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Eurosport Player on Android tablet

Discussion in 'Tablets, Smartphones and Mobile Devices' started by ColinJ, 12 Jan 2015.

  1. I was just wondering if any of you watch Eurosport Player on an Android tablet?

    I have mentioned before that my Galaxy Tab, which is still running Ice Cream Sandwich, has a terribly stuttering picture on Eurosport Player. The app used to work really well, but I think that upgrading the Tab to ICS was the cause of the problem.

    So, do any of you watch Eurosport Player successfully on ICS? Or do any of you have the same problem on ICS? Does anyone run the Player app on a different version of Android and not get the stuttering problem?

    I want to sort this out before the new cycling season really gets under way. I can watch the coverage on my laptop, but the picture is much clearer on the Tab.

    Other HD streaming such as via YouTube works fine.
  2. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Their FAQ states...

    I have a black or jerky screen. What do I do?
    Ensure that your 3G or Wi-Fi connection is strong enough. The channels require a good reception to broadcast fluidly. If your problem continues, please contact us.
  3. Their FAQ does state that!

    And when you have plenty of bandwidth and the problem continues, you try contacting their support. They either do not get back to you at all, or give you advice such as that above, or tell you to reinstall the app, which does not fix the problem.

    I had absolutely perfect performance for months and then it suddenly started going jerky and has never righted itself.

    Interestingly, I can often watch recorded coverage on Eurosport Player without jerkiness, but the live streaming is unwatchable. Cycling is annoying, but sports like tennis are a joke - I see a tennis racket about to hit the ball, then the picture freezes, I hear the sound of the shot, and then the picture restarts after the point has finished!

    I am almost sure that the problem is caused by Eurosport, but I just wondered if anybody is actually NOT suffering from this problem. If I knew anyone local with a different Android tablet, I'd try using that to see if it made any difference.

    When I get a new phone, I will install the Player app on that and see how well it works. My current phone has a very old version of Android which does not support the app.

    I will just try it again to see if the problem has been fixed since the last cycling season finished. Hang on ...

    I found a video of a tennis exhibition match - really clear 720p playback on my tablet, with no jerkiness. Streaming 'live' (even though the coverage is recorded!) - jerky! (Ooh - Race Across America - I'm off to watch that on my non-jerky laptop for an hour!)
  4. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    On my phone I just got a spinney wheel...
  5. This reminds me of when the local Freeview 'Light' transmitter finally got Film4. I discovered that my PVR let me watch live, but would not record the programmes. I got in touch with Film4 and they told me to contact the (Turkish!) manufacturer of the PVR. I replied that it was not the PVR because it worked perfectly with every other channel. No, no, no - I must contact the PVR manufacturer.

    I gave up and stopped trying to record Film4. Every now and then, I would try again - nope, still no joy. Left it a few more months and ... it suddenly started working. So nothing was wrong with the Film4 broadcasts, but my PVR suddenly decided that it would record them ... I think not!

    I am convinced that the Eurosport tech guys have done something silly which affects playback of the 'live streams' but not the videos. The problem is that you can't get through to anybody technical to discuss it!
  6. SatNavSaysStraightOn

    SatNavSaysStraightOn Well-Known Geek

    Just looking at the apps' rating and the ratings left by people, Colin, somehow I don't think a different version of android is going to solve the problem bit if you would like me to try on 4.4, let me know and I'll create a 24hr email account to test it for you...
  7. Hmm, it has been a while since I looked at the reviews - yes, many people are reporting the same problem as me, including someone who has the next generation of Galaxy Tab.

    It is so bloody frustrating that they had it working perfectly then broke it, and 2 years later they still have not sorted it out, and don't have any sensible communication with their customers about the problems! :mad:

    When I broke software (it did happen from time to time ... :rolleyes:) I was told to fix the problem ASAP! I am talking minutes/hours/days, not months/whole seasons/years!

    I think you are right - there are people with completely different hardware and software who are reporting similar problems so I don't think the problem is at this end. It is strange that some people seem to get on ok with the Android Player though ...

    I'll just keep watching on my laptop instead for now. (The picture quality on the Tab is much better than via the Windows Web Player, apart from the stuttering. The Tab is also a handier size.)

    I think I will try contacting their support one more time, in the vain hope that some Eurosport geek reads my message and takes it seriously. (S)He would probably be able to fix the problem in minutes if they just got stuck in and set/clear the troublesome flag, or adjust the priority level, buffer size, whatever ...
  8. Well, I have sent their customer support an email explaining the situation. I don't hold out much hope, but maybe I got the wording right and somebody with a good grasp of English will actually bother to read it and make sure that something is done.

    I just tried again to watch an exhibition match of the new Fast4 tennis format and it was still jerky as hell and unwatchable when streamed as 'iive tv'. The same content streamed as video on demand was perfect! It just doesn't make sense that this has not been fixed ...
  9. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    DRM at any price, even if it don't work for most!
  10. That's what it feels like!

