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Stream is really not good enough

EAB2021
On our wavelength

OK, so the stream puck arrived. It's like going back ten years in terms of quality. 

Unless I'm mistaken, there's no way to watch from start unless it's BBC which jumps to the iPlayer, or itv channels that go to itv X. On sky stream when you select a channel you can always press a button to watch ANY PROGRAMME from start from sky's servers. 

The picture quality is truly appalling. How you can call this HD I have no idea! 

Attached are two photos from channel 4 news. Even at the low resolution this forum uploads, you can see the sky stream picture is pin sharp, but virgin stream is barely focused and far darker. I got those to get sky sports cheaper, but I'm loathe to give virgin a penny more if the quality is so awful 

1000047913.jpg

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 I'm very tech savvy, so please don't @ me will comments about trying different cables or whatever. The tv thinks it's receiving a uhd picture at 3840x2160, so the quality issue is clearly Virgin's. 

Even the TV guide is kind of fuzzy!

These two issues are absolute deal breakers, which, after the ball ache I've had getting the puck, has made me even angrier than before!

13 REPLIES 13

japitts
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

The Stream box is designed to be non-recording, so my understanding is that the live restart facility is offered where the broadcaster provides those facilities through their VoD platform.

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EAB2021
On our wavelength

Sky stream has no recording functionality either. But you can watch almost anything from the start without using a third party app. 

Streets ahead 

nodrogd
Very Insightful Person
Very Insightful Person

@EAB2021 wrote:

Sky stream has no recording functionality either. But you can watch almost anything from the start without using a third party app. 

Streets ahead 


Not strictly true. It’s just that not a lot of broadcasters allow you to use it. Both Sky Stream & Virgin Stream are capable of recording 1000 hours to the cloud, & this functionality is now common across the rest of Europe.

https://www.cordbusters.co.uk/sky-stream-recording-explained/ 

VM 350BB 2xV6 & Landline. Freeview/Freesat HD, ASDA/Tesco PAYG Mobile. Cable customer since 1993

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EAB2021
On our wavelength

There is no cloud. It's just 'somebody else's computer'. 

As I, and the linked article say, the sky and virgin stream pucks have no hard disk so no (inbuilt) recording functionality. 

Equally I see no point in sky 'recording' them somewhere for individual customers. As soon as the broadcast exists as a file on their servers it should be accessible to every stream customer at all times, just as any track is on Spotify. 

pete_at_home
Superfast

Try changing the VM box settings so it outputs at the video resolution of the TV program, rather than doing the upscaling.   The TV & Sky box could have more CPU for doing the upscale, but who knows !!.

 

unisoft
Well-informed

@EAB2021 wrote:

OK, so the stream puck arrived. It's like going back ten years in terms of quality. 

Unless I'm mistaken, there's no way to watch from start unless it's BBC which jumps to the iPlayer, or itv channels that go to itv X. On sky stream when you select a channel you can always press a button to watch ANY PROGRAMME from start from sky's servers. 

The picture quality is truly appalling. How you can call this HD I have no idea! 

Attached are two photos from channel 4 news. Even at the low resolution this forum uploads, you can see the sky stream picture is pin sharp, but virgin stream is barely focused and far darker. I got those to get sky sports cheaper, but I'm loathe to give virgin a penny more if the quality is so awful 

1000047913.jpg

1000047914.jpg

 I'm very tech savvy, so please don't @ me will comments about trying different cables or whatever. The tv thinks it's receiving a uhd picture at 3840x2160, so the quality issue is clearly Virgin's. 

Even the TV guide is kind of fuzzy!

These two issues are absolute deal breakers, which, after the ball ache I've had getting the puck, has made me even angrier than before!


I've had BOTH platforms together until recently. Although there are a couple of usability issues on VM's Stream, in my opinion its vastly superior every other way to Sky Stream (up to 1080). The picture quality is superior to Sky Stream for a start on SD and HD channels (I did not say 4K content/channels). Even QVC and Challenge TV are encoded correctly and not simple 1080i50 to 1080p25 as done on Sky's service.

Secondly, switching channels just works on VM Stream. SKY have had issues for months with "Please wait for the channel to load" messages that plagued their user forums and me even though had 1gbps connection in an area with no issues and clean WiFi which is confirmed at Sky's own box during a speed test. Whilst Sky made it much better some months after reporting it is still not totally fixed. Also, Sky do a weird thing with apps. Many like catch up are run like a remote session and that has had issues again with service continuity and reliability.

Want to renumber your channels on Sky Stream and remove ones you don't want listed? Well, its cumbersome due to lack of profiles, and you get 99 favourite channels only and you constantly have to go into Favourites to see them and as soon as you bring up the mini guide, it shows them as Sky's channel numbering! Contrast with VM where it just works and if you create a user profile and then do channel renumbering, the list sticks (and its UNLIMITED number of channels that you can re-order not just 99) unless you sign out and go back to default user profile login.

I have my own router that disables WIFI through the night as a daily schedule. Every day when the box was first powered back on, the Sky Stream box would not reconnect and I had to go into network settings to re-join the device to the network, despite having minimum power saving settings for faster standby and resume enable. Full power saving or none and it still wouldn't work whereas VM Stream did in this scenario.

I only defend VM where credit due, so please don't come on and worship Sky Stream because it was a pile of rubbish and I only recently left both Sky and VM. VM was because of a mess up over contract negotiations, broken web site for customer offers with "oops" errors and ridiculous pricing. Yes, Sky Stream has a couple of minor usability features but I was left completely surprised the garbage made it to market. Definitely a rushed out the door job in my experience. Many Sky customers returned to using their Sky Q satellite boxes and those who had bought Sky Glass (Sky stream inside a new tv basically) returned their sets over many issues.

Now VM Stream also had some firmware issues at the start of Stream like the famous Bird background connection error picture appearing just because you use your own DNS over TLS settings not VM's (I use my own router so VM's hub was in modem mode). They have since changed that and its now happy with DNS over TLS and non-VM DNS servers. At the very start there was also some issues with service reliability to their hub server which was confirmed in their Diagnostics menu; but these were likely unique to my area. Still ongoing, is SOME customers ability to add subscriptions on VM Stream as these often get stuck. I never had this issue and I always waited until the box confirmed the subscription was added before navigating away.

It's just ONE broadcaster that objected to the principle of cloud and its not the British one you probably think it is for cloud recording ability. On the financial licensing side, I don't know how many could not agree on that or whether that was an issue.


@pete_at_home wrote:

Try changing the VM box settings so it outputs at the video resolution of the TV program, rather than doing the upscaling.   The TV & Sky box could have more CPU for doing the upscale, but who knows !!.

 


The Sky Stream hardware is pathetic and slower than VMs in every way. Whether its optimisation of code/build or the actual hardware; real life use of navigation and loading apps is slower on current hardware generation of Sky Stream.

If you have a decent TV let the TV do the deinterlace and upscale and set box to 1080i. That should normally look better than letting the box upscale (same on Sky Stream).

Roger_Gooner
Alessandro Volta

You can set the box to 1080i which will pass through HD but you'll need to reset to 2160p for UHD - which might be a hassle.

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