Been playing with my new dong-a-long (one for you Chuck Berry fans) for a few days now and have a few comments on the built in BT Sport app.
Been mainly using it for Heineken Cup rugby catch up and was at first concerned that there was no Spoiler tab as is the case in the mobile phone app. But then looking at the items listed under the Rugby tab I see no spoilers in the match labels. Further, Replays, Highlights and Extended Highlights are clearly labelled as such and what is more the matches are also organised between Premiership and Heineken competitions and within that organised between Replays, Highlights and Extended Highlights. All this is excellent and I would only wish the same design was applied to the mobile phone app.
I also like that by default the timeline does not show tries and other scores etc before that part of the match has been shown. An option to show and select just the KO, half-time and final whistles would be one improvement rather than having to fast forward over the pre-match etc of full replays. Though for football cup ties with extra time and penalties that would be a spoiler too as it would tell you if it went to extra time etc But I suppose you can often infer that from the total coverage time being longer than expected for a match that finished in normal time.
One suggestion I would like to make is that the date of a match/event is added to an item label. I sometimes struggle to remember if this was a match from this week or from last week or from earlier. Unless someone can tell me of a website that lists fixtures without updating them with the results as they are completed.
Solved! Go to Solution.
One more comment about using the new Chromecast dongle. It comes with a Bluetooth remote but I found I was still able to use my Harmony universal remote for all the normal day to day operation using the CEC functionality (known as Anynet+ on my Samsung TV). The one button I cannot replicate is the Home button which at times means mutliple presses of the Return button instead to exit an app. One other time I need the native remote is for doing searches as for some reason the Enter/Ok button on the Harmony replicates a long press on the native remote making it tricky using the hunt and peck on-screen keyboard.
One advantage the mobile phone app does have over the Chromecast app is when moving the play-point. You can drag the play-point quickly and easily to the new time and what is more can see stills of the action as you do so which helps you decide where to resume. Would it be possible to add action stills to the Chromecast app or does the nature of the technology make this tricky?
Finally, I am thinking that getting this new Chromecast is persuading to do more and more of my watching this way rather than recording on my Youview box. It certainly is becoming my go to catch up device, especially during the day when my Youview box is in deep sleep mode and takes an age to boot up. There are still some apps on my mobile phone that are not on the Chromecast (nor on the Youview) and I think the Chromecast Youtube app is fiddly to use compared to casting from my mobile. The one big miss from the Chromecast dongle of course is the All4 app which I understand is down to Google and Channel 4 being unable to come to an agreement but can still cast from my mobile so not a show-stopper.
If anyone is dithering about upgrading from their first gen Chromecast dongle then my recommendation is to go for it.
There are 2 ways to provide stills when seeking through the timeline:
- the player can download frames at intervals throughout the stream. This can put strain on the device when it's already busy trying to play the stream. The BT Sport app on Android mobile used to do this, but the streams we introduced to support the timeline are many hours long (before and after the event). This caused the player to slow down significantly, causing a poor experience.
- the encoding platform can extract key frames from the video and store them as images for the device to download. This is what YouTube does. I raised a story last year for this to be investigated, however our encoding team didn't get time to dig far enough into it before being shut down.
Unfortunately, development of the BT Sport apps (on all platforms) has now ceased, and the teams moved onto other work. Features like this may be possible in the Discovery+ app, either now, or in the future.
Had my first chance today to try the new dongle to stream a PRTV rugby game Saracens v Bristol. Was hoping the new dongle would not get the "Expiry ..." error I had been getting using the app after after 20 minutes. No such luck so back to using the web site stream. It is obviously a problem at the PRTV server end which I have reported to them but with no acknowledgement.