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  1. #1
    Unabomber dante's Avatar
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    NBC's "All Access" Tour de France coverage SUCKS!

    Ugh. So put this in the "why media companies are going to go out of business soon" column. Background: We got rid of cable a year and a half ago, and about the only thing that we really missed watching was the Tour each year. So last year (and the start of this year) we've poached each stage from a certain overseas bittorrent forum. Each day the stages are up, SD links go up relatively quickly, HD links take longer but are delivered in 720p clarity. Bit of a pain in the ass (get home, start download, watch during dinner if it's ready, etc), but the picture quality of the HD is great.

    Well, after deciding to cancel Netflix (and looking to boost our "legal" media viewing), we signed up for the "All Access" coverage by NBC. $24 discounted rate since it's week 2. Well, it worked yesterday, tonight, not so much. Have been working for almost an hour and a half trying to get it to work. First there was a Silverlight snafu. Then, once we actually got it to work, we ran into our biggest (and continuing problem): the segment is 5.5 hours long, and the fast-forwarding..... sucks. If you click ahead in the program (say, 2.5 hours in so you don't have to be still watching it at 3am), it takes FOREVER to try to buffer the program. Like, working on at least 45min "forever". It'll buffer a tiny amount (3-5sec worth) and then go back to silent buffering. I've finally given up and set ~250kB to a HD download of today's tour. I've asked for a refund, but who knows, they've stated "No refunds". I'm guessing that they don't want to have to pay up when you realize that you're not actually getting *anything* that you're paying for.

    Beyond that (from what we saw last night), All Access sucks in the following ways:

    1) Nowhere near HD signal. Silverlight (the MSFT plugin) allows you to see the download, and the maximum download available. For us? 2.1mb. That's practically 1/3 our max download (that we can almost always reach). We've watched events before with Silverlight (Olympics, World Cup) that were a 3.5mb down, and it was a MUCH clearer picture. **Note, they recommend a 15mb down signal for the "best picture". I'm guessing that the 6mb down that we've got puts us into a lower cap that doesn't come anywhere near utilizing all of our bandwidth, but if you have a higher D/L speed you might get a better picture?**

    2) 1" blank border around the left, right and top of the screen (on my 15" laptop, I can only imagine what it would look like on a TV) to allow for:

    3) BANNER ADVERTISING!! Yup, paying $30 (or $24 like we did) is apparently not enough $$$$$$ for NBC, as they feel the need to take up ~15% of the screen for their constant advertising. And yes, even though we haven't actually been able to get it to work tonight, the banner advertising has worked PERFECTLY...


    So, at the end of the day, instead of getting something in gorgeous HD that *actually works*, I'm stuck with a stuttering, buffering, non-working BULLSH!!T that is the stupid NBC/Versus feed. Here's a clue, media companies: Put out a SUPERIOR product and we'll pay for it. But don't give me a glitchy, ill-prepared, sub-par product and charge me through the nose for it. It's no wonder people are going to illegal means to get media, the legal channels fvcking SUCK!



    /rant
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  3. #2
    e-douche of the year RUFUS's Avatar
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    I have yet to have a problem with the NBC all access. Video feed is gorgeous, buffers for about a second every now and then, and I love the full 5-6 hour video. I can fast forward very easily and starts right up.

    Don't **** on it since your system obviously not up to speed.

    If it doesn't start up the first time, close the window then click on the watch now link again.

    I don't get any ads or banners on Firefox with adblocker turned on. Here is what it looks like for me on a 15" macbook in full screen.

    Screen grab of the opening. HD not on right now.
    Last edited by RUFUS; 07-14-2011 at 08:28 PM.
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    He makes stickers, making him an industry insider. Whatever he says is the truth.

  4. #3
    Unabomber dante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUFUS View Post
    I have yet to have a problem with the NBC all access. Video feed is gorgeous, buffers for about a second every now and then, and I love the full 5-6 hour video. I can fast forward very easily and starts right up.

    Don't **** on it since your system obviously not up to speed.


    Computer system is more than fast enough (2.53ghz C2D, 4g ram, dedicated video card with 1g ram) to handle the video. 6mb down has been more than fast enough to show crystal clear video from both the Olympics and the World Cup (as noted, a 3.5mb down silverlight feed looks great. When that's arbitrarily capped at 2.1mb by NBC, it looks like crap). And of course there's the ubiquitous banner / framing around the 3/4 of the screen.
    www.straycatbicycles.com

    "Dante is wise, and also loves bacon."

