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Posts posted by ovbg

  1. Well, Netflix is now live in Germany.

    €7.99 per month (slightly cheaper than Watchever) and so far, the English language shows are in both German or English, and on the PS4 which I tested, subtitles can be switched off.


    German shows were only in German with no English subtitles for those who were hoping to use it as a means to practice their German, but they sometimes had CC German subtitles which could help.


    Smart DNS customers can switch to the German library by changing it in their settings, and if you are using a service like OverPlay which has a smartphone app for that, you can dial to German very easily.


    France went live yesterday and I'll test the other countries shortly.


  2. Size is an interesting point here. I have both the same iPad as you, a very new Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4" and an iPhone 5s.


    The Samsung Galaxy 8.4" is better for me when reading Kindle or PDF's, simply because it is lighter. And it is lighter because it is smaller and newer, so the new iPad mini's would also have this advantage.


    I don't miss anything in screen size between the smaller Samsung and larger iPad (though the iPad, despite its age is still a far better device than the Samsung tablet due to the much better software, apps and UI, but that wasn't the question here).


    I also read the same books on my iPhone 5s. Now, I prefer to read on my Samsung tablet because of the bigger screen than the 5s, in this case it makes a difference, but reading on the 5s is still really nice. I haven't tried it, but I suspect the iPhone 6 Plus would be just as good to read on as the Samsung, as although much smaller, it may have a good balance between weight and size.


  3. I am constantly surprised how many supermarkets in Frankfurt & Offenbach sell Cathedral City these days. Hit always has the best choice, with 4 different aged varieties, from 5 months to 15 months.


    But Rewe & Tegut also sell it (Rewe and Hit also have a nice Irish cheddar as well that may only be 3-5months old and pre-sliced, but goes great on a home-made BBQ'd burger.


    The Taste of Britain in Frankfurt also has some more options from less mass-produced brands.


    Then again, things are really looking up for British food and drink in the Frankfurt area. The local Hit sells no less than 6 different brands of "English" crisps (mostly from UK, but also Ireland and US), baked beans in the big 3kg plastic screw-top jug (complete with English writing), English style backbone bacon (though still thinner than you would normally find in the UK) and loads more.


    I can even get three different brands of Ginger Beer within 5minutes walk in Offenbach, 2 from the UK, old Jamacia and Grace, and believe it or not, Bundaburg from Australia (though that is generally a bit dear)


  4. ^^Interesting. I had become rather disillusioned with Die Kuh Die Lacht as well in the last couple of years, but I went back for the first time in ages about 3 weeks ago, and it was surprisingly good. They had changed the menu, started a full table service and all up, I enjoyed it.


    Not as good as Hero's though, but it had certainly improved.


    Pity it is not always reliable.


  5. I'm not sure what brand you use for a NAS Krieg, but I'm using a QNAP. I have been "told", the QNAP TS-x53 is powerful enough for multiple 1080p transcoding, but I haven't testing it myself.


    I rarely transcode with my Plex content, and the only subtitles I use, are when they are there from the recording (say if I were to watch the Bridge or something), so I really don't have experience with subtitles and issues.


    What is the source of your content, as I am wondering about the subtitles?


  6. I think you will still find a lot of use for it. As you have Prime, you should find plenty of content on the Amazon app, and it is without doubt the best Amazon Prime UI on any STB. It apparently starts loading the film or TV show into the boxes buffer even when just browsing the info, so it starts immediately when you press play. And if the voice search is as good as it claims...




    In any case, it will have ZDF and ARD catch-up if you watch German stuff and not a lot of STBs even do that.


    But the Plex app really interests me. I'm about to update my NAS which should be able to handle Plex even when transcoding 1080p, so I may find a lot of use for this. I have been hunting for a decent Plex client and maybe this one will be good...





    Then it comes the other question. Since there is no Netflix in Germany, would the Fire TV come region locked and connected to the German Amazon Store, therefore no Netflix app. And what happens if you sideload the normal Android Netflix app.


