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#267867 15-Feb-2020 11:43
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Hi

 

I'm happily wed to the Android TV system, espcially as I've just got a new Sony TV with it built in.  I'm using a Kodi & Sky setup to watch tv but to be honest its not that reliable, good looking or that useable to be honest especially for non-frequent users such as parents in law etc.  I'm very interested in the Gen 2 Vodafone TV for its freeview platform & cloud 'recording' as well as the Sky integration, but I do not need the other apps or really a seperate box as the Android TV serves that function.  I'm not with Vodafone and have no desire to move (various internet platform related matters) so a non-vodafone account access would be good.

 

Is anyone aware if Vodafone are going to produce an app for Android TV or even Apple TV for that matter that replicates the main functions of the gen 2 box but without the need for the box itself?  I am personally happy to pay a fair whack for the app or even buy a gen 2 if it gave me access to the app.

 

@sansom any comments or thoughts?  Being a bit cheeky asking directly but hey you never know :-)

 

Thanks,

 

Chris


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287 posts

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  #2421761 16-Feb-2020 11:22
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Hi @benoire

 

Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.

 

However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 





Hamish


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  #2421793 16-Feb-2020 13:08
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sansom:

 

Hi @benoire

 

Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.

 

However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 

 

 

Income is made from sale of box, need to be able to make income from applic some how.

 

I’m wondering what happens when sale of box’s slow down, and one off income starts dropping, unless hopefully enough people take up paid services to cover costs and make extra.


 
 
 
 


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  #2421814 16-Feb-2020 13:37
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rugrat:

 

sansom:

 

Hi @benoire

 

Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.

 

However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 

 

 

Income is made from sale of box, need to be able to make income from applic some how. 

 

I’m wondering what happens when sale of box’s slow down, and one off income starts dropping, unless hopefully enough people take up paid services to cover costs and make extra.

 

 

We don't make any profit from the sale of the box, we're passing it on at cost (including distribution costs).  The business model is to offer the free services in the hope that users will buy paid content enough to make a return.

 

We would dearly love to stop having to pay the box manufacturer, the retailer margins, the box DRM licencing costs etc., but at the moment a secure hardware device is the easiest way to get a common customer experience in a consumer media device market that appears to be at "peak fragmentation" right now.  It is also much easier to gain approval from studios to stream their content on Live TV, Network PVR, VOD, etc. all through one interface.  

 

 





Hamish


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  #2421818 16-Feb-2020 13:56
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sansom:

Hi @benoire


Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.


However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 



Yes please, please discuss at length.




Voice gives context

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  #2421819 16-Feb-2020 13:57
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sansom:

Hi @benoire


Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.


However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 



Yes please, please discuss at length.




Voice gives context

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  #2421837 16-Feb-2020 15:18
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My concern with this type of box is if it will become another 'Igloo'. So works fine for a few years until support gets dropped for it, and then it lost it's EPG and recording functionality, plus sky PPV functionality . I ended up returning mine to the store and got it swapped for a proper freeview box after they did that, which because it is a proper freeview device, it should continue to work for a long time. I have already trialed and reviewed the smart vu, which was ok, until it started failing and freezing and regularly rebooting. Kind of reminds me of early cars, where you use it hoping it will work, but knowing you will probably have to do some tinkering around or rebooting each time you use it. I haven't trialed the vodafone box myself, but  I was discussing it with a professional TV installer who says he in now installing them in fringe UHF freeview areas. 




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  #2421858 16-Feb-2020 16:30
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sansom:

 

Hi @benoire

 

Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.

 

However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 

 

 

Hi @sansom

 

I am interested.  As others have pointed out I'd imagine a financial issue related to how you would fund such an activity as an app alone, especially if VF are relying on partnership models to drive the actual revenue.  I'm going to assume that its related to VFs tie in with Sky as the other apps will be via normal subscriptions so no revenue aspect there leaving only the Sky integration aspect as the ability to derive revenue outside of the initial purchase (unless ads are targetted in the various apps/content screens?).

 

I've been looking at Silicon Dust as they have a '4 tuner' DVR which integrates in to the wider android tv ecosystem and does similar to what I've been doing but via an interface custom built for live tv.  For the full functionality, it costs ~35 per annum to enable DVR and 14 day guides etc. but it still requires an aerial... I wonder whether VF could do something similar, offer a completely cord free cloud based internet connected app that costs 'x' per annum as in reality most of the freeview stuff either works as an STB or its own android tv puck with a crappy app so it has an advantage there, the only issue is that people expect all freeview stuff for free and therefore I wonder whether they would put a value on that additional stuff, I know I would but then I'm probably one of the dying breed of linear TV watchers.

 

My concern with the Vodafone TV box is that it gets shut off like Igloo did and all that extra stuff doesn't work and the EPG no longer populates; in app form with a monthly fee you can go 'meh', with an annual fee you can annoyed but at least you didn't outlay for a box.

 

I'm just looking for a single system that can do 'network' dvr (could be cloud) freeview via the internet that I can run on Android TV with a decent proper interface and more native integration; it appears that Silicon Dust can do that (without the sky stuff) for $35 per year but requires an aerial but having a local solution delivered over the internet would be fab given that fibre is so prolific now.

 

So yeah, I might have wittled on a bit but very curious to know what drives a large organisation like VF NZ to do certain things certain ways, especially given the proliferation of 'smart' devices in the home.

