Author Topic: Anyone use NOW TV?  (Read 321 times)

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Offline nettech3286

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Anyone use NOW TV?
« on: Dec 03, 2019, 13:08:58 »
When I stream a film on NOW TV (via Samsung Smarthub TV app) I occasionally get an extremely pixelated picture which usually requires a stop/start of the film to get it to recover.  However, when looking on the NOW TV forums a couple of people had found that changing their DNS to point to the Google DNS servers had fixed or improved things and sure enough since I've done this things are much better - the pixelation occurs much less frequently and is not as bad, plus it recovers on its own.  Previously I had been using IDNet's DNS servers.

Just wondering if anyone else had experienced the same thing?  I'm pretty sure the issue is at the NOW TV end of things but it seems odd to me (I work in networking but have no knowledge of streaming platforms) that DNS servers would make a difference.

Offline Simon

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #1 on: Dec 03, 2019, 15:57:44 »
I have NOW TV but only use it occasionally, and have not noticed that issue.
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Offline nowster

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #2 on: Dec 03, 2019, 16:50:58 »
Welcome to the world of Content Delivery Networks, where the IP address returned by DNS queries depends on where the query comes from. They try to point your video client at the closest server. If the DNS server you're using isn't on the same network as you're connected to, the server chosen might not be the optimum one.

Another resolver you could try is the one from Cloudflare on 1.1.1.1

Offline nettech3286

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #3 on: Dec 03, 2019, 17:47:22 »
Thanks nowster.  Whilst your reply makes sense, what I'm struggling with is why it should want to switch source servers mid-film.  Other than an outage somewhere on the path between me and the server, the only explanation I can think of is poorly-implemented load balancing.  I'll try Cloudflare and see it is makes any difference.

Offline Simon

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #4 on: Dec 03, 2019, 19:37:31 »
I sometimes stream YouTube videos through an app on my Sony Bluray player and whilst the videos play fine, the bloody ads that they force you to watch, stammer and stutter their way through.  I was starting to think it's to make you watch them for longer, as the "Skip ad in three seconds" button often takes about ten seconds to load. 
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Offline robinc

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #5 on: Dec 06, 2019, 06:29:07 »
I use NOW TV via a NOW TV box - was the old Roku device.

Yes there are times when picture quality is sub par and a kicking is required. Especially noticeable when iPlayer goes spinney spinney and then comes back a bit mushy.

Films from NOW TV rather than other apps do sometimes exhibit the problems you describe.

Biggest overall moan is when connection drops even though internet connection is OK.

I used to use Google DNS when on PlusNet a couple of years back and it helped.

Offline Technical Ben

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #6 on: Dec 16, 2019, 12:23:01 »
Might be a caching problem, but on their end? Only the first half hour/20mins cached on local servers for "instant" start, then the rest to feed in from a main/master/ring... yet it's not "falling over" correctly, and just falling over.  :)x
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Offline pctech

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #7 on: Dec 29, 2019, 22:22:43 »
We have one of the Samsung Smarthub TVs and can't say I've noticed an issue.

Aside from the other advice here it might also be worthwhile running a check for a firmware update for the TV (under the Support Menu) if you haven't already got it set to update automatically which ours is.

Offline Simon

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #8 on: Dec 30, 2019, 00:11:06 »
Done checks for software updates, Mitch.  It's just weird that it only seems to do it during the ads, than the actual videos play fine.
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Offline pctech

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #9 on: Dec 30, 2019, 14:09:28 »
I ran a quick test on ours last night and seems to be a bug with the NowTV app on the TV (am using Zen and OpenDNS so can confirm it's not confined to IDNet)

Guess it's something Sky/Samsung need to fix as it was bouncing between 90 and 4380 Kbps according to the app and I have a 39 Mbps FTTP connection so bandwidth isn't an issue.

