07-04-2014, 10:11 #1
[EN] 'Game of Thrones' crashes HBO streaming service
The issues come less than a month after the streaming service crashed during to the "True Detective" finale.
HBO does not allow Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or other US streaming services access to its programmes. It instead restricts them to its own HBO Go online product, which is only available to its cable subscribers.
Viewers logging on to the streaming service -- you have to be an HBO subscriber to access it -- to watch the season four opener were met with long load times or the following message: "Fatal error - Failed to load the service error definitions."
Many fans hit Twitter, Reddit and other websites to express their unhappiness at being unable to watch the episode. It's unclear how many users were affected, but it's understood that some of the problems had already been fixed shortly after 7 p.m. PT. (The premiere debuted at 6 p.m. PT.)
HBO told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement later Sunday night: "HBO GO did experience issues due to overwhelming demand around the premiere of Game of Thrones. The service has returned to several platforms and we are working hard towards full recovery, which we expect soon."
Última edição por 5ms; 07-04-2014 às 10:26.
07-04-2014, 10:40 #2
HBO Go Doesn’t, Again. Does it Matter?
The episode invite embarrassing comparisons to Netflix, which streams video to some 30 million customers, but Netflx isn’t showing the same show, at the same time, to many people.
HBO has seen this one before.
Last night, users of its HBO Go streaming service who showed up at 9pm eastern, so they could watch the much-anticipated season premiere of “Game of Thrones”, got error messages instead.
HBO sent out apologetic tweets, and eventually got things running again.
Thanks for your patience #GOT fans. The service is now restored. For any further issues please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This was a repeat from March, when HBO Go users who wanted to watch the much-anticipated season finale of “True Detective” went through the same experience.
The two episodes invite embarrassing comparisons to Netflix, which streams video to some 30 million customers, and doesn’t generate the same kind of headlines for its outages. The fact that Netflx isn’t showing the same show, at the same time, to many people is relevant, but that kind of nuance doesn’t usually show up in 140 characters.
After last month’s flub, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said his pay TV channel would be improving its tech. But apparently things aren’t there yet.
So what does that mean?
That depends on the reason for HBO Go’s problems, which HBO isn’t spelling out. But we can break it into two likely categories: Either HBO Go is having problems handling a rush of people showing up at its door, or HBO Go is having problems sending out lots of streams at the same time.
If it’s the latter, that could be a problem for Web video in general, which is supposed to be heading toward a future where lots of people tune in to watch the same shows, at the same time — just like conventional TV.
But if it’s just a matter of setting up a Web site that can handle lots of incoming traffic, that ought to be easier to fix.
We’ve seen other TV networks face the same issue, by the way, with different results. Earlier this year ABC had a difficult time live-streaming the Oscars. But NBC Universal was able to let some 700,000 people stream the U.S./Russia hockey game during the Olympics.
08-04-2014, 10:58 #3
Game of Thrones premiere sets piracy recordWith more than a million downloads in half a day, the premiere of Game of Thrones’ fourth season has set a new piracy record, reports TorrentFreak, noting that at its height, global demand saw over 300,000 BitTorrent users sharing the episode simultaneously.
Data gathered by TorrentFreak reveals that half a day after the first episode appeared online over a million people had already obtained a copy via a torrent site.
TorrentFreak analysis of the countries people were sharing from shows that Australia leads with 12 per cent of the total. The United States follows with 9 per cent, with the United Kingdom third on 6 per cent.
08-04-2014, 11:03 #4
Netflix 4K Streaming Has Gone Live
House of Cards Season 2 is now available to watch in glorious ultra high-definition (at least in the UK), as long as you have access to a compatible 4K display with built-in HEVC decoder and updated Netflix client (for example 2014 models from LG, Samsung and Sony), not to mention sufficiently fast broadband speed (Netflix recommends at least 15Mbps).
Towards the end of last year, Netflix first revealed its plans to provide 4K streaming, after quietly trialling a selection of 4K video clips at various frame rates. The company dominated this year’s CES following 4K Blu-ray’s no-show, announcing together with several major TV brands including Samsung, Sony and LG that it will be delivering 4K programming via a Netflix client on HEVC-capable TVs from these manufacturers sometime in the near future.
Well, the future seems to be now: thanks to a heads-up from veteran UK AV journalist Steve May, we’ve been watching House of Cards Season 2 in Ultra HD 4K through the Netflix app on a new Samsung HU8500 UHDTV we’re currently testing. It was more in hope than expectation that we played the first episode (Chapter 14) – imagine our delight when the stream eventually switched to [2160 HD] after going through [720p HD] and [1080p HD].
So how does it look? You can’t cheat the physics of compression, especially given Netflix’s 4K streaming bitrate of 15.6 Mbps which is lower than that of well-transferred Blu-rays, albeit using the more efficient HEVC/h.265 codec. The opening shot of Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife (Robin Wright) running in a park at night is a testing sequence with lots of gradients and camera noise, and we saw minor posterization during the fade in, and around the street lamps. To our eyes, the [2160 HD] layer did not look visibly more detailed than the [1080 HD] one in this fairly dark scene.
Where the 4K version did shine was with bright, colourful scenes. On-screen images were rendered with greater sharpness and smoother gradients, receiving a very slight boost in intra-scene gamma and contrast in the process too. Every time the video stream switched from [1080p HD] to [2160 HD], it’s as if a veil had been lifted from the front of the screen, bringing objects – even faraway ones in long shots – into breathtaking clarity.
Whether the improvement is visible from normal viewing distances remains debatable, however there’s no denying that House of Cards S2 in 4K Ultra HD was by far and away the best-looking title we’ve seen among Netflix’s catalogue of movies and television series, making the company’s previous highest-quality [Super HD] streams seem blurry in comparison. We still think that reference-level 1080p Blu-ray transfers like Oblivion look cleaner especially during busier sequences, but Netflix has done a decent job within the shackles of manageable internet streaming bandwidth.