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Anonymous User
Not applicable

Update Now TV app for apple TV

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.

2,755 Replies

@nst Yes agreed it’s all very odd.


The only live content that I watch is Sports (which, as I said previously, whilst watching it is reported by About My System in the Sonos app, and indeed sounds to be like, as DD5.1)

and the only on demand content that I watch is a few bits on Entertainment which is labelled as and clearly sounds to be basic Stereo.

Using NOW App version 6.5.3 on Apple tv 4K running tvOS 15 public beta. Boost pass active.


@Hooba So presumably either the Apple tv or the NOW app is doing something to indicate to the Sonos system that it’s getting a DD5.1 audio input when it isn’t? I don’t understand why that would even be happening though!

Scholar 3

@dr_necessitor  If you're connecting via optical, then you either have a 3rd gen AppleTV (pre 2015) or are connecting to Sonos from AppleTV 4th gen, to your TV via HMDI, then your TV is connecting to Sonos via optical.


I've no idea how a 3rd gen AppleTV processes audio, so can't help with that. But if you're connecting AppleTV - TV - Sonos, then somewhere along the line, something is telling Sonos its getting a 5.1 signal. But the Now stream to AppleTV is 2.0. All a bit odd ... !

@Hooba it’s a 4K (but it’s the previous 4K from about 2017 I think as it replaced a 3rd Gen, it’s not the new 4K just released). The Sonos is indeed Optical to TV and 4K is HDMI to TV as you have deduced.


Interestingly, watching Sky Sports Main Event this afternoon, audio was DD5.1 whilst they covered the ENG vs IND Test Match but switched to Stereo 2.0 when they cutover to cover The Hundred match during a rain break at the Test Match. It continued to switch back & forth as the live broadcast switched between the two events. Confirmed by what the Sonos app was reporting and also by my ears. Very strange! So I wonder what’s making the Sonos think the 4K is sending DD5.1 audio to it when apparently the 4K isn’t? Maybe a bug or something, I dunno. All I can report is what I’m seeing in About My System in Sonos app and what I’m hearing. Weird.


out of interest.  Todays the day I cancelled my Boost subscription.


However, on doing so, they offered another 3 months at £3.


I accepted this ... so will see what the situation is with AppleTV come November.  Again, out of principle I won't pay £5 per month when they won't support 5.1.


Anyone that's paying £5 should cancel and get the revised offer.  Its not worth £5 when services like Disney+ are £8 where Atmos and 4K are standard.


I just cancelled my boost and had an offer of £1 a month for 3 months


lucky you!


Only £3 for me.


Still overpriced if you ask me.



I do wonder where Now's business model is headed.  A few years ago Disney+ launched right off the bat with 4K and Atmos - but not a huge amount of content.


Nowadays, Disney+ is the princely amount of £7.99 per month but that includes movies, TV, and STAR- and NO ADS.  Now's offering of Entertainment and Cinema and Boost totalling over £20 per month seems ridiculous considering that's 5.1 and 1080p at best.


You'd have thought they would at least try to compete competitively.  They will have to someday.


Given the current competition - especially Netflix and Disney+ - Now's price for a 5.1 and 1080p TV and Movie package should be £10 per month at most - and boost shouldn't be an option extra at that price either.



It is 5.1 on the test match cricket today. With the developer HUD on Sky Sports Main Event it shows:


audio format desc - codec:ec-3 , channels:6, sample rate:48000Hz

average bit rate video:8.07Mbps audio:256.28kbps

When the adverts came on, the channels drops from 6 to 2.




I believe you.


However... isnt this very curious.


You've seen, on the AppleTV Now app, that it can and does output a 5.1 stream under certain situations.


This begs the very big question.... 


WHY not everything.  


I hate to put my tinfoil hat back on... but my long standing theory just seems more likely to me.  


To recap - 5.1 is hardly difficult - there seems to be NO technical reason whatsoever that an app on AppleTV in 2021 doesn't provide a 5.1 soundtrack.  All the others do and Now's inability to make it happen is deeply suspicious.  It simply cannot be a technical limitation of anything.  They make themselves look incompetent when all the other streaming apps manage 5.1 and have done for years.

But.. I feel the current restriction of 5.1 is an artificial one - the only reason I can fathom is allowing the simultaneously released Firestick app some technical advantage over Apple forcing AppleTV owners to get a Firestick if they wanted 5.1 audio.  Given the 'deal' struck back then between Sky and Amazon to share content which immediately lead to the surprise release of a fully specced and functioning app for the Firestick...  its too coincidental.  This limitation would be for a pre-determined period.  This is why, I think, that this remains unfixed 8 months after release.  How hard can it be?  We've had assurances from Now's help department saying this was being worked on and due for fix 'soon' ever since December 2020.


