Polk Assist No Longer Playing BBC Radio in the UK

Recently I could not get my Polk Assist to play BBC Radio 4. It says "Playing BBC Radio 4 from the BBC" but then there is silence. It would play other BBC Radio stations. I have done a factory reset and it has got worse - now it will not play any BBC Radio stations. Has anybody else got this problem? It will play other independent stations - eg from Global Player.

I contacted Polk support in the UK which is provided by Sound United UK and I was told this is because the BBC must have removed BBC Radio from a service provider, but he could not say which provider this is. I cannot find any mention of this on any BBC website. (Only the removal of service from TuneIn which was in August 2019). Also, I can still play BBC Radio on my LG Smart Speaker and Google Nest Mini. Please can Polk investigate or explain what is happening.
«1

Comments

  • I'll ask a friend at Polk to check on this.
  • Pleased to see someone else has the same issue as me! Would appreciate an update here. BBC Radio is one of the main functions I use on my Polk!
  • VR3
    VR3 Posts: 25,461
    A true brexit, didn't know Polk had a stance!
    - Not Tom

    "No, that's silly talk. Dude, you can't possibly be this audio dumb so quit the act." - Doro
  • Hi NickE, I have the same problem. Unplugged Polk when kitchen being painted, plugged it in and no BBC stations. Will play local radio and Spotify but say "playing radio 2 from the BBC" then silence. Have tried resets but no joy.
  • Any answers to BBC SOUNDS on Polk Assist? Our Alexa stopped playing BBC radio for a while and seems to have sorted itself out, but no luck on Polk and as far as I can see no way of adding BBC Skill app on Polk, or is there a way?
  • KenOz
    KenOz Posts: 1
    I bought a Polk Audio Assist smart speaker as it had a Best Buy recommendation on Which. I have been able to play Classic FM which is a part of the Global Radi Group and Smooth Radio and other stations but not any BBC Radio stations. Like with NickE, it says "Playing BBC Radio x from the BBC" but then there is silence. BBC Sounds have replied to my enquiry by saying there is an ongoing issue streaming BBC radio on Polk devices. BBC have raised this for investigation but it seems the issue is that Polk and/or Google need to update their firmware to restore BBC streams to their devices. There is no ETA from Google and/or Polk for when this might be resolved.
  • I'll try and get some updated information on this from a friend at Polk in the US.
  • We are having exactly the same problem. Difficult to understand why it was working with BBC radio stations one day and then suddenly stopped. Hopefully they will now recognise that it is affecting a number of people.
  • NickE
    NickE Posts: 7
    Thanks everyone for your comments. This has confirmed I am, as suspected, not alone It would be good to get some response from Polk. But there has been silence so far. Getting BBC stations is essential for me. I will also contact the BBC and the place I bought the speaker from to see if I can get more answers.
  • JoG
    JoG Posts: 2
    We are having the same issue with our Polk smart speaker, it no longer plays BBC radio stations.
  • msg
    msg Posts: 6,920
    edited January 3
    NickE wrote: »
    Recently I could not get my Polk Assist to play BBC Radio 4. It says "Playing BBC Radio 4 from the BBC" but then there is silence. It would play other BBC Radio stations. I have done a factory reset and it has got worse - now it will not play any BBC Radio stations. Has anybody else got this problem? It will play other independent stations - eg from Global Player.

    I contacted Polk support in the UK which is provided by Sound United UK and I was told this is because the BBC must have removed BBC Radio from a service provider, but he could not say which provider this is. I cannot find any mention of this on any BBC website. (Only the removal of service from TuneIn which was in August 2019). Also, I can still play BBC Radio on my LG Smart Speaker and Google Nest Mini. Please can Polk investigate or explain what is happening.

    Have you guys tried testing BBC Radio over a web browser on a computer or smartphone? Yeah, could be the station info has changed.

    How do you actually start the stream on your Polk Assist? Is it an app?
    Are you able to play any URL through the Polk Assist? if so, does this work?
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_fourfm
    I disabled signatures.
  • SimonW
    SimonW Posts: 4
    Yes, just to say I have exactly the same problem with my Polk Assist. At the voice command "OK Google Play BBC Radio 4" I get the response "Playing BBC Radio 4 from the BBC" but then silence. Interestingly I am also unable to cast audio to the Polk Assist from the app on my smart phone. Other services work fine, eg classic FM, LBC etc from Global Player, or Spotify. I contacted Polk support on 10th December, was promised a response in 48 hours, but have received nothing. So it used to work just fine, and now it doesn't. I suspect someone somewhere has updated or changed the software of one critical element in the chain, and unintentionally broken it. How long can it take to resolve this?
  • JoG
    JoG Posts: 2
    I am also unable to cast from BBC Sounds app to my Polk speaker. When is this issue likely to be resolved?
  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 2,079
    I'll try and find out who in England might have an answer, no one at Polk US has information on this, sorry.
  • RobertJC
    RobertJC Posts: 2
    I’m experiencing the same. Thanks everyone for highlighting this. Hopefully our growing disgruntled community won’t be ignored for long.
  • SimonW
    SimonW Posts: 4
    Here is the response I received from the BBC:
    "Dear Simon,

    Thank you for contacting BBC Sounds support regarding issues accessing Sounds via your Polk device.

    We are aware of this issue and it has been raised to our product teams for investigation. It is related to an ongoing issue where Polk or Google essentially need to update their firmware to make it possible to use Sounds with the Polk devices.

