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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    4,119

    PlayStation Vue Live TV Service Expands

    PlayStation Vue Live TV Service Expands In the U.S.

    Entire Article
    Probably not coming to Canada anytime soon

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,442
    If I had to pick, I'd obviously go with Playstation Vue over Sling, but there's certainly room for improvement.

    Here's another review of Playstation Vue with a Sling comparison thrown in for good measure:

    http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-playstation-vue/
    [Page 1 of 2]

    http://www.cnet.com/products/sony-playstation-vue/2/
    [Page 2 of 2]

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...#gid=108433885
    [Sling vs Vue ... Top 162 Channels]
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,442
    Yet another article about Playstation Vue: http://www.techhive.com/article/3047...ternative.html

    Are there commercials?

    PlayStation Vue mimics traditional TV service in this regard, so you’ll get commercial breaks while watching channels in real time. The on-demand catalog includes mandatory ads as well. You can only skip through ads for shows you’ve stored with the cloud DVR.



    Can you time-shift live programming?

    Yes, but with limits. If you hit pause on live TV, the video automatically starts playing again after a few minutes. And some channels, such as ESPN and Comedy Central, don’t allow you to manually fast forward through the time-shifted video without returning straight to the live feed.

    In other words, PlayStation Vue’s time-shifting features allow for quick bathroom or snack breaks, but you can’t just pause for 15 minutes and then skip through all the commercials.
    Last edited by PokerFace; 03-25-2016 at 12:46 PM. Reason: added quote
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    4,619
    Quote Originally Posted by PokerFace View Post
    And some channels, such as ESPN and Comedy Central, don’t allow you to manually fast forward through the time-shifted video without returning straight to the live feed.
    Addition of all those stupid crying-baby restrictions in, they wonder why subscribers cut the cord, why people use live internet feeds or download the shows instead of using the official "channels", why are people subscribing to Netflix instead of buying/renting DVDs and Blu-Rays where you must sit throught unskippeable junk to get to the menu, reach the Play option and see that unskippeable "studio logo" bit again...
    "It's not a rerun if you haven't watched it yet." (© 2010 by TVViewer)
    "Ne jamais s'obstiner avec un épais. Il va vous abaisser à son niveau et vous battre avec l'expérience."

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by InMontreal View Post
    why are people subscribing to Netflix instead of buying/renting DVDs and Blu-Rays where you must sit throught unskippeable junk to get to the menu, reach the Play option and see that unskippeable "studio logo" bit again...
    Hey, I like Studio Logos, they're great. PS Vue seems better than Sling

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,442
    After trying both Sling and DirectvNow (I only tried with desktop PC and only chrome browser was allowed with PC), I think they both suck. Even I'm cancelling, and I'm an American fanboy. I didn't try Sling's recording option, since it only works for devices (not desktop PC), and DTVNOW doesn't have the option yet.

    Sling has more of the channels I want (many are still missing, but still more of what I want than any of the other services are currently offering), but that countdown (can only see the countdown running time if move mouse) towards the end of each show and then the few seconds glitch or crash that often follows before the next block begins is retardation that I thought only Canada would be stupid enough to try (each show is considered as a separate entity, rather than just part of a channel). So when I watched AMC's Comic Book Men live on Sling, when the clock ran out before the end of the show, the sound suddenly turned off, and then I had to turn it on (still no sound), then turn it off, then turn it back on again to actually hear the sound. Then hours later, using the on-demand Sling version on their site (since no access to the AMC website like DirectvNow offers), it doesn't allow fast-forwarding to quickly see the end of the show with audio (so I just used the pirate version and got what I missed). Sling is an overall failure, and the competition is missing so many channels that it's a sad, sad situation.

    I still prefer the Slingtv's interface and much, much more VOD content that's available, as well as the 4 (or sometimes 5 if lucky enough to fool the system) simultaneous streams and access to some locals like NBC and Fox (with time-shifting DNS trickery possible as well), but that countdown timer that often causes several seconds to be missed as a program is ending and a new one is being loaded (or has to be manually be loaded by me) is way too annoying to tolerate.

    DirectvNow has the better picture (just a bit more colourful), and much louder sound which provides a more immersive experience. Sling's Hallmark Channel has the lowest sound of the channels I watched, so if I was trying to watch 4 things at once, the Hallmark volume had to be at max, while the other channels had to be lowered, so that I could hear them all at once (just to be able to follow along and mute whatever was the least interesting). The streaming quality was fine, and most of the time it was very clear, although both often switched to lower quality at times.

    Oh, and both Sling and DirectvNow don't have streaming rights for live or on-demand Nascar races that the NBCSports website offers, so only the audio can be heard if you use the NBC Sports website to try to watch (even the Dog Show wasn't available). It's so weird that the actual NBC channels on Sling let you watch all that content live, but if you miss anything and want to stream those specific events via VOD on the NBC Sports website, you're out of luck (and yet I can get into NBC Sports Washington and stream the NBA and NHL games using Sling authentication rights - even if they are blacked out on NBC Sports Washington via Sling's site). Also weird that Nascar practices and other things related to Nascar can be watched at any time on the NBC Sports website (using Sling authentication), but not the races themselves.

