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94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886112 28-Aug-2013 19:24
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As an Apple developer, the iOS app is a big hit with me.

The iPhone instance doesn't allow you to airplay the stream but the iPad does. There's no ability to have play in play or 4 screen mode.

The quality is good. It's very good in fact and much better than the android which through a quirk of nature I was able to trial my iPad 3 4th gen alongside the Samsung Tab 10:1 version 2. The iPad won hands down on quality.

Upscaling to the 50" proved effortless in the tireless Apple way. Your iPad then serves as a remote control to fast forward, rewind, pause etc; or select another match. Then half way through watching a game on the large screen I realized I had disconnected the network cable from my Apple TV on Tuesday morning to watch the Man Utd game on a laptop to TV via HDMI. So all this was happening in great quality over my wireless which picks up -65db where it is located.

I've since been kicked off the big TV by the family, so I haven't had the chance to trial with the network cable connected. That said it doesn't appear that I'll need to as the quality over wireless was so good.

Overall I'm impressed - very impressed. Am about to go out for a short walk around the streets to see how the iPad handles streaming over an LTE sim.


94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886122 28-Aug-2013 19:46
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Well walking the streets was very good quality on both the iPad and iPhone, although I did get a few strange looks from passer bys walking their dogs.

There is no ability to select the bitrate on the app so presumably it is fixed to best available. When you first load a game the stream appears to do some adaptive testing to select the best. I was able to watch both at once. Seems if you start watching a game on your account on one machine it takes a while before it detects a 2nd load on another machine. Not sure if this is a bug or feature but it's not something I'm gonna complain about. I was able to watch both for about 20 minutes and neither warned me that another user was logged on.

Anyhow, my iPhone has an LTE sim but I'm not in an LTE area where I live, so it played at 3G as did my iPad. So not surprisingly the quality was the same - being good - very good I must say. At times as I went over the brow of a local hill the iPhone paused for a second but the iPad didn't. Curious as they were both connected to the same cell presumably. The iPhone did drop from 3 to 2 bars at times but the iPad remained at a constant 3 bars. Possibly a bigger internal aerial? Anybody know?

Still can't fathom what the CC button does. Doesn't seem to have any visual impact; and there's another button on the top right hand of the screen which looks like a settings button but toggles between a full screen symbol and the settings symbol. Again it doesn't seem to have any function. On the settings menu there are options for App Settings and More yet both of these buttons are greyed.

Oh and a correction from earlier, you can airplay from the iPhone. I was off wirless at the time so it didn't pick up the Apple TV and so sensibly hid the button. I haven't tried this yet to see if there is any difference between quality of the iPhone versus iPad when upscaled to the large screen. There ought not to be if you understand how Airplay works but I'll try it later when the family have gone to bed.

Bottom line is that this is a very good app by all accounts.

94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886123 28-Aug-2013 19:49
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Caveat for the above comments. These were all trials on recorded on demand games of course. It remains to be seen how the app performs for a live feed.

dwl

363 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 43


  Reply # 886143 28-Aug-2013 20:15
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Benoire: technically it should look no different to a native PC stream, unless the ios version uses a different stream from the flash version.

@DWL perhaps this is your comparison stream?

The app works fine for me.  The rates in the index file are 800, 3000, 1600, 1200, 400, 240, 150 and 64 (this last one 480x320 @ 10 fps - it should hang on till almost dial-up speed).  The stream container is different, using 10 second TS chunks directed from a manifest file (the .m3u8 method).  The 3000 option reports same key parameters as for the MP4 chunk version used on the PC - my guess is the video coding is probably the same.  The audio format reports slightly differently but still 44.1 kHz stereo.

I have tried a sample download of a few chucks and they seem to play ok which will hopefully make analysis a bit easier (rule out player issues).  If there are any favorite times in the current library of on-demand games available to daypass holders let me know (before my daypass runs out ...) but please be fairly precise about the location (on the game clock) - I only want a few minutes in a game for technical evaluation.

85 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 14


  Reply # 886149 28-Aug-2013 20:24
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Has anyone confirmed the difference between the on demand 250 and the non on demand 130? Seems to me that all 10 games are on demand until the next round of matches, then they all dissapear?

Dororke. The CC button means Closed Caption, seems to be a non functioning carry over from the NFL software. Press it on that app and you get subtitles for the hearing impaired.

809 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 74


  Reply # 886160 28-Aug-2013 20:42
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Lust: Has anyone confirmed the difference between the on demand 250 and the non on demand 130? Seems to me that all 10 games are on demand until the next round of matches, then they all dissapear?

They said all games for the first two rounds were going to be on demand.

229 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886171 28-Aug-2013 21:02
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The iPhone app works great. I briefly Airplayed a game to the Apple TV and I didn't notice any judder issues. Quality too was quiet good on the 40" TV. Going to try it on my iPad later.