    Unfortunately we have not been provided with a time frame for when this might be resolved by Polk or Google. I do hope this information is useful and I am sorry I couldn't be of more help on this occasion.

    Thanks again for getting in touch.

    Kind regards,

    Adam McIlveen. "

    So come on Polk - this is for you to resolve.
  • I’ve got exactly the same problem - interestingly on Dec 9th it was working and then from 10th Dec it wasn’t . I’ve tried everything . Bluetooth, non bbc radio and other google home instructions all work.

    Please sort this out Polk !
  • revolving
    revolving Posts: 1
    Yes me also. Bought a Polk on Which advice as Christmas present for wife. Guess which is her favourite station, yup BBC Radio 4. Says it is playing but silence, same on all BBC stations.
    Tried contacting Polk, but no response other than acknowledging my message
    I am contacting Which to remove this product from the best buy list and asking for my money back from suppliers
  • mqn
    mqn Posts: 1
    BBC stations not playing has to be a problem either with the BBC servers or the servers POLK use. I bought this speaker expecting BBC stations to work as that is mainly what I listen too. I think given the amount of reports of it not working, polk would be bending over backwards to get it working, but no, even after a month or more of reports. I will give it/them another week and will be sending it back for a refund if it is not fixed by then.
  • NickE
    NickE Posts: 7
    edited January 11
    I have contacted the BBC about this too. I asked if they had made any changes to their service that might have caused this issue. They did not answer the question but sent me the same answer they sent to @SimonW

    "Thank you for contacting BBC Sounds support regarding issues accessing Sounds via your Polk device.

    We are aware of this issue and it has been raised to our product teams for investigation. It is related to an ongoing issue where Polk or Google essentially need to update their firmware to make it possible to use Sounds with the Polk devices.

    Unfortunately we have not been provided with a time frame for when this might be resolved by Polk or Google. I do hope this information is useful and I am sorry I couldn't be of more help on this occasion.

    Please rest assured that I've made your feedback available to the BBC Sounds product team, including the Head of Sounds via our audience feedback report. These reports help us to shape future decisions on our product and output.

    Thanks again for getting in touch."


    It seems to me this answer is contradictory - they are investigating the issue, but already know it is not their fault - they seem to know it is the fault of Google or Polk. They do not seem to be telling us all they know.

  • NickE
    NickE Posts: 7
    I'll try and find out who in England might have an answer, no one at Polk US has information on this, sorry.

    @SeleniumFalcon have you had any success finding a contact in England?
  • SeleniumFalcon
    SeleniumFalcon Posts: 2,079
    I have not heard anything, sorry.
  • I have the same problem. I contacted Polk customer services on 8 January 2022 and have not heard from them.
  • Same issue here - interestingly, when i open the settings page in the Google Home App it no longer populates details of the Polk Assist speaker. I can still use Spotify connect and YouTube Music via Cast - Just so annoying there is no BBC.

    Great sounding speaker, but without BBC functionality the speaker is no longer fits into my morning routine.

    Are we likely to see a fix from Polk?
  • RobertJC
    RobertJC Posts: 2
    I’ve got nowhere.

    I tweeted Polk who replied telling me that they are aware of the issue but they have no timeframe. When I suggested that’s not really good enough, they gave me the number of their technical support team. It’s a free phone number so I will be ringing it off the hook: 0800 377 7655
  • I contacted the BBC about this and they told me that Chromecast has been updated and the BBC have updated their firmware accordingly. i.e. the BBC now needs to have Chromecast version 1.36 to work. The Polk audio assist that I have contains Chromecast v1.29. I spoke to Polk customer service today in the UK and he told me he was unaware of any plans to update the firmware in the Polk audio Assist. In his words 'its old technology'. I've only had my speaker for 1.5 years so I'm not happy.
  • Here's the full BBC reply:

    Thanks for contacting BBC Sounds support about not being able to listen to BBC stations on your Polk speaker.

    That's because your device is not using the latest Google Home software and BBC Sounds is no longer supported on that older software. Polk or Google need to update their firmware if you wish to get BBC again.

    You can see more information on the issue here:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/help/questions/supported-devices/chromecast-closure

    (While this specifically mentions Chromecast, this is also for playing directly on 3rd-party devices too)

    Best of luck,

    Jonathan Philpott

    BBC iPlayer & BBC Sounds Support Team
  • GJosey
    GJosey Posts: 2
    I have exactly the same problem and received the same reply from Jonathan Philpot at the BBC.
    Updating Google Home did not change things. I think going down the Chrome cast route degrades sound quality. I spoke to a producer at BBC local radio today and he accepted that the BBC were working on the problem. No timing for a fix though !
  • I will reach out to my old colleague at Polk to check what will be done. Sadly the Polk Assist went EOL a while back, so I don't think Polk will ever update the firmware. Sad as it is a great sounding speaker and the perfect kitchen / bedroom companion
  • I contacted the BBC about this and they told me that Chromecast has been updated and the BBC have updated their firmware accordingly. i.e. the BBC now needs to have Chromecast version 1.36 to work. The Polk audio assist that I have contains Chromecast v1.29. I spoke to Polk customer service today in the UK and he told me he was unaware of any plans to update the firmware in the Polk audio Assist. In his words 'its old technology'. I've only had my speaker for 1.5 years so I'm not happy.

    At least we know the issue now.....