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markwill
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:42 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:12 pm

hackettt wrote:
Mark's reply is spot on.

The buffering issue is making Willow TV on the Roku unwatchable.

At first, I was unable to even get the test match to load as the channel kept turning off an returning back to the live matches screen. When it did finally load, I noticed the match was significantly behind the match I was just watching downstairs.

In addition, since Willow TV was only showing the Aussie broadcast, I had the volume down and was listening to Test Match Special on the Radio Five Live Extra. However, the buffering was causing the match to be almost a half an hour behind the live radio broadcast.

I hope this can taken care of on the Roku end. The match is playing just fine on the computer through Willow's web site and player.

I just watched the majority of the first days session on the laptop, which is a real shame when I have the Roku. Like you, though, the delay got 30 mins or more behind live play. Even when I restarted the Roku it still picked up 30 mins behind. Sadly not at all watchable over the Roku.

Mark
 
horizon
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:03 am
Location: Durham NC, USA

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:19 pm

hackettt wrote:
The buffering issue is making Willow TV on the Roku unwatchable.


I agree, I too signed up for the $14.99 monthly plan to watch the Ashes this evening, but am sorry to say that I have just abandoned the Roku Willow TV channel, for the same reason.

The Roku Willow TV channel re-buffers every couple of minutes. After re-buffering has finished (approx 2secs), then the previously played segment repeats, this is then followed by a second or third re-buffer and then another repeat of the same segment. It is awful and unwatchable. Of course, I can watch the match on my PC, but that does somewhat defeat the purpose of this exercise. I don’t want to hunch over my laptop … I was looking forward to the big picture!

Less important, but notable: The audio is horribly tinny and muted, the aspect ratio of the video is stretched on my HDTV and the picture is of a relatively low quality for a subscription feed.

… my experience so far …
Roku DVP, Roku M1000 and M500 3.0.52 Beta, Sangean WFR-20, NSLU2 Unslung NAS + Twonky (WAV Library)
 
nrao1
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:45 pm

Well, I don't have re-buffering problem anymore. I can't get the channel to launch. It launches, the progress bar appears and then I'm kicked back to prior screen. WillowTV CS has not responded so far. :-(

Also something to watch out far is WillowTv's cancellation policy. If you cancel you will continue to be charged for 2 months. Wish they had been up front about it.

I was excited about this, but it has been a disappointment so far.
 
horizon
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:03 am
Location: Durham NC, USA

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:56 pm

nrao1 wrote:
Well, I don't have re-buffering problem anymore. I can't get the channel to launch. It launches, the progress bar appears and then I'm kicked back to prior screen. WillowTV CS has not responded so far. :-(


I saw this symptom as well. I resolved it by exiting to the Roku home menu and then re-selecting the Willow TV channel.

nrao1 wrote:
Also something to watch out far is WillowTv's cancellation policy. If you cancel you will continue to be charged for 2 months. Wish they had been up front about it.


I was not aware of this, I should have read the small print! Originally I was hoping to sign up for an "Ashes" package, but as this was not available I ended up thinking that I would just take the service for the months that I wanted to watch it and then cancel.

nrao1 wrote:
I was excited about this, but it has been a disappointment so far.


At this point, I feel the same way. ...

Graham
Roku DVP, Roku M1000 and M500 3.0.52 Beta, Sangean WFR-20, NSLU2 Unslung NAS + Twonky (WAV Library)
 
nrao1
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:04 pm

Got the ashes! But, the channel buffers for me about 1 once every minute. WHen it does it goes back about 8-10 seconds in the game (Approx times, i need to time it, curious if it is periodic). Which I can see quickly becoming annoying, as each over is now effectively 8 balls. If this goes on for the whole game, it'll probably extend the game by 30% due to duplication.

:-) for seeing some cricket via roku, but :-( for the buffering

Everyone, in addition to letting roku know, please email WillowTV CS and let them know. Hopefully this can sorted out.

Naren
 
horizon
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:03 am
Location: Durham NC, USA

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:17 pm

nrao1 wrote:
Everyone, in addition to letting roku know, please email WillowTV CS and let them know. Hopefully this can sorted out.

Naren,

My thoughts exactly. I sent an email to Willow TV support about 30 minutes ago. It is too bad that the channel does not appear to be ready for primetime.

