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GenieGO - Crappy Streaming Quality (?!)

GenieGO streaming

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16 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

Don't know if anyone else has experienced these issues, or if there is something I can do or change, but the streaming quality from my GenieGO is pretty much unusable, and a waste of $100!  Even in places where the local WiFi connections provide 20-30 Mbps (and my home connections are equally as fast), the video and audio frequently stop and start, and what's more, I found out after leaving home that I can't download a program for local viewing - that has to be done while at home in the local network.

 

Sorry, DirecTV, but I have to say that this is really a terrible product, and I truly wish I had not wasted my money on it!!

 

By way of comparison, I thankfully neglected to cancel my subscription to the NHL Game Center package, and with it, I can watch hockey games with true HD video and audio without so much as a hitch - DirecTV should take a lesson!

 

Larry



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#2 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:00 PM

What is your home upload speed? That's often the limiting factor. I'm asking because some folks have 10/1 or 15/2 service from their ISPs.

 

GenieGo uses adaptive bit rate streaming. It varies between <500kbps to a little over 1mbps, depending on how fast and how steady your end to end connection is.


/steve

#3 OFFLINE   dennisj00

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:01 PM

Something has to be wrong with the upload connection at your home or the wifi you're using remotely.  I get streaming OOH as good as any other streaming on the iPad - Netflix, HBO/Go, etc.  Maybe an occasional glitch.

 

It would be nice to be able to download a program remotely . . . you can request a transcode and no one understands why you can't download.  It would add to the usability when you have a destination with a crappy connection to be able to download overnight.



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#4 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:37 PM

Thanks to both Steve and Dennis!  Don't know why I didn't think of the home upload speed, but that could be an issue.  I noticed when we first got cable Internet (Mediacom in our area, and I have no prior experience with them) that the upload speed would go rather fast for the first 30 seconds or so, and then ratchet down to about 1Mbps or less, almost like they have a "governor" on it!

 

Here's what the speeds are back in Minnesota, and the speeds here in Arizona alongside:

http://sdrv.ms/1cyCCzE        http://sdrv.ms/1cyCDU4

 

Is the upload speed back home too slow, do you think?

 

Larry



#5 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:42 PM

If Arizona is the 'home', then yes the upload speed is a bit low.  Won't do HD with that.

 

But you should be able to get something watchable on a smaller screen since it will in effect be SD that you're seeing.

 

I noticed this when I used DishAnywhere to stream a show I had on my DVR at home.  Watcheable on the iPad, not so good on anything much bigger.  And that with about the same upload speed you're getting in Arizona.


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#6 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:44 PM

Thanks to both Steve and Dennis!  Don't know why I didn't think of the home upload speed, but that could be an issue.  I noticed when we first got cable Internet (Mediacom in our area, and I have no prior experience with them) that the upload speed would go rather fast for the first 30 seconds or so, and then ratchet down to about 1Mbps or less, almost like they have a "governor" on it!

 

Here's what the speeds are back in Minnesota, and the speeds here in Arizona alongside:

http://sdrv.ms/1cyCCzE        http://sdrv.ms/1cyCDU4

 

Is the upload speed back home too slow, do you think?

 

Larry

 

That 1.23 upload is borderline, IMHO. Because of overhead, you'll probably be lucky to get half that speed dedicated to GenieGo. So maybe 400-500kbps streaming, which ain't great, but should be OK for iPhones, e.g. Probably not so good for tablets.

 

EDITED TO ADD: Didn't see lparsons' post while I was typing this. Looks like we agree in theory, tho. :)

 

BTW, even at best, GG transcodes to 1.2kbps, more or less comparable to standard DVD quality. If you're using something with an 9-10 inch "retina" display, like an iPad 3 or better, the picture quality is just OK, IMO, not great. On an iPad 2 or iPad mini (non-retina), the picture looks excellent at 1.2mbps.


/steve

#7 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 12:49 PM

Lloyd,

 

Thanks for the reply!  I may have switched those around, but the lower upload speed is the "home" network in Minnesota - we've "escaped" the "Polar Vortex" for awhile (!!) . . . certainly makes sense, and I hadn't thought of the upload speed, since that's not typically an issue.  Even when I work from home, I'm remotely connecting to my work computer, so upload speeds are not an issue . . . I need to have a conversation with Mediacom because it appears as though they apply some sort of "governor" to uploads that ratchet speeds down after about 30 seconds.  More than likely, they'll want me to sign up for a faster service . . . !?!

 

Larry



#8 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:05 PM

Mediacom is our cable provider here also.  They have plenty of plans, but the best is only 2Mbps upload speed I think and that isn't on any kind of reasonable plan around here.

 

I use Frontier 12/1 DSL and am pretty happy since I don't actually do the video from home stuff enough to matter.


