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reluctantcustom
Advocate

Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

In common with many people I have a white Now box - it was once in the front room and it has migrated upstairs to the bedroom, along with the 720p tv that also used to be in the front room.

 

I don't use it that often, and obviously haven't been able to use it at all since October 2020 when Now / Sky bricked it. I was reminded of this last night when I tried to use it. There is nothing wrong with the hardware, and I understand that the software cannot be supported forever, but it was working until it was killed off deliberately. I would have been quite happy with a message saying 'this device is no longer supported and there will be no further updates. As content providers update their services, they may no longer work with this device, and this is beyond the control of NowTV' or words to the effect - to just turn it off was unnecessary.

 

I wonder if someone from Now would be good enough to explain how this corresponds to Sky's environmental policy which states

 

"We believe better business creates a better world. That’s why we push ourselves to achieve the highest standards of sustainability and responsibility"

 

You've bricked an otherwise functional device. How is that "the highest standard of sustainability and responsibility"? Or is the policy just words that sound nice?

13 Replies
Saint1976
Elite 2

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

@reluctantcustom this is a customer community and as such, no one from Now will engage with you here.

 

Your best bet is to email Now directly

 

customerservices @ nowtv.com (ensuring no spaces)

 

but I'd be more inclined to contact Sky as the Now customer services is based abroad and would more than likely have no clue what you're talking about.

 

I believe the head of business impact and sustainability is Fiona Ball.

 

Grant Way, Isleworth, TW7 5QD

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starman73
Expert 3

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

It’s all lip service.  The actual cost of these boxes/sticks was far more than anyone paid for them.  A pair of batteries, plus a remote, a box and a HDMI cable with a pass or three thrown in for £20 or less. They were loss leaders to encourage people to subscribe.  I have had about 30 different devices as it was cheaper to buy them than buy passes.  If anyone was serious about the environment, they would not have been priced so low.

 

I suspect all now devices will be bricked in next 4-5 years.  Now don’t sell them anymore and as more people use other devices like fire sticks, Roku devices, chromecasts and smart TV apps, they will all get bricked as Now won’t want to be involved in any sort of support.

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redchiz1
Scholar 2

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

"Bricked" or no longer receiving system updates, such that app developers no longer provide updates either? Like the older YouView boxes, say, @RoyB?

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RoyB
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

@redchiz1 

 

Bricked.

 

Imagine if YouView T10x0 boxes had a kill switch and YouView flipped it, and nothing that involved the internet worked any more. And even recordings didn’t play back any more.

 

That, except that Now White boxes can’t record (though they did get downloads) is what Now have done to them. Even Netflix and other 3rd party apps don’t work on them any more.


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Kennybobs
Scholar

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

You're completely confusing "bricking" with obsolescence. They are not bricked.

 

What would be nice if the firmware (and its keys) were made available so that they could be useful again. They would make decent mini-servers.

 

Someone will crack it eventually, if it hasn't already been done. It is a massive waste of fairly capable harware.

RoyB
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

@Kennybobs 

 

I know, I know, I keep thinking I know something, and in reality, I know nothing 😢

 

But if you want to split hairs about ‘bricked’, then no, the hardware is not irreversibly deranged.

 

But it has been arranged not just that the box won’t work with Now, which you might have thought would be enough, but that none of the apps on it will work any more.

 

Which I would call a bit more than just obsolescence.

 

I do recall when these boxes first came out that there was speculation that it might be possible to override the NowTV restrictions and turn them back into fully functioning Roku boxes. Something I am sure that both Roku and NowTV had thought of, to ensure that door remained firmly shut.

 

The same will no doubt be true of your speculation, and there is a vanishing small incentive to do it, except for someone prepared to spend a massively uneconomic number of man-hours on it just to see if  it can be done after all.

 

The rest of us will just shrug, and buy a modern box.


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redchiz1
Scholar 2

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

@RoyB But don't the other apps no longer work simply because the device as a whole is no longer supported by the respective providers? 

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RoyB
Legend 5
Legend 5

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

@redchiz1 

 

As I understand it (before I have a sort through my obsolete tech box and find one to try), the whole thing stopped working all at once on the day that Now sunset (don’cha just love that expression?) the box.

 

That wouldn’t be the usual pattern of individual app expirys.

 

My presumption is that if you switch one of these boxes on, it will still get in touch with Now, but it will be instructed not to function. But there may be a different mechanism in play.

 

The technically minded could perhaps deploy Wireshark to see exactly what is going on?


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redchiz1
Scholar 2

Re: Sky TV's environment policy vs White Now Box bricked

Thanks @RoyB that clears that up!

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