Graham
Roku DVP, Roku M1000 and M500 3.0.52 Beta, Sangean WFR-20, NSLU2 Unslung NAS + Twonky (WAV Library)
 
markwill
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:42 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:25 pm

While I am disappointed with the whole experience, I am also interested in the quality bar to which Roku holds its content providers. There seems to be general agreement that the Willow channel is not even remotely close to being ready. Where was Roku when it signed off on this channel? Is the objective to simply increase the number of channels or is it to increase the number of QUALITY channels? It seems the former. This reflects badly on Roku - if friends and family hear about such a sucky experience (and yes, a few of my friends already know about it) then - fairly or not - the impression could be that Roku allows access to really poor quality channels.

Does Roku actually consider this channel acceptable?

I'm also interested in some response from Roku here as to why the regular (web-based) stream works fine on a laptop but the Roku channel is unusable. Where's the problem?

Thanks.

Mark
 
support
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:21 am

Re: Willow TV question

Thu Nov 25, 2010 2:35 am

Hello Everyone,

We understand there are some problems related to stream with our channel on Roku as of now, the problem does not lie on the channel as such but with the streaming solution that we are using. During the testing/deployment phase we did not face such issues. We have identified the issue and are working closely with our streaming partner. We will update everyone on this as soon as this problem is solved.

Thanks,
Willow Support
 
hackettt
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 10:25 am

Re: Willow TV question

Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:59 am

I have only positive responses from Willow TV support. It's good to see them commenting here as well. They also acknowledged the buffering issue in an email last night or early this morning. (Sorry, fell asleep before Siddle's hat-trick. Good thing because I would have thrown something at the telly.)

It's too bad that the beta testing phase is during the Ashes, but let's hope they can iron matters out soon.

Ended up watching the match through my laptop and the quality was quite good.
 
tobarefeet
Topic Author
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 6:30 am

Re: Willow TV question

Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:00 am

markwill wrote:
While I am disappointed with the whole experience, I am also interested in the quality bar to which Roku holds its content providers. There seems to be general agreement that the Willow channel is not even remotely close to being ready. Where was Roku when it signed off on this channel? Is the objective to simply increase the number of channels or is it to increase the number of QUALITY channels? It seems the former. This reflects badly on Roku - if friends and family hear about such a sucky experience (and yes, a few of my friends already know about it) then - fairly or not - the impression could be that Roku allows access to really poor quality channels.

Does Roku actually consider this channel acceptable?

I'm also interested in some response from Roku here as to why the regular (web-based) stream works fine on a laptop but the Roku channel is unusable. Where's the problem?

Thanks.

Mark







Sometimes lessons are learned. I hope Roku learns from this that when putting out a channel with a very high monthly subscription (14.99 a month) that the content provider has to guarantee a quality experience for the Roku customer from the beginning. I love Roku and have gotten friends and family to buy one and things like this can't happen on pay channels.
Also, Willow's cancellation policy is awful. If you cancel you pay 30.00 for two months.
I'll stick to BT'ing the Ashes.
 
horizon
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:03 am
Location: Durham NC, USA

Re: Willow TV question

Thu Nov 25, 2010 6:36 am

Willow Support have not yet responded to my email, but I am glad that they posted an update the forum (I assume that they were swamped with enquiries last night). Regarding monthly subscriptions, the Willow terms and conditions state:

The Willow Monthly Subscription package is a package with recurring billing cycle of 30 days. Please contact us at support@willow.tv in case of any queries regarding the subscription or cancellation process. An amount of $5 will be charged as cancellation fee. Minimum of 2 billing cycles is a must before a cancellation request is processed.


Based on that; The minimum amount that I will be charged is $35.00. Clearly my fault for not reading the T&C in advance! I agree with the earlier comment - this is an example where a trial try-before-you-buy agreement would have been appropriate. I signed up in good faith because I assumed that if the PC stream worked, then the Roku stream would also work.

My comments are not sour grapes ... I was expecting a lot more from this Roku channel for the premium price of $14.99, i.e.:
1. Good quality video (Not necessarily HD, but a high bit rate true 16:9 wide-screen feed ... not a stretched 4:3)
2. Crisp and clear audio
3. Steady stream without re-buffering
4. No commercials
5. Access to archived games

Willow TV via Roku has not met any of these expectations. Am I being too hard? I hold all of the premium subscription services to the same standard with respect to quality, Willow is no exception.

Graham
Roku DVP, Roku M1000 and M500 3.0.52 Beta, Sangean WFR-20, NSLU2 Unslung NAS + Twonky (WAV Library)
 
markwill
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:42 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:27 am

Since Willow support is watching this thread (I included it when I sent an eMail to them with my questions), which is appreciated, I hope they might respond to a question about their cancellation policy.

