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  Reply # 872419 5-Aug-2013 22:42
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invisibleman18: Who says you have to know the result to watch it recorded or delayed? When I record the game in the night and get up and watch it at 9am without looking up the result, how is it any different to watching it live?


depends on you really.

I know I find it hard to watch a non-live game and cheer for my team when I know full well the result has already happened - even if I don't know the result.

And yes, I know cheering for my team from my house doesn't effect the result, but it still feels good, but only when the game is live.

I even find the same thing watching the delayed all blacks games on prime - and that is only a few minutes after the live game has finished.

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  Reply # 872420 5-Aug-2013 22:43
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invisibleman18:
474742:
richardgnz:
>Do you work for PLP?


I was thinking the same thing :)


No, he nailed it. Timing is more important than quality. A true sports fan. Watching live > Knowing the result and watching in HD.


Who says you have to know the result to watch it recorded or delayed? When I record the game in the night, have a decent sleep and get up and watch it at 9am without looking up the result, how is it any different to watching it live? I've never understood why this can never be "the same." When I watch it live at 3am I tend to doze off and miss the 2nd half.


It just doesn't feel right. Live or nothing. It also doesn't help when your English mates text/tweet/email the score.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 872421 5-Aug-2013 22:45
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Comparing premiere to a SD showing on prime is like comparing it to a bootleg flea market DVD. A very low bar for comparison if ever there was one.




Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 872422 5-Aug-2013 22:46
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See the thing is that live is simply a perception of time, even live isn't live here in NZ due to the delays in getting the signal from the UK, so you're never 'live' your actually a few minutes behind... And I would add that there might be a few more added on while it is processed by the servers before you can consume the stream. Technically you shouldn't even bother to watch the PLP stream then :-P

dwl

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  Reply # 872427 5-Aug-2013 22:54
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Otagolad: As an aside, I was watching the live stream of the Dolphins v Cowboys NFL pre-season Hall of Fame game today and even though the stream is increased at 4500k, the quality was on another planet from the PLP streams - PLP must be the tightest operators in the world if they're not prepared to fork out for a decent quality stream - Kama bites you in the backside sometimes and that's what SKY's announcement last week did.

So far I have seen from PLP, on three different demo clips,  quality ranging from fairly poor to not too bad where there is movement involved but the quality on NFL at 3000 seems better than PLP and at 4500 significantly better (but I'm not sure about "another planet").  Until we get a range of games shown we won't know the average quality from PLP but it does seem unlikely to satisfy the quality conscious viewer, especially if the rates stay at 3000.

The video coding technology is continuing to improve (and with h.265 there should be another 2x improvement) and I don't agree with some OP that NZ broadband isn't up to the task when you consider the average ADSL speed is supposedly close to 10 Mbps (according to Truenet) and the data caps are getting pushed out far enough so they can cope with many hours of streaming.  It is definitely preferable that local CDNs are used (as by PLP) rather than trying to pull a whole lot of unicast HD streams from offshore. 

To bring back a technical focus to the quality debate, there is a paper at http://www.reelseo.com/secret-encoding-web-video that considers the metric of bits-per-pixel per frame which is reported by tools like mediainfo.  The author claims that for lower resolutions CNN use 0.091 for talking head content and ESPN for sport highlights use 0.175 due to the higher motion content.  For higher resolutions (like 720p) this can be reduced for the same comparative quality but a higher value for motion is still required. 

For the PLP 3000 streams I see the Bits/(Pixel*Frame) averaging around 0.1 whereas the NFL 4500 stream is (as expected simply from the bit rate) around 50% better at 0.15.  Both are adaptive and peak higher at times.  This ignores any video encoding performance differences.  This slightly old graphic shows how technology has been changing and if a provider uses an older device it may well not give the same viewer experience for the same source at a given bitrate:


I think the future for video delivery via the Internet, including higher definitions, is looking quite good (hopefully delivered from local servers).  If PLP can pay some attention to the coding quality they may see improvements at 3000 but with today's technology not having a 4500 stream is definitely moving it further away from HD.  If they do go to 4500, unless they also match that with high quality encoding there may still be disappointment.