 

Cheers,

 

Chris


 
 
 
 


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  #2421865 16-Feb-2020 17:03
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Benoire:

 

 

 

My concern with the Vodafone TV box is that it gets shut off like Igloo did and all that extra stuff doesn't work and the EPG no longer populates; in app form with a monthly fee you can go 'meh', with an annual fee you can annoyed but at least you didn't outlay for a box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also don't forget tivo, where the remote server was also shut down, rendering the product pretty much useless. But luckily there was a fix for that and people were able to get them rechipped. But not so easy for these types of product that are getting the stream over the internet. Personally I think these sorts of products should have a guaranteed product life on the box. So the consumers have some assurance that the product will continue to work for the life of the device. This is becoming more and more of a problem with all sorts of tech products. 




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  #2421871 16-Feb-2020 17:22
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mattwnz:

 

Also don't forget tivo, where the remote server was also shut down, rendering the product pretty much useless. But luckily there was a fix for that and people were able to get them rechipped. But not so easy for these types of product that are getting the stream over the internet. Personally I think these sorts of products should have a guaranteed product life on the box. So the consumers have some assurance that the product will continue to work for the life of the device. This is becoming more and more of a problem with all sorts of tech products. 

 

 

Yep, the commerciality of free to air is probably a questionable aspect in NZ and so if you have a device that adds value to the freeview chain but can't generate the revenue to support it then its in trouble.


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  #2421886 16-Feb-2020 18:19
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I much prefer a throwaway STB  than a silly app that has it performance degraded based on the TV/os/cpu engine. We all recall the fiasco of the RWC where different tv's performed poorly as some of the modern smartv's are barely functional in terms of performance.

 

I would rather chip out $99 for a new stb for that  "old" tv that can't do something like the up and coming H266 codec which is likely to be used for 4k and 8K in a few years time.

 

Actually are Vodafone stream using HEVC (H265) or the older H264 format?

 

 




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  #2421890 16-Feb-2020 18:36
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Apsattv:

 

I much prefer a throwaway STB  than a silly app that has it performance degraded based on the TV/os/cpu engine. We all recall the fiasco of the RWC where different tv's performed poorly as some of the modern smartv's are barely functional in terms of performance.

 

I would rather chip out $99 for a new stb for that  "old" tv that can't do something like the up and coming H266 codec which is likely to be used for 4k and 8K in a few years time.

 

Actually are Vodafone stream using HEVC (H265) or the older H264 format?

 

 

I get this and a reason why I was running nvidia shields in the house, the ability to simply replace them without needing to deal with the tv.  My new Sony has Android TV built in which is performing fine as a TV and smart functions, either way I'm with the Android TV ecosystem so STB or TV I'm fine, but yes the non-android TV smarts are probably more of an issue.

 

I'm of the ilk that a single interface is better and as I have other apps such as Steam Link, Spark Sport etc. not having to switch input is ideal, same as not needing more than one remote.

 

Chris


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  #2421905 16-Feb-2020 19:20
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sansom:

 

Hi @benoire

 

Yes, Vodafone Group is working towards a box-less future for VTV.  Android TV, major Smart TVs, web browsers, AppleTV etc. are all platforms we have on the roadmap.

 

However, a like-for-like service compared to the VTV box is some way off due to a number of factors which I'm happy to discuss at length, if you're interested, as it would be great get any help to ditch the cost of the box.  Hint: it's not technical. 

 

 

Yeah that's definitely a difficult one. No box = apps like Netflix, amazon, NEON etc are part of the device instead and the makers of those devices get any commission.

 

Vodafone TV = just the cloud PVR service with options of Freeview or Sky, but how likely would people be to pay for that (unless they're already paying for Sky)

 

And then there's also what changes Sky might be making in the next couple of years

 

Personally, I think that while Smart TV's are ticking time bombs in terms of becoming obsolete, keeping boxes around isn't a bad idea, even if they shrink into more of a puck, or even an android based gen 3?

 

Paying this price for a box that lasts a few years isn't a bad thing




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  #2421921 16-Feb-2020 19:31
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Yabanize:

 

Yeah that's definitely a difficult one. No box = apps like Netflix, amazon, NEON etc are part of the device instead and the makers of those devices get any commission.

 

 

Would VF get a commission for having Netflix etc. on their box though?  Its a sub which you pay directly to the content provider so netflix, lightbox etc. unless as part of certification, the content companies PAY the STB owner for the privelage of the app being on the box?


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  #2421941 16-Feb-2020 19:41
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Yabanize:

 

 

 

Vodafone TV = just the cloud PVR service with options of Freeview or Sky, but how likely would people be to pay for that (unless they're already paying for Sky)

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMO Freeview really needs it's own app for devices like the apple tv, chromecast and android devices, with decent quality stream. The smart vu device is a good starting point for this app.  I am guessing it would be funded by our taxes AKA NZ on air.  It as the potentially to replace UHF, or even satellite signals long term.  




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  #2421957 16-Feb-2020 20:42
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Yeah but they don't seem inclined, instead leaving it up to Dish to create and market for them but the app is only available on the smart vu x puck and is pretty crap to be honest from what I've seen.  Needs full timeshifting and the ability to go back in time for programmes missed, as not all the NZ ondemand apps carry what is shown on TV.. This is where the VF solution is great, connected cloud recording for multiple devices with full timeshift and 3 day viewing experience.

 

The only other systems to come close is kodi + TVheadend (or other tv engine) OTA, Kodi + TVheadend in IPTV mode (harder and more a frankenstein build), Silicon Dusts HDHomeRun.  Only HDHomeRun has a fully integrated solution, but the app looks a little meh... Kodi is powerful but in my opinion not really setup for Live TV as the skins just do not do it justice and a lot of the recording stuff is harder...


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