I expressed my frustration at this policy - as have others on this thread - which is an example of the type of "catch 'em out with the small print" policy that eventually turns customers away in droves. For example, I came into this VERY interested in Willow TV as an ongoing way to watch cricket around the world, based on the series of interest to me at any one time. But this daft policy just means I am now "on guard" against being caught out with the timing of the cancellation. Here's the response I received from Willow about this when I asked when I need to cancel.

"Request to be made to support@willow.tv for cancellation, please do write in during your cancellation, we shall work out the best."

I don't really know what that means. I want to know when / how I need to contact Willow to ensure that I pay no more than the minimum ($35, presumably)? Do I need to cancel right now with the understanding that it will remain in place for two months minimum? Or can I simply not request the cancellation for two months, after which I can contact Willow and the cancelllation will be immediate?

I am worried about waiting two months to contact Willow - and then being told it will be cancelled after yet another month.

It should not be this complicated. Willow - please keep it simple and realize that customers are your friends, not people to catch out with the small print. Allow me to sign up for a month at a time and drop the silly $5 cancellation fee. You are frustrating people who were - initially - in your side.

Thanks.

Mark
 
jiff67
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:48 pm

i bought a roku player based on the willow tv channel for the ashes.now i have hooked my computer up to the tv i wish i just did that to start with
the buffering is really frustrating and i cant cancel for 2 months i should have read it properley theres a tvn sports 19.99 for the entire series should have got that instead
 
nrao1
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:40 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:14 pm

Currently watching a replay and have encountered no buffering issues so far. Will check in on the Ashes later on to see if a live game also plays without buffering. If it is indeed fixed, thanks to all involved in getting this issue turned around.

Questions for Willow Support:

I have been able to get only 3 dots when I launch the WillowTv channel. Should I be able to get 4? WHat are the bandwidth reqts? Also, are there plans for improving audio and video? I don't know how to describe it, but the audio seems to be mono. The video is watchable (equivalent to 2 stars for an action scene on netflix is how I would describe it), but has a lot of room for improvement.

I also ask WillowTv to review it's cancellation policy, I believe it would be to your benefit. It seems to be intended to discourage people from subscribing for their fav series and canceling afterwards. I believe it will do so to certain extent, but more so discourage people from signing up for a few months every year and will result in more lost revenue to WillowTv than additional revenue. I have a lot of friends who are interested on an easy cricket solution for the living room, but are completely turned away by the cancellation policy.

I would look at Netflix as an example, they have empowered their users to pick and choose the plan of their choice and places no penalties on switching between plans, canceling or resubscribing. I believe their revenues aren't suffering from this policy.

Regards,

Naren
 
markwill
Posts: 170
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:42 pm

Re: Willow TV question

Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:51 pm

nrao1 wrote:
I also ask WillowTv to review it's cancellation policy, I believe it would be to your benefit. It seems to be intended to discourage people from subscribing for their fav series and canceling afterwards. I believe it will do so to certain extent, but more so discourage people from signing up for a few months every year and will result in more lost revenue to WillowTv than additional revenue. I have a lot of friends who are interested on an easy cricket solution for the living room, but are completely turned away by the cancellation policy.

I would look at Netflix as an example, they have empowered their users to pick and choose the plan of their choice and places no penalties on switching between plans, canceling or resubscribing. I believe their revenues aren't suffering from this policy.

It boils down to "trust". I trust Netflix to bill me in a simple, straightforward way. Amazon do the same with Kindle newspaper subscriptions - cancel half way through the month and they just refund on a pro-rated basis. Nice and simple and I don't feel I am being caught out.

I don't trust Willow.tv with this cancellation policy, especially since it's obviously not very clear to a lot of people. Yes, the small print is there but it's still a surprise to folks and any time customers are surprised (in a negative way) they lose trust.

And so what if people subscribe to only the series they like? If I had a good experience with this Ashes series on Willow.TV (which I have not, due to the re-buffering issues and particularly because of the cancellation policy) I would no doubt have been happy to sign up for subsequent England series. That would strike me as a good thing for Willow.tv - but instead I think I'll look for alternatives because I don't want to have to pay $35 minimum for a service advertised as $14.99 / month,

Interestingly, this very thread (previous but one post) highlights a competitor to Willow.tv of which I would have been blissfully ignorant if the cancellation policy hadn't extended this thread.

Thanks.

Mark

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