Will the Now TV app for Apple TV ever get an update?
The current version is complete rubbish and makes me regret ever getting a Now TV pass.
Unless there is an update my Now TV experience will be very short indeed.
Sky X, as it was called.... and already released in Australia.. was announced a few years ago here for release... but that release never came.
SkyX is basically full fat sky but with no dish - delivered via the internet. I guess it is cheaper than SkyQ but more expensive than nowTV.
however.. it all went strangely quiet. A quick google shows that they abandoned plans to release it in the UK and the announced debut never materialised.
As we have noted before... Sky will always differentiate between products - of course they will - their priority will always be to get as much money as possible and they want as much as they can from people who primarily purchase a sky q subscription.
NowTV is there to mop up people who want the content but are happy to have a lesser quality and functionality. Comparing NowTV to its "rivals" it is way behind. The others are offering Atmos, and 4K. NowTV can barely manage 1080p and 5.1 (and of course we know the story with AppleTV on that one!)... I also think NowTV will never offer 4K as that treads on the toes of SkyQ subscribers as 4K seems to be one of its USPs.... and they wouldn't want to cannibalise sales for people who want 4K content and therefore subscribe to the very pricey SkyQ service for it.
Hmmm I completed a now TV survey recently asking if I would pay for 4K amongst other questions.
I received a response from trials manager this morning saying what she repeated yesterday that 5.1 will be in a future update.no time frame was given nor was an explanation as to why this wasn’t in the newly released app. So there we have it when you ask the question they don’t answer just that it will be updated in future. I also mentioned that this is false Advertising as we are not getting what we pay for. As @nst mentioned this really does begger belief. Whilst I understand that many people are not bothered about surround sound there are many others who are. I myself am looking out for a sound bar so 5.1 would add to that. A few years back I had a Yamaha AV Receiver and believe me watching sports and movies made a huge Difference. So if anyone wants to contact the trials manager Anne feel free to do so the more that do the better. t r i a l s m a n a g e r @n o W t v . C o m
I applaud your efforts but I do feel that the trials manager is the wrong avenue for your frustration.
The trials manager and trials team are only responsible to getting us, the trialists, to use the software given to them by the development team.
They have no power or influence over what is delivered, and I can only assume they respond to queries as instructed to do so by the development team. Likewise they feed back to the development team anything that we tell them.
Although we were all given clear information from the trials team that Boost and TV integration would be included on launch... we have to assume that they were told this by the development team and simply passed this information on to us in good faith.
Right now, the trials team are simply repeating the current party line verbatim and there's no point pushing them further as that's all they will give you. Possibly.. who knows.. they are as frustrated with the situation as we are as they administered the 8 month trial, fielded a large number of queries from us, and made promises to us based on what they were told which turned out to be false. I imagine they have had a lot of complaints both from trialists and people waiting years for the new app only to be disappointed.
So who best to 'complain' to. I don't know. Maybe higher up. NowTV CEO? Maybe NowTV's twitter accounts.
Personally I feel quite defeated by the whole thing. I spent a long time with enthusiasm and trying to help but I was surprised at what was delivered. I would have 'forgiven' them for rushing out a half baked and feature poor app if they had done so a month or two into the trial... however 8 months in there is no excuse for what we have. There is also no excuse to rub our noses in it and one week later release a full featured app for Firesticks which is better than what we got on the AppleTV. There is also no technical reason for omitting 5.1, and no moral justification for charging for a full boost pass and only providing half the features and charging full price.
I have now walked away from the app that I spent so long testing on the AppleTV. It is simply not fit for (my) purpose and useless to me right now. I am using the Firestick version which, I suspect, was the plan all along.
What NowTV have against AppleTV users I don't know...... but we have certainly been poorly served by this.
Heres hoping that the app will be fixed much sooner than later. Im not holding my breath but until full boost support is included it simply is useless to me.
Yes your right @nst. How very sad that 8 months of doing work as beta testers and it comes to this. As yourself I’ve now resorted to the firestick myself which is not my preferred option but until the appletv gets sorted it will do.
