Sky (UK) Now TV box

144 posts in this topic

Year, I haven't had an Entertainment package since last year, and renewed it this morning.

 

I was able to replicate the problem Chocky has, but not yet to the scale he has experienced (perhaps it is because it is the morning). The problem was only seen on the catch-up of the Entertainment Pass on the Now TV box.

 

I only saw a couple of incidences where it "stuttered", but I have seen a programme stop playing and returning to the episode screen. The stutter wasn't too serious in my tests, but the fact the programme actually stopped was - although for me it was 20minutes into one show, and 30minutes into another.

 

I had no problems with the live streams though (not yet), and I have had no problems on iOS's with catch-up.

 

I have seen at least one person in the UK having similar issues via his Roku LT, and since the Now TV app has just been updated, it could actually be a bug with it. Chocky, how good is your WiFi connection?

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ovbg: The NowTV/Roku box sits (literally) next to an Airport Express running in bridge mode, and Signal Strength on the Roku box' settings panel shows as 'excellent'

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I have a nowtv box, really pleased with it. Only issue I have is with demand5 - It sometimes pauses whilst (I assume) it's buffering (annoying but can live with) but sometimes the programme just stops and then I have to manually restart the programme and fast-forward to where I was. If occasionally I have to restart the programme from the beginning I wouldn't be too bothered, but this is every 5 minutes. Anyone else experiencing the same?

 

I had a free 30 day sky subscription for movies which worked without problems and BBC iplayer has been faultless too. Perhaps when BBC three becomes internet only we shall be able to watch live TV as well?

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Year, I don't think it is bandwidth issues, as I'm getting really good streams, and what I don't see is actual buffering. Just a "skipping" of sorts, then the stream ending. I had one occasion where the app itself entirely closed.

 

It looks more like a bug with the app, but one way to test this, would be to VPN from the router into the UK, and bypass Smart DNS.

 

My Fritzbox seems to have a VPN option, though I have never tested this. Here is the information I need to enter, but I seem to be having problems.

 

The only VPN details I have from OverPlay, (which work incidentally perfectly on my iPad or iMac) are the following:

Server name, My OverPlay Account and Password - for PPTP

 

Am I correct in assuming the VPN-Username at the top is my OverPlay Account name, and my password under that, with the VPN server being the internetaddresse? If so, what are the other fields that needs to be filled, and why do I need to enter an actual IP address? I don't creating VPNs with other devices.

 

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I have a nowtv box, really pleased with it. Only issue I have is with demand5 - It sometimes pauses whilst (I assume) it's buffering (annoying but can live with) but sometimes the programme just stops and then I have to manually restart the programme and fast-forward to where I was. If occasionally I have to restart the programme from the beginning I wouldn't be too bothered, but this is every 5 minutes. Anyone else experiencing the same?

 

I had a free 30 day sky subscription for movies which worked without problems and BBC iplayer has been faultless too. Perhaps when BBC three becomes internet only we shall be able to watch live TV as well?

 

Are you using SmartDNS? - if not then what?

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If you are using Smartstream, how do you cope with the changing IP addresses from your provider? - do you have to manually reconfigure Smartstream every time your external IP address changes?

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I've spent a considerable amount of my day having this kafkaesque conversation with what seems to be Overplay's outsourced support team:

 

Me:

 

Hi, I recently purchased a NowTV box and bought a Sky Entertainment subscription - the subscription does not work on any of the NowTV platforms, via the box, my web browser, or the iOS app.

I have Overplay SmartDNS enabled on my Fritzbox router, and this allows flawless access to UK live TV and watch again apps on my Samsung Smart TV.

4OD and BBC iPlayer also work perfectly on the Now TV box, it is only the Sky subscription that does not function.

 

Overplay:

 

'Dear xxxxxx ,

 

Thank you for contacting OverPlay.net

 

Please let us know the exact website that you are trying to access on Now TV.