    This I won't be able to answer 100% until I have an German Amazon Fire TV in my hands, but I'll do my best at an educated guess.


    Since Netflix is due to arrive in Germany either on the 15th or 16th of September, and the Amazon Fire TV is due on the 25th of September, Netflix will be available locally. Whether they are there from the first day is not known, and they are not advertising Netflix - but this could be due to an embargo. My guess is that Netflix will be available from the first day.


    The Amazon Fire TV will have its own app store, and I don't yet know if a US app can be moved across in any way. There has never been any way to test this, as until now this box has only been available in the US and there has been no foreign apps to try out.


    That said, a standard US, UK or even by then DE Android Netflix app can be sideloaded, but you will never want to do this. Video quality is atrocious on the Android app. It looks fine on the small mobile screens, but scaled up to a big TV and it is horrible. That and the UI issues talked about.


    The best bet would be to wait until a Netflix app is available, and one thing about Netflix, they don't have a history of holding back - they are almost always the first to put apps out in a new market. (It is already on the Swiss Xbox One app store)


    If you did sideload a normal Netflix app on, despite the bad quality video it will work for the new German library without any VPN or Smart DNS.



    The Amazon Fire TV does not have IR so it is not supported by normal remotes including the Harmony One. Their propietary remote is probably Bluetooth.


    Maybe you can make it work with a FLIRC and some hackery, but it would be funny to spend 20+ EUR on a IR dongle to use it on a 50 EUR device.


    Krieg, besides the fact that the propriety remote isn't IR, it is still a proper remote and will work perfectly with every standard Harmony Fire TV app (I am not talking Google Play apps as they are not officially supported by the Amazon Fire TV).


    The remote may not be IR, but that is a good thing. IR remotes are so old tech, I wonder why they still exist. They need direct line of sight, and only limited control of the device. I much prefer a bluetooth or WiFi remote.


    In any case, the modern Harmony Hub remotes will indeed work with the Amazon Fire TV and they officially support the device.





    And have you tried to use Netflix on an Android based STB with a normal remote control? It is more or less unusable. The problem is the Netflix Android app is designed to be used with a pointing device, you won't go far using arrow keys. But I just checked on youtube and it seems that the Netflix app on the Fire TV is different and it works more or less like in Samsung TVs or consoles (meant to be used with arrows and not with pointing devices), so that's positive.


    Yes, I have indeed, and Netflix on a normal Android based STB is a horrible experience with a normal remote. It is not only almost impossible to navigate, the video quality is sub-SD.


    Your second part is correct. The Netflix app, as with ALL apps on the Amazon Fire TV will work like proper STB's with proper remotes. That is all official apps - excluding any Google Play store apps sideloaded in which were not designed for this device.


    Amazon and Google have made the big mistake of trying to take back the title "Android TV". Android TVs have been around for a while, and they are all petty much useless for catch-up & on-demand TV. This box is powered by Android, but it is not the Android TVs that have previously been on sale. It should be called something else... I know, Amazon Fire TV ;)


    There are Android TVs, and then there is the Amazon Fire TV which is completely different, but runs Android.



    As for me, I'll be in the market for two of 'em (in addition to keeping my Roku 3) if the Zattoo app does include catchup, but eyeondemand doesn't think it will...


    Unfortunately, Zattoo have confirmed to Eye on-Demand that the Amazon Fire TV firmware will not be capable of the Zattoo Recall feature.v :(


    On a positive note, they also informed me that the new Xbox One app for Zattoo Switzerland will finally include Zattoo Recall - sadly though only for the current day (24 hour period) and not a full 7 days. People will also be able to access recordings. Zattoo plan to increase this in a future update, but there is no timeframe as to when.


    Finally, Zattoo have no immediate plans for a PlayStation 4 app.