Just as an interesting aside, with BT sport ultimate on apple TV they offer 4k and hdr content but not 4k hdr where as many devices do offer this. So it's not only now tv which doesn't offer full support
Has anyone managed to get Boost Mode working in any way? Obviously the surround sound is completely gone despite the 5.1 tag, but I can't even get it to show the 8mbit 1080p stream. I've watched a few shows so far in the public build and the quality is at best 720p and with the compression set to an insane level. It looks absolutely abysmal.
If I fire up the Now TV app on my LG OLED I sometimes get the 8mbit 1080p feed and 5.1 audio. I don't always get 1080p, it's regressed and will often get stuck at 720p. This didn't used to happen. My connection is fine needless to say.
I'm struggling to comprehend why the Apple TV is so bad. It was in development for literally YEARS, and yet when it's finally released it's horribly broken.
If nothing else it's simply dishonest, perhaps illegally so to advertise something as 1080p with 5.1 audio when that simply isn't true.
I have been lurking here for a few months following this waiting patiently on the new app but have now made an account just to post this...
I have been a dedicated NowTV fan for a very long time, since the Apple TV 2 almost a decade ago! Recently upgraded to a 4K HDR setup with 5.1 surround and excitedly loaded up a movie on the NowTV app and... it looks... absolutely awful. Some scenes are ‘okay’ but the compression is so, so noticeable in many other scenes, and the lack of 5.1 surround is mindblowingly out of date. Do they know what year this is?
This was what drove me to find this thread and I was excitedly following along the beta news about the new app but now I honestly cannot believe what they’ve released after all these years.
I’ve decided it’s Now time to stop recommending NowTV to friends and family and to look elsewhere for the content I watched on it. Disney and certain major movie releases have already left to better streaming platforms, but that still leaves HBO content. Good news there though, guys: https://www.hexus.net/ce/news/entertainment/147082-hbo-max-coming-europe-latin-america-2021/
HBO Max coming to Europe starting in 2021 with aim to be worldwide ASAP. Not only is that HBO shows, but many movies as well. Sky may well have deals at the moment but I expect those contracts will be expiring soon enough. Then there will essentially be nothing left on NowTV. I hope it dies a quick and painful death so we can get onto watching content on modern services.
Oh, and the quality of HBO Max? 4K HDR Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos — the quality you’d expect for 2021.
I see what you are saying.. but ultimately this isn't about NowTV as a "thing" as that in itself is fine.
What I mean is... its content is unique, and if you are in the market for Sky Cinema, Sports, and Entertainment channels such as Sky1 and Sky Atlantic its is the cheapest way of getting them... and in many ways better than a full fledged SkyQ subscription.
Yes, of course Disney+, Amazon, and Netflix have managed far superior sound and vision for the last few years... but for reasons best known to itself.. Sky/NowTV need their streaming platform to be limited to 1080p and 5.1 (for risk of cannibalising lucrative and expensive SkyQ subscriptions that offer 5.1 and 4K).
The problem here is purely down to inconsistent Apps across platforms.
In my opinion.. if they cannot provide an app for a platform that provides the FULL experience including boost support should the user require it, then they should not support the platform at all. Controversial opinion maybe but it would sort a lot of problems here. Platforms that cannot be provided with the full experience should be dropped from their portfolio. And, yes, I include the AppleTV here - as they have not been able for whatever reason to launch a simple app with functionality that is, lets face it, years behind others. The problem with releasing the half baked app is that it opens up all the complaints as seen in this thread and rightly so. We have waited a long time for this app and to get it in this state is appalling.
They should not have released that app on AppleTV without full boost. In doing what they have done they have opened up a can of worms including false advertising / labelling content as 5.1 when it is not.... and charging full boost price when they are not getting what they paid for.
Your issues would be solved immediately if you switched to, say, a fire stick or the PS4/Xbox or NowTV stick... as they all seem to manage HD and 5.1 adequately (as they should in 2020).
As an appleTV user I do this grudgingly - I now use Fire stick for NowTV.. and I am counting the days (but not holding my breath) until they fix the app and I can use it.
