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8 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2325169 26-Sep-2019 11:48
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JPNZ:

Did anyone else with VTV get an email today offering 4 months free lightbox? Thought it was strange being a Spark product and not Neon like I have had offered for free before. 



Just got TWH mailer and they have a Lightbox and Neon launch offer worth $90. Offer ends 31.12.19.

72 posts

Master Geek


  # 2325312 26-Sep-2019 13:41
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Got one yesterday. Reasonably happy with it so far. A few issues, but it's looking like it's going to be a good option.

 

Aside from the lack of HDMI-CEC and previews while fast-forwarding/rewinding (which are meant to be coming soon), a few issues i found were:

 

  • The TV Guide shows the last 3 days for selecting programs for catch up, but programs from the earliest day shown that have had their catch up expire (so shown just over 3 days ago) still have the catch up symbol shown on them.
  • The symbols for catch up and restart from beginning are inconsistent with the symbols shown on the channel list and features on the help page on Vodafone's website.
  • The channel list and features is out of date (e.g. Parliament TV is shown to not support catch up or recording, but does)
  • The TV Guide doesn't show whether a program that hasn't aired yet will be available for catch up, only if it can be recorded.
  • While Sky channels can be hidden in settings, this doesn't hide the programs and episodes only on Sky from the search and program episode listing.
  • After searching for a program using search, it's hard to then record it (due to all the Sky only episodes, have to find one on the channel you want to record) or find by what's actually available for catch up (as it puts you at the most recent episode, even if it's not on for a week).
  • There's noticeable delays in some of the interactions (e.g. when selecting things).
  • The device name for pushing a YouTube video to the app on the Vodafone TV from the YouTube site is long and not user-friendly (ideally you should be able to set a friendly name for each device and that would be what's shown from the cast menu).
  • The number keys on the remote don't work for typing from within apps.
  • The keyboards (in the menus as well as apps) seem fixed in an ABC layout, with no option for QWERTY.

The main issue however is the limitations on what can be recorded. Obviously not Vodafone's fault, and actually not that big an issue as most content on TVNZ 1 and 2, Three and Prime is available for catch up (the 3 day rewind). Oddly though, Prime News, The AM Show, NewsHub and The Project aren't available for catch up, but The AM Show, NewsHub and The Project are recordable. But hopefully the amount of non-recordable content should decrease as time goes on as licencing is sorted out. Also, I did see a couple of issues regarding the programming data from the broadcasters. One show had a new season shown as a separate program (the title had "NEW: " added to the beginning of the title). Another had the beginning of the episode chopped off due to an entry for filler content, with the episode starting during the entry for filler content.

 

Overall though, so far it seems to be quite good.


 
 
 
 


149 posts

Master Geek

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Vodafone NZ
Subscriber

  # 2325536 26-Sep-2019 19:44
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Aaron2222:

 

Got one yesterday. Reasonably happy with it so far. A few issues, but it's looking like it's going to be a good option.

 

Aside from the lack of HDMI-CEC and previews while fast-forwarding/rewinding (which are meant to be coming soon), a few issues i found were:

 

  • The TV Guide shows the last 3 days for selecting programs for catch up, but programs from the earliest day shown that have had their catch up expire (so shown just over 3 days ago) still have the catch up symbol shown on them.
  • The symbols for catch up and restart from beginning are inconsistent with the symbols shown on the channel list and features on the help page on Vodafone's website.
  • The channel list and features is out of date (e.g. Parliament TV is shown to not support catch up or recording, but does)
  • The TV Guide doesn't show whether a program that hasn't aired yet will be available for catch up, only if it can be recorded.
  • While Sky channels can be hidden in settings, this doesn't hide the programs and episodes only on Sky from the search and program episode listing.
  • After searching for a program using search, it's hard to then record it (due to all the Sky only episodes, have to find one on the channel you want to record) or find by what's actually available for catch up (as it puts you at the most recent episode, even if it's not on for a week).
  • There's noticeable delays in some of the interactions (e.g. when selecting things).
  • The device name for pushing a YouTube video to the app on the Vodafone TV from the YouTube site is long and not user-friendly (ideally you should be able to set a friendly name for each device and that would be what's shown from the cast menu).
  • The number keys on the remote don't work for typing from within apps.
  • The keyboards (in the menus as well as apps) seem fixed in an ABC layout, with no option for QWERTY.

