What should streaming FaithlifeTV acceptably look like?

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Posts 2552
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Posted: Tue, Nov 8 2016 9:21 PM

I am trying FL TV.  This is my experience with Vimeo, Youtube, etc, experiences in mind:

1. There is no way to search for a movie or topic

2. There is no way to rate or create a "To Watch" list or keep a "Already watched list." There is a recently played list which behaves oddly--such as indicating a movie as "watched" when I previewed a few seconds of it.

3. If something breaks (fairly frequent) and I am sent back to the beginning to start over. 

4. There is no way to change playback speed (a feature i use frequently.

5. Bandwidth/streaming is an issue.  While I test downloading at a steady rate of 600 KB/s or 1.1 MB/s...with no glitches. Streaming from Faithlife TV has unreliable results..skips, stops, rates from 10KB/s then up to 80, shooting up to 600, then down to 120, then stopping for several seconds, then starting 10-30-0- 200-5-0-50-620-800-15-20-10-0. Those numbers are made up for effect, but I think representative. 

Sometimes streaming works pretty good for up to 3-4 minutes.  Seldom more than that.  On a few occasions it has been quite steady and workable. The tests below are not very scientific, but demonstrate my experience so far. Here is a standard download of a file as a test.  One download, not much else on the network was happening.   I see some upload happening, not sure what that was--maybe a burst of random network traffic. A few moments later, here is a sample of an acceptable, fairly good (not great) experience streaming FL TV I checked and nothing else was using significant bandwidth on the network or internet.  This computer is wired to the router. While the random download graph looks similar to the  first graph in this series, below is a graph of what I encounter much of the time with variations as indicated in writing above.  The viewing experience is unacceptable.   I see some minor upload traffic, for which I cannot account.  I think it is not related to the download issue. How certain can I be that this is not happening on FL's end?
Posts 2857
Don Awalt | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 9 2016 4:52 AM

HI, are you watching FL TV on your computer I assume? (vs. TV). I have watched it on my TV without issues for the most part, performance wise. Your functional issues are ones I have seen too, they have been there since the beginning.  I am not sure FL sees this as moving toward functional equivalency with other streaming video services, but we can hope. I am not sure much has happened with it in recent months, at least not that I have seen, but I could be wrong.

As to performance - I brought it up on my computer - it's smooth for quite awhile. I ran performance monitor (I am on Windows 10), and I see a very regular 'spiking' of bytes received which seems to be similar to yours - I suspect the software is receiving a block of data, processing, then receiving another block. So the only thing I can offer is that just because the download performance is not steady like a file download doesn't mean that is the culprit.

If you are running it on a computer, have you tried different browsers to see if there is a different experience that might point to something? Is your browser 32 bit or 64 bit? I was using 64 bit Chrome.

Good luck!

Posts 996
Dave Dunkin (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 9 2016 8:57 AM

Gao, what browser are you using? The download rate is not expected to be steady; the video is downloaded in chunks.

If there is an error, it should restart at the last reported position, not the beginning. If it doesn't that's a bug, so I'll write it up.

Search is currently in testing and will be available soon. Watchlists and playback rate control are on the list for development.

Posts 2552
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 9 2016 4:51 PM

Thanks everyone for your responses.  

I use mostly Chrome 64 bit. I have used Opera and Firefox, IE and Edge.  I cant tell much difference.  

Thanks Dave, for the good news on search and other development.  Good to know it is in the works.  

I will keep trying variations.  I haven't actually compared speed with my iPad....I'll try that after work. 

Posts 6005
Simon’s Brother | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Nov 9 2016 5:58 PM

Dave Dunkin (Faithlife):

SeaRich is currently in testing and will be available soon. Watchlists and playback rate control are on the list for development.

Search is a must.  Hope is made available soon.

Posts 22
Rob Henderson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Nov 10 2016 2:21 PM

Hi, I'm trying Faith.tv and watching NT 311 with Dr. Craig Evans. It works well with Chrome but has trouble with MS Edge, colors bleed, screen turns green intermittently. Is there a problem with certain browsers. I couldn't get it to run in IE 11 or compatibility mode. RobH

Posts 126
James Milne Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Nov 11 2016 6:41 AM

I am having the same problem. Trying to watch Faithlife TV on my LG Smart TV via my Apple TV device. Each segment plays through for a few minutes then suddenly returns to the menu "Play" page.

Posts 2552
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Nov 12 2016 11:33 PM

After some fairly serious tests comparing FL TV, Youtube and Vimeo, I concluded there is not substantial difference in DL rates after all, or that the difference was difficult to compare and determine. 

Also, the player does usually remember location for me.  Burps occur, but generally it works.

One question I do have is regarding resolution...Does the FLTV player / app automatically determine resolution such as 360p, 540p 720p, 1080p...or whatever?  To me the resolution often looks fairly low.  Will there be a way to adjust that eventually?  

Posts 996
Dave Dunkin (Faithlife) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 13 2016 8:32 AM

Thanks for the update. The player does automatically determine the bitrate stream to download, which usually correlates with resolution. Many of the videos are HD, but much of the catalog has a max resolution of 480p.

Posts 2552
GaoLu | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 13 2016 2:41 PM

Thanks for the info Dave.  

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