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Eye on Demand | April 25, 2017

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Now TV Sports Review

Now TV Sports Review

Review Overview

Quality of Video Stream
7.5
User Interface
7
Content on Offer
8.5
Device Availability
7
Value for Money
4
6.8

Great Content

Now TV is one of those forward looking IPTV services that has huge potential. Their Movies and Entertainment passes are well received here at Eye on-Demand and they have excellent platform support, including the world’s best value STB. Yet their Sports Pass always lagged behind due to its phenomenally oppressive price point. But now that Sky have significantly reduced the sub, how does Now TV Sports stack up?

Now TV is an online-only, contract-free version of the UK’s satellite behemoth Sky. Their Sports pass includes all of Sky’s live sporting channels, Sky Sports NewsHQ, Sky Sports 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as Sky Sports F1.

Now TV shouldn’t be confused with Sky’s other contract-free IPTV service, Sky Go, which is available free to Sky’s traditional satellite subscribers, or via a monthly sub to anyone else. Now TV’s channel line-ups are different, and has greater platform support.

Unlike Now TV’s other packages Movies & Entertainment, which also offer live channels and on-demand, there are no catch-up or recorded events on Now TV Sports – only live streaming. This may put a few people off since these days we are so used to content being available on-demand. But others may argue that sports must be watched live as-it-happens anyway.

Content on Now TV Sports is quite simply huge. Sky hold the UK crown when it comes to broadcasting sporting events, and although the FTA channels from the BBC & ITV hold quite a few major competitions each year, Sky win out on quantity with everything from the English Premier League, Formula One, Rugby, Cricket and much more.

So what about that price point? Sky offer all their sports channels live on their Sky Go platform (which is also an Internet-only, contract-free sub) starting from £35 per month which also includes live and on-demand Entertainment channels, or £40 per month that adds their top-notch movie package as well. Since Now TV is run by Sky, one would think that prices would be similar… but they’re not. Sky insist they price their Now TV Sports pass for the casual viewer. The sort of sports enthusiast that would never dish out for a full month, but may just want to watch the odd match.

Now TV’s Sky Sports Day Pass: £6.99 Day Pass (€8,80, US$12)

Now TV’s Sky Sports Week Pass: £10.99 Per Week (€13.80, US$18.50)

Clearly the best value package above is the weekly pass, but even that would add up to over £44 per month without the additional channels Sky Go provides. So why not just opt for Sky Go in the first place?

Well, Now TV may not win on the price point, but it does lead in other areas. For a start, Now TV is available on a lot more platforms than Sky Go, making it far easier to watch on a proper television. This includes the incredibly good value Now TV Box, which costs a mere £10 and also includes all of the UK’s main FTA catch-up services as well.

Video quality is also a great advantage to this service, with all the main STBs offering HD streams averaging 3800kbps. Incidentally, this is not officially HD by Sky, but in the IPTV world, a 3800kbps stream is usually within the 720p realm of definitions.

Platform support is where Now TV really shines with support for the official Now TV box, Roku, Apple TV, LG Smart TVs, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 & PS4, iOS and Android alongside the expected web browser. Notably absent here is the Samsung TV app, since within the UK at least, Samsung support every major catch-up and on-demand service except Now TV. We smell an exclusivity agreement wafting in the air here, which is a real pity.

 

  • www.watch.nowtv.com/sports

    Now TV’s refreshed web portal certainly looks much better than its previous incarnation, and although there is not a lot going on within the Now TV Sports section (it is after-all little more than a glorified live channel selector) it does have the distinct advantage of having the service’s only seven day EPG.

    When you’ve got seven channels of sport to choose from, it really does help to know what is playing when and where.

    Tip: The EPG is based on GMT (UK Time), so you will need to set your laptop/computer’s timezone for this feature to work properly. Failing to do so and the guide will not only be out of sync, but it may not work at all.

    Outside of that, there is nothing seriously wrong with the website if all you really want to do is to watch the football, golf, cricket or rugby on a laptop. If you have a proper TV handy, I would certainly recommend an STB for Sky Sports, even if it is just the £10 Now TV box (which incidentally, can be bought with some nice Sport’s packages on discount).