I am thinking of getting a fire stick 4k instead of using built in LG apps as that offers 50fps plus has a bt sport app and continue to use my Apple TV HD on bedroom TV. I don't really see how what they are doing by omitting 5.1 on apple TV is any worse than not having 50fps are some platforms
I understand your position, but I don’t quite see it that way... I’m not really looking for a cheap way to access Sky content. I’m more than happy to pay a premium for a 4K, Dolby Atmos streaming service. The only thing is I can’t have a satellite dish installed. I also don’t care about recording TV, let alone live TV, and I want to access all the content through my AppleTV with the superior interface and features.
So NowTV is currently one of those streaming services on the market that has exclusive access to certain movies & shows. I see it like another Netflix, Amazon, or Disney+. The difference is they all offer modern visual and sound fidelity and NowTV is now simply the crap streaming platform. Unless that changes (which judging by this thread seems incredibly unlikely), then as soon as the content is available in better quality elsewhere on another streaming service, I’m gone.
I think that Sky's main focus for 2020 has been getting a link with Amazon so that on SkyQ box subscribers can get access to football from all UK sources. In that regard, they've succeeded. It's a big win. Not only do they have the football, they now have the NowTV app. on Amazon streaming kit, which makes sense given that they no longer (as I understand it) have any financial stake in Roku. The lack of NowTV hardware for sale on the NowTV website reinforces that to my mind. I'm not really sure what Amazon get out of this other than perhaps access to more subscribers, unless there's a Comcast deal of some sort that's also taken place in the US that they get value from. Sky's focus in getting the NowTV app. to newer Sony TVs would also, again to my mind, strengthen the argument that they're moving away from supporting their own hardware. If nothing else, it's a perfect excuse (see below) to deflect support issues -- "No, it's nothing to do with our excellent streaming service that never goes wrong. It's a problem with your kit/broadband provider".
Sky gets nothing from offering the NowTV app. on ATV kit, other than possibly a slight increase in subscriber numbers, but given the insult that it's levelled against all of those people who took part in the beta trials, it's clear that they just don't care. I can't see any further improvements in the NowTV app. on ATV kit surfacing. Perhaps there are some challenges with the platform. The BBC iPlayer app. still doesn't support sub-titles from what I can make out, but then again, that's another example of the level of contempt that the BBC holds its licence payers in -- 2021 nearly, and still no full HD or 5.1 audio from iPlayer.
I do wonder if Sky has bitten off more than it can chew. Reports earlier in this thread and on AVForums have mentioned appalling quality levels recently. Perhaps their servers can't keep up with the extra demand from users of Amazon hardware. Probably not though. I suspect that Sky has just dialled things back again just to see how many subscribers complain. If there's very little noise, they'll leave things as-is, but help themselves to as much as our cash as we're prepared to give them.
The big gotcha for lots of us is that Sky often has stuff that we want to see, and using NowTV, albeit at a [greatly] reduced quality level is something that many of us are seemingly happy to accept, me included, in lieu of having a SkyQ subscription. It still surprises me that so many people are happy to pay Sky great globs of money to watch a stream of ads. with bits of programming thrown in as a sop on their satellite boxes. The average US drama is ~40 minutes per episode on NowTV. On Sky, it's an hour, 20 minutes of the same old ads. with endless Sky promos. chucked in for good measure. That's the reason that I stopped being a Sky satellite customer over 25 years ago now -- nothing has changed. I did read somewhere that Sky was considering shoving ads. in NowTV streams. Recent stuff that I've watched from Sky Witness certainly has placeholders -- the Sky Witness banner, plus about 30 seconds of annoying muzak. If that were to happen, and I was subscribing (which I'm not at present, I cancelled my passes earlier this month) I'd cancel permanently.
Sky has a problem with content. It relies on a lot of US material, which given the pandemic, has pretty much dried-up. Perhaps that's another reason for getting the footie. Stuff that might be expected to appear will be a lot later, if it arrives at all. Interestingly, Amazon is now offering a lot of the stuff that's recently been on NowTV. OK, you might end-up paying more for it, but you do get it in full HD with 5.1 audio, without any hassle, and it stays in your library, so no worries about it disappearing, as is often the case on NowTV. The downside is that you have wait a bit longer for your fix of 'X'.