    I already object to paying a subscription, and then being subjected to numerous ad breaks. That feels like I am paying twice. Either let viewers watch it free with ads, or take the ads away for subscribers!

    I don't like the fact that most of their cycling coverage is not available as video on demand so you have the ludicrous situation where they 'broadcast' recorded sport online as if they are a TV station.

    They used to charge separately to use the app Player and the normal web version. At least the subscription can be used on any device now. It would just be nice if they actually made the Android app work properly ....

    If it were not for the fact that they have way more cycling coverage than any other legal English language service, I would have given up a couple of years ago.

    Anyway, let's see if Eurosport reply to my email with some kind of good news. I can't see it, because hundreds of people are talking about them not responding to complaints.
  11. Surprisingly - they got back to me pretty quickly.

    Unsurprisingly - they suggested reinstalling the app despite me telling them that I had done it before, and had tried different versions etc.

    Shockingly - they said that it might be better to talk to Google support since they knew more about Android than Eurosport do! Er, who wrote the Android Player app then - was it subcontracted to Google, or did Eurosport pay someone to do it?

    Interestingly - the behaviour of the app suddenly changed this evening ... Could this be a pure coincidence? :rolleyes: It started working for a while, then it went jerky again, then it seized up completely for a while. If I did not know better, I would suspect that somebody from Eurosport is fiddling with the streaming setup! :wink:
    SatNavSaysStraightOn likes this.
  12. Oh, and I discovered a new type of sport on Eurosport - 'timber sports'. The very opposite of 'health and safety gone mad' - 'health and safety gone missing'! :roflmao:

    For example, 2 burly men stand astride logs and chop through them as quickly as possible by swinging huge, sharp axes at the wood between their feet. They are chopping only inches from their toes ... :confused:

    Another example - cut a slice off the end of a tree trunk using a large chainsaw in a downward direction as quickly as you can. If you don't control the saw at the end of the cut, you might saw a leg off! Then do it upwards, risking flipping the saw up into your chest or face at the finish! :eek:
  13. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Cool. That's back on TV seen that years ago. Mental viewing. I wonder if the problem is oversubscribed streams.
    ColinJ likes this.
  14. Well, it streams just fine on my Windows laptop, though the picture quality is not as good.

    I think the bandwidth is normally about 1.5-1.8 Mb/s on the laptop player, but looks more like 3.0 Mb/s on the Android app. Mind you, some of the extra clarity probably comes from having the same number of pixels on the 8.9" Tab screen as the 12" laptop, and the Tab has a glossy screen rather than the anti-reflective (and hence more fuzzy) one on the laptop.
  15. This problem is SO frustrating! The Player app just did an automatic update so I fired it up to see if they had fixed the problem ... Nope - the Australian Open tennis was unwatchable due to the jerky, freezing video and stuttering audio. That was on the main 2 Eurosport 'channels' (streams). BUT ...

    For the duration of the Open, there are 3 'bonus channels' showing extra tennis. They are working perfectly.

    SO ... I know that Eurosport have the technology to stream really good 720p video. I know that my Tab can display it. It is just that I can't get through to a Eurosport tech person to get them to do the 30 second mod to fix the problem - aargh!

    There will not be bonus channels to watch when the cycling is on. I will be stuck with the jerky picture.

    PS I just noticed that one of the bonus channels is currently repeating the Nadal match being shown on one of the main channels - main = jerky as hell; bonus = perfect!

    I am going to email them again!
  16. Ok, I have just sent their support team this ...

    Let's see what effect this has!

    If that doesn't work, I will apply social pressure. I will keep posting here, on CycleChat and on BikeRadar until somebody at Eurosport pulls their finger out and gets the problem fixed.
    SatNavSaysStraightOn likes this.
  17. the_mikey

    the_mikey Active Geek

    A weird thing I've noticed with Eurosport player is it causes my tablet difficulties with freezing and the app crashing when I watching on Virgin Media (with 10Mbps) but oddly no problems at all on EE adsl with about 5Mbps.
  18. Hmm ... There is definitely something odd going on!

    I thought that they were ignoring me, but I just got this message:

    That sounds a bit more promising than their previous reply!

    Hopefully they will sort it soon, because the new cycling season is underway and I want to start using my tablet to watch the coverage.
    the_mikey likes this.
  19. The app works really well on my new phone (a Galaxy S4 with KitKat ver. 4.4.2). The picture did start locking up on today's coverage of the Milan San Remo race, but restarting the app fixed that. The picture quality is very good indeed on the phone's 5inch full-HD screen. I don't know if it is streamed at full HD resolution, but it certainly isn't far off - no complaints about that at all.

    i would still prefer to watch the cycling on the tablet's 8.9 inch screen, but TBH - I am less concerned about the stuttering on that now that I have a decent alternative in the form of the phone. I'll watch on that until the app works properly on my tablet.
    the_mikey and amusicsite like this.