Something very weird and very interesting is happening.
Given everyone else's experiences Ive just tried my own experiments, and although I don't have a sports pass... I do have a cinema pass.
I went to the live channels via the in-app TV guide, and tried to watch a movie. I selected 'watch live' and sure enough my Sonos reported 5.1. I then stopped playback and tried again this time choosing the watch from the beginning option and it was back to 2.0. I can't vouch for whether this was true 5.1 as the content I watched wasn't very surround-y but I trust the Sonos app to tell me the audio format it is recieving.
So, looks like Live stuff including sports viewed via the TV guide is indeed 5.1 but 'streamed' stuff (yes I know they are both streamed but you know what I mean) is 2.0
I don't know how I feel about this. On the one hand its positive isn't it... but on the other hand given the app is perfectly capable of the not-so-tricky feat of providing a 5.1 soundtrack... WHY isn't it for all content.
Back to my theory of this being an artificial issue and entirely of Now's making. I think that they aren't able to apply the artificial sound downgrade if its the live stream.
Im going to tweet Now again along the lines of "CONGRATULATIONS on finally cracking the problem of providing a 5.1 soundtrack on the AppleTV - but WHY is this only working for "live" content and not the library??"
Lets see how they respond.
... update for you.
Had a very fast response given that its Sunday night. The response was a bit surprising as follows:
"this should be working on content via the On Demand section. However let us look into this further for you. Have you tested the exact same show that is on live and On Demand? Thank you"
to which I replied:
"I have indeed. Only live works for 5.1 on the appletv app. There’s been no announcement that 5.1 is finally fixed not a new version of the app so what’s the official situation with this?"
However I didn't get a reply to that.
So.... OK. the Twitter thing is never accurate and they always say things that aren't true or without knowing what they are talking about... (sorry but that's the case!). BUT they seemed to be saying that it should be working for both.
Now.. as I said.... they don't often know what they are talking about so I'm sure that someone just read my tweet and assumed that the AppleTV app was the same as all the others and if you were getting 5.1 from live you should be getting it from on demand.
Doesn't hurt to prod them though and see what happens.
Id encourage others to do the same and see how they respond.
one more update for you.
Not really news but just demonstrates the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing.
I followed up my un-replied tweet with:
"Hi Can I press you on a clarification to this. Certainly appletv is working with live but not on demand. No announcement made saying it’s finally fixed and your online help still says it doesn’t support 5.1 yet it clearly can right now. This is the APPLETV app I’m asking about"
To which they replied id have to ask the technical team.
When I tried that via live chat.. "rachel" told me that the app has been fixed for 5.1 SINCE MAY 2021 and suggested I reinstall it.
I asked if this was the case why is it still not working and why do Now's help pages still explicitly say that the AppleTV is 2.0 only..... she then 'hung up' on me and ended the chat. Charming.
Anyway... seems this remains a mystery. Nobody in Now can explain why "live" is 5.1 on an app that officially "doesn't" support 5.1 at all.
To me, this is still suspicious. If the app is capable of 5.1 then its capable of 5.1 and all the content it offers should have no issue being in 5.1 instead of 2.0.
The whole situation is just odd.
I was a bit sceptical until I tried myself yesterday and the Sonos app certainly reported a 5.1 soundtrack coming from the live channel and a 2.0 from the on demand version of the same content.
To be told its been fixed since may 2021 is just plain wrong and makes you take everything with a huge pinch of salt.
I wonder if I'm not seeing (hearing) 5.1 as I'm using the latest (April 2021) AppleTV and something model dependant is going on. Clutching at straws really, but odd that many here have managed to get 5.1 through the Now app, but I haven't .. !