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Feckin' Apps!!

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PDR
1314579.  Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:01 pm Reply with quote

As everyone who cares knows, in a few weeks time GoT returns for its final series to be shown on Sky Atlantic on Monday nights (or for the real fanatic - broadcast simultaneously with the colonial broadcast at something like 2AM, but I'm not that fanatical). I subscribe to Sky so this is all good.

Except that it isn't, because my employer requires my services on a remote site for the first four days of the week, so I spend Monday (and tuesday, and wednesday) nights earning Marriott Points far into the uncivilised Northern wilderness, and the hotel doesn't offer Sky Atlantic on the 50" telly in my room.

But Sky cater for people like me by providing internet access to our TV subscription channels, and the Marriott does give me excellent wifi with plenty of bandwidth, so that's all good. Or at least it WAS, back in the days when this access was a simple web page with streaming provided by MS Silverlight. But all that stopped a year or two back, and the webpage was replaced with a "app" called "SkyGo".

I have SkyGo installed on my laptop (W10), and it's seriously awful. Every couple of minutes the resolution drops so low that it looks as if someone had smeared vaseline over the camera lens. It stays like that for a period (anything from 10 secs to 10 mins) and then snaps back to full HD. This makes it impossible to watch stuff. I assumed this was just network issues, but I got one of our network optimisation experts to look into it and it became clear that it wasn't - the app was pulling data in chunks rather than streaming it, and that was down to the app rather than the network. We proved this by connecting the laptop directly to a gigabit backbone connection, and it made no difference.

I consulted Mr Google (very clever chap) and found that many had reported similar problems - it wasn't just me. I was discussing this with secondborn and she said she had the same problem, but only on her PC. Macbook and her iPad it was fine. Since she wasn't using the iPad she's lent it to me, and I've just been trying it. She's right - the IOS version of this App streams data continuously, so it works even though it has a fraction of the processor and memory specs of my laptop- it's the crappy porting of the app to PC that has screwed it up.

So I am now forced to break a fundamental tenet of my moral code and actually admit a piece of iBling into my life - not because it's better, but rather because the incompetent softies who created the PC version of the app were too lazy to do it properly.

And NONE of this would be necessary if they'd just done the logical, professional thing and developed the apps as platform-neutral web-apps like proper people do.

Hanging is far too lenient for these people - I shall have to dream up something far more imaginative and painful for them.

PDR

 
franticllama
1314609.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:20 am Reply with quote

Ah, that explains it. I invested in SkyGo previously and even paid Mr Murdoch the daily rate to try and watch some cricket since I don't subscribe to his station normally. I gave up attempting to watch since the streaming quality was so awful. I don't own anything Apple like to I'll just have to live without being able to watch the cricketists.

 
PDR
1314611.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:56 am Reply with quote

I gather the Android app works OK as well - it's just the PC app that doesn't.

And on a further point - once I had proved that the iPad works in the hotel (to be tried tonight) it was my intention to get an HDMI adaptor so that I could plug it into the room's 50" telly to watch. But apparently those festering piles of gibbon faeces at Sky have decided that connecting a big screen would violate their IPR, so if you connect to an external display (wired or wirelessly) the SkyGo app shuts down to protect this claimed IPR.

My ideas for justifiable, proportional pinishment are currently evaluating flaying, followed by being rolled in salt and then forced to watch loop-taped episodes of Crossroads.

PDR

 
barbados
1314617.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:18 am Reply with quote

I wouldnít spend too much on that adapter if I were you.
Pick yourself up a chrome cast or something similar and cast to the screen-although you may find seeing as the channel you want to watch is free to air it might be available in a fire stick so worth a look down that route

 
PDR
1314620.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:24 am Reply with quote

I gather sky go will shut down if you connect a chrome-cast as well.

Sky atlantic isn't free-to-air is it?

PDR

 
barbados
1314623.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:45 am Reply with quote

I have a feeling you might be right about the app although Iím not a user. I think sky Atlantic May be one of those part of the basic package but Iíll bow to your expertise.
Do they not have a separate viewer app similar to i player where you can allow the buffer to happen then watch on a delay?

 
PDR
1314628.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:23 am Reply with quote

barbados wrote:
I have a feeling you might be right about the app although Iím not a user.


I don't claim any expertise - I'm just passing on what colleagues have said after finding that Mr Google seems to say the same thing.

Quote:

I think sky Atlantic May be one of those part of the basic package but Iíll bow to your expertise.


I think it's part of the Sky basic package, but none of the sky channels in that package are free-to-air - they all need a subscription of some sort. I gather that you can get it on NowTV, but only after paying an additional subsciption. I vehemently object to paying an additional subscription to allow me to see something I'm already paying a subscription for just because the company maroons me in a hotel for half my life. I have tried suggesting that they should pay it to give me equivilent access to that which I pay for at home, but the ensuing laughter violates noise abatement regulations across the whole of the north west.

Quote:

Do they not have a separate viewer app similar to i player where you can allow the buffer to happen then watch on a delay?


That's what they used to have with the old Silverlight-based thin-client web app, but when Silverlight was scrapped they produced this new app that uses adaptive resolution rather than buffering to cope with network issues. In principle it's a better idea, but their implementation in the PC version of the app is crappier than the gallery at a scattological art museum.

PDR

 
barbados
1314642.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:50 am Reply with quote

Have you got Sky Q?
the plus version of Go is available for free with that and you can download and watch - which will ease your buffering issue

 
PDR
1314663.  Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:02 pm Reply with quote

No, couldn't possibly justify the extra cost of SkyQ with only the two of us left in the house (especially with me away half the week). And I refuse to pay extra for skygo+ when I only need it because SkyGo doesn't actually work.

PDR

 
PDR
1314721.  Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:55 am Reply with quote

PDR wrote:
...once I had proved that the iPad works in the hotel (to be tried tonight)...


...which is now proven. Last night I watched part of last year's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the first 3 episodes of "A Handmaid's Tale" (which I hadn't previously seen), all in full HD and without even a hint of resolution drop-out. So if nothing else I have a basic solution to the GoT problem for April, although I'd still like to watch it on a bigger screen...

PDR

 

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