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  Reply # 872428 5-Aug-2013 22:55
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Benoire: See the thing is that live is simply a perception of time, even live isn't live here in NZ due to the delays in getting the signal from the UK, so you're never 'live' your actually a few minutes behind... And I would add that there might be a few more added on while it is processed by the servers before you can consume the stream. Technically you shouldn't even bother to watch the PLP stream then :-P


yeah, conciously i know that, but i can still kid myself that it is live.  furthermore, if the delay is only a minute or two, then at least the actual result of the game hasn't happened yet - so there is no 'secret knowledge'

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  Reply # 872434 5-Aug-2013 23:19
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dwl:
Otagolad: As an aside, I was watching the live stream of the Dolphins v Cowboys NFL pre-season Hall of Fame game today and even though the stream is increased at 4500k, the quality was on another planet from the PLP streams - PLP must be the tightest operators in the world if they're not prepared to fork out for a decent quality stream - Kama bites you in the backside sometimes and that's what SKY's announcement last week did.

So far I have seen from PLP, on three different demo clips,  quality ranging from fairly poor to not too bad where there is movement involved but the quality on NFL at 3000 seems better than PLP and at 4500 significantly better (but I'm not sure about "another planet").  Until we get a range of games shown we won't know the average quality from PLP but it does seem unlikely to satisfy the quality conscious viewer, especially if the rates stay at 3000.

The video coding technology is continuing to improve (and with h.265 there should be another 2x improvement) and I don't agree with some OP that NZ broadband isn't up to the task when you consider the average ADSL speed is supposedly close to 10 Mbps (according to Truenet) and the data caps are getting pushed out far enough so they can cope with many hours of streaming.  It is definitely preferable that local CDNs are used (as by PLP) rather than trying to pull a whole lot of unicast HD streams from offshore. 

To bring back a technical focus to the quality debate, there is a paper at http://www.reelseo.com/secret-encoding-web-video that considers the metric of bits-per-pixel per frame which is reported by tools like mediainfo.  The author claims that for lower resolutions CNN use 0.091 for talking head content and ESPN for sport highlights use 0.175 due to the higher motion content.  For higher resolutions (like 720p) this can be reduced for the same comparative quality but a higher value for motion is still required. 

For the PLP 3000 streams I see the Bits/(Pixel*Frame) averaging around 0.1 whereas the NFL 4500 stream is (as expected simply from the bit rate) around 50% better at 0.15.  Both are adaptive and peak higher at times.  This ignores any video encoding performance differences.  This slightly old graphic shows how technology has been changing and if a provider uses an older device it may well not give the same viewer experience for the same source at a given bitrate:


I think the future for video delivery via the Internet, including higher definitions, is looking quite good (hopefully delivered from local servers).  If PLP can pay some attention to the coding quality they may see improvements at 3000 but with today's technology not having a 4500 stream is definitely moving it further away from HD.  If they do go to 4500, unless they also match that with high quality encoding there may still be disappointment.


Excellent post.

Completely agree with the last paragraph, I think it's clear that they are using a sub-par encoder, particularly when it's compared to the NFL Pass stream at the same 3000kbps bit rate. Increasing the bit rate to 4500kbps may not fix the current motion issues entirely.

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  Reply # 872436 5-Aug-2013 23:27
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Well let's state the obvious first - I have had no association whatsoever with PLP in the past. Today I am now a subscriber of their service and as a consequence I have an interest to want to the company to succeed so that they can improve their quality. I am also a subscriber to Sky but have chosen to discontinue their Sky Sports offering simply because the only thing I ever watched on Sky Sports was the EPL. Their new package showing delayed coverage of the top teams does not appeal to me; yet I still want Sky to continue to succeed and keep the pressure up on PLP to improve their service.

