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NBC's "All Access" Tour de France coverage SUCKS!

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by dante, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. dante Unabomber

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    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:

    /rant
    #1 Jul 14, 2011   
  2. RUFUS e-douche of the year

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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: Jul 14, 2011
    #2 Jul 14, 2011   
  3. dante Unabomber

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    :rolleyes:

    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.
    #3 Jul 14, 2011   
  4. dante Unabomber

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    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: Jul 14, 2011
    #4 Jul 14, 2011   
  5. RUFUS e-douche of the year

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    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.
    #5 Jul 14, 2011   
  6. Jim Mac Active Member

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    Try it now.
    #6 Jul 15, 2011   
  7. MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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    So does the TdF......so it all works out.
    #7 Jul 15, 2011   
  8. I Are Baboon Run, Forrest, Run!

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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.
    #8 Jul 15, 2011   
  9. stevew unique white person

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    it's a conspiracy.
    #9 Jul 15, 2011   
  10. spoke80 Active Member

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    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
    #10 Jul 15, 2011   
  11. Sandwich just shake your rump

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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.
    #11 Jul 15, 2011   
  12. Westy the teste

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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.
    #12 Jul 15, 2011   
  13. MMike A fowl peckerwood.

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    Kabletown

    And it's not a real hug unless it lasts 10 seconds
    #13 Jul 15, 2011   
  14. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    fvck sniped.
    #14 Jul 15, 2011   
  15. Westy the teste

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    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.
    #15 Jul 15, 2011   
  16. stevew unique white person

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    only after you give yourself 30 lashes....

    #16 Jul 15, 2011   
  17. gibralTOR New Member

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    Same problems here. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I've done all the uninstall and reinstall that the NBC tech people asked for, but still...sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I'm viewing on a mac, but I never have problems with Netflix or Hulu, both of which use Silverlight. NBC sports live is a terrible service and rather than copying and pasting directions from the FAQ on their website, they ought to really try to please their customers by genuinely trying to recreate and solve the problems. I hope they're reading this now--and I've very surprised that there aren't similar complaints elsewhere on the web (except Facebook).
    #17 Jul 13, 2012   
  18. gort New Member

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    Bump for 2013.

    Looking for more info on NBC All Access (any known improvements since last year?) And if there are there any other alternatives for non-cable subscribers? Would really like an option that includes Liggett/Sherwin commentary.
    #18 Jun 27, 2013   
  19. SkaredShtles I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!

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    TdF. Who gives a f**k? Srsly...
    #19 Jun 27, 2013   
  20. JohnE filthy rascist

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    Hey look, this is me, not caring. At least with mtbs you know the guys you ride with are all on drugs...because they dont deny it...
    #20 Jun 28, 2013   
  21. pinkshirtphotos site moron

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    Phish tour is more enticing
    #21 Jun 28, 2013   
  22. jonKranked Press Button, Receive Stupid

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    pipe down hippie
    #22 Jun 28, 2013   
  23. JohnE filthy rascist

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    Still over here, not caring about the TDF.
    #23 Jun 28, 2013   
  24. eric strt6 Resident Curmudgeon

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    Tour de Farmacia.....
    #24 Jun 28, 2013   
  25. stevew unique white person

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    that and they drink sh!tty beer.
    #25 Jun 28, 2013   
  26. The Toninator Muffin

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    i'm watching live right now. going to watch the whole thing.
    #26 Jun 29, 2013   
  27. dante Unabomber

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    Same here. They seemed to iron out most of the problems that I was running in to, although the quality still isn't as good as Netflix and the black bars at the top / sides of the screen are pretty annoying.

    That being said, the fact NBC is willing to sell me access even though I don't have a $100+/month cable subscription is something I'm willing to support. Last year I couldn't even *PAY* them to get access to the Olympics, so I ended up paying a family member to get their Dish account info instead.

    Plus it's great being able to watch each stage from the very beginning of the race, instead of halfway through when NBCSports televised coverage picks up.

    Edit: ok, forgot about my *biggest* complaint from the past few years: why do they put the results of the day's stage (spoilers) on the home page that you have to go through to watch the replay? It means I literally have to cover 90% of the screen before clicking on the link to the video....
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
    #27 Jun 29, 2013   
  28. stevew unique white person

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    the only clean urine at the tdf was thrown on cavendish.
    #28 Jul 10, 2013   
  29. jackalope Mental acuity - 1%

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    in a single wide, cooking meth...
    ^
    :rofl:
    #29 Jul 11, 2013   

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