    As long as your hardware and browser can handle the video streams (and not all can), video quality comes through at a very acceptable average of 3660kbps* during my tests. I did find video to be a quite jumpy on my iMac test-rig via Firefox, but since Sky treat even an alternative browser as a separate device with their draconian device-limit policy, I couldn’t test this on another browser.

    Platform Pros:

    • Easy to use.
    • Seven Day EPG.

    Platform Cons:

    • Little more than a overblown channel selector.
    • Not easy to watch on the main TV.
    • No PVR or live pause.
    • Video quality jumpy on Firefox.
    • Each browser is considered a separate device.
    • Chrome browser not supported.

    (Accessing Now TV Sports outside of the UK may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • Best Choice StampWhether the device is a UK configured Roku box, or the £10 Now TV box, the user interface is pretty much exactly the same. And without any doubt, due to the ease of use, price point and streaming quality, this is the platform of choice.

    Like most Now TV platforms (with the exception of the Apple TV which only offers sport) all of Now TV’s three main packages are available if you have an active subscription. That said, unlike the other packages, the Sports Pass only offers live streams.

    Viewers have only two choices here, one to select a channel via the On Now button, or through the separate channel buttons which add nothing more than two upcoming events after the current live one. Oddly enough, Now TV do not provide an EPG of any kind here, which really is quite a serious omission.

    On the positive side, once live streaming begins, the Now TV app becomes almost as close to traditional linear television as I’ve seen anywhere, with the arrow keys on the remote used to bring up a mini-EPG (showing live & next info) along with a wonderfully quick way to change channels – I still wish it was by a single button press like it already was 30 years ago, but it is better than so many other IPTV apps from different streaming services. (thinking Zattoo on the Samsung Smart Hub here)

    Pressing the *asterisks button will also bring up the mini-EPG, but with additional programme information.

    Video quality was excellent, averaging a720p HD 3705kbps* in my own tests, which is a significant improvement over my last tests in February when they were only in SD. Generally speaking this is a very good quality live stream, although if used via WiFi, there can be the expected fluctuations.

    Now TV via NowTVBox Live Sport 3705kbps

    Platform Pros:

    • Easy to use UI.
    • Great video quality.
    • Quick & easy to channel hop.
    • Mini EPG & on-screen programme information.

    Platform Cons:

    • No full EPG.
    • No PVR or live pause.

    (Accessing Now TV Sports outside of the UK may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • The PlayStation 4’s app for Now TV Sports resembles for the most part the Roku or Now TV box’s user interface, with only a couple of minor differences, so head on over to the Now TV Box/Roku tab above for more details.

    Probably the biggest difference would be how the app is controlled, and this means using the DualShock controller. With so many buttons available, you would think that Now TV would make use of them, especially for quick single-button channel changing, but sadly they don’t. You even need a two-button click to bring up the programme info (Triangle + Square).

    All that aside, video quality was very average. My own tests pulled a bitrate of around 1770kbps*, considerably lower than the Xbox One and Apple TV’s achievements, despite being on the same wired network. This was quite disappointing for such an expensive console, and just goes to show not all platforms should be treated the same.

    Now TV via PS4 Live Sport 1770kbps

    Platform Pros:

    • Simple, easy to use UI.
    • Easy(ish) to channel hop.
    • Mini EPG & on-screen programme information.

    Platform Cons:

    • No full EPG.
    • No PVR or live Pause.
    • Use of DualShock’s range of buttons not well implemented.
    • No ability to use 3rd party remotes.
    • Average video quality.

    (Accessing Now TV Sports outside of the UK may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • Sky’s Now TV iOS app is one of those where I wonder why they even bothered. Granted, at least when regarding the Sports Pass it does pretty much everything said on the tin, but we sort of come to expect a bit more than the bare basics these days, especially regarding a service that sits behind a pay-wall.

    On the positive side, the app itself is relatively well laid out, without forcing clutter on their customers and directing them to the main point of action – as in live sport.