I think Sky's recent announcement (and others e.g Sommett) and PLP's response has had a positive effect on the market which will only prove beneficial in the
long run to the consumer. Now if Sky were to offer a football only channel then I might be tempted to take that too.

As a PLP subscriber I will soon be able to watch any games I like when I like, and the feed I am able to receive is adequate to me on my 50" plasma. I have looked at others feeds that were posted on YouTube and I'll confess some dismay. If that is what is being received as a typical example of the PLP feed in those homes then I have no idea what might be the cause to giving such a poor representation as compared to what I can see on my TV.

I do not profess mine is perfect - it's not. It could be much better; and I did compare it to watching the coverage of the Rubgy final the other night on delayed Prime without the HD ticket. To me the quality of the broadcasts as compared to a replay of the Spurs v S China game were broadly alike. The sports are different of course. Rugby in
this country has a handful of cameras dotted around the grounds and for the most part the predominant view is from the elevated platform on the half way line and the camera pans left/right and zooms in/out to follow the play. The football feeds from EPL will carry anything from 16 - 20 cameras per game and the angles are rotated on a more frequent basis with more up close footage.

Watching games when I like is basically watching them live. Why, because that's what I like - I have little interest in delayed coverage. That means staying up through the
night of Saturday/Sunday. To those lucky fans who are content to watch delayed coverage in the glory of HD on Sky Sports on Sunday afternoons then I wish them every happiness. It's just not for me. I want live.

Unlike all the seasons before I can now watch Spurs play every one of their games live. I've never in my life been able to do that. When I was a season ticket holder at Tottenham and a traveling away fan back in the 80s and 90s I would have managed between half to two thirds of the games in a season. The Big Match would perhaps carry 6 - 10 of the compressed games dependent upon the relative success of the campaign year. Now I am now looking forward to being able to watch all games and all of the
matches live. That is a big thing to me as a Spurs fan.

Unlike other fans of clubs outside the top 6 Sky won't be following their clubs other than when they meet the top 6. This would be disappointing if Spurs were not in that bracket. I have the choice of watching live in adequate quality versus HD on Sky sports with delayed coverage. I simply have chosen live.

The quality issue won't go away for sure, but a lot can happen in 3 years and I'm confident things will only get better.

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  Reply # 872439 5-Aug-2013 23:50
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NonprayingMantis:
Benoire: See the thing is that live is simply a perception of time, even live isn't live here in NZ due to the delays in getting the signal from the UK, so you're never 'live' your actually a few minutes behind... And I would add that there might be a few more added on while it is processed by the servers before you can consume the stream. Technically you shouldn't even bother to watch the PLP stream then :-P


yeah, conciously i know that, but i can still kid myself that it is live.  furthermore, if the delay is only a minute or two, then at least the actual result of the game hasn't happened yet - so there is no 'secret knowledge'


Ditto that. I recall last season with the TV on in the lounge whilst clearing up some breakfast stuff and trying to watch the UK Monday evening game before setting off to work. My wife was on the phone to her brother in the UK and chatting about stuff. He interrupted her to remind me that Spurs had just scored. So I lept from the kitchen to watch the replay of the goal and lo and behold I saw it live! Now he was watching Sky in the UK and I was watching Sky in NZ. I didn't have a stopwatch or anything daft like that but I would reckon on at least a minute from the conversation to my watching the delayed stream.

PLP won't improve on this and nor can Sky - they're both subject to being able to manage the buffering of the content. So in truth we will never be able to watch anything live from abroad.