Remember.... as a beta tester I was assured that 5.1 was coming on release of the app.  I was told this from March 2020 all through the beta period.  It WAS coming and WOULD be included in the final app.... of course when those promises were made im sure that it was true but when the Amazon deal was struck they had to disable the AppleTV app somehow.


Personally I think this is just a case of flicking a switch.... and some content seems to be seeping through the cracks and outputting 5.1 as you have shown.


That switch wont be flicked until Amazon's deal comes to an end and their period of technical superiority will come to an end.  Ive always guessed 1 year and I suspect that after 1 year of functioning without 5.1 the app will miraculously get 'fixed',


Time will tell.

Scholar 3

@CraigMcC11 Showing 2.0 here (on HUD). I assume they're periodicaly testing 5.1 on selected content (presumably with a view to flicking the switch once whatever deal they're cooking up is concluded).  

Anonymous User
Not applicable

I have been experiencing 6 channel and 2 channel audio on sky sports on my Apple TV 4K. I have Apple TV 4K > Tv > optical to amp

however say I have the cricket on in 5.1 - when it cuts to adverts which only have 2 channels the app still outputs in 6 channels. Can hardly here a thing on the adverts. 

this lack of 6/2 channel switching also occurs when changing channels from a 6 channel source (like the hundred) to a 2 channel source like the lions highlights. 

I have to close the app and re open it to resolve this problem

@Anonymous User Same here


@Hooba  yes I was also starting to wonder if it's being tested on the quiet because I'm definitely hearing & seeing this on Sky Sports Main Event live channel during the cricket test match


@dr_necessitor @Anonymous User @Hooba 


I dont have a sports pass so cant really join in the fun here...


But something occurs to me...


If this is the same stream live from the same source as the main Sky Sports cricket feed... presumably they dont, or cant strip out the 5.1 soundtrack before its fed simultaneously to the main sky service and to the Now app - therefore mysteriously it just works...


.. begs the question why everything doesn't have the 5.1 stream provided... answer being because its not live and they can fiddle with it as they like.


They've really given the game away here havent they.  The app as is, NO UPDATE, is fully capable of providing a 5.1 soundtrack - this is no surprise..... why therefore is 5.1 being suppressed for the rest of the content and how long until Now suddenly "fix" this.



Unfortunately I can’t use Xcode to check what’s going on within tv at present - because I upgraded it to a beta of tvOS 15 a few weeks ago, so I can’t use Xcode 12 to connect to it. I need to upgrade Xcode to a next version beta, but haven’t had a chance to do so yet.

Anonymous User
Not applicable

also I should add on the programs which have the 5.1 sound (such as the eng v ind test match) the 5.1 sound channels continue through the adverts. Since the adverts are only 2.0 the sound messes up and you can hardly hear them

Anonymous User
Not applicable

@nst ah that’s interesting. Was just watching Brentford v Arsenal on Main Event channel, and was getting 2.0


Ive just switched it to the Premier League channel and SURPRISE - it’s in 5.1 now.

Anonymous User
Not applicable

For all the doubters, try the Premier League channel for this evening’s game.


100% I’m getting 5.1 - Sonos is telling me clearly, and I can definitely tell it’s surround sound (and not faked).


I was literally watching the game 5 minutes ago in 2.0 on the Main Event channel (which Sonos confirmed), and I can confirm it’s like night and day.


@Anonymous User 


Its not a case of doubting at all.

I have a Sonos system too, and if it says its getting a 5.1 audio feed.. then it is.


As I said earlier... surely its mighty strange that an app that supposedly isn't capable of 5.1 actually... is.


Why aren't NowTV streaming everything in 5.1 through it if its technically capable.


Very curious indeed.


My AV receiver is showing multichannel PCM 5.1 48khz during the cricket. Putting my ear to the rear speakers it’s just crowd mics, commentary coming through centre. 

Scholar 3

Still nothing other than 2.0 here. Weird.

Pleased to see that others are now reporting that they are seeing/hearing/getting DD5.1 - I was beginning to think that my ears (and what the SONOS app was reporting) were deceiving me!


To be honest, I’ve only experienced DD5.1 during live sport (specifically ENG vs IND test matches). Nothing on Entertainment catch up (because it’s all labelled as  Stereo) and I don’t use live Ent. Don’t currently have Cinema so can’t comment on that either. Possibly still being tested on the quiet? No idea though why some are getting it but others are not.