33 Replies Latest reply: Oct 25, 2012 12:46 AM by alanrichey42 RSS

    New Web player feedback

    andchun

      I just logged in and found the player for web has been updated. I have a couple pieces of feedback based on the way I use the product.

       

      • There is a lot of wasted real estate around the area that displays programming. For example, the space between the bar that reads "Video" and "Settings" has a large black bar before you get to the border of the player, all wasted space. The player has a lot of wasted space, it's awfully wide, but there's seemingly no reason for that, the box around the screen should be a lot closer to the size of the content space, all of the controls surrounding the content area could easily fit in a smaller space. The reason I care about this is because I typically size the window so it takes as little space on my desktop as possible. Now, in order to, say, display the full screen button, I have to make the window considerably larger.
      • The player is not automatically connecting to my Slingbox. I have to select my box from the drop down every time. This was not the case in the past, and again, is an unnecessary extra step.
      • You added a Channel up and down button. Is this something based on user feedback? Who actually clicks up and down anymore with hundreds of channels in the average package?
      • The bitrate is no longer automatically displayed. I experience intermittent signal loss, and I like to be able to see that. There's certainly enough room to display it.

       

      Quite honestly, as someone who's worked in product development before, I find the UI of the new player to be very poor. Very inefficient use of space, the only real piece of information the player provides (bitrate) is now buried, and the new features are also too buried to be of frequent use. I don't know if you guys will make changes to improve, but please, tighten up the player, there's just no reason for the current layout.

       

      Andrew

        • Re: New Web player feedback
          louiea

          My feedback: THe guide loads really slowly, it is nearly unusable. also settings is too slow, can't actually use that either. The guide also fails to completely load.

            • Re: New Web player feedback
              andchun

              Wow, yes, do not try to click on the Settings, it will basically grind everything to a halt. I incorrectly assumed everything at least worked.

                • Re: New Web player feedback
                  jamesmccourt Novice

                  And my HDS-600RS (only 12 months old!) can no longer connect at all via 'watch'! It was absolutely fine with the old version.

                   

                  Thanks SB!

                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                      andchun

                      After additional use, I've encountered more problems. First, the plugin crashes at a significantly higher rate than previously experienced. I would say it crashes about 80% of the time I login. This is versus about 10% with the old player. When I reload the page, it is frankly infuriating to read your large message "Watch Your TV Anywhere". No kidding. I'm already logged in. I know how it works. What I don't understand is why the player doesn't know which box I was connected to and automatically put me there. It knew before. Did someone delete the code? I read the "improvements" and I hate to be that user, but frankly, I don't see any of those. I'm not seeing one improvement in the new player, only poor performance and reduced usability. I'm certainly not saying the old player was perfect, but I find it hard to believe this new one went under extensive usability testing.

                       

                      Andrew

                      • Re: New Web player feedback
                        gmoney Newbie

                        Your device is not supported in the US or Canada, so why are you complaining when you are using a site that is not released for your product?

                         

                        Please set your country to the UK or another EU location.

                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                      gmoney Newbie

                      Can you please provide your Guide link so that we may try it out?

                       

                      We're not really seeing any performance issues with the Guide - please be aware that as designed, it only loads the amount of data to fill the window.  We are looking into change how it caches information and are always looking to improve performance.

                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                      grantwillreply

                      PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE!!!!  Roll back the latest Web Player!

                       

                      It is buggy, slow and not an improvement at all.

                       

                      The UI may be prettier.  But that is where anything good ends.

                       

                      Problems:

                       

                      1)  Scaling is ****...  The Zoom and Aspect buttons only serve to chop off or artificially stretch the video.  The old player had WAY better controls for this and I could scale video to fit all my PC's and Monitors.  Now when i stretch video it looks like cheap... and zooming cuts off the sides.

                       

                      2) Guide is slow or doesn't load at all!

                       

                      3) What happened to the Bit Rate indicator!  I used that to debug whether I had issues with my local network and/or connection from where I was watching over the Internet.

                       

                      I can live with almost everything except #1...  This now makes my viewing experience a fraction of what it used to be.  Please listen to your users and address this immediately.

                       

                      If these were compromises to make the Mobile expierence better and less cluttered...  I would suggest you simply roll back the PC based version and let them have this new version to themselves.

                       

                      User since April 2011.

                       

                      GA

                        • Re: New Web player feedback
                          cswncsu

                          Agreed. New player is a step back from the last update.

                            • Re: New Web player feedback
                              lasupport

                              My main issue is general performance.  I have 4 Slingbox solo units in different locations.  I can access all with no problems from my home laptop  - an old Dell beater that's about 8 years old.  But with my fancy HP machine at work one box I can rarely access at all - I get connectivity errors.   The bar graph lights up green, the video shows for less than a minute, then it goes red and hangs up not only the viewer but my whole browser.  Others are iffy.  All of the 4 seem jumpy on the screen on that machine where they were fine before the change(s).  One of my co-workers reports the same thing.  I upgraded Adobe Flash, etc to no avail.  Yeah, probably my machine doesn't like something about the new player.  Wish we had an option to keep the old one.