    That said, it does take a little too many taps to switch channels, which is a real shame since this is really the only thing a subscriber to Now TV’s Sports Pass can actually do. Since there are no on-demand or PVR features, it would at least seem to me that a little more effort designing a better way of changing channels could have been made.

    To be honest, video quality is rather unremarkable as well, despite the average bitrate tested of around 1890kbps*. Pixelation and artifacts were noticeable at times despite the iPad’s small screen, and at this bitrate that shouldn’t be the case. Perhaps this is what happens when no real AirPlay is possible, as there is no incentive for high quality video since the perceived screen is so small. I imagine the video was tested and approved from a 3year old iPhone rather than a full-sized iPad.

    Actually, Now TV proudly boasts that AirPlay mirroring is possible, but since mirroring generally results in atrocious video quality, I wouldn’t really bother – and besides, as the Apple TV has a dedicated app anyway, it really isn’t necessary.

    Chromecast technically requires a separate device slot, which means you could end up using two slots for your iOS device as well as the Chromecast stick. However, if you are desperate to add an additional device, you can always omit the iOS one entirely, and just use Chromecast only.

    In any event, we tested the Chromecast stream at 3620kbps* which is considerably better than when played directly on the iPad itself. Of course, Now TV’s poor handling of channel switching was even more evident here, as during casting, there was no reason to not dedicate the iPad screen as a channel changer. Instead, the same fumbling around was required to select another channel.

    Now TV’s iOS app is fine if all you want to do is watch live sport on the move. It does very little else, and maybe worth missing if you are short of spare device slots.

    Platform Pros:

    • Simple, uncluttered UI.
    • Supports Chromecast (at a cost).
    • Cellular streaming possible.

    Platform Cons:

    • No PVR.
    • Non-intuitive channel changing.
    • No AirPlay.
    • Chromecast requires an extra device slot.
    • Average video quality.
    • No EPG

    (Accessing Now TV Sports via iOS outside of the UK may require a good VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON SD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Chromecast BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • Just like the iOS app is full of irritating holes (re: lack of AirPlay), the Android app is no better, with some rather remarkable failures of its own.

    Here we have a developer that hasn’t even bothered to create a separate app for tablets. Not only have Now TV forced Android tablet users to install a Smart Phone optimized app, with no horizontal navigation and a UI designed for the smaller screen, but even the video feed is nothing to write home about either.

    For actual Smart Phone users, the app is actually not terribly bad. It certainly wouldn’t win any awards for design, but then again, when it comes to watching live sport, not a great deal of thought is needed anyway. For tablet users however, it can be a frustrating experience – especially if the tablet is sitting on a horizontal stand, as is so common when watching TV.

    It also is worth noting that the Android app lacks a proper EPG. This would be so handy, especially when planning upcoming fixtures. But I constantly found myself reverting to a paper TV guide or firing up a web browser to find out when a particular match is being played. This really shouldn’t happen in 2015!

    So what about that video quality then? Although the live feed is below most set-top-box levels, at 2990kbps* it isn’t terribly bad either. This is actually better than our last test of the iPad app, which we weren’t terribly impressed with either. Still, when it comes down to watching live streams, is anything more important than video quality?

    Now TV via Android Live Sport 2990kbps

    Continuing on the positive side, the Now TV Android app supports native chromecasting, which means it is quite easy to send to your big-screen TV, so long as you have a low-cost Chromecast HDMI dongle hanging out of the back of your television. We tested the Chromecast stream to average a significantly better 3780kbps* but head on over to the Chromecast tab for more details.

    Platform Pros:

    • Good video quality.
    • Supports Chromecast.
    • Easy navigation to find the desired channel.

    Platform Cons:

    • Video quality lower than STBs.
    • No dedicated tablet app.
    • No horizontal navigation.
    • No offline downloads.
    • Chromecast requires an extra device slot.
    • No EPG.

    (Accessing Now TV Sports via Android outside of the UK may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON Chromecast BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     
    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • Now TV’s recent march across platforms now includes both of the major gaming consoles, and the Xbox One portal certainly has a few good features. Graphically rich and with a wide range of methods to navigate and control, Now TV’s sporting channels can easily be accessed on this platform.