    One cool thing about Sling is that you can switch regions with various browser extensions (and Vpns I assume) to get different NBC and Fox affiliates if timeshifting and avoiding sports blackouts is something you like to do. Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Bay Area, Phoenix, NY, Washington, Philadelphia, etc. are just some of the regions I sampled. The region-switching isn't something that Sling officially offers, just something that can be done with browser extensions, etc.

    DirectvNow has many more official website authentication possibilities that Sling doesn't have (like for the History channel), but Sling has a few that DirectvNow doesn't have. And Playstation Vue and Hulu have some that Sling and DirectvNow don't have, so things are still very messy.

    Although it's not as much fun to be paying for something that you can't really complain about, or can be shut off without warning (since the service is designed only for Americans), I'll still miss being connected to the US online system. However, since I don't like paying for poorly run services, I'm looking forward to my break from the ineptitude. And although Sling's 7-day-free trials (tracked by the exact time you start) can apparently be tried over and over again with the same credit card (although probably not as easy as USTVNOW is to fool), it's not worth fooling around with something that I already found many flaws with.

    Piracy still rules the online world for a variety of reasons, and I'm beginning to think that Piracy will always be a step ahead of the official streaming sites. That is extremely disappointing, but at least I save money by not having anything good enough to deserve my money.

    I'm glad I tried the US services, but very disappointed that they often reminded me of Canadian restrictions and ineptitude. The Slingtv 2-seconds interruption towards the end of each (or most) show segments reminds me of the glitches that Canadian sim-subs often cause. So painful to see crap like that on US services like Sling, and DirectvNow kept showing a bottom-left-corner message box mentioning ongoing verifications every minute, or less.

    EDIT DEC 31, 2017: During my 2nd free trial of DirectvNow at end of December, there were no ongoing verifications of various things (turns out that was due to my many adblocker and popup blocker extensions that needed to be turned off), so that's at least an improvement I like, and when I use chrome's incognito window, I can run 2 simultaneous streams, plus of course I can still stream some channels simultaneously live, using DirectvNow authentications on websites like ESPN etc., even though I'm also streaming from DirectvNow too.

    EDIT Jan 4, 2018: It seems that the DirectvNow second simultaneous stream is reserved for devices like smart phones, etc. -- but to trick the system and get two simultaneous streams with my Chrome browser on my PC, one of the streams has to be using a a separate Incognito window. So that makes things a bit better, especially if I use some of the official websites like ESPN to stream other things at the same time, while using DirectvNow's authentication credentials.

    EDIT Jan 08, 2018: Many of the DirectvNow channels (especially Fox News Network and ESPN during major sports events) need several page refreshes to get the streams to initially load. It's very annoying, and even many Americans not using VPNs, etc., often run into the same problems. That rarely happened with the Sling TV channels. Thus, since FOX News channel also doesn't allow DirectvNow subscribers to stream from the Fox News website (no authentication rights), quite often there's no way to watch that channel even though it's part of the package you might have. Truly bizarre.

    EDIT Jan 10, 2018: DirectvNow's ESPN feed runs about 60-90 sec behind TSN's Rogers Cable TV feed (depending upon how often the ESPN online stream buffers or freezes for a few seconds), and that's similar to Slingtv from what I remember. However, TSN's online stream is only about 22 seconds behind the TSN TV broadcast via Rogers Cable TV (no VPN necessary, so buffering isn't really an issue).

    EDIT Thursday Jan 18, 2018: It comes in handy to have the ability to watch content from the watchESPN website (ESPNGO, etc.) via DirectvNow, etc., authentication because quite often our Canadian alternatives like TSN GO fail to offer the same events or matches. Case in point for early this morning (around 3am-5:25am) for the Australian Open Tennis tourney. ESPN 2 wasn't showing anything other than a few live look-ins to the women's singles match between #18 Barty (Au) vs Giorgi (Italy), and since TSN (1, 4 and 5) was only mirroring the ESPN 2 general tennis feed all morning (on 3 of its 4 channels and website covering the matches), except for its airing of the special Australian feed of the Bouchard/Halep match on TSN 3 (which ended long before the Barty/Giorgi match did), and nothing extra via the bonus coverage on the TSN.ca (TSN GO) website (other than perhaps a men's match as a bonus feed briefly- then all 3 bonus feeds just showed a message that the bonus coverage had concluded for the evening); viewers in Canada had to cheat the system by watching the Barty/Giorgi match on pirate sites, or by logging into the watchESPN site for the entire match (complete with the Aussie announcers and the regular multi-camera views). TSN's claim of covering multiple matches throughout its 5 channels and website bonus coverage fell flat, as it did quite often on previous nights. The only advantage TSN has with its bonus coverage via its own website (TSN.ca or I assume also using the TSN GO app) is that there are no commercial breaks, so that even when the Aussies break away for their commercials, the camera stays with the nice live feed of the players resting on their benches, and TSN website viewers of this bonus online coverage (not on the main TSN channels) get to enjoy it. However, if you watch the bonus feeds via ESPN's watchESPN website or ESPNplayer, you get the same annoying commercials shown in a loop until the coverage resumes (and if an adblocker is used, you instead see an ESPN logo with the message "Your Event is in a Commercial Break." Less annoying than listening to the commercials, but not as good as staying with the live feed like TSN.ca allows you to). By the way, TSN 2 was just airing Sportscentre and other filler all morning.