As noted by others, there's no option to select the quality. On my VDSL connection it seemed to default to 3000kbps but it remains to be seen how it will perform at 9am on a Sunday morning.

94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886197 28-Aug-2013 21:21
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Dororke. The CC button means Closed Caption, seems to be a non functioning carry over from the NFL software. Press it on that app and you get subtitles for the hearing impaired.


Ah thanks. That also explains why the app performs so well. Had no crashes or oddities to speak of - it just does what it's supposed to. So I'm guessing this is the guts of code written for the NFL which has been EPLized. So all the drama of early bugs in a new release will have been ironed out with this delivery.

dwl

363 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 43


  Reply # 886264 28-Aug-2013 23:04
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I have saved a 3 minute clip of a random game here. My micro stuttering is gone and if I slow down to 0.03 fps with VLC (use the [ or ] key to slow or speed up) I can see 30 frames each second with evenly spaced motion. Hopefully this might help to identify whether this is the quality of picture being seen on the Flash player where the picture was unacceptable for some. I guess a rebuild for me may be needed but the laptop is only a few months old ;-(

There are still the impairments you might expect from 720p at this speed and frame rate. It is possible the encoding isn't optimal for this speed but there are possibly also different approaches used with different content - only a video coding expert could say how far off the optimum this is.

I think that football is a tough test although the Arsenal player at 25 fps did look a bit better to me (as I posted before the slightly higher bit rate and lower frame rate left more for coding each frame).

There are times on different content where the grass is heavily macro blocked and faces lose colour variation but there is also the issue of adaptive rates to consider. The stream is trying to average 3 Mbps and in this analysis we see the rate variation based on 1 second averaging:

Note there is a sustained peak of 4.3 Mbps after which the rate is dropped to maintain average rate. Something has to give to fit within the average bandwidth.

As an aside, I let a game stream to the iPad at I believe 3000 and pulled the plug on my Wifi. The game kept playing for around 50 seconds so there can be a lot of buffering.

If anyone is interested in more detail, according to Bitrate Viewer the I frame nominal bandwidth is very high in places, peaking at 26 Mbps and with two at 23 and 22 Mbps respectively only 167 ms apart. This must mean that other frames have to suffer. It is easy to criticise the coding but I don't think this is easy stuff.





94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886265 28-Aug-2013 23:25
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dwl: I think that football is a tough test although the Arsenal player at 25 fps did look a bit better to me


Wow - didn't know an Arsenal player could run that fast!.

Great stats though thanks. Pretty much confirms the maximum of ~ 30fps.

I wonder do you have access to similar stats from airplay? I know airplay buffers and adds yet more delay to the already 1min+ live delay from PLP, but for a few seconds longer I notice that airplay on the new iOS app is better than a laptop streaming it through IE/Firefox/Chrome using flash. Too many hardware/software layers maybe?

94 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 12


  Reply # 886271 28-Aug-2013 23:48
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NonprayingMantis:
clevedon: http://www.gmi.co.nz/news/1478/sky-still-controls-the-game.aspx


lol at this bit

"So I’m not throwing my toys like some sulky, HD-dependent Arsenal fan."


reckon he has been reading this thread  hahahah


That'll be some dick with the green effect.






96 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 886314 29-Aug-2013 07:52
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JarrodM:
Lust: Has anyone confirmed the difference between the on demand 250 and the non on demand 130? Seems to me that all 10 games are on demand until the next round of matches, then they all dissapear?

They said all games for the first two rounds were going to be on demand.


So they have not mentioned anything about the games this weekend?

They’ve not put up the schedule on their web site, but they don’t update their site much anyway – no mention of apple app being available.

EDIT: I see they do have all games as "Upcoming" - live, on-demand or both? 

1878 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 368

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  Reply # 886329 29-Aug-2013 08:56
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I found the iPhone app dreadful last night.

Picture was good on the phone, but when i airplayed to the ATV, it was blocky, pixellated and juddery with a noticeable issue when the iPhone went to sleep - it stopped airplaying.

Tried the iPad - no better.

WiFi wasn't being used by anything/anyone else as i tried this after my family had all gone to bed.

Tried my iMac - perfect quality and picture. Airplayed that - very good.
Back to the app - dreadful.

Not a happy camper right now.






Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

72 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5


  Reply # 886343 29-Aug-2013 09:29
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I actually found it almost unwatchable from a MacBook to appletv. Tried the ipad app and it's amazing. No juddering or blockyness. I'm impressed.

1445 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 886346 29-Aug-2013 09:41
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See this is the disappointing aspects. The qaulity of the stream seems to be dependant on the device used. At the moment I have a Samsung tablet and the quality is not great, it can't be sent to my TV. They should be producing device agnostic content at the same quality and not allow other devices to produce better quality streams, I should not be forced to purchase devices to make the stream better.

I do wonder if the flash use is degrading the quality somewhat, I've noticed that with Flash DRM streams that they are not as clean as the original TS files.

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