    However, that doesn’t mean Sky haven’t made some odd choices here.

    For a start, the Home screen offers direct access to 6 of Now TV’s 7 Sky Sports channels, Sky HQ, and Sports 1 through 5, but no F1. This is available, but only through the Live Sports menu.

    And although the Live Sports menu provides a little more details for each channel, such as a very basic cut-down EPG, it is far too cumbersome in its approach. Instead of just skipping up and down the list, with the EPG switching automatically for each channel, each has to be manually selected to find out what is currently playing.

    And then there is the Watch Now button, which I can’t figure out the point of for the life of me. Instead of wasting screen real estate replicating what everything else on the home-screen does, this could be far better used as the missing F1 channel button.

    Finally, Now TV haven’t allowed any form of pinning favourite channels to the Xbox One’s hub, which really would have been great for people who use certain channels on a regular basis.

    Still, this is just a portal for live TV, and in that respect, once the live stream begins, it works well. Video quality averaged 3740kbps* on my tests, which was way above what I could achieve on the PS4 on the same wired network.

    Now TV via XboxOne Live Sport 3740kbps

    The Now TV app on the Xbox One makes very basic use of the console’s game pad, and despite such a phenomenal range of buttons to choose from, Sky have not used any keys for basic channel hopping. Users must manually exit a channel and then go through the process of selecting another one, something even in my grandfather’s time was easier to do on a rotary dialed CRT television.

    NowTV Xbox1 Controller

    On a more positive side, this app is on the Xbox One, which means there is no less than five different ways to control your browsing and viewing pleasure.

    Voice: As long as your Xbox One sports a Kinect attachment, you can freely use your voice to navigate and select channels to watch. I say freely with a pitch of salt though, as it really is terribly implemented. To select a channel, you can’t can’t just say “Xbox Go To Sky Sports 1”, but instead, you have to name the show, and although this may be easy for say Sky Sports Today, try it with “Xbox Go To MD4: Juventus v Olympiacos”. When I did, the Xbox just gave up completely and quit Now TV, firing up the EuroSport app instead – and I’m not making this one up.

    Motion Control: On the other hand, if you prefer you can sit on your sofa and wave your hands around like a complete idiot. It may work, and if it does, let me know. After a good year of trying to master this, I’ve completely given up.

    Xbox Controller: In most cases, the Xbox One controller will be the obvious choice. The only real downsides here are the awkward shape requiring a two-handed operation, and the problem it will go into hibernation after a while. Otherwise the controller is a pleasant way to navigate and control Now TV, minus the somewhat stingy use of the available buttons.

    Smart Glass: I had been rather excited to see how the Xbox One would improve on their Smart Glass after all the hype Microsoft dished out. The reality is quite disappointing. There are no true second-screen activities here, with the only use being a thoughtlessly designed remote.

    Programmable remote: As a last resort, you can always turn to a programmable remote such as the Logitech Harmony, and return back to the retro pleasures of horizontal one-hand sofa laziness. Once set up, it will work just as a good remote should, especially if you have one of the later models that supports the Xbox One.


    Despite all the negative points mentioned here, there is no real reason to dislike the Now TV app on the Xbox One. I would have just liked to see a few things thought through a little better.

    Platform Pros:

    • Wide choice of controlling methods.
    • Very good video quality.

    Platform Cons:

    • No true EPG.
    • Mini-EPG poorly designed.
    • No easy way to channel hop.
    • Underutilized controller.
    • No PVR.
    • No ability to Pin channels on to Xbox Hub.
    • Missing F1 channel on home screen.
    • Pointless Watch Now button.

    (Accessing Now TV Sports outside of the UK may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • It is a rare sight to see a UK focused app on the Apple TV platform, but Sky seems to have pulled it off with their Now TV app. And what we have here, at least with Now TV’s Sports section, is a very simple UI without any real fanfare.

    Granted, there isn’t much of a user interface required when dealing exclusively with live television streams. After-all, this is what a good old fashioned TV has done for decades without the need of any UI at all. All you really need is a channel selector, or up/down keys to flick between streams.