 

May I know are you getting any error message while accessing the website?

 

Could you please try to access the website in different web browser/different devices and also by clearing your browsers cache and cookies and check if it works.

 

If issue persists please let us know the complete result displayed at http://www.overplay.net/smartdnstest.php and the DNS IP's that you have configured on your router/device.

 

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

 

OverPlay.net LP'

 

Me:

 

Hi, I have tried to play on demand video on this site http://watch.nowtv.com/entertainment

When I try to play anything on the browser, I get the following message at the top of the NowTV page 'Sorry your session has ended, please sign out and try again'

 

This has now occurred on Safari for Mac OSX, and on Firefox for Windows 7 SP1

 

I get the following message when I click on the link you provided:

 

SmartDNS Diagnostics

HTTP: 93.232.99.91

HTTPS: 93.232.99.91

DNS Server: 176.67.84.100

SmartDNS Test: OverPlay SmartDNS for 93.232.99.91 is ENABLED (locale:2)

Language: en-US,en;q=0.5

 

But as I said in my original post, the playback problem occurs on all NowTV platforms with your SmartDNS service enabled on my router, not just the browser. I particularly want to solve the problem with playback via the NowTV/Roku box.

 

Can you please confirm that Overplay currently support SmartDNS in conjunction with NowTV?

 

Overplay:

 

Dear xxxxx ,

 

Thank you for contacting OverPlay.net

 

Unfortunately, Now Tv website is not compatible to our SMartDNS service.

 

Not every website is compatible with the technology used by our SmartDNS service.

 

Since the service is still technically in the 'testing' phase, we aren't rolling out support for extra websites until we've added some finishing touches.

 

The viability of supporting the site you mentioned with SmartDNS will be investigated.

 

Right now, however, you'll still need to connect to the VPN service instead

 

OverPlay.net LP

 

Me:

 

Umm, ok, I am prepared to accept that you do not support NowTV on a browser, but you still have not answered my question regarding the use of your SmartDNS in conjunction with the NowTV/Roku box.

After all, you seem to be promoting it on your website:

 

https://www.overplay.net/blog/now-tv-the-best-value-platform-for-uk-catch-up-tv

 

Overplay:

 

Dear xxxxx ,

 

Thank you for contacting OverPlay.net

 

Yes please note that to use smart DNS on Now TV/Roku box you need to configure Smart DNS on your router.

 

Since Roku/Now TV box does not allow changing DNS servers, you'd need to set up SmartDNS on your router instead.

 

You need to look for the 'Local DNS Server' inside the router's web configuration interface, and enter the SmartDNS server address into that box.

 

SmartDNS addresses are provided to you at https://overplay.net/myaccount.php?t=smartdns

 

Please ensure to power cycle the router, once you have added the SmartDNS server address.

 

Please let us know if we can be of any further help

 

OverPlay.net LP

 

Me:

 

As I mentioned in my original post, I have entered the SmartDNS addresses directly in to my router, I realise that the NowTV box does not allow for entry of the SmartDNS addresses directly.

I am not so bothered about NowTV being inaccessible on a browser as I am about the problems I am having using the NowTV box, which you seem to claim works flawlessly with your SmartDNS service. When I try to watch any Sky product video on the NowTV box, it plays for about a minute, then the graphic interface pops up with the loading icon spinning around, then it disappears shortly after, then the video continues playing for a couple more minutes, then the video stops altogether.

As I said before, this does not happen with 4OD or BBC iPlayer on the NowTV box, only with Sky's own NowTV service.

So, it seems that the problem lies with Overplay's SmartDNS and the NowTV service, not with the Roku box, or my bandwidth, or the configuration of my home network.

 

Thank you.

 

Overplay:

 

Dear xxxxxx,

 

Thank you for contacting OverPlay.net

 

Glad its working for you now. (What?!)