Going back to your own problem Simon, had that issue myself when I used to be on ADSL, is your player wi-fi or cable linked and does it make a difference, I occasionlly come across youtube content that stutters and as far as I understand it it's because the caches only have a version that's too high a bitrate for your connection.

Offline nettech3286

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #10 on: Dec 30, 2019, 17:05:32 »
An update: I have been using Cloudflare DNS but it seems to be no better or worse than when using Google.

TV is running the latest firmware (dated 3 Dec 2019 on the Samsung website).

Given the number of posts about this issue on the NOW TV forums over the last couple of years and across various devices, NOW TV seem to be in no hurry to address it. And I don't have the patience to open a "ticket" only to be told by a script monkey to reset my router. Will not be renewing when my current pass expires.

Offline pctech

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #11 on: Dec 30, 2019, 20:01:43 »
I already rebooted my router too and didn't make any difference.

Have just finished watching The Great Escape on a Roku stick and it seemed ok so maybe it is client specific.

I managed to get a Black Friday deal last year (£99 for movies and entertainment for 12 months) but binned it when it finished as a lot of the stuff is old but I did get a 7 day free trial which allowed me to do the test.

I've kept the entertainment package as some people in the house like some stuff on that and I've not yet had complaints about the picture quality.

I did clock the thread about the problem on their forums and I've wondered for a while if they and their owners Comcast consider it a product to whet your appetite for Sky and a testbed for distribution over IP (apparently Sky Italy is testing all IP distribution as it's got to be cheaper than a satellite uplink)

Maybe we are just seeing some growing pains but yes very annoying if you are paying for it.

Offline Gary

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #12 on: Jan 02, 2020, 09:13:18 »
I cant see sky going that way although Sky Italia seems to be a testing ground. If it rains you loose signal, though not so much I noticed on the Sky Q 2TB box, but that could be the shiny Hybrid LNB they put up and new dish. If they were to deliverer content only via IP and you lost connection you would be stuffed until it came back and if its a big outage then that could be days if some muppet cut a cable or your router went belly up. I think dishes will remain as although expensive they work well and downloads over IP give you some extra content. Its a shame HDR has been delayed though because watching some shows on Netflix like the Witcher means I have to use my Sony AF8 OLED's TV's app to get 4k Dolby Vision rather than use Skys Netfix app, and considering in the deal I got (Sky user for 12 years so always good to haggle) I got the Netflix Premium Plan I already had at £11.99 for £1 which was a nice saving and they kept the TV and movies and box set package on a reduced rate too.

Offline zappaDPJ

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 02, 2020, 16:55:50 »
To add to that the Internet quite regularly (once a week or more) comes to a grinding halt during the small hours presumably due to maintenance. As far as I'm aware that never happens with Satellite services.
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Offline Gary

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 04, 2020, 15:41:57 »
To add to that the Internet quite regularly (once a week or more) comes to a grinding halt during the small hours presumably due to maintenance. As far as I'm aware that never happens with Satellite services.
Very true, Zap. I dont think Ive ever seen a satellite outage due to maintenance (just super heavy rain) and until we all have shiny FTTP  ::) with some UHD downloads being sometimes as big as 7GB I think dishes will stay so people can record via the dish, as not everyone can start a UHD download and start watching it straight away or even that day, and with Q UHD is one of its selling points, and probably the most accurate voice search I've ever used, its faster than using the buttons. Siri could learn a thing or two there.  ;)

Offline zappaDPJ

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #15 on: Jan 04, 2020, 16:30:52 »
 :)
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Offline nowster

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Re: Anyone use NOW TV?
« Reply #16 on: Jan 04, 2020, 17:42:44 »
Some HD programmes on satellite are over 10GB! Channel 4 HD and Channel 5 HD run at a higher bitrate than most other channels. A 2½ hour film could easily be that size.

BluRay discs could easily have a film be three or four times that bitrate. (A typical commercial BD has two layers and a capacity of about 50GB.)


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