    It would have been nice if the ATV app at least had this, but instead Sky have opted for a cut-down version of Apple’s standard interface which means far too many buttons and screens to flick through. (It takes no less than 11 key presses to launch Sky F1 once the Now TV app has started) and we haven’t even mentioned the lack of a proper EPG either.

    But, it is not all bad news, as what Now TV pulls off at the sharp end may just as well be worth it. Video quality tested was without doubt the best seen so far on Now TV, with live streams averaging 3870kbps*, higher than any other platform.

    Now TV via ATV Live Sport 3870kbps

    Video came through sharp and clear for the most part, with only minor artifacts and pixelation. Considering the best I could average on a Now TV box was 1240kbps* and 1420kbps on the PS4, this is certainly rather impressive.

    If only Now TV had simplified their user interface by adding direct channel changes via the up/down buttons on the remote, and a full EPG, this would have quickly become the platform of choice.

    Platform Pros:

    • Simple, easy to use UI.
    • The best video quality.

    Platform Cons:

    • No full EPG.
    • No PVR or live Pause.
    • No ability to easily hop through channels.

    (Accessing Now TV Sports outside of the UK may require a good Smart DNS or VPN service)

    Sport BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • Chromecasting Now TV is a bit of a mixed bag. For a start, only Android and iOS are supported. It completely baffles the mind why Now TV would not support Chromecast from a Chrome browser, but they don’t – especially as they don’t support Silverlight from a Mac’s Chrome browser either these days. At least if they had Chromecast support, any laptop could easily be used to control a Now TV stream on the main TV.

    If you’re a bit unsure what Chromecasting is, basically it uses an Android or iOS’s Now TV app as the controller to stream television onto a proper TV. Essentially, a tiny HDMI dongle plugs into the back of any modern TV, and instead of playing the video on the mobile device, hit the Chromecast button and playback begins on the television instead.

    The benefits are obvious. This is an easy and cheap wireless way to watch Now TV on almost any television, with comfortable, sofa-friendly control. For more details on the Chromecast dongle, check out our review here.

    Of course, if the Android or iOS streams are to be viewed on a larger screen such as the living room TV, we would also want a higher quality feed, and thankfully Chromecast provides this. You should be able to get a stream around the same quality level as via other set-top-boxes, and in our tests this averaged a very reasonable 3780kbps*.

    Now TV via Chromecast Live Sport 3780kbps

    It is worth remembering that as a live stream, unless you power down the Chromecast when finished, the feed will continue pretty much indefinitely. If the Chromecast is powered by the TV’s USB port, this usually switches off the dongle when the TV powers down, but if the Chromecast gets its juice from the wall socket, it is feasible that the stream can continue for hours or even days afterwards – a situation that could cause issues in homes with data caps – just something to keep in mind.

    Now TV’s draconian device limits can also cause problems, since the chromecast stick is treated as a separate platform. This means two devices are devoured once a Chromecast is added to the equation, as it is added on top of the mobile device that controls it. That said, it is possible to not have the mobile device registered if your only purpose for it is to control the Chromecast stream, but although you will be able to get the stream casting, you won’t be able to play back on the mobile device itself.

    Platform Pros:

    • Cheap and cheerful way to get the content onto a proper TV.
    • Excellent video quality.

    Platform Cons:

    • Can be confusing controlling the stream in a busy household.
    • Could cause issues in homes with data caps.
    • No direct UI.
    • No native Chrome browser support.

    (Accessing Now TV Live Sports via Chromecast from outside the UK may require a Smart DNS service configured in your router, along with blocking Google’s DNS lookups)

    Sport BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    This service is geographically unblocked on this platform by the following Smart DNS providers:

    Ad GetflixAd SDNSP

     

     

     

     

     

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

  • Now TV’s Sports Pass is a solid, well-rounded service that makes great use of Sky’s live TV sports streams. Video quality is excellent and platform support is wide, making this a fantastic way to watch quite an impressive range of sporting events over a variety of TVs and mobile devices.

    It’s easy to use, and with no long term contract, it’s possible to just hop in and out.

