YouTube TV Major Problems (Hbomax through them as well)

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by 1948GG, Jan 27, 2021.

  1. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    Some 7 days ago, YouTube TV began to exhibit major problems, particularly with their channel selector and dvr system; changing channels began to take between 10-30 seconds, while ad skipping started taking at least as much time to restart any playback.

    Interestingly, YouTube at the same time began stalling during the pre-ads, then doing the same at the beginning of the clip playing. Mid-clip ads stalled as well, all stalling taking anywhere between the 10-30 seconds.

    All of these effects were confirmed on multiple roku's (including the latest ultras), all running the latest f/w 9.4.0 build 4200-17. No other apps, including netflix, hulu, prime, and others exhibited any problems. As Google runs both services, they were contacted immediately and over 3 hours was spent trying to troubleshoot the problem and gathering comprehensive information as to the problems. However, as of this date, no fix has been forthcoming.

    Then today, folks who had subscribed to hbomax through youtube tv found that the service had cut them off. Neat. The roku app tries to force folks to re-subscribe, as if they hadn't done so through youtube tv; so far, no jumping through hoops seems to work, although looking at ones youtube tv account info shows that hbomax is part of ones subscription. Google confirms that this is a known system error, so we'll see if it gets acted upon quickly.

    Meanwhile, the stalling on both YouTube tv and YouTube continues. These are really major programming errors, caused most probably by attempts to streamline part of the system code, and a deep review of the system was not properly done afterwards. As far as today's hbomax mashup, who knows. In any event, google needs to clean house quickly before things get worse.
     
  2. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    It appears that the hbomax 'link' to youtube tv account has been 'fixed', in that the way I got it to work was linking my youtube tv credentials in the android app, and then the roku app worked perfectly, which was how I linked it in the first place some 3 weeks ago.

    Okay, now to see if anything has been done to the youtube tv app. Seems to work okay, no longer stalling all over the place, will have to continue testing. And youtube.... a large number of clips (more than 90%) no longer have pre-clip ads, and play without any stalling, either on the pre-ads (if any) or on the clips. It appears that addings multiple pre-ads 'broke' the system, I'm trying to find s long clip that has a mid-clip ad but don't seem to be able to find one that will try to insert one, even clips longer than 25+ minutes. So maybe those have been removed. Will obviously continue to watch. But it seems to be 'fixed' for now, and greed was the cause. Fingers crossed.
     
  3. makaiguy

    makaiguy Icon

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    My guess is the ads have only been removed while they are working on getting the underlying problem with them fixed. Enjoy it while you can.
     
  4. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    I would suspect as much myself. However, since they failed so miserably in checking their work, I'd bet there's a better than 50/50 chance they'll fail again.
     
  5. B. Shoe

    B. Shoe Mentor

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    The significant other and I experienced some of these issues, mainly the stalling and loading. This was on a 2019 year Samsung Smart TV. During that exact same time, we didn't experience any of those issues on my iPhone XR, or iPad (2015 model.)
     
  6. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    No problems on samsung note 8 either, except for the hbomax wobble. Fixes holding some 12 hours in, noted that some ramp up of ads in youtube, but nowhere near as excessive (yet!?!) As it had gotten in the last couple of weeks. For all the time and effort I took getting Google to work on these problems, I'm hyper on any more problems.
     
  7. mjwagner

    mjwagner Icon

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    No problems with YTTV on any of our streaming devices - ATV 4ks, Nvidia Shields, FireTV Stick 4ks...we don’t do Roku.
     
  8. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    The Google programmers at YouTube TV have struck again today.

    The last screwup 3 weeks ago took them over a week of complaining to fix things, let's see how long it takes this time. Anyone who subscribes to this 'service' on roku will immediately notice when starting the app, the changes to the start up sequence. So far, the worst 'change' I've tripped across is, if one is playing a dvr'd program, and pauses it for more than 3-5 minutes, the app exits and tries to load 'Discovery+' and subscribe to it.

    This is totally unacceptable, obviously someone at youtube tv thought this was either 'neat' or is getting payed to drive subscribers to that new app. In either case, totally unacceptable.

