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New Contributor
New Contributor

Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

Hi,
I'm an Optus EPL customer.
First off, one positive note: I really enjoy the ability to start watching a game from the beginning even when the game is still live. Kudos for that.

 

Now, the bad stuff:
On-demand video quality is unnacceptably poor when watching on a PC through a browser. I get about 10 seconds of crisp, reasonable definition playback, then 2-4 minutes of terrible, pixellated quality, then 30-60 seconds of buffering, and this repeats for the whole game. The game is almost unwatchable.

 

Key points:
- Replay of the same game on the same WiFi network is much, much better on my Android phone using the Optus Sport app.
- My computer is very close to the router. Speed test shows about 2.5 MB/s for both phone and PC (tested separately to avoid interference)
- Using a different browser doesn't improve things (I usually use Chrome on 64 bit Windows 7).
- Other streaming services (Netflix, Youtube, etc) are able to stream HD on the same laptop/browser/WiFi
- Would love to test it on Edge on my XBox One, but you've disallowed that for rather anticompetitive reasons
- I have tried manually reducing the quality setting in the video player. This made no difference.
- Made sure all other devices (phones etc) had WiFi turned off to avoid stealing bandwidth.
- My Fox Sports EPL on demand subscription last season never suffered from issues like this.
- I am a software developer. Please don't tell me to turn it off and on again or that it is just my WiFi connection that is at fault. The tests above clearly show different results for web and app streaming.

 

I'd love some feedback on this, because as I see it, one of two things is happening:


1. Optus is deliberately ignoring quality issues with the web player because they want people to buy Fetch TV. This is consistent with the anticompetitive behaviour I've seen so far re: Edge browser/XBox one, and explains why the mobile app works well.
2. Optus lacks the technical expertise to actually deliver what they've promised to their customers.

I am not getting what I paid for, and I've searched other similar forum questions in a similar vein. No one seems to be satisfied with the response. I'd love to hear from someone who actually understands the technical issues at play here rather than platitudes and sad emojis.

 

Fox Sports EPL streaming wasn't perfect in terms of content agreements, but at least I got what I was promised with respect to video quality.

 

Frustratedly yours,
Yann

9 Replies
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New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

Update: tried watching the same video at someone else's house, with better results (speed test revealed download speed of 10Mbps).

 

However, this doesn't explain the massive and disappointing discrepancy between the app and web players under the same network conditions.

Clearly, web-based users are being punished into getting Fetch TV. Sad. Won't be renewing my subscription next season if this continues.

 

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RetiredModerator
RetiredModerator

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

Thank you for the extensive testing you have done there Yann. We're certainly not trying to push customers into Fetch, otherwise we wouldn't be offering Apple TV, Webstream, Satellite and Chromecast (as of today) support. In your circumstances I'd recommend giving our TV & Content team a call on 1800 230 158 who can do some more specific troubleshooting to find out where this issue is originating from. 

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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

Happens to everyone that watches on PC - blurry picture, hangs often, and is usually about 30 seconds behind "live"

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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

AND, this also happens on highlight packages, so is not just about the "live" content. 

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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

This is actually due to the appalling performance of the Silverlight player they are using.

 

I can usually keep the picture crisp on my Ultrabook, if I don't do anything else. On my Surface, no chance.

 

Funny thing is they say it's the same tech Netflix is using... lol, My sister uses Netflix all the time, on an ancient laptop that my crummy Surface would put to shame, zero decoding problems, lovely pictures.

 

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RetiredModerator
RetiredModerator

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

Heya @silnarm - Netflix and Premier League streaming aren't really comparable as a lot of Netlfix's content is cached to local servers and it also downgrades quality depending on the bandwidth available so it requires less to stream a decent quality feed where as due to the nature of live sport this requires more bandwidth and a more stable connection to run without problems.

 

If you are having problems streaming I would recommend giving our TV and Content tech team a buzz on 1800230158 and they can go through some further troubleshooting.

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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

This has nothing to do with bandwidth or stable internet connections.

 

The Silverlight app is junk, very capable computers can't decode the HD stream quickly enough, so despite perfectly good bandwidth you get a crap picture (sub-SD).

 

Nothing to do with bandwidth, nothing to do with caching, and nothing to do with adaptive bitrates.

 

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New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

As mentioned by silnarm, the "live broadcast" excuse is invalid; my complaint was specifically about watching replayed games, not live ones. I concluded the same thing as silnarm did regarding the OTT streaming platform tech being used.

 

Use of Silverlight also makes streaming to my XBox One with Edge impossible as it's unsupported. Foxtel's streaming service was up with the times, using HTML 5 two years ago.

 

I won't be logging a tech support issue as I'm unlikely to get Optus to change their whole streaming platform. For now, I'm working with my ISP to increase my connection speed, as that seems to be the only solution.

 

Thanks.

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Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Really, utterly awful replay quality (not due to my internet connection)

After many discussions with Optus staff who told me it was my broadband/pc/tablet/phone's fault, I got a call from an Optus techo - who admitted the quality is bad, that it will improve shortly with an upgrade, but won't be perfecr until well in to the new year.  Basically it was trialled during the pre-season International Champions Cup and worked fine so nothing else was done, even though no-one watched that, and now millions are on at once - Optus very naive there.  

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