The main issue however is the limitations on what can be recorded. Obviously not Vodafone's fault, and actually not that big an issue as most content on TVNZ 1 and 2, Three and Prime is available for catch up (the 3 day rewind). Oddly though, Prime News, The AM Show, NewsHub and The Project aren't available for catch up, but The AM Show, NewsHub and The Project are recordable. But hopefully the amount of non-recordable content should decrease as time goes on as licencing is sorted out. Also, I did see a couple of issues regarding the programming data from the broadcasters. One show had a new season shown as a separate program (the title had "NEW: " added to the beginning of the title). Another had the beginning of the episode chopped off due to an entry for filler content, with the episode starting during the entry for filler content.

 

Overall though, so far it seems to be quite good.

 

 

Thanks @Aaron2222, great feedback.  It's good to see that most of those are quite fixable details which we'll get onto.  The one that worries me is that "there's noticeable delays in some of the interactions (e.g. when selecting things)." - this isn't the normal experience.  Can you please let me know what ISP you're using?

 

 





Hamish


149 posts

Master Geek

Trusted
Vodafone NZ
Subscriber

  # 2325539 26-Sep-2019 19:58
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eracode:

 

I have followed this thread with great interest and would be grateful for a couple of points of clarification:

 

1. I understand that VTV streams FTA TV (TVNZ, Three, etc) simply and directly - whereas the Dish Freeview A2 machine streams a Freeview version of those. Is that correct and, if so, what are the practical and effective differences between these two approaches IRL?

 

2. You can subscribe to Sky via VTV and need to have Basic before adding Movies or Sport packages etc - in the normal way - but can you add Sky Sport Now i.e. without needing Basic?

 

Apologies if these have already been specifically addressed.

 

 

Hi, for 1. correct, we use our own encoders and CDN to code and distribute the unicast streams for all freeview & Sky linear channels on our own network with increased peering to the other ISPs.    @olof may be able to comment more on the differences.

 

2. We have implemented 1-to-1 pass through of Sky's monthly subscription plans.  So you need to buy their Sky Starter ($25.99/mth) plan before adding Movies, Sport etc.  However, there's no minimum contract term, just 1 month minimum.





Hamish


258 posts

Ultimate Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 2325563 26-Sep-2019 20:37
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sansom:

[

Thanks @Aaron2222, feedback.  It's good to see that most of those are quite fixable details which we'll get onto.  The one that worries me is that "there's noticeable delays in some of the interactions (e.g. when selecting things)." - this isn't the normal experience.  Can you please let me know what ISP you're using?


 


Doesn't surprise me - I find a similar delay probably the most annoying thing on our T-Box. (... essentially the only software thing I don't like).
Steve

471 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2325582 26-Sep-2019 20:52
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Hi all,

 

I have my Ver.2 box up and running. Easy setup and pairing the remote happened first time.

 

Included was a voucher for Lightbox (4 months free) & Neon (3 months free)

 

What wasn't included was how to set the remote to contol your TV... well it's the same as the Ver 1 which is good news.

 

I haven't noticed any lag in the UI, thats normally something that would drive me insane 😀

 

 

 

Very happy so far!


1394 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2325595 26-Sep-2019 21:25
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Couple of questions?

 

Are the streams going via Kaltura ex NZ to the U.S and back? adding a delay?

 

2nd question,

 

How long can I leave a live channel on "Pause" is there is a limit? perhaps after x hours whatever is paused could be added to a users cloud recording?

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


Overarching undertones
3851 posts

Uber Geek

Subscriber

  # 2325598 26-Sep-2019 21:38
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sansom:

 

eracode:

 

I have followed this thread with great interest and would be grateful for a couple of points of clarification:

 

1. I understand that VTV streams FTA TV (TVNZ, Three, etc) simply and directly - whereas the Dish Freeview A2 machine streams a Freeview version of those. Is that correct and, if so, what are the practical and effective differences between these two approaches IRL?

 

2. You can subscribe to Sky via VTV and need to have Basic before adding Movies or Sport packages etc - in the normal way - but can you add Sky Sport Now i.e. without needing Basic?

