DIRECTV NOW LAUNCH

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camo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 11, 2010
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Nebraska
I restarted service after second thoughts, may be wise to keep awhile longer at $35 price. I noticed after recent update can't find any 1080 channels using FireTv X-ray advanced option showing resolution and bitrates.
I've went though 40+ channels including all NBC channels like NBCSN & MSNBC which I know are 1080 and everything is 720 same as Vue 1280x720... FR just under 60fps. Didn't sub HBO so can't verify there.

Also using the advanced option I can verify bitrate (2500) with AVC codec is half of Vue's 720p bitrate (5200) with same AVC codec. Good news haven't had any freeze since yesterday or app failure to launch.
 

camo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 11, 2010
886
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Nebraska
So looks like what they've done is stop the 1080i feed for now. Having different streams may of been causing issues. Still haven't had any hiccups since restarting but didn't watch tonight.
 
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anex80

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 27, 2006
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I've been experimenting with DIRECTV Now for a few days and so far have been impressed. I signed up mostly for the AppleTV deal because I already have traditional DTV service but I'm within a 2-year price lock and may be looking at alternatives if prices skyrocket after that.

Some of my thoughts regarding the DTV Now service are as follows:

1. Picture quality is very good, at least viewing on my tablet. I won't be able to test on a full HD screen until my Apple TV arrives.
2. Which brings me to my next issue: no Airplay, so without an AppleTV, Fire stick, or similar device, you can't watch on the "big screen".
3. Guide and interface are decent. Very simple and intuitive.
4. No PiP or split view on iPad.
5. No NFL Network or access to Sunday a Ticket or Redzone channels. Hopefully this is a future addition as both Sling and PS Vue have NFL Network and Redzone so this is a big disadvantage for D*.
6. Lack of DVR
7. On Demand library not as robust as with full pay TV service. For instance, if I look at on demand titles for TLC there are only a few available for each show I checked, but if I log into the TLC Go app using my DTV credentials I see all seasons and episodes of most shows. Additionally, DTV Now isn't even an option to authenticate to the TLC Go app, but PS Vue is.

Overall I think this is a good start but still has a ways to go. I think they will need to work out some of the things I mentioned above before this becomes a serious contender.




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Scott Greczkowski

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If you watch VOD it has ads for DIRECTV and tells you to tune to channels you can't get on DIRECTV Now.

So looks like VOD is shared between the two.

IMG_4420.JPG



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Spankey00

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 1, 2016
56
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NJ
Interesting observations on the resolution. I am watching tonight on Apple TV for the first time since Friday. No freezes so far. I do hope any down rezzing is temporary. I don't want to fight the HD-Lite battles of old again.
 

SatinKzo

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May 22, 2004
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Interesting observations on the resolution. I am watching tonight on Apple TV for the first time since Friday. No freezes so far. I do hope any down rezzing is temporary. I don't want to fight the HD-Lite battles of old again.

I agree. HD-Lite was ugly back in the day. I will say at least the ability to easily decipher the info on the stream makes things more open to allow us to complain with hard statistics.

I want stability first, but optimal resolution is a must.

*btw, still no rectangles tonight. Watching MNF and A&E Leah Remini Scientololgy documentary (recommended by me as good viewing!)
 
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camo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 11, 2010
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Agree would rather have stability if removing 1080 stream fixed the issue, I can live with 720p. Maybe theirs a reason Vue doesn't mix resolutions. Instability..
 

camo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 11, 2010
886
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Nebraska
After doing some research conclusion the DTVN freezing issues were attributed to mixing 1080 stream with 720p. I remember seeing stream all over the place and looking very erratic 5000 down to 1800 kbps causing instability apparently. They removed 1080 stream over the weekend.

So far keeping this under belt because one of the selling points was the 1080 streaming. My guess they may try fixing but temporarily to stop the bleeding, cut the 1080 stream.

Bitrate for PSVue supports 1080 using ac3 codec with average 5200 kbps stream but they only stream 720p. Another pointer toward stability issues mixing streams or wouldn't they offer 1080 because bandwidth is already there?

Here are bitrate targets using codec H.264 (ac3)
HD 720p @ H.264 high profile 2500 kbps (20 MB/minute).
HD 1080p @ H.264 high profile 5000 kbps (35 MB/minute).
 

Spankey00

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 1, 2016
56
14
NJ
I did speak too soon last night. I started having instances where instead of the freezing the picture would black out for a bit then come back on. No freezes, but after a few times the app completely crashed the Apple TV.

I know there has been a stated goal of 4k for Now, so hopefully they are trying to get the streaming issues under control. I still think its more of a capacity issue but maybe they are trying to stabilize somewhat until they can handle the capacity. I still believe this first three months will be Beta testing, hence the free Apple TV's and discounted rate. No way can they charge full price for the Go Big package with the service in its current state.
 
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camo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 11, 2010
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Nebraska
Serious lip sync issues the worst on NBC channels, NBCsports also jitter issues. Back to Vue for awhile. I'll check back in later this week and see if we have improvements.
 
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jcrandall

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HD Lite - what is this - "Dish Now"? or perhaps "Dish Then"...

It's a good move if it fixes the consistent problems with access as many users won't notice any difference, especially considering how many are likely on tablets/phones.

On a side note, it makes me feel very slightly better about paying over triple the $35 price to have it delivered over satellite instead of broadband.
Not much better, very slightly.

It is ridiculous that they can deliver the same content at 1/3 the price by using a different pipeline and eliminating the delivery channel and in-home equipment.
 

SpaethCo

Pub Member / Supporter
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Nov 7, 2005
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On a side note, it makes me feel very slightly better about paying over triple the $35 price to have it delivered over satellite instead of broadband.
You do get the bonus of not having to wonder "Am I going to be able to watch this show?"

I signed up for the discounted Apple TV and to test the viability of cancelling my satellite service. When it's good (95+% of the time) the quality is amazing, but that 5% when it's glitchy convinces me that paying the premium for non-Internet service is worth it.
 

camo

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 11, 2010
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Nebraska
Someone asked about whats going with the stream limited to 720 (DTVN forum). They are either unaware stream has recently dropped the 1080 or just playing dumb to prevent feeding the sharks more blood. Why doesn't this surprise me?
 

Spankey00

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 1, 2016
56
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NJ
Someone asked about whats going with the stream limited to 720 (DTVN forum). They are either unaware stream has recently dropped the 1080 or just playing dumb to prevent feeding the sharks more blood. Why doesn't this surprise me?

I saw that as well. I am sure the bots have no technical knowledge and are going to feed the company line. Do they think we are not watching. I am going to keep harping on this issue. It would be nice if some more tech articles would keep on them.

I did notice a bit of a PQ drop.
 
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Spankey00

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 1, 2016
56
14
NJ
Can someone run the numbers again. My streaming issues were non-existent for the last two nights and today my PQ looks better than ever. I've very happy with how things are right now. Just fix the ABC audio issue and get NBC up and I am ditching cable. I still wonder if one of the "technical" issues with getting NBC available has to due with NFL games for this year. CBS and NFL Network as well. Maybe after the Superbowl we may see these.
 
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