I think that NowTV on Apple hardware is a busted flush. If you want to stream NowTV content in a manner that's acceptable to you then you need to look elsewhere, as the app. is not your friend on ATV hardware. For me, it's a so close yet so far scenario. The ATV box is just about the best streaming box out there, offering gigabit Ethernet connectivity and is well made, if slightly pricey hardware. I think that only the nVidia Shield comes close.
It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings. I won't be holding my breath though. I might still go for an ATV box, although with a new box promised next year it might be worth my holding fire. That decision might be easier to make if Sky/NowTV don't deliver stuff that SWMBO and I would like to watch. Time will tell.
I agree with everything you've said there.
The only thing I would observe is that although we, the paying public, see NowTV as another one of the main UK streaming services which should be standing shoulder to shoulder with Netflix, Amazon, Disney+.... I don't think that's how NowTV see themselves.
It would appear that they provide the NowTV service as a way of appealing to those who want the content... but aren't able or willing to pay for the premium SkyQ service or have a dish installed. Their current advertising for SkyQ leans heavily on it being the main hub of the experience and accessing Netflix etc through the SkyQ box (horrible experience ive tried it!). "be a subscriber through NowTV if you must but you aren't going to get the same experience".
So whereas Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ provide their flagship services through streaming... to NowTV its the poor mans sky and is provided as a convenience to some less important customers than those who already access their content in Sky's preferred way.
Personally im with you, and all the rest of the outside facing customer base. NowTV is a streaming service in its own right... its priced as such, and the content is very compelling.... and we expect the same treatment as customers as Disney and the others provide including quality streams and sound etc.... this is where the problem lies..
I will never get why Sky shelved there plans for Sky Q over Fibre like they have done in Austria and Italy. I would subscribe to that but I literally can't have a Satellite dish live in a apartment and I don't have Virgin but I have true Fibre Internet so I can only use NowTV if i want anything similar to a Sky experience and HBO content it really does annoy me. I've given up with my AppleTV for NowTV I will either end up getting a Firestick 4K or use the PS5 when I manage get my hands on one they support the full NowTV boost package and with a easy fast forward or rewind system.
To be honest NowTV these days with price increases isn't a massive amount cheaper then Sky Q either.
I have a theory. Based entirely on guesswork of course.
The SkyQ package is very expensive and lucrative for Sky. It will always be their priority.
Yes, for customers such as yourself then the elusive Sky X product seems to fit the bill.
However, I wonder in the UK whether they would be able to price it correctly.
What I mean is.. the current NowTV has unique content and they seem to be able to get away with charging what they do AND providing a shoddy service with HD and 5.1 coming at a premium cost.
NowTV simply doesn't compare from a user experience perspective to the other big streamers.. Netflix, Apple+, Disney+, and Amazon prime. All these services are priced at less than NowTV and yet manage 4K and Atmos for the cost - remember NowTV are charging more for half the service.
So, the mythical SkyX would of course be more expensive than NowTV... and assuming it would have to provide at least 4K.... how much would they charge. Probably at least 3 times what Netflix charge and I don't think the british consumers would stomach that. They will always quite rightly compare services to others that are available and I doubt that SkyX would be for many people what would represent decent value for money.
Of course, in your situation, I completely understand why this is a desirable product for you - but Sky seems content for now offering the ropey NowTV experience which is highly platform-related depending on what experience you get.
Perhaps they are making NowTV so bad, and such low quality in comparison to others.. that when they do release SkyX people will be desperate for it and pay a premium.
I suspect that one day, the NowTV brand will disappear and be replaced by something like SkyX.
... watch the prices NowTV creep up.. until such time SkyX appears to replace it!
@nst Agreed, I have long expected NOW TV to turn into SkyX. Still think it will do eventually.
Like @Enapace our property cannot have a dish installation - there must be many others who are in the same situation for many different reasons, so delivery of tv via superfast & ultrafast broadband is the obvious solution for consumers in that market segment.