    EDIT Jan 20, 2018: watchESPN's player (not the one with 5 squares quality meter which is often unstable) gives a far superior picture (almost as good as broadcast tv, perhaps even sharper) than TSN's site does. ESPN gives a truer 720p picture, than does the TSN one, which looks more like 540p (even when I choose 720p). The sharpness and beauty of the ESPN streams put TSN's to shame. Sometimes I forget whether I'm watching the watchESPN PC stream, or the TSN/ESPN/Aussie TV broadcast one (they are both that good).

    EDIT Jan 27, 2018: TSN just changed its website to look more like watchESPN, at least for the LIVE TV part. Unfortunately, they still refuse to offer all the same Australian Open feeds that watchESPN offers. So for this morning's Women's Australian Open final, TSN(GO) failed to offer the multi-cam Australian feed of the match. It was a 3-cam split screen, with one cam for the main Australian tv feed (bigger center picture), and one each for the two players (smaller pictures, one on each side). Once again the ESPN stream feed looked like a true tv broadcast (with only the odd stutter), and they even kept it running during the presentation ceremony. TSN only showed the regular ESPN feed online and for all of their broadcast TV channels, but once the match ended, they cut to many commercials and eventually joined the Australian broadcast for the presentation ceremonies (while I was watching the action online via the ESPN online muti-cam and ESPN later on). I'm not sure why TSN chose to leave the ESPN broadcast, as they were also showing the Australian tv presentation version, but with their own graphic overlays, and then the ESPN commentators discussed the match after that (which TSN did not air). So overall, TSN failed to live up to their capabilities and instead often looked like a 2nd-rate broadcaster. ESPN for the win ... TSN please just quit now while you are behind, and let us legitimately pay for the real thing. TSN is often like the diet version of ESPN. So shameful to know that we'll probably never catch up to the Americans, even when they own a % stake (now 20%, but I thought it was once 30%) of a channel like TSN.

    I could go on and on about all the flaws that I witnessed while trying the American streaming services, but since the biggest room in the world is the room for improvement, I'll stop typing now and go back to piracy land.
    Last edited by PokerFace; 01-27-2018 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Added the EDIT of Jan 27
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    1,442
    DirectvNow was up and down for several hours last night and this morning (major outage across the country), and so was Rogers Anyplace TV (which uses a DirectvNow interface). Rogers Cable TV was working fine, and of course the official channel websites that offer live streaming also worked. I just found it odd that an American service and Canadian service were somehow tied together in downtime.

    DirectvNow came back briefly (while Rogers Anyplace was still out), but then died soon after. Shortly after the daily 3am (in my area) Rogers system reboot, Rogers Anyplace TV was up and running ... and so was DirectvNow.

    Cable TV for the win.

    EDIT: Both services are out again, so I have to assume that Rogers Anyplace TV needs DirectvNow to be working, or else some Canadians might also be affected by the outage. I assume there are some people with working systems, but perhaps there are too many people accessing the limited working servers causing unstable connections.
    EDIT 2: DirectvNow is back up, but Rogers Anyplace TV is still down (but I assume it will be up shortly, as long as DirectvNow maintains its up status for the majority of its subscribers).
    EDIT 3: Since Anyplace TVseems to be a bit finicky at night (log outs and luck often necessary to get streams to play), the outages might not be related.
    EDIT 4: Here's a tip ... If you can't get Rogers AnyplaceTV or DirectvNow to load a channel, just make sure your PC clock is close enough to the real time, or else you can refresh the pages over and over again and they will never load ... even if your clock is off by perhaps even as little as 35 seconds or more ... your mileage may vary, but it's a nice tip that worked for me (I read it on an ATT forum complaining about DirectvNow channels not working for lots of people since even 2015). Once the clock is more accurate, the channels will load within 5 seconds ... some channels will load even if the time strays from the correct time, but at some point, ALL the channels will fail to load, unless you fix your clock so that it's very close to the real time.
    Last edited by PokerFace; 01-18-2018 at 05:11 AM. Reason: see edit 4
    Warning: I'm not playing with a full deck.

 

 

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