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dwl

204 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 905853 1-Oct-2013 17:48 Send private message quote this post

There are two separate and distinct issues:

1) stream delivery rate not being sufficient where buffering pauses can occur - this is unlikely to occur most of the time if you are sufficiently close to the CDN server using those local connections but there was a good warning a few posts back to make sure you are using local DNS (otherwse you may be pulling from distant servers which might have problems)

2) video content not being fluid at the sub second level - this seems to have been acknowledged by Tim Martin as a known issue related to compability between providers that was supposedly close to resolution - I still see the effects on some of the content, more obvious on a larger screen, where every 5th frame is a static repeat of the 4th which looks jittery on panning shots - my bitrate viewer shows data belonging to the first 4 frames with nearly no data for the 5th - this can also vary during the game.

I could add a 3rd issue of the manifest files for the iPad stream changing where some of the rates seem to get dropped off. This is usually on a Sunday and they get more fully populated by the Monday. A quick check shows this can also be localised - this morning I had the latest stream missing 3000 but when I looked on some different Akamai addresses which I think are in Auckland this higher speed stream was there, I can't say for sure how the apps handle this but I would expect if is missing from the manifest it won't play that rate.

Every viewer will have slightly different issues and thresholds of where they become irritating. At least PLP seem aware of the issues.

255 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 20


  Reply # 906088 2-Oct-2013 00:34 Send private message quote this post

I still think its to do with encoding compatibility with 1080i @50/60hz and converting and 25fps/30fps




2009 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 906090 2-Oct-2013 01:22 Send private message quote this post

dwl: I could add a 3rd issue of the manifest files for the iPad stream changing where some of the rates seem to get dropped off. This is usually on a Sunday and they get more fully populated by the Monday. A quick check shows this can also be localised - this morning I had the latest stream missing 3000 but when I looked on some different Akamai addresses which I think are in Auckland this higher speed stream was there, I can't say for sure how the apps handle this but I would expect if is missing from the manifest it won't play that rate.

Every viewer will have slightly different issues and thresholds of where they become irritating. At least PLP seem aware of the issues.


Akamai still have to seed the content to the various ISP clusters, and as some clusters are smaller and some faster than others I wonder if the 'missing' bit rate options is just a combination of the two.

Looking at our Akamai graphs this PLP has made no visible difference for us, but then our cluster is pretty big and very very well connected. If you tell me how to check that manifest file I'll take a look at what I see.




Oh, the latest Everton vs Newcastle game was a lot smoother to watch, but far from TV smooth.

dwl

204 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 906129 2-Oct-2013 08:36 Send private message quote this post

Apsattv: I still think its to do with encoding compatibility with 1080i @50/60hz and converting and 25fps/30fps

This seems quite likely but the iPad version delivers 25 fps to the end user so it might now be 50Hz -> 30 fps -> 25 fps - or could be anything else ... 

The weird thing is it seems to be the wide shots that suffer most with closer views often seeming to have data for all the frames at 25 fps and some games seem quite smooth and fluid.

dwl

204 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 906142 2-Oct-2013 08:53 Send private message quote this post

insane: Akamai still have to seed the content to the various ISP clusters, and as some clusters are smaller and some faster than others I wonder if the 'missing' bit rate options is just a combination of the two.

Looking at our Akamai graphs this PLP has made no visible difference for us, but then our cluster is pretty big and very very well connected. If you tell me how to check that manifest file I'll take a look at what I see.

The games all now have the full rates available for me on Telecom ADSL near Wellington.  When the rates drop off, it is often for hours at a time and in one case it was all the lower rates missing for many hours which was rather strange.  There could well be seeding time delay issues but the rate of manifest file changes is quite slow.  

Another effect I have noticed is there can be changed A records within the same subnet for a hostname where the old A records still have a cut back manifest file and the newly advertised A records have all the rates.  Akamai say they use DNS "magic" and I guess some of that may be to manage capacity.  I believe that Telecom might be more strained that some and it is quite possible your customers don't get the same reductions.  There are so many other users of these clusters, with those allocations also bouncing around (e.g. TVNZ OnDemand going for a couple of A records during the day to up to 8 or more in the evenings).

I'll send you a PM with some details. 

214 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 906174 2-Oct-2013 09:21 Send private message quote this post

http://nbr.co.nz/ask-tim

296 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 906378 2-Oct-2013 12:26 Send private message quote this post

Just read some of the answers to questions about PLP. Why does he always go on about 40cents a game. I know it is the price divided by the number of games but who is going to watch all 380 games?

There was 1 question about thru channel which was a bit ambigous and I think he may have got the meaning wrong. I was just recently in the US and you can get the NFL owned channel from a local cable provider as well as getting NFLpass. I think this maybe the future of PAYTV here in NZ.

dwl

204 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 906612 2-Oct-2013 19:22 Send private message quote this post

Jas777: Just read some of the answers to questions about PLP. Why does he always go on about 40cents a game. I know it is the price divided by the number of games but who is going to watch all 380 games?