  5. #4
    Unabomber dante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RUFUS View Post
    Screen grab of the opening.
    Opening works fine. Fast forwarding several hours is what completely freezes it as it's trying to buffer.... the entire thing?

    Can't do Full Screen and get the screen capture, but this is what it has looked like for ~an hour or so.



    (edit: Or it'll puke out a few seconds of video, and then go back to "buffering")
    Last edited by dante; 07-14-2011 at 08:41 PM.
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  6. #5
    e-douche of the year RUFUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dante View Post


    Computer system is more than fast enough (2.53ghz C2D, 4g ram, dedicated video card with 1g ram) to handle the video. 6mb down has been more than fast enough to show crystal clear video from both the Olympics and the World Cup (as noted, a 3.5mb down silverlight feed looks great. When that's arbitrarily capped at 2.1mb by NBC, it looks like crap). And of course there's the ubiquitous banner / framing around the 3/4 of the screen.
    Firefox with adblocker has no framing. Did you not see the picture? Also in normal viewing mode I get almost the same thing besides a stupid twitter feed box on the right.

    Longest buffer time that I have had so far is 6 seconds.
    I have no complaints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by schwaaa31 View Post
    He makes stickers, making him an industry insider. Whatever he says is the truth.

  7. #6
    Turbo Monkey Jim Mac's Avatar
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    Try it now.

  8. #7
    A fowl peckerwood. MMike's Avatar
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    NBC's "All Access" Tour de France coverage SUCKS!
    So does the TdF......so it all works out.
    “What does a man do, Walter? A man provides. And he does it even when he’s not appreciated, or respected, or even loved. He simply bears up and he does it. Because he’s a man.”

  9. #8
    Run, Forrest, Run! I Are Baboon's Avatar
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    Wife and I watched stage 12 on the DVR last night in glorious Versus HD via Comcast. And we only pay something like $890 per month for cable.
    We don't have that but we can get it for you.

  10. #9
    unique white person stevew's Avatar
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    it's a conspiracy.

  11. #10
    Turbo Monkey
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    Quote Originally Posted by dante View Post
    Opening works fine. Fast forwarding several hours is what completely freezes it as it's trying to buffer.... the entire thing?

    Can't do Full Screen and get the screen capture, but this is what it has looked like for ~an hour or so.



    (edit: Or it'll puke out a few seconds of video, and then go back to "buffering")
    I purchased the "All Access package" as well lastnight to watch the 1st mountain stage and I had the exact same result. I'm looking for a refund

  12. #11
    just shake your rump Sandwich's Avatar
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    you know what, it would be great if you could pay a small monthly fee to stream movies at any time, as much as you wanted, with no ads and decent clarity and speed. I'd probably pay as much as $16 for that.

  13. #12
    the teste Westy's Avatar
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    I also got the NBC coverage. Works great some night, not at all other nights. Not Six-Sigma quality, CableTown has really dropped the ball on this one.
    (\_/)
    (°.°)
    c(”)(”)

  14. #13
    A fowl peckerwood. MMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Westy View Post
    I also got the NBC coverage. Works great some night, not at all other nights. Not Six-Sigma quality, CableTown has really dropped the ball on this one.
    Kabletown

    And it's not a real hug unless it lasts 10 seconds
    “What does a man do, Walter? A man provides. And he does it even when he’s not appreciated, or respected, or even loved. He simply bears up and he does it. Because he’s a man.”

  15. #14
    Press Button, Receive Stupid jonKranked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandwich View Post
    you know what, it would be great if you could pay a small monthly fee to stream movies at any time, as much as you wanted, with no ads and decent clarity and speed. I'd probably pay as much as $16 for that.
    fvck sniped.
    set your sarcasm meter to Level 4:butt hurt

  16. #15
    the teste Westy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMike View Post
    Kabletown

    And it's not a real hug unless it lasts 10 seconds
    I stand corrected. By stand, I mean I have been shamed in being corrected by MMike. I need to go home and cry in the shower.
    (\_/)
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