    Granted, it certainly could do with a few modern features we expect with live TV these days, such as the live pause and PVR options we are so well used to. There is no time-shifting at all and no way to record shows or access older content via catch-up or on-demand. It is just a live TV streaming service.

    In that respect it does it well, so if all you want to do is catch the latest game, match or sporting event exactly as it happens, Now TV’s Sports Pass is a fantastic way to do this.

    However, the biggest problem with Now TV Sports is still the price. Until very recently, Now TV Sports Pass was so absurdly expensive, I didn’t even bother reviewing it. At £9.99 for a single day’s viewing – or basically one match or game, it was priced to a point of ridicule. Sky always claimed this was a service for the casual viewer, but even that didn’t cut it.

    The new price (which by the way Sky claim is only for a short period of time), improves things enormously, but it is still far too expensive when compared to competing services not only from Sky themselves (Sky Go for instance) but from comparable economies outside of the UK (Viaplay is a great example).

    If you are a casual viewer, Now TV’s current £10.99 weekly sub may be just low enough to not break the bank. But if you need something a little more long term, perhaps Sky Go, ViaPlay, beIN Sports or others may be more suitable.

    If you just want to watch the English Premier League, you may want to read this review from PremierLeaguePass here.

    Pros:

    • Great HD video quality.
    • Excellent UI.
    • Easy to change channels.
    • Very good platform support.
    • Great range of sports.
    • Cellular streaming possible.
    • Chromecast possible.

    Cons:

    • Still too expensive.
    • No AirPlay support.
    • Chromecast counts as two devices.
    • No 3pm Games for EPL.
    • No Catch-up or On-Demand.
    • Device limit is too restrictive.
    • No PVR or live pause.
    • No easy channel hopping.

    Technical Details:

    • Available on Mac/PC, Now TV Box, Roku, Selected LG Smart TVs, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV, iOS and Android running v4.0 or later.
    • Only four devices can be registered, and one change per month.
    • Two concurrent streams max.

    Sport BUTTON SD BUTTON HD BUTTON Live TV BUTTONChromecast BUTTON

     

     

     

     

    Log:

    • Review published 15.08.2014: Score 6.8 – Great Content.
    • 06.10.2014: Updated, adding Xbox One & ATV reviews.
    • 27.01.2015: Updated bitrate tests & general additions/changes.
    • 28.01.2015: Added iOS review.
    • 25.02.2015: Added Android & Chromecast tabs. Updated others.
    • 17.07.2015: Updated PS4 review with new bitrate tests.

    * Bitrate tests were based on multiple averages and are subject to both the geographical location and ISP bandwidth at the time.

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Comments

  1. Nicholas Polydor

    “Video quality tested [on the Apple TV] was without doubt the best seen so far on Now TV, with live streams averaging 5220kbps*, significantly higher than any other platform.”

    5Mbps is about a 50% higher bitrate than the next highest platforms (website and Xbox One) – not bad! What was the resolution and framerate on Apple TV, Jo’? I’ve touched on this in my e-mails to you, but if the next-gen Apple TV supports H.265 / HEVC decoding then I really hope we see this reflected in the streams. I want to see higher framerates, as well: even 60fps still isn’t ideal – 100fps or 120fps would be better (apparently the latter can cause flicker as a result of the strobing frequency of stadium lights). 576i50 has no place in 2015, but I’d much rather have 1080p100 streaming than 2160p60.

    It’s a shame that Now TV on Xbox One hasn’t started to make use of the OneGuide integration that is just being introduced. Jo’, would you be able to re-test Zattoo HiQ with Recall once this feature has fully rolled-out in Switzerland? Cheers.

    • Hi Nick, at this stage I don’t have any way to test framerates on the TV, but if I find an easy way in the future I will certainly look into this.

      As for Zattoo on the Xbox One, Recall has been partially rolled out, but at a limited capacity since the Xbox One was released in Switzerland. I have Zattoo scheduled for another update and test to reflect this, but it had been pushed behind other reviews for the moment. As soon as I can, I’ll get to it. That said, I have to admit the Xbox One is beginning to look like one of the best platforms around – at least it could become this once it gets a few more apps.