    Amazon will start selling their Fire TV in Germany this month (Sep 25th). The price will be 99 EUR and Prime customers can get it for 49 EUR. Since we have already Amazon Prime I think I will get one to test it. I will use it mainly as an XBMC / Plex client and for Netflix.


    The only negative point I am already aware is that it can't be controlled properly with a normal remote control, but this is a general Android problem on set top boxes so it is not really Amazon's fault. i.e. The Netflix app it is a nightmare to use without their non-standard remote control.


    Netflix (and other android developers) should take a look on how the Netflix app runs on the Apple TV or in a Samsung SmartTV, fully usable with standard remote controls.


    Hi Krieg, what makes you think this can't be controlled by a proper remote control? The Amazon Fire TV may be an Android device, but with the exception of sideloading the APK's in like you mentioned in a post above, all the built-in apps will be properly tailored for a 10-foot sofa-friendly environment.


    It should even ship with Plex built-in, which is a good start, though I don't think XBMC is available outside of sideloading, and then I have heard it doesn't always work well.


    The remote should work like a normal remote, and you can even program a Harmony remote to work. (well, outside of the voice control bit)



    I use the Roku 3 and OverPlay SmartDNS for catchup viewing. Until relatively recently, the combo has performed perfectly (via 50 Mbit VDSL) and solidly with no buffering or other hiccups. Since about mid July after switching between programmes, BBC iPlayer occasionally presents a (weird) "Sorry. geolocation" error message and itv & 4oD each occasionally presents "not available in your location" messages.


    As soon as these messages appear I have checked each time via their Android app that OverPlay is set to operate as normal, so I've had to abandon viewing.


    On occasions, if I reselect iPlayer, itv or 4oD on the Roku again and go for the wanted programme anew, it works first time or after a few retries without my having restarted OverPlay.


    Has anyone seen such things (on any STB)? If so do you use OverPlay?


    I'm thinking (again) about switching to a full VPN instead of Smart DNS...


    I just switched my Roku 3 back to the US hub, so I can't test on that, but I never saw the error messages you experience. I also have a Now TV and don't see it there. Is it possible this is occurring during an automatic changeover of your external IP address? Does it happen around the same time each day? It is odd, and if this continues let us know.


    (4oD often has problems where it will have an error message and stop playing either before the show begins or after a commercial break. This is a known issue and even happens in the UK, but the error message doesn't mention geolocation).



    The German Amazon Fire TV comes with Zattoo app, will be interesting to see if it includes the catch up service, could be worth a gamble to preorder it before Monday for €49. Its android based, and way back in this thread it was discussed that the android Zattoo streams are good quality.


    If Zattoo are going to follow the same pattern as they did with the Xbox One, which wasn't available in Switzerland, then they probably won't have the catch-up content. I've contacted Zattoo and asked for clarification and will let you know as soon as I do.


  12. How is the video quality for everything in the last couple of days?


    I have seen an improvement, but it is not perfect in the evenings. Usually drops a level down. It has been very watchable, but sort of dropped HiQ level for SD. Anyone still having serious issues?


  13. Looking at Netflix on pretty much all other countries, you should expect all English language content to be available in both English and either dubbed (in countries where dubbing is the norm) or subtitles in others.


    Germany should not be any different, so expect English shows in English.


    Pricing is also likely to be the same as other Eurozone countries.


    You know, they will offer a month free to try, so there is nothing else to do but wait 15 days without risk - after-all, you even have the app on your Blu-Ray player.


    Oh, and if you want better value for money, take out a Smart DNS service like mentioned here (I use OverPlay), and this will cost around €3,60 per month, but also gain you access to every other regional library - and this adds a LOT more content.

    OverPlay are currently doing a competition which is free to enter, so you may want to give it a go.


  14. If you can pull off a NY postal address, you can also try Nimble TV. Live US television including the main OTA channels (NBC, ABC, CBS etc) plus Dish network pay TV. Prices are about what you pay for cable in the US, and it is fully through the Internet with no geoblocking. The catch is having a NY postal address.


