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Todd Erwin

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A little over a year ago, my article Streaming Frustrations addressed some of the things streaming got right and many of the things streaming got wrong, a mix of both service and device related issues. While there have been some improvements, streaming is still a rather frustrating experience when it really shouldn’t be.
Devices
The big change from last year was the introduction of new streaming devices from the top three companies: Apple, Roku, and Amazon.
Apple TV
The updated model of the Apple TV 4K was geared more towards supporting the company’s Apple Arcade gaming service than video streaming, adding support for variable frame rates of up to 60fps (with the potential of 120 further down the road since the device has an HDMI 2.1 output port). The only other notable updates are the redesigned remote and Wi-Fi 6 support. From a current streaming service standpoint, there is little change in the...

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David Deeb

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What is up suddenly with the Amazon Prime interface on Apple TV?

We only subscribe to Prime for a month, maybe twice a year. Suddenly, they have implemented their own custom interface which overrides Apple TV's slick & consistent interface.

The Amazon interface is terrible. The "swipe down" and "swipe up" operations that the Apple TV uses for program descriptions & format info are gone. The 10-second forward/backwards operation is there, but it operates differently and is unnecessarily sensitive. It also has that stupid "Amazon X-ray" feature which blocks half the screen when you pause a show.

Is there any way to turn this interface off? How did they manage to override Apple's interface that is used on all the other apps?
 
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Lord Dalek

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So let me go down my list again...

-HDR doesn't work on Paramount+ on Roku
-HDR AND 5.1 doesn't work on Paramount+ on Vizio Smartcast
-Autoplay is permanently disabled on HBO Max on Roku and Android
-50fps only works on Roku with BritBox (but only on certain shows)
-Pluto channels frequently crash/get stuck in loops (see TPIR The Barker Era)
-Smartcast won't let you install new channels. PERIOD.
-Netflix keeps demanding more money

Cordcutting really only works in theory.
 

David Deeb

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I too have great steaming success with Apple TV.

Except for the odd Amazon Prime interface issue I mentioned above. Any ideas on how Amazon doesn’t operate the same as every other app?
 

Desslar

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My main gripe about streaming services is that all the ones I have tried (Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Disney+) have terrible search interfaces. They don't really seem to want to users to know exactly what is in their inventory, beyond the limited selection of latest and greatest content that they relentlessly promote to you. I guess they had to pay the most for that stuff, so they would rather you watch it instead of an old Hitchcock film or something.

They should all adopt IMDB's advanced search function. Heck, Amazon owns IMDB, so they really have no excuse for not having a better search interface.
 

Dave Upton

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That's another frustration right there.

If I'm watching IMDb content through my Amazon Prime subscription, why am I still seeing ads?
I think the reason for that is quite simple.. public companies never give up a chance to earn a little more $$

Donald Duck Money GIF
 

Desslar

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That's another frustration right there.

If I'm watching IMDb content through my Amazon Prime subscription, why am I still seeing ads?
I'm guessing it's a different licensing agreement than the regular Prime content. Amazon gets those IMDB shows for less money, but has to share ad revenue with the licensor. Or something like that?
 

Todd Erwin

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Latest word from “tech support” at Paramount+ is that the HDR issue with their app for Roku now won’t be fixed until late May, since the Roku OS v11 update did not resolve the issue and an app update is now required. That is six months after the issue was first noticed and reported by subscribers, four months after the service acknowledged the issue.

The good news is that the premiere episode of “Halo” is now in Dolby Digital+ 5.1 on the Roku app.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I too have great steaming success with Apple TV.

Except for the odd Amazon Prime interface issue I mentioned above. Any ideas on how Amazon doesn’t operate the same as every other app?

Amazon's UI (and often its video playback/quality) is terrible in general anyway... and the app (at least on my ATV4K) is rather flakey too. I generally avoid using their service if at all possible... and it really doesn't offer much good content anyway and tends to inundate my browsing w/ tons of titles I have no interest in when I do bother looking for something -- you'd think them being able see my pretty large library of Movies Anywhere linked-and-eligible titles (along w/ snooping my shopping/browsing on Amazon itself) would help them make better recommendations, but nope...

They don't even seem to offer a dedicated listing of titles about to be removed from Prime like most others do...

_Man_
 
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JohnRice

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My streaming is entirely with the AppleTV, mostly the two 4K models, though I have a Gen 3 in the bedroom. My main complaint probably is the fault of the streaming companies, since I expect they design their apps. They seem to be making it increasingly difficult to simply look through my Watchlist and pick something from it to watch. It seems that a couple years ago the watchlist was always right at the top, easy to find so I can watch something I previously selected. Now it seems they want to dictate what I watch, inundating me with all the new stuff, but making it more and more difficult to just go to my watchlist. In fact, as far as I can tell, AppleTV+ doesn't even have a watchlist at all, other than one that includes everything from every single service I have. Hulu at least does still have it in the top menu, separated between TV and Movies.
 

David Deeb

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Amazon's UI (and often its video playback/quality) is terrible in general anyway... and the app (at least on my ATV4K) is rather flakey too. I generally avoid using their service if at all possible... and it really doesn't offer much good content anyway
You know, they really do have the poorest interface. I've never seen one improvement in all these years. The suggested movies are the same ones forever. And don't get me started on "x-ray"! The content is getting worse and worse. The classic TV series they carried are now in the "with ads" section which they actually promote. Ads in our house = no viewing. Between Netflix, HBO Max, AppleTV+ and my own library, we have plenty of good stuff w/out ads. Prime is gone at the end of the paid month.
 

Desslar

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You know, they really do have the poorest interface. I've never seen one improvement in all these years. The suggested movies are the same ones forever. And don't get me started on "x-ray"! The content is getting worse and worse. The classic TV series they carried are now in the "with ads" section which they actually promote. Ads in our house = no viewing. Between Netflix, HBO Max, AppleTV+ and my own library, we have plenty of good stuff w/out ads. Prime is gone at the end of the paid month.
Amazon's interface is bad, but at least it lets me search by decade, which others do not support. Of those I have tried, Disney+ has the worst interface. No way to really search for stuff other than to plug in the exact title. And, watching on the computer, there isn't even a home button to return to the main menu.

I am leaning more toward dropping Netflix or Hulu and keeping Prime. Seems like Prime is the only service paying much attention to vintage content these days.
 

JohnRice

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Well, as noted in my article, Dolby Vision is currently disabled on the Hulu app for Apple TV.
I guess I hadn't thought about that. So, shows like The Handmaids Tale are in HDR10 instead of DV? Is that a big deal?
 

Todd Erwin

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I guess I hadn't thought about that. So, shows like The Handmaids Tale are in HDR10 instead of DV? Is that a big deal?
Not as big a deal as the issue with Paramount+ on Roku, where all HDR has been disabled since December and likely won't return until late May or early June (at least that is what Paramount+ is telling customers privately).

However, as noted in the article, Dolby Vision on Hulu is available on their apps for both Roku and FireStick.
 

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