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  Reply # 872442 6-Aug-2013 00:01
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Ah you're a spurs fan, that explains why you're used to mediocrity.
Just kidding ;-)
I think some people have lost sight of the positives here, being able to watch any game you want live is a pretty big plus. But at the same time, in a 3000kbps stream you'd expect to at least be able to watch in in full screen without, for example, the scoreboard becoming horribly pixelated not to mention the on field action (in my case anyway) even if it's not HD so I can understand the frustration. I think I would find the quality adequate too, watching on my 32" sitting a few metres away from the tv, IF they can sort the issue out with motion. There is clearly a pretty massive problem with that and PLP's dismissal of the it as non-existent hasn't helped their cause at all. Maybe it's to do with flash player and the iPad app will look better?
I do think the blogger who accused people upset with the broadcast quality of having Stockholm syndrome because they wanted Sky to get the rights back was a bit harsh, given that Sky clearly offered those people a superior product to suit their particular needs. But I don't doubt internet streaming can be a good thing, and something like PLP might be just what we need to provoke more competitive broadband pricing.

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  Reply # 872445 6-Aug-2013 00:09
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NonprayingMantis:
invisibleman18: Who says you have to know the result to watch it recorded or delayed? When I record the game in the night and get up and watch it at 9am without looking up the result, how is it any different to watching it live?


depends on you really.

I know I find it hard to watch a non-live game and cheer for my team when I know full well the result has already happened - even if I don't know the result.

And yes, I know cheering for my team from my house doesn't effect the result, but it still feels good, but only when the game is live.

I even find the same thing watching the delayed all blacks games on prime - and that is only a few minutes after the live game has finished.


Phew, one other person that discerns the appeal of live sport. Well done you.

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  Reply # 872449 6-Aug-2013 00:24
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Kim587: Ah you're a spurs fan, that explains why you're used to mediocrity.
Just kidding ;-)
.




Yes - I've had to live with mediocrity for all my watching days. I rue the day the day that Dad took me to watch Spurs beat Wolves in the Inter City Fairs Cup final all those years ago - early 1970 something. Don't like quoting dates, time or scores anymore cos someone will google it and I'll be found a liar. Anyhow I was a fan immediately and never looked back.

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  Reply # 872453 6-Aug-2013 02:10
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I've not seen any mention here of one major factor in the stream quality, that being the source of the feed. Whether it is being re-encoded from a high quality high mbit fibre source from the U.K or a lower quality International satellite distributed feed.




 


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  Reply # 872470 6-Aug-2013 08:01
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NonprayingMantis:
invisibleman18: Who says you have to know the result to watch it recorded or delayed? When I record the game in the night and get up and watch it at 9am without looking up the result, how is it any different to watching it live?


depends on you really.

I know I find it hard to watch a non-live game and cheer for my team when I know full well the result has already happened - even if I don't know the result.

And yes, I know cheering for my team from my house doesn't effect the result, but it still feels good, but only when the game is live.

I even find the same thing watching the delayed all blacks games on prime - and that is only a few minutes after the live game has finished.


AGREED. I cannot watch a sport on replay. If I'm watching it live, it feels like I am helping. In an odd way....

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  Reply # 872511 6-Aug-2013 09:31
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474742:
richardgnz:
>Do you work for PLP?


I was thinking the same thing :)


No, he nailed it. Timing is more important than quality. A true sports fan. Watching live > Knowing the result and watching in HD.


It comes across as a bit sanctimonious to suggest that we all have to absorb sport in the way that you choose to be considered "a true sports fan"

The two options you have given are false aswell.   I would never choose to watch delayed games knowing the score beforehand over watching them live.  I choose to not know the score and watch delayed and that works for me.  Am I not a true sports fan because of this choice despite the fact that when I was broke and flatting as a 23 year old I flew to London just to go to the FA cup final ( I didn't even have a ticket or know if I would get one, I did in the end)  Or how about in 2000 when Arsenal's Uefa cup final was not televised here so I organised the Immigrant pub who had a sattelite to open at 6AM and had to guarantee them $400 in door sales then went to every kebab shop in the CBD to rustle up some Turkish fans to cover the cost. 

I've been successfully avoiding the results for 20 years, long before twitter and facebook or even the internet and the need to log in to these things is just not as important to me as being able to watch the game (withhout knowing the score) in the afternoon on a big screen with a few pints and a big bowl of pretzels for nervous munching.

I bleed red and white but I also like to sleep so different strokes for different folks and all that.

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