 

Other than 4OD or BBC iPlayer on the NowTV box which sky's service or application that you are accessing so that I can assit you accordingly.

 

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

 

OverPlay.net LP

 

Me:

 

What further information do you need from me? I have detailed the issue I am having - once again, I cannot access Sky products via NowTV on my NowTV box.

Please read my previous posts to you before replying.

 

Overplay:

 

Dear xxxxxx,

 

Thank you for contacting OverPlay.net

 

Please note that Skygo Uk only compatible to our SmartDNS service. (Wut)

 

Please uninstall and reinstall the Sky app and retry accessing the and see if that works for you.

 

Also change the time zone of the now TV to which the desired country you wish to connect.

 

Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.

 

Best Regards,

 

OverPlay.net LP

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If you are using Smartstream, how do you cope with the changing IP addresses from your provider? - do you have to manually reconfigure Smartstream every time your external IP address changes?

 

I got a fixed IP address from Deutsche Telekom and this solved that issue. I did a full test today and can report what does/doesn't work using my set-up:

 

- Catch up services from BBC iPlayer, 4OD and Channel 5 all work just fine. Very smooth and good quality.

- All other free add-in apps (TuneIn Radio, Facebook, Spotify etc.) all work fine.

- NowTV services (Sky Movies, Sports, Entertainment) work fine - surprisingly. The caveat here is that I had to use a UK credit card to sign up (which I had). I watched a film earlier on Sky Movies and there was zero buffering.

- Sky Store - here's where I failed. I can sign up online (using a UK VPN) and buy a film. I can watch this film on my computer with the VPN on, but it will not play on the NowTV box as the box is looking at my IP which is German of course.

 

So reasonable success. Definitely worth a tenner. I reported the Sky Store issue to StreamVia in case they can think of a way around it...not holding my breath on that though. I have no idea why Sky Store does not work, but NowTV does...

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... Sky Store - here's where I failed. I can sign up online (using a UK VPN) and buy a film. I can watch this film on my computer with the VPN on, but it will not play on the NowTV box as the box is looking at my IP which is German of course ...

 

I use OverPlay SmartDNS with a UK Roku 3 that together do an excellent job of delivering the BBC iPlayer catchup content (my main reason for investing in the two).

The Roku 3 is rather like a (black) Now TV box but with the additional option of using a wired LAN connection.

I also can't get Sky Store to work on the Roku 3 despite the UK IP address provided by the SmartDNS.

I checked with ovbg and he suspects that OverPlay don't yet support Sky Store.

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It looks as though OverPlay have found the issue with the Now TV stream and have it sorted. At least, I'm not seeing any of the skipping I did earlier.

 

The new video quality stream from Now TV is also much higher than when I tested last year, both for catch-up and the live channels.

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@Chocky:

 

I've had similar experiences with the (Indian?) OverPlay's customer support. Sometimes it has been so ridiculous that I laughed instead of getting angry. They have asked me to delete cookies in my AppleTV and to update Internet Explorer on a MacBook, among other things. The most annoying part is that they do not even keep track of the problem and they asked you for things you already provided. And that at some point they will just close the errer report as solved without telling you anything.

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A fixed IP address from Telekom? That's normally only an option for business customers...

 

Yes - I am a business customer handily. Prior to getting the fixed IP it was a bit of a pain as my IP changes most days and then I had to login again to SmartStream.

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That's one of the advantages of used SmartDNS from Overplay - once set up correctly it handles the IP change automatically.

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Not necessarilly - depends on the router you have, but let me make the statement clearer - SmartDNS can be setup to automatically detect an IP address change using a dynamic DNS service or suitable router, otherwise a manual update is also very straightforward, so the (often not inconsiderable) expense of a static IP address is not especially necessary.

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And worst case you can setup a simple 'wget' call in a crontab in the router updating the IP every 2 or whatever minutes. This is rudimentary but it works, that was my setup for several months at the beginning before they implemented the no-ip support.

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