                                • Re: New Web player feedback
                                  alanrichey42 Master

                                  Wish we had an option to keep the old one.

                                  Not sure if this will work but try deleting all cookies associated with Sling.   Then got to http://watch.slingbox.com.  I am guessing you will be presented with the Country selector.  This time do NOT select USA (or Japan I think), just pick somewhere in Europe (UK?).   Then I think you will find that you will have the old player.

                                   

                                  Of course this will work only until Sling force the rest of the world to move to the new version.

                                   

                                  Your other option (provided you don't have a 350 or a 500) is to use the standalone Slingplayer.   As far as I am concerned this is superior in every way to the old web-player, never mind the new one

                                   

                                  http://download.slingmedia.com/player/pc/SlingPlayer-2.0.4-Setup.exe or http://download.slingmedia.com/player/mac/SlingPlayer-1.0.10.dmg

                                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                                      lasupport

                                      Thanks for the tips.  Its my work computer that doesn't like the player so I won't get a chance to try these options until early next week.  Will report back and let you know what I find.

                                        • Re: New Web player feedback
                                          lasupport

                                          Well, inconclusive results.  I was able to access both the old web player and the standalone version.  This particular box just doesn't want to play ball with my work computer.  Works perfectly via my laptop at home.  I have two Slingboxes on separate modems, and the computer on a third (its a cable tv headend) so its easy to swap things around but no combination works.  Unit is slow to come up (almost a minute) and then will only run a minute or two before it freezes.

                                           

                                          It all worked before the new software and I can't help but think something about the 'upgrade' gizzed up my machine.

                                           

                                          I'll try a factory reset on the box.  Its a 'factory refurb' that was sent in exchange for a box with a different problem.  I had a dickens of a time getting it set up originally and come to think of it, it never would set up properly on that work computer but set up on the first try here at home.   Hmmmm.

                                            • Re: New Web player feedback
                                              alanrichey42 Master

                                              I had a dickens of a time getting it set up originally and come to think of it, it never would set up properly on that work computer but set up on the first try here at home.   Hmmmm.

                                              Do you really mean 'set up' ?   You only need to 'set up' a Slingbox once, not for each viewing platform.   After the initial setup then any platform simply 'views' it through the players.

                                               

                                              If you actually mean 'remote viewing' then I understand what you mean.  But in that case you really need to take your laptop to an Internet cafe and test it.  That way you will know if the Slingbox is at fault, or there is something about your work network (firewall?) that is causing trouble.

                                                • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                  lasupport

                                                  Yes, I was referring to the initial setup.  Never could get it to 'take' at my headend or office.  It took on the first try at home.  I too suspected some firewalling issue at the time.

                                                   

                                                  Yes, remote viewing.  I'll try a few more tricks to see if I can zero in on it.  I also have Sprint wireless which I know was working fine before so I'll try it.  The oddity remains that this is one box out of 4 that is behaving in this odd way.

                                      • Re: New Web player feedback
                                        gmoney Newbie

                                        Do you issues persist after updating to the latest plugin?

                                      • Re: New Web player feedback
                                        lasupport

                                        The new interface seems buggy here as well.

                                        • Re: New Web player feedback
                                          gmoney Newbie

                                          Is there a reason that you don't use the Popup player?  It's designed for the use cases that you seem to be describing...

                                           

                                          Have you tried the ON LOGIN setting?

                                           

                                           

                                          The Video window was redesigned to be identical to the Popup player and is not really meant to be resized or repositioned...

                                           

                                          While most customers understand bit rate, not every streaming quality issue is caused by the quality of your network, so it's now de-emphasized.

                                           

                                          The Windows version of the site now displays a streaming quality indicator that acts like a cell phone signal indicator.  It's coming to the Mac soon and provides a better quick-look at the quality of your playback, based upon network conditions and the quality of your computer.  We'll continue to add more functionality to this indicator since we think it can better help the majority of customers.

                                           

                                          Please try the Popup player and provide some feedback.

                                           

                                          Thanks.

                                            • Re: New Web player feedback
                                              andchun

                                              Where is the ON LOGIN setting? I don't see it under Settings. And yes, I hate popup players for a variety of reasons. Still doesn't address the fact that poor UI is still poor UI.

                                              • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                grantwillreply

                                                Thanks for the tips gmoney. I'll try these settings.

                                                 

                                                I did learn that if you hover your mouse over the signal indicator that it will give you your rate reading. I still find it useful for placement in home network apps (WiFi).

                                                 

                                                 

                                                G.

                                                • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                  andchun

                                                  And how do you know this about the bitrate indicator? It doesn't make sense to bury it, especially where there is plenty of space to display.

                                                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                      gmoney Newbie

                                                      It's my product.

                                                        • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                          andchun

                                                          Ahh ok, I think you should've clarified that. So where is the ON LOGIN setting?