 

Apologies if these have already been specifically addressed.

 

 

Hi, for 1. correct, we use our own encoders and CDN to code and distribute the unicast streams for all freeview & Sky linear channels on our own network with increased peering to the other ISPs.    @olof may be able to comment more on the differences.

 

2. We have implemented 1-to-1 pass through of Sky's monthly subscription plans.  So you need to buy their Sky Starter ($25.99/mth) plan before adding Movies, Sport etc.  However, there's no minimum contract term, just 1 month minimum.

 

 

@sansom

 

Thanks Hamish.

 

i understand how Sky Basic etc works on VTV. My question was: Can Sky Sport Now, which does not require Basic, be subscribed for and watched on VTV.

 

https://www.skysportnow.co.nz/packages?type=0&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIi4SFqJfu5AIVRCUrCh2fvwdNEAAYASAAEgJHq_D_BwE#packagesSection

 

 


149 posts

Master Geek

Trusted
Vodafone NZ
Subscriber

  # 2325631 26-Sep-2019 22:08
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eracode:

 

sansom:

 

eracode:

 

I have followed this thread with great interest and would be grateful for a couple of points of clarification:

 

1. I understand that VTV streams FTA TV (TVNZ, Three, etc) simply and directly - whereas the Dish Freeview A2 machine streams a Freeview version of those. Is that correct and, if so, what are the practical and effective differences between these two approaches IRL?

 

2. You can subscribe to Sky via VTV and need to have Basic before adding Movies or Sport packages etc - in the normal way - but can you add Sky Sport Now i.e. without needing Basic?

 

Apologies if these have already been specifically addressed.

 

 

Hi, for 1. correct, we use our own encoders and CDN to code and distribute the unicast streams for all freeview & Sky linear channels on our own network with increased peering to the other ISPs.    @olof may be able to comment more on the differences.

 

2. We have implemented 1-to-1 pass through of Sky's monthly subscription plans.  So you need to buy their Sky Starter ($25.99/mth) plan before adding Movies, Sport etc.  However, there's no minimum contract term, just 1 month minimum.

 

 

@sansom

 

Thanks Hamish.

 

i understand how Sky Basic etc works on VTV. My question was: Can Sky Sport Now, which does not require Basic, be subscribed for and watched on VTV.

 

https://www.skysportnow.co.nz/packages?type=0&gclsrc=aw.ds&&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIi4SFqJfu5AIVRCUrCh2fvwdNEAAYASAAEgJHq_D_BwE#packagesSection

 

 

No sorry, Sky Sport Now not available on VTV.





Hamish


149 posts

Master Geek

Trusted
Vodafone NZ
Subscriber

  # 2325643 26-Sep-2019 22:41
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Apsattv:

 

Couple of questions?

 

Are the streams going via Kaltura ex NZ to the U.S and back? adding a delay?

 

2nd question,

 

How long can I leave a live channel on "Pause" is there is a limit? perhaps after x hours whatever is paused could be added to a users cloud recording?

 

 

Hi, no, no delay is added by streaming via other countries.  The live streams are all encoded and distributed on our video pipe locally in NZ, ultimately reaching the STB via our Velocix CDN nodes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.  Kaltura supplies the CMS functions with time-critical UI elements delivered from Sydney AWS. 

 

 

 

@olof might correct me here, but I understand live pause is achieved by two methods which affects how long it can be paused for:

 

1. for the 90% of programmes that have restart / 3 day rewind (Reverse EPG) rights available, then it's 3 days with the stream paused/served out of the 3 day circular buffer.  The record function simply tags that the user wants to watch the programme more than 3 days later: with the first person who tags it initiating the copy of the programme to longer term cloud storage.  All of this requires Vodafone to have received cloud copying rights for the programme in question from the channel provider (Sky, TVNZ, Mediaworks etc).  Cloud copy rights are different from the "Betamax case (1984)" personal copy rights that any individual can retain for personal use on personal storage. 

 

2. if no cloud restart / rewind rights are available on the programme being paused, then the box can pause an HD stream for about 40 mins using its local RAM.  This method relies on the personal copy right and so is available on all programmes.