There was 1 question about thru channel which was a bit ambigous and I think he may have got the meaning wrong. I was just recently in the US and you can get the NFL owned channel from a local cable provider as well as getting NFLpass. I think this maybe the future of PAYTV here in NZ.

This sounds interesting but I'm not sure how it might relate to NZ.  Assuming NFLpass is managed by say NeuLion and hosted by their CDN partners, then that content comes from the "Internet" via the closest CDN cache.  In the "thru" mode I assume the same content is hosted as a TV channel on the cable network, hence better guarantees of broadcast quality.  

The NBR ask-tim needs subscription so others might not have seen the comment.  It was specifically asking about those wanting to watch on big TVs and Tim's answer about getting apps to get HD directly onto TVs was still relevant but seemed to be focused on broadband via the existing CDN distribution method.  Even Quickflix with their MHEG-IC on Freeview uses the broadband channel for the video content, not any other broadcast pipe. 

In NZ apart from the Saturn/TC/Vodafone cable system, I understood no other ISPs operate any sort of IPTV network so how would the "thru" channel be hosted.  Are you suggesting the future of PayTV here might be the ISPs starting up IPTV services?  We have had trials and I am sure some further planning is occurring but is it really commercially viable to effectively duplicate what Akamai and possible Google will be doing with their caches? 

12 posts

Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 906803 2-Oct-2013 23:16 Send private message quote this post

NonprayingMantis:
paintballdan:
expression: Reading through the NZ Herald article posted above, a few interesting points:

- "We know 85 per cent of our customers use the highest rate of 3000Kpbs, accounting for 70 per cent of all hours watched That shows people can take a higher-quality feed. We always said if the demand was there, we would do it. There are challenges but we are working closely with Telecom ... to have a 4500Kpbs rate available this season. It's a big cost but we won't pass that on to customers."

- "Is the English Premier League happy with you? We report to MP & Silva, the rights holders, every month. They are very tight with the EPL. The scrutiny is massive. We have to give sales, feedback, quality of service. They haven't voiced any concerns and are really excited. Compared to the figures supplied by Sky, viewership is up slightly."


I find Tim Martin's attitude in the article intensely irritating. He's now putting his hands up to knowing about blocky, jittery picture quality from the start but I've been in contact with their customer services several times since August about picture quality and they were always focussing on things that may be wrong at my end: internet connection, computer, router, browser etc. There was never once a mention of any possible issues with the quality of the stream they were sending out. Even in admitting this, he is keen to blame everything and everyone apart from PLP. it's the Premier League and Neulion, it's old routers or ADSL copper wires. My download speeds are 11-12 Mbps and my old copper wires work well enough to give me crystal clear picture quality when I stream HD BBC programs through iplayer or content through Netflix or Hulu using Global Mode. I invested in a new router a couple of months ago too. He even admits that the picture would go pixilated and sh1tty when he was using a standard ADSL connection so is essentially saying that the stream they're putting out is unsuitable for the majority of NZ households. 

There's also a sly reference in there to people watching content more on ipads, iphones etc. This is convenient when you're on the road but why on earth would you chose to watch a whole game on an iphone or ipad at home when you have a perfectly good tv? I have a 42" tv hooked up to a mac mini and a great sound system. I subscribed to PLP to watch through this. i'm having to watch games on the ipad now where the quality is generally fine but this is definitely not what I signed up for. Apart from being at the game, there's nothing like watching it on a large screen.

I'm still waiting for this much improved, non jittery picture. I've just tried to watch the Liverpool game through my tv and the picture quality is as crap as ever. Not sure what they did, if anything at all, but it has made no difference to me. I also wonder if the 80% of people watching at 3000 Kbps are getting a decent picture. I doubt it. 

The only remotely useful thing I read in the interview was that he seems to get genuinely irritated by people being rude about the service on twitter or by email. i've been extremely polite up to now but will make a point of cranking up the volume when I next have cause to complain, can't imagine that'll be too far away. I doubt the irritation he feels on reading my expletive riddled emails will be close to the irritation I feel when trying to watch a game with his shoddy service.  




Are you switching off global mode when using PLP?  My understanding of global mode is that it bypasses any locally cached content, so your experience of stuff that should be coming of Akamai will be impacted if you do that.


Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't previously tried turning off global mode but gave it a go tonight. Unfortunately still the same jerky, twitchy picture on my HDTV. I tried watching the Liverpool game through my tv last night, terrible picture quality as always. Started watching it on the ipad. The picture was fine but eventually thought fcuk that and downloaded it in HD from a moody website. I'm watching it now through the tv and it is glorious. I'd forgotten that football on a large screen could be a pleasure rather than something you have to squint to watch.