  15. I was seeing big improvement yesterday, but in the evening it still dropped slightly below perfect - sort of the next step down in quality, something it never used to do.


    This morning it has been perfect though, so I'll have to keep an eye on it.



    Bizarrely I'm getting lovely pictures from FilmonTV which I'm not paying for, whilst Zattoo....

    Sadly I think I paid Zattoo for a full years subscription....

    Hope they can fix their problems soon.

    BTW 16MB service and Telekom's IP service works fine in HD.

    But I can't understand 95% of their programming....

    Suppose I could practice my German instead of watching a crappy picture on Zattoo!


    Which platform are you seeing this from FilmOn (web, iOS, Android etc?)


    Zattoo under a sub, should offer around 3400kbps streams for the BBC and ITV1 (regardless of platform), and this should look very good. Unfortunately, there have been serious problems in the last few days.


    FilmOn's free version varies depends on the platform. I just tested the following.

    Chromecast: 600kbps

    Android: 600kbps

    iOS: 1100kbps

    Web: 400kbps


    All quite far from Zattoo's potential, so I wouldn't worry too much (as long as Zattoo actually do get better)


  17. It looks more like a Zattoo based problem each day, I agree.


    The video quality today (morning) is fluctuating and although it has reached their highest level at around 3400kbps, it is usually below that, around the 2400kbps or 1900kbps mark. At its worst last night, it was lower than 700kbps.


    The problem is still evident, but if they have loads of customers complaining as you say, they will hopefully be able to get to the top of it soon.


    By the way, OverPlay are running a new competition right now which gives away either a Roku streaming stick, or Chromecast stick, plus a free month. The Chromecast can be used with Zattoo to great effect (I use it all the time this way), and although the Roku stick can't, it does have all the UK catch-ups services if you configure it for UK telly.


    If your interested in the competition, you can reach it here via my referral link, or here with no referral.

    (Worth mentioning that the small print on their comp says only for US residents. I asked them about this, and apparently it is there because they can't officially know about legal issues in every country in the world, but it is still "possible" to win outside of the official country, just not guaranteed)


  18. ^^ Speed testing won't test for throttling, if t-online are targeting specific types of bandwidth. It would also explain why the BBC iPlayer is fine, but Zattoo is not. Zattoo is a service widely used by Germans in Germany for streaming video, so if t-online are going to target a specific video service, Zattoo could be it. Whilst the BBC isn't used by Germans because without an unblocking service it is not even possible here.


    I test it all on a 50mb line as well, and while Zattoo was looking rather poor, Netflix was pouring through at 6500kbps.


    Yesterday when I tested Zattoo at its worst, I also checked it via a VPN to Switzerland and the video quality was great. This would bypass any throttling from t-online.


    That said, when I tested via Switzerland today via VPN, I also got a bad stream. So, this means it could all be down to Zattoo themselves, and having teething problems with the new servers they installed last week.


  19. Hi MsMiller, you most certainly can and it is quite easy.


    Hulu Plus offers So You Think You can Dance and Top Chef, though they only have House Hunters (not the International) and they needs a US cable subscription as well.


    As for the ones they have, Hulu Plus will work with a locally bought Apple TV, or an imported device like Roku. But the Apple TV is easier to set up.


    You will need a DNS service to unblock it, and this will open up loads of other American content as well, including free and other paid services like Netflix.


    You will also need to subscribe to Hulu for it to work on the Apple TV box, though a free version of Hulu will work on a laptop or computer.


    A full review of Hulu can be found here, complete with our newfangled poster listings of what is currently available on Hulu, along with instructions on how to set it all up and subscribe.


    If you don't want to bother with hulu and just use a laptop, most of the main US Network's can also be accessed via Smart DNS on a computer.


  20. I'm also seeing the problem. Last night when I tested Zattoo, the picture quality was unwatchable. This morning, it seems fine, but as people are saying it gets worse in the evening, I'll wait for that before being complacent.