 

 

 

 





Hamish


22533 posts

Uber Geek

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Subscriber

  # 2325644 26-Sep-2019 22:50
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sansom:

 

2. if no cloud restart / rewind rights are available on the programme being paused, then the box can pause an HD stream for about 40 mins using its local RAM.  This method relies on the personal copy right and so is available on all programmes.

 

 

So if you can use the rights to do that to ram, why not whack a 1tb usb stick into the box and let it use that for a more long term recording locally?





Richard rich.ms

149 posts

Master Geek

Trusted
Vodafone NZ
Subscriber

  # 2325647 26-Sep-2019 23:26
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richms:

 

sansom:

 

2. if no cloud restart / rewind rights are available on the programme being paused, then the box can pause an HD stream for about 40 mins using its local RAM.  This method relies on the personal copy right and so is available on all programmes.

 

 

So if you can use the rights to do that to ram, why not whack a 1tb usb stick into the box and let it use that for a more long term recording locally?

 

 

 

 

Here are at three reasons (there are more):

 

1. Cost.  Here's the cost of the Fetch TV box available in Australia that takes the local storage approach and does, I believe, a very good job of it: AU$449  (https://www.fetchtv.com.au/packages/compare).  A local example is the Freeview PVR which costs NZ$439.  VTV is $179 with 500 hours of HD recording + 3 day rewind.  (note that physical disk is used over flash in PVRs due to the multiple almost continuous write cycles that PVRs perform, killing most reasonably priced flash storage within months. note also that all local storage solutions require an antenna and record the DTT/DTH signal)

 

2. UI/UX.  Having a pure IP streaming experience allows a much more seamless UI when compared to switching between live streaming and paused/recorded local/LAN based storage.   Fetch do the mode-switch quite well, others not so well.

 

3. Multi-device access.  Accessing cloud storage allows much better support for viewing on multiple devices.  We will soon launch a 5 box multiroom function for VTV : all recordings made on one box (or the mobile app) can be viewed on any of the other devices.  Usually you would need to watch the recording on the device the recording was made on.  While there are local storage solutions that provide multi-device remote access, accessing cloud copies of content vs local copies is a more scaleable, consumer-friendly solution. 

 

 





Hamish


6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2325680 27-Sep-2019 07:48
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ttaotua: Thanks and oh darn, I was hoping TWH would sell the cheaper.

 

 

 

Will a Gen 1 VTV box with update also work with other ISP's? Or is the Gen 2 box the only one that works with ISP's other than Vodafone?
Could be a cheaper option.

 

 

 

Cheers


5416 posts

Uber Geek

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Lifetime subscriber

  # 2325682 27-Sep-2019 07:53
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ABNZ86:

 

ttaotua: Thanks and oh darn, I was hoping TWH would sell the cheaper.

 

 

 

Will a Gen 1 VTV box with update also work with other ISP's? Or is the Gen 2 box the only one that works with ISP's other than Vodafone?
Could be a cheaper option.

 

 

 

Cheers

 

 

@ABNZ86 Quote from Vodafone NZ community

 

Both Gen1 and Gen2 boxes will work on any ISP in NZ.  However you must pay for your Gen1 service as an add-on to a Vodafone broadband plan currently: effectively meaning that you wouldn't run Gen1 on another broadband provider (unless it's been gifted to you by a Vodafone broadband customer)


6 posts

Wannabe Geek


  # 2325684 27-Sep-2019 07:58
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Linux:

 

ABNZ86:

 

ttaotua: Thanks and oh darn, I was hoping TWH would sell the cheaper.

 

 

 

Will a Gen 1 VTV box with update also work with other ISP's? Or is the Gen 2 box the only one that works with ISP's other than Vodafone?
Could be a cheaper option.

 

 

 

Cheers

 

 

@ABNZ86 Quote from Vodafone NZ community

 

Both Gen1 and Gen2 boxes will work on any ISP in NZ.  However you must pay for your Gen1 service as an add-on to a Vodafone broadband plan currently: effectively meaning that you wouldn't run Gen1 on another broadband provider (unless it's been gifted to you by a Vodafone broadband customer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks, what about a purchased secondhand gen1 box. I see a couple for sale on trade me.


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