Terrible state of affairs that the only way I can watch the game without making my head hurt is via a questionable source. I tried to do the right thing...

296 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 21


  Reply # 906987 3-Oct-2013 11:49 Send private message quote this post

dwl,

I wasn't talking about ISP as such but more like what happens in the US where you belong to 1 cable company but they have their own content plus content of others which they show on their behalf and I would assume get a fee for doing so. In this case (and I don't know if they do ) the EPL would have their own channel which PLP would get the rights to and show on SKY's platfrom as well as the online subscription service.

Not that it is direct competition but I believe The Rialto Channel on SKY operates this way.

NZ is probably too small for this tye of arrangement but it could be regulated I guess.

dwl

204 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 907009 3-Oct-2013 12:26 Send private message quote this post

Jas777: dwl,

I wasn't talking about ISP as such but more like what happens in the US where you belong to 1 cable company but they have their own content plus content of others which they show on their behalf and I would assume get a fee for doing so. In this case (and I don't know if they do ) the EPL would have their own channel which PLP would get the rights to and show on SKY's platfrom as well as the online subscription service.

Not that it is direct competition but I believe The Rialto Channel on SKY operates this way.

NZ is probably too small for this tye of arrangement but it could be regulated I guess.

Thanks for the clarification.  As has been said on some other forum posts, the number of spare broadcast slots here in NZ (Freeview or Sky) are quite limited but I can see that a few might fit this model.  Live games fit well although possibly still need a MySky type of box if you miss the start and want to go back. 

However, the big challenge comes when you have more streams than space available and viewers want the time shifting managed by others.  The CDN model delivers both content (HD quality issues to one side, noting that even Sky and Freeview have limited room for HD) and also time shift when you want it without needing a recorder or having to remember to record (but whole separate arguments about Smart TVs vs. Roku and so on).


544 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 38


  Reply # 907994 4-Oct-2013 16:38 Send private message quote this post

The NHL has started again in the past couple of days. can use it to compare to PLP http://www.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/gamecenterlive?id=2013020014 (seems to be free for live games at the moment, full season with on demand plus access to classic matches from the "NHL Vault" is US$99)



60 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 3


  Reply # 909190 7-Oct-2013 11:17 Send private message quote this post

Watched Spurs v West Ham this morning delayed at about 630am.

First the Good: I see the 'fast forward by 30 secs' button is now there.

Now the Bad: Probably the worst PLP experience I've had on the iPad (scoreline aside!). Good picture for about 5 mins, then quality noticeably decreased for another 2-3mins, then back to good picture and repeat for pretty much the entire game. There was probably half a dozen times, each a period of about 2-3mins where the picture was as 'blocky' as I've seen and bloody hard to follow the game.

Frustration again, having to sign in at the start, the the sound wouldn't work, so had to power of the iPad off, and restart and then resign in etc.

The fast forward button was good generally, but there were numerous times where I'd push the button, see the clock go forward 30secs, but have to wait 5-6 secs before the play restarted (ie system 'caught up')

The previous games I've watched on the iPad have been good, no drop in picture quality, but today's vastly different. I guess this highlights the fragility of the system and the numerous issues that play a part in a smooth viewing experience or otherwise.

Undoubtably the whole process is more involved than turning on SKY, choosing my recorded game and pushing play, and I miss the ability to 'fast-forward' but see the action unfold as I'm doing so. Often I'm trying to get through a 2 hr presentation in about an hour on a Monday morning before going to work (fast-forwarding the pre-match, injury breaks, stoppages for some throw-ins, corners, halftime etc etc).

This is impossible on the PLP platform.

679 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 909271 7-Oct-2013 12:09 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

I said this before in the thread, but I do not believe Internet based TV is currently viable. The distribution methods are far more variable with many factors that change the experience. As a catch up system, it would be fine but a primary first time distribution it is quite poor.

IF PLP had adopted an RTSP style streaming method then it could have been implemented via MHEG5-IC, open source and others but instead they chose to use a partner to deliver their content and limit access as well as requiring encoding outside of NZ and therefore leave the system open to distribution/caching problems.

I guess for most people these issues will be overlooked as they now have access to their team easily rather than before and this will help PLP as I doubt new members will complain initially. I think the true test for PLP will be next season once they have settled and and members are now used to the content, if they still can't get their act together then they will be in trouble.

679 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 57


  Reply # 909499 7-Oct-2013 19:58 One person supports this post Send private message quote this post

Just got sent a survey by PLP about my issues with the service. Asked for honest answers so I gave a whole real of problems that I feel is currently wrong. Kindly got a day pass in return.

I know I have been critical of the service, and I will until it improves and can be consumed in a similar manner to the Sky system, I do wish the best of luck as it is an interesting move by all parties.

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