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42 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 867354 28-Jul-2013 13:35
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dwl:
richardgnz: To state that the stream is not intended for TV's is unbelievable.

This does seem a bit crazy.  With the bit rates available and using 720p resolution it should be adequate but a 55" is crying out for full HD so they would be right to not promise that sort of HD experience - I believe 1080p streaming is much harder to get right.  We need to remember that this is fast moving action which will tax the encoding process more (whether it be on-line or Sky trying to squeeze it into a slot) - having a well focused round ball during a fast pass isn't easy.

For me the pictures were still TV quality but I would rank them as reasonably good SD (acknowledging that 720p is higher than SD) but rather mediocre HD, when at the highest rate, close up on a 23" full HD monitor.  I wonder if you were getting the full 3M option - my player doesn't show what it is doing and I was using the Chrome browser developer tools (CTRL-SHIFT-I if installed) to see what rate I was actually getting.  If the stream dropped to 1600 or lower it was definitely an impaired experience.

Phexx: I have yet to try the streaming service, we're getting VDSL installed next week so I'll probably wait until then. I really hope it doesn't disappoint...

If your ADSL is reasonable (e.g. speedtest always > 5Mbps) then the experience on VDSL may not be any better.  If you don't like what you see now and it is doing 3M you probably won't get any improvements.

The industry has challenges putting this sort of content online and I watch with great interest how it will fare against more traditional broadcast.


I have the fastest plan that Telecom offer on Ultra Fast Broadband. My Download speed to servers in NZ is 85mbps (Speeds to Europe are 60mbps). I have a 500GB monthly data plan and have no issue what so ever in using it all up in providing HD EPL. In fact I signed up for the UFB as soon as PLP announced themselves so I was prepared to continue to receive the EPL in HD without any buffering.

I am absolutely amazed that this EPL season in New Zealand I have no way of watching the premier league in HD and 5.1 sound. I feel like we have just moved back in time 10 - 15 years. I cannot understand how the EPL have awarded these clowns the sole rights to show the sport in this quality. It is an absolute disgrace.







dwl

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 867355 28-Jul-2013 13:36
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Benoire: I'm still tempted to sign up as I really miss watching the football live as I did in the UK, but given the concerns I might have to hold for a little while and find other higher quality streams online.

At least this service is using local CDNs.  The alternatives, especially if higher bit rate, may not be so stable if not delivered locally (but perhaps at 2am that isn't such an issue).

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  Reply # 867365 28-Jul-2013 13:45
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Phexx:
richardgnz: I tested the video quality from the Premier League Pass (PLP) website last night and it was horrible. I have Telecom UFB installed on the top plan, I have a PC in my living room hooked up to a 5.1 sound system and a 55" LED.

I cannot begin to describe the difference in picture quality from SKY Sports HD to the streaming experience offered by PLP. On a big screen TV it is a horrible experience.

The sound is being broadcast in stereo. STEREO. This is a complete joke.

I have been in touch with PLP and there response was and I quote "The stream we provide is for computers and not intended to be outputted to a 55" TV and there will be great quality loss when doing so. There are no plans on offering audio in 5.1 quality."

To state that the stream is not intended for TV's is unbelievable.

Last year we were watching the EPL with the ability of PVR, Full HD and 5.1 sound. All included within your sky sports subscription.

This year I am still paying for my sky sports subscription as I watch more sport than just the EPL. I would now have to add in $150 to watch the EPL in terrible picture quality and stereo sound.

I love the EPL and am borderline obsessed about it but I cannot support PLP in any way as they have absolutely butchered the presentation of this fantastic game.

I can only hope that there are more people like me that will not accept this poor quality broadcast and will make a stand by not subscribing to PLP.

For the record, I would have been happy paying $300 (double what they are charging) a year to watch all the premier league games via PLP if it was in HD and 5.1 sound.

That was a big concern for me, how it would look on a full size TV. I have 1080p content that looks great on a 24" monitor but when it's a 55" plasma it almost look disappointing. 

I really hope the comment about not intending for the streams to be watched in the living room is a mistake. If I wanted to watch the EPL on my PC I would have done before. I used sky sports so that I could wake up in the morning, switch on the tv and watch the highlights from the day before (in full hd).

I have yet to try the streaming service, we're getting VDSL installed next week so I'll probably wait until then. I really hope it doesn't disappoint...


Pretty sure sky sports is not in full hd.

I see the trade off here as being able to access any game that you want, guaranteed. With sky you had to hope that they would show the games you were interested in and it was pretty much pot luck as to whether they would or not. Yes the picture quality won't be as good, but at least you will be able to watch the game you want rather than hope that sky decide to show it.

Eta: is it confirmed that the stream will only be in stereo? Adding 5.1 shouldn't add too much overhead to the bitrate I would thought.

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  Reply # 867370 28-Jul-2013 13:49
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@NonprayingMantis

No it wasn't, but it was 1080i @ ~9mbps, quality was actually very good. While ESPN HD is slightly better in motion due to the use of 720p, you could easily see the difference, especially on a full HD set, in terms of faces, definition etc.

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  Reply # 867473 28-Jul-2013 17:42
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NonprayingMantis: Yes the picture quality won't be as good, but at least you will be able to watch the game you want rather than hope that sky decide to show it.


In recent seasons (certainly last season, I can't remember whether they did previous seasons too - my team are one of the bigger ones who have always been shown) Sky have shown every game in HD. Of course not all live due to there only being 2 or 3 sports channels and not 10, plus sometimes other sport on at the same time, but every game has been shown either live or delayed. True sometimes you may have had to wait until 10am or midday Sunday to watch the one you want rather than live, or recorded in the night, but there was no worry of it not being shown.