    A couple of things to note. Everyone that has reported the problem to me has been using t-online. Is anyone seeing this problem with a different ISP?


    Also, at first I thought this could be something with OverPlay. Zattoo recently installed new servers last week, and perhaps this needs to be tweaked by the DNS guys, but I am also hearing of some people who use UnoTelly having the same problem. It could be that all of the DNS companies need to make some tweaks, but if it is just us at t-online, then I am starting to worry about throttling by the ISP.





    How did you manage to get to the NZ Google Play store in the end?


    For anybody who is looking to just download the apk (Android) you can get PremierLeaguePass v 4.0811 here:




    As I use a tablet, which doesn't have a SIM card, I can use the nifty method YorkShireLad first mentioned where you use a web browser instead of the actual Google Play app. Only catch is that the PLP app wasn't available for any of my devices.


    So in the end, I had to find an apk that worked. The one I was trying to use was full of malware, something I'm not that used to coming from iOS. Still, it works now :)


  22. ^^ By targeting specific IP addresses, this allows Smart DNS to be more flexible. An example of this is that services are not limited to just one country.


    If Smart DNS always reported back a single IP address, this will have to be in a specific country. But it doesn't.


    So, I have Smart DNS set up in my home and when I go to access the BBC, the IP address returned is UK, when I try to access Hulu Plus, it is now US, when I access Watchever, it is German... if you see what I mean.


    You can even stream from different countries at the same time. Pops may be watching the cricket on Now TV from the UK in the man cave, while mother may be catching up on the latest documentary from PBS in the living room. Junior is watching a kids show from ABC iView in his bedroom and his sister can watch something from Netflix on her iPad, with all streaming at the same time and no VPN needed.


  23. Actually, I don't really look at specs these days except in storage space (regarding mobile devices). But that is just me. I know specs are more important to other people, and I won't knock that.


    Anyway, the good news is that finally I have managed to push the PLP app onto the Android tablet. It took me over a week, and I had to kick it and jump on it until it finally stuck on the phone. But it is there.


    I think the specs on my Android tablet are considerably better than my much older iPad, but that said, the iPad can stream PremierLeaguePass at 4500kbps and airplay that to my main TV for easy viewing. The Android tablet only has a 1600kbps stream with no way to easily send wirelessly to my main TV (just as example of why specs are not so important to me)



    Screen size, battery life/size, processor speed, screen resolution, pixels per inch, Ram, front camera, rear camera, NFC. All higher spec on the Oneplus.


    I am a #1 Apple Fanboy, but at €299 compared to €899 Apple need to be scared.


    I like the whole Apple ecosystem, but unless you are already a die-hard Mac user then buy the Oneplus phone and if it gets dropped in a toilet bowl - it was only a €299 phone.



    Specs don't mean as much to me compared to the user interface. Now that I have a very late model Samsung tablet to compare to the iPad, my much older and lower spec iPad beats the Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 any day.


    That and the mess in getting apps from different parts of the world on the Android. It is either not available in my region, or not available for my specific model, or both. Never a problem on my iPad, just change iTunes stores and download. Simple.


    As it stands, I am 1 week into my attempts to install the latest PremierLeaguePass app on my Samsung Android tablet to test it, but I still can't get the damn thing installed! I'm pulling all my hair out, and at my age that risks loosing what little I have left. Why the hell do they have apps on the Android market place that can't install on the latest tablets and phones! I can understand an old phone that is so outdated, but the latest????


    So, €299 will get me a phone where half the apps I want won't install, and the other half probably streams at a lower bitrate than my more expensive iPad, where all apps install and stream at a higher quality.


    (Don't want to get into a big Android fight, as it isn't too bad a device, but I am just so frustrated in trying to install something as simple as an app - which considering this is supposed to be outside Apple's lovely walled garden, why is it so much harder?)