                                                            • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                              gmoney Newbie

                                                              [Exact layout depends on your Slingbox model and if you are the Owner or Guest.]

                                                               

                                                              onlogin.png

                                                                • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                  grantwillreply

                                                                  This is what I mean by off-kilter look of the zoom and aspect controls:

                                                                   

                                                                  Slingbox screenshot.jpg

                                                                   

                                                                  This is a channel I watch (BNN) every morning.  In the old player, I could zoom and stretch the video to take up the whole 18" of my laptop screen in glorious resolution on a home network.  It looked perfect...  I use this laptop as a remote TV in my kitchen.

                                                                   

                                                                  Now the best I can get is about 2/3 of the screen filled with video (in either main window or pop-up player mode) and as you can see...  When you both zoom and stretch, it chops off the side of the video.  It didn't do this before.  You had a few other options in the past to manitpulate the video to fit almost any screen.  I used to watch feeds on my 23" 16x9 monitor and it looked truly awesome.

                                                                   

                                                                  Slingplayer is a great product and I've used it at home (mostly) and when traveling and it has never let me down til now.

                                                                   

                                                                  Hoping for some kind of fix to aspect ration to make it look awesome again.

                                                                   

                                                                  g.

                                                                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                      gmoney Newbie

                                                                      And just to be sure...

                                                                       

                                                                      If you click 2 times on the ASPECT button, what happens?

                                                                        • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                          grantwillreply

                                                                          Clicking twice on the Zoom or Aspect buttons just toggles it from Normal to Zoom or Standard to Stretched video respectively.  It doesn't stretch 2x or zoom 2x if that's what you mean by clicking twice?

                                                                           

                                                                          I prefer watching video in the Main vs Pop-Up window because the Main Window has a "Full Screen" viewing function that I can't find (or doesn't exist) in the Pop-Up player.

                                                                            • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                              gmoney Newbie

                                                                              It exists in the Popup player - just double-click on the video.  We're going to add a button...

                                                                               

                                                                              Do you have a Bell receiver (an ExpressVu)?

                                                                              Is the video format set to Normal?

                                                                                • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                                  grantwillreply

                                                                                  Ahh...  Ok.  Hidden feature! (Double click to go full-screen).  Guess I should've read the guides.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I am running Shaw Satellite (Formerly Star-Choice) with Component Video inputs.  Where is the "Normal" video setting?

                                                                                   

                                                                                  G.

                                                                                    • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                                      gmoney Newbie

                                                                                      I don't know that receiver...  It's possible that your TV is adjusting to the output from the STB and the Slignbox cannot.  You should look for a setting that let's you configure the output format: stretch, wide, scale, normal, that kind of wording.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      It's also possible that there is an issue with the source and we are not correctly decting the aspect ratio, but it does not strike me as that kind of issue.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      Anyway, getting off topic.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      If this is the only channel with this issue...

                                                                                      And you're OK with someone connecting remotely and taking a look...

                                                                                       

                                                                                      If yes, please make a new post in the right area:

                                                                                      https://community.sling.com//community/slingbox_software/watch

                                                                                       

                                                                                      State in the post that you are OK will someone from Sling conneting to your Slignbox to investigate your issue.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      And I can see if someone can take a look in a few days.

                                                                                        • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                                          grantwillreply

                                                                                          Cool...  Will do.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          I tested several channels (BNN is my favourite...  i watch it a couple hours today) and here's what I noticed:

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Any HD channel needs no Zoom or Aspect ratio changes to fill the screen in awesome quality video

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Most SD channels only fill 2/3 of the screen in "full screen" mode on Main or Pop-Up window.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          You must have just done some tweaks as I had to download a new version of Slingplayer and it seems to work better.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          So it could just be a source video limitation.  But I know for SURE with the old player that I could manipulate SD feeds to fit full screen with no obvious linear stretch or distortion...  and it didn't crop the sides.

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Cheers,

                                                                                           

                                                                                          Grant

                                                                                            • Re: New Web player feedback
                                                                                              alanrichey42 Master

                                                                                              What seems to have happened is that the new Web-player has tried to simplify the 'Aspect' function by just offering 4:3 or 16:9.  Unfortunately they seem to have forgotten that in the real world there are a number of different aspects.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              In the original standalone Slingplayer and in http://watch.slingbox.com they gave us a full set of aspects, Normal, Desktop, Letterbox, Pillarbox, WindowBox, Anamorphic....   So you could use trial and error to find the correct ratio for your system.  In my system I found that Anamorphic gave me the correct screen display.   But under the new web player I am stuck with using 16:9, which is not correct.  The effect is shown in these 2 sceeenshots.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              The first is the old web viewer with Ananmorphic selected and you can see the full screen is shown.   The second shot is the new player with 16:9 selected and you can see I lose the bottom 10% or so of the screen.

                                                                                               

                                                                                              Image3.jpgImage2.jpg 

                                                                                               

                                                                                              So until Sling put the full set of Aspect options back in I guess we are stuck with distorted pictures