Has anyone managed to find out whether the schedule will state which games are available on-demand before the matchday? Or will you just have to login on the day and find out? As an avid followed of one team who doesn't really watch many other games, and who is used to recording and watching in the morning it would be good to know whether I need to stay up to watch the game I want live or can watch on-demand in the morning. I sent them an email to ask this and also asked about the possibility of smart TV apps, and all they replied with was:

"There are no plans on offering support for smart or internet ready TVs. We will be happy to forward along your request to offer support for those devices in the future."

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 867487 28-Jul-2013 18:18
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They schedule for the 250 games hasn't been released but it is going to be dynamic ie it can change with demand. but interesting from the FAQ:
"Do I have to watch all the matches live or can I record them and watch at my leisure?

We've confirmed with the league that every single match can be watched once at any time - live or on-demand. On top of this we're offering 250 matches available on-demand for multiple views whenever you want. We'll try to ensure for starters they are all the 3am kick-off matches, with the remainder being as many of the midnight games as we can squeeze in."

This seems to suggest you can watch each game whenever you want, but you can only watch 250 of the games (in full) more than one time. So all games will be available on demand, if you didn't watch the game live. Apparently.

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  Reply # 867490 28-Jul-2013 18:22
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Hmmm, hopefully they'll confirm that because I've taken that as meaning only 250 of the 380 games will be available on-demand. Which doesn't really make sense. If they have bought the full rights to show every game live, why would a third of them not be available on demand?

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  Reply # 867494 28-Jul-2013 18:36
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invisibleman18:

"There are no plans on offering support for smart or internet ready TVs. We will be happy to forward along your request to offer support for those devices in the future."


The more I read about this, the more I feel it has been a smash and grab.  The investors saw an opportunity to make some money and took it, as unless Coliseum change their mind, all I can see is a money making venture.  Sky was operating as a media organisation at least, but I can't say the same for what I've seen / read so far.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 867495 28-Jul-2013 18:37
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I can confirm that all games will now be on demand. 250 can be watched multiple times (until the next round) the remainder, that were to be available live only will now be available on demand but once only.

I emailed PLP over a week ago to ask if there was a way to record the games that were only live as I can't be getting up at 2 am. The Personal response was that they had just negotiated with the EPL that all games can be on demand, even if only once. Great news but the chap that delivered this news to me turned out to be a spurs fan. And as we all know that are all deluded. So take it with a pinch of salt!

I'll test the quality later tonight but I'm bricking it now to be honest after reading what's on here.

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  Reply # 867498 28-Jul-2013 18:43
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Still a bit skeptical about all games being on demand. On the website when you go to subscribe, this is what is listed under the season pass:

Season Pass Basic
All Games
All 380 Games Live
250 Games On-Demand
All Season




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Master Geek
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  Reply # 867500 28-Jul-2013 19:04
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I agree that it's odd they haven't updated it in the FAQ so I was relived to read JarrodM affirm what I've been told personally last week.

In the meantime, I've just checked the video on laptop linked by Hdmi to a 42 inch LCD. Mixed emotions. I'm relived that it streams unbroken and buffering but I've spent the last month testing my connection and bought Apple TV. I was assured by the ability to stream YouTube HD clips or movies from iTunes that looked fantastic. I assumed that would mean that PLP would look equally good. It doesn't. It's all pixelated and not what I've come to be used to with sky. I hope this is just an early days type thing but right now, I'm not thrilled.

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  Reply # 867504 28-Jul-2013 19:11
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I just watched the preview on my 40" Samsung smart TV via the browser and the quality was crap, as others have said its like poor SD a bit like ESPN was prior to going HD.

I wasn't going to subscribe anyway as am happy watching the highlight show on TVOne on Monday night and definitely wouldn't if its that bad.

Much as I disliked Sky at least you knew what you were getting, this is all a bit of a leap of faith and I'm not sure the technology is ready.

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  Reply # 867505 28-Jul-2013 19:14
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langers1972: I just watched the preview on my 40" Samsung smart TV via the browser and the quality was crap, as others have said its like poor SD a bit like ESPN was prior to going HD.

I wasn't going to subscribe anyway as am happy watching the highlight show on TVOne on Monday night and definitely wouldn't if its that bad.

Much as I disliked Sky at least you knew what you were getting, this is all a bit of a leap of faith and I'm not sure the technology is ready.


Imagine how bad it looks on a 55".... I can only hope they go out of business and sky takes over the broadcast. It could be a very very long three years.

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  Reply # 867510 28-Jul-2013 19:22
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langers1972: I just watched the preview on my 40" Samsung smart TV via the browser and the quality was crap, as others have said its like poor SD a bit like ESPN was prior to going HD.

I wasn't going to subscribe anyway as am happy watching the highlight show on TVOne on Monday night and definitely wouldn't if its that bad.

Much as I disliked Sky at least you knew what you were getting, this is all a bit of a leap of faith and I'm not sure the technology is ready.

I just watched it as well and I agree. Honestly, the quality was poor on my pc and I can't even imagine what it would be like a large TV. 



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  Reply # 867517 28-Jul-2013 19:52
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langers1972: Much as I disliked Sky at least you knew what you were getting, this is all a bit of a leap of faith and I'm not sure the technology is ready.


The technology is there, they are evidently not doing it right. I haven't checked out the test streams myself yet.

Another note - I wish they put some more thought into how they distribute the content. Akamai is not the be all end all and for NZ streaming, especially where they could end up with some decent numbers, they should investigate getting their own edge-notes into the peering exchanges around NZ.

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