    I've already sent a message about these changes, but the last time they screwed up the system some 3 weeks ago, it took over a week after multiple emails, texts, and phone calls to move them off dead center.

    I'll continued to watch and try and find other screwups, I'm sure to find more.

    Quick update: I had rechecked the pause error above 4 times, including just pausing of a non-dvr program, but a few minutes ago had to pause a dvr program and when I got back to the set (note that the roku screensaver is running after an extended pause) that it no longer exited and tried running/loading discovery+. Nope: it only worked once, then went back to exiting as and trying to load Discovery+.

    A somewhat minor note from the past few days; when starting up a DVR'd program half the time the lip sync would be off; bumping it back would tend to get it into sync, but the last few days it has not seemed to have this particular error. Anyway- will seem it that stays away and any other glitches occur.

    Also, the startup of youtube has been changed as well, will have to see what they've done to that.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
  9. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    The Discovery+ ad issue sounds more like a Roku issue than a YouTube TV issue if I'm being honest. I don't think YTTV app would randomly open other apps on its own especially one its parent company does not own.

    Although I use Apple TV 4K and Chromecast with Google TV for streaming so I don't see ads anymore. Although I would recommend anyone who has YTTV to get a Chromecast with Google TV.
     
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  10. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    Since I have 4 roku's, and there are literally dozens of channels/apps on the platform I use all the time which are not available on those others which represent <5% of the streaming world, and are much more expensive to boot, it's not going to happen. They simply dont test their software after making changes, period.

    The last time they (youtube tv) tried 'updating' their app 3 weeks ago, I spent 3 hours on the phone proving to them it was their programming screwup. Not this time, I'm not going to spend the time and effort doing their job for them, since I'm not on their payroll. It took several days reinstalling on my boxes after they rolled out the fixes some 10 days ago. No more.
     
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  11. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    As google made some radical changes to the roku YouTube app as well, I finally made some time to explore it as well, and found that it does the same thing, if left in pause for longer than a few minutes, it exits the app to the roku screensaver, and when the user attempts to restart it immediately attempts to subscribe to Discovery+. So whomever made the changes a couple days back on YouTube tv worked on youtube as well, with the same programming errors (or perhaps something they specifically wanted to have happen, who knows).

    Anyway, I finally got a call back from their support line, and they wanted me to troubleshoot their system; I declined as I spent hours on the phone two weeks ago proving it was their bad and unchecked programming that caused major errors then, and didn't want to give them free insight to my 50 years of experience for free yet again.

    We'll see if they can fix their errors in the next few days.
     
  12. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    Pulled out my rusty programming skills, and figured out that before google made the changes to yttv and yt last week, when one paused the playback of either dvr or live content, the apps would, after some 5min or so, blank the video and pause for essentially forever, waiting until the operator pressed something (unpause/play or whatever) and execute that function. Currently, the app instead launches the screensaver, which exits out of whatever was paused and continues to exit out of the app entirely and immediately begins to load whatever is at the top of the next selection que. Why the programmer(s) or their supervisors failed to note this during any check is ... the same failure I've noted before with google, and with many others. I'm sure that if there were more firings involved with such failures, things would tighten up substantially.

    The workaround to stop this nonsense is to go into the roku settings and make sure the screensaver is never launched. When you pause play on any stream, the video is dimmed to about 50% of its usual brightness, so one can leave it in that state for a relatively long period. The roku settings allow up to 30min before the screensaver is launched, so if one is bothered by possible burn in in long pauses, you can select something other than eliminating it altogether.

    But this all comes back to why they instituted launching the roku screensaver rather than keeping a null/black screen when the video is paused for any length of time. That would seem to be the best thing to avoid any burn in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2021
  13. b4pjoe

    b4pjoe DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    Which screen saver are you using? I've read that the screen saver "Roku Movie Magic" does this and a different one doesn't cause this. Also it is reported if you don't click the play/pause button to resume and instead click one of the directional buttons it will quit the screen saver and then allow you to resume. Both solutions seem to point to the Roku causing the issue and not YTTV.
     
  14. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    That's pointing in two directions at once; since the apps worked fine before Google changed the apps, it's not anything to do with roku. Google made the programming changes to their app, which apparently did not go through any checking before they rolled it out to the customers, but I do believe that roku is not doing it's due diligence on these apps like they are supposed to, but google may think that the changes are minor and dont need to go through roku's checks and validation.