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#9 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:48 PM

Yeah, I hear you - I'm trying Mediacom's top end 50Mbps (up), 5Mbps (down) service right now, but I still don't see upload speeds of anything over 2Mbps, and while the video quality is near-HD, there appear to still be fairly regular, small pauses in both video and audio . . . seems like you'd need more like 5 Mbps upload to get decent quality . . . DirecTV needs to do a whole lot better communication about requirements when an unsuspecting buyer comes along!

 

Larry

 

P.S.  Oh, and the cost is more than double the basic service I had, so I first checked whether I could cancel later, and was assured I could . . . 



#10 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 01:56 PM

Even after upping the ante with Mediacom, I'm still getting about 2Mbps upload, and the quality is certainly better . . . but still somewhat borderline - video and audio dropouts every little bit . . . if I don't get nearer the "advertised" 5Mbps, I'm gonna tell Mediacom to set it back . . . !

 

Larry



#11 OFFLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 03:04 PM

Don't blame Direct, the same problem exists with Dish when trying to stream from your home DVR.  To get HD you need at least 3Mb upload, but that 2Mb should be doing better than it was before.

 

If you're getting some dropouts that is probably just that your uplink isn't consistent.


Lloyd
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Surround: Denon AVR-2113ci 7.1 Setup

 


#12 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:26 PM

Well, it turns out that the "helpful" Mediacom tech person did not, in fact, upgrade me to the highest service, so this time I got someone who actually did upgrade me to their Ultra service, which is nominally 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload.

 

Good and bad - the performance is noticeably better, and may actually make the GenieGO usable - sort of!!

 

The bad news is that my original topic title still holds - even at close to 5Mbps upload speed from the home-based GenieGO, the streaming isn't super.  Once again, I'd have to say that DirecTV needs to warn customers up front what's required for even passable service, and frankly, if I'd know then what I know now, I would not have bought the GenieGO.

 

Larry



#13 OFFLINE   Steve

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

The bad news is that my original topic title still holds - even at close to 5Mbps upload speed from the home-based GenieGO, the streaming isn't super.  Once again, I'd have to say that DirecTV needs to warn customers up front what's required for even passable service, and frankly, if I'd know then what I know now, I would not have bought the GenieGO.

 

Just my .02, but streaming from home to the public internet will always be a dicey proposition when the device itself can only transcode in real time, like the current Genie Go. That prevents the client from building up a "buffer" of a few minutes ahead of what you're watching, to insulate the player from stuttering when it encounters dropped packets due to internet connection issues.


/steve

#14 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 04:05 PM

Agreed, Steve, and we're probably saddled with that until someone is brave enough to actually store recorded material in a universal format that doesn't have to be transcoded.  I often wonder whatever happened to the ruling in the original Beta videotape case which held, I think, that material publicly broadcast could be used in any way the individual who receives it sees fit, as long as it's not for resale or rebroadcast.  Yet, we have all of these proprietary formats that make that content nearly unusable unless we pay more for each usage outside of the vendors' prescribed mechanisms.  Seems to violate the spirit of the case, to me . . . my humble opinion, of course . . . !

 

Larry



#15 OFFLINE   lgschmidt

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 08:44 AM

Last word before I give up on this.

 

My original post's title stands:  The GenieGO is not, in my opinion ready for prime time in any way, and if I had known then what I do now, I would never have purchased it!

 

I attempted to watch a hockey game late last night.  My home DVR was not recording anything at that hour, and my home network was blazing along at 33Mbps download and almost 10Mbps upload speeds.

 

Despite that excellent performance, the GenieGO delivered a poor quality picture, experienced numerous freezes and interruptions, and on two or three occasions simply crapped out, saying the DVR was too busy to stream at that moment. It was so painful to sit through, I vowed I'd never do it again.

 

Sorry DirecTV, but the GenieGO is a piece of junk!

 

Larry



#16 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 10:14 AM

Larry- 

 

A little perspective: Streaming was added much later after the product was out for a bit. I don't think GenieGo was every really envisioned as primarily a streaming device. Its strength is to allow one to get away from dicey internet connections, be they at home, be they at a hotel, etc. Recording at home and uploading to your devices before a trip is the ticket, and it's great for that. 

 

Sorry you have had an ordeal!

 

If it'd make you feel better, my upload speeds in the country don't allow me any sort of picture. I streamed one key Giants game onto my iPhone and the picture was bad even on the tiny screen. 


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#17 OFFLINE   Billzebub

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:12 AM

I hate to sound like a fanboy, but I'm pretty happy with the streaming service on my GenieGo. I spend a lot of time in hotels without DVRs and I've watched around 8 hours of programming stored on my home DVRs on my iPad in my hotel this week. Is the quality what I expect on my HDTV, or even Netflix or Amazon? No, but it sure beats whatever happens to be on at the moment.


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