide.
The best way to put it is that NOW will continue to exist until such time that the sky stream service no longer requires a proprietary box to use it. When that time comes, there will be no need for NOW anymore. For me, I would not be interested in this because all I want is to access some of Sky’s programming output and I don’t want any of the other features that are included with the stream service.
One thing is for sure, I don’t see that sky will ever be looking to make this service cheaper in any way, shape or form as much as we are customer would like them to do so
Hey, go subscribe to Sky. I am certainly not doing that anytime soon to pay their bloated prices while locked into a long-term contract.
Sky Stream has the long-term contract issue covered; it can be month to month, like Now.
And its pricing can get very close to some Now deals, though not the Cinema/Entertainment duo many of us have.
Can’t currently match the way I can watch Now on any of 18 devices in my home, as the mood takes me, though.
Close, but no cigar! And no app?
Puck-based at the moment. But we might hope Sky Go, or even Now, apps would point the way to native Sky Streaming apps.
Aye. But still a way to go before they meet. In the meantime I will still rather pay for NOW when and if required. Mostly for the footy, I will happily admit, anything else they may throw at me I will occasionally accept at an offer price and cancel as soon as the offer expires. Other people have different interests, of course.
Yep, Now still wins the day for me at the moment. But Sky will very soon have some choices to make….