    So roku needs to tighten up their validation system, and google needs to stop making their own rules.
     
  15. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    It seems until the issue is fixed the work around on Roku is to either disable the screensaver, chose a screensaver that does not have ads or set the current screensaver not to start until after 5 minutes or more.

    Otherwise the "last resort" option is to invest in other devices like a Apple TV 4K, Fire TV device, Nividia Shield TV, TiVo Stream 4K or Chromecast with Google TV. If you want to avoid ads on the menu and screensavers completely then best to invest in either Apple TV or Android/Google TV.
     
  16. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    Spending ~$1k to lose half or more of the apps I use multiple times a week is a non-starter. It does appear that google is perhaps realizing (again) the mistakes they have made and there is movement towards fixing their errors, but it may take some more time and effort; we'll see if they actually make any progress in the next few days.

    Btw, I checked several of the other major streaming apps (Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc) and they all operate perfectly, where 'pause' equals PAUSE and does not default to the roku screensaver, but does blank the screen after a bit of time, and when the pause button is repushed it restarts from where one had paused it.

    So the question remains, why did Google think they needed to reinvent the wheel, and why, if these changes were advanced to/through roku's check process (if!), were the changes agreed to. All decent questions.

    But as it stands right now, if using youtube tv or youtube on roku, one needs to disable the screensaver function on your unit if you don't want wacky things going on with those apps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2021
  17. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    As if this morning, google has fixed their youtube tv and youtube roku apps to properly restart streams that have been paused; unlike most (all?) other streaming apps, they are still using whatever screensaver one has chosen in the roku 'themes', unlike an internal (to that app) that others have, like netflix, hulu, etc., but the app now properly restarts from the point at which it was paused instead of exiting and trying to load another app, which had been its functioning for the last week+.

    So far, of the close to 100 apps I have loaded on my roku(s), these two are the only ones that utilize the user chosen screensavers rather than an internal one to that app (again, like Netflix and everyone else I can see). Interesting, but as it works (now) perhaps that's a trick they saw, simply didn't exactly do it right the first try (and didn't fully check it out).

    Okay, it worked on both apps youtube tv and youtube, but now some 3 hours later they've changed it back to where it's trying to load another app when restarting a paused stream. What's wrong with these folks? Why can't they simply do what every other app does, code their own screensaver within their app, just like it used to be a month ago? Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2021
  18. 1948GG

    1948GG Icon

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    Another Google invented problem I keep failing to mention, one that has generated multiple complaining web pages on the past 2-3 months, is where folks who have subscribed to HboMax through YouTube TV find that their HboMax app looses the subscription linkage (app asks to resubscribe to continue) at the end of the calendar month, while the 8 HBO linear channels on YouTube TV continue without problems.

    YouTube TV posted a 'jump through these hoops' message to 'relink' the HBOMax app, which is something I've done now 2 months in a row, but it looses the linkage yet again come the next month.

    Google is supposed to be the pre-eminent programming folks on the internet, yet it appears with all the problems they are generating it appears they are the biggest screw-ups. Almost makes M$ look good, if that's possible.
     
  19. techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Well on the video game side Micro$oft has made themselves look less greedy compared to $ony. So in this day and age I say anything is possible when it comes to M$. :D

    That's weird that YT does that with HBO Max. I've seen a few posts on HBO Max Reddit of this happening. You think Google would want to figure out why the link keeps getting broke each month. If I didn't have AT&T Unlimited Elite I would have HBO Max as an add-on to my Hulu plan. That way I have access to the HBO linear channels. I will say, a rare positive for AT&T, once you activate and link HBO Max it sticks until the user changes it. (You know there is a serious problem when AT&T does something better than Google.)
     
  20. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Wonder how much longer it will be before the HBO Max app includes live streams of at least the main HBO linear channel (if not HBO 2, HBO Family and HBO Latino too)? Surely they realize that there are at least a few folks, like you, who choose to sub through distributors like Hulu instead of subbing directly, in order to have access to the live HBO channels. And of course they make less money on indirect subs than direct subs.
     

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