Disney+ streaming and VDE

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According to my traffic management logs, it would appear that video streamed from the new Disney+ service is NOT being scaled down by the video data extender.  The VDE seems to work well on Hulu and Prime Video traffic.  But the Disney+ content is gargantuan by comparison (and quite frankly unsustainable at full resolution).  Has anyone else noticed this?  I sent an email to Viasat Listens, but no response so far.
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gnrldsppntmnt

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Old Labs

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Not surprising since it's a new service and likely not recognized as a video streaming source yet. Until Viasat tags it as a video streaming source, you'll probably need to use the DIsney service itself to lower the resolution manually.

As the video data extender FAQS state, not all video streaming sources are identifiable...

Eventually they probably will.

The direct competition is also warning to manually lower the resolution on the Disney service itself.
(Edited)
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gnrldsppntmnt

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Disney is not currently offering the option to change resolutions for PC streaming or the Samsung TV app.  At least not that I have found.  Tried that first.  Submitted a suggestion to Disney+, along with millions of other suggestions from millions of other subscribers.  Since I'm still seeing a lot of connection and login related complaints, I expect the mouse has bigger fish to fry right at this moment.

As far as VDE limitations and the newness of Disney+, agreed.  I'm just hoping for a, "Yeah, we're aware of it and working on it" flavored response from Viasat.  Assuming, of course, that my observations and conclusions are correct.  If they are, given the number of subscribers to the Disney+ service so far, Viasat has to have felt at least some disturbance in the Force since this thing went online.
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Voyager

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Change your name to Robin and all will be well!  
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ExSatUser

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But if changed it will only deliver 480p and 480p cant be upscaled to 4K, that takes 1080p.
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gnrldsppntmnt

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I know.  HD streaming is a luxury I've learned to live without on satellite internet. Even before they implemented their "We hate Freedom plan customers" policy, but more so since.  If I can just keep buffering to a minimum I'll take it and consider myself fortunate.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I think there's still a few kinks Disney is working out being a newly launched service in addition on our end. Probably something that'll come in due time
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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In the meantime I think Dances with Woofs' suggestion is the best workaround. As for the email. Weekends do sort of create a backlog to work through. We'll reply to you once we get to your email as they are answered in the order received.
(Edited)
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gnrldsppntmnt

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Like I referenced before, as far as I can tell Disney only provides resolution options for device downloads (which seems more of a nod to storage limitations than bandwidth utilization).  Streaming, at least on web-based PC, Samsung TV, and iOS platforms, seems to be an all or nothing proposition.  In other words, unless I'm missing something, down-scaling on the provider side is not an option unless one is content to gather the family around the iPhone or iPad to watch a downloaded movie.

FWIW, I'm not aware of any provider side options for Prime Video or Hulu either (at least not on the respective TV apps).  But the VDE seems to massage that content pretty consistently and effectively.

I hope I can interpret your response to mean that the issue has been identified and is being worked on Viasat's end.  Especially since this issue would seem to impact Viasat much more than Disney (at least in the short term).
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gnrldsppntmnt

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BTW, I sent that email on 11/13/2019 at 7:21 AM Central.  I waited what I thought was a reasonable time for a reply before posting here.
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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oh in that case was it to viasatlistens@viasat.com? If not that's the ONLY email we see. Otherwise you may need to send it. Typically we reply within a day or two
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gnrldsppntmnt

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Yes, it was.  I sent a follow-up reply to my original email this morning.  Both from my wildblue.net address, if that matters.
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Old Labs

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The VDE (or even the unlimited video streaming restrictions) doesn't massage or change the content at all (it would likely be illegal for Viasat to change or modify Disney, Netflix, Hulu or anybody's content for that matter).

Instead, Viasat detects "video streaming" streaming activity and throttles the speed of detected video stream to what they consider to be appropriate for 480p quality to be delivered. For the unlimited plans the throttled speed depends upon what video quality is being touted for the plan(Bronze - 360p, SiIver- 420p, Gold - 720p, Platinum - 1080p).

With the speed being throttled, the major content providers use adaptive streaming algorithms which will stream at a resolution appropriate for that throttled speed. What's delivered is determined by the content provider not Viasat. Viasat (as well as many other ISPs) only attempt to influence the quality the content provider delivers by throttling the speed.

Various ways are used to detect video streaming activity and some algorithms are weaker than others, Nearly all content providers today deliver content over secure, encryprted channels and the only thing Viasat et. al. can depend upon the Server  Name Indication (SNI) extension of the Transport Layer Security (TLS). In this case Viasat likely doesn't recognize the SNI yet and hasn't tagged it as being a video source.

All of thus isn't done so much for the subscriber's benefit (although subscribers do benefit and it will be marketed as good for the subscriber), but rather for Viasat's benefit so as to reduce load on their network - it's the only way they could even begin to market "unlimited data" plans. They really only detect the major players and I'm sure they'll eventually get around to adding Disney's new service to their algorithm.

If and when Viasat starts detecting Disney's streams, hopefully Disney will have a strong adaptive streaming algorithm in place or allow their subscribers to manually specify quality.      
(Edited)
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gnrldsppntmnt

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Yeah, but you understood the shorthand.  Communication achieved in three words or less!  And as for Viasat's benefit versus the consumer's.  Agreed, and I'm counting on it.  I don't look for a Disney proffered solution any time soon.  Number one, they seem to have bitten off more than they anticipated having to chew this soon.  Number two, and somewhat counterintuitively, Disney goes about their IT ventures in a surprisingly ham-fisted and half-assed manner sometimes.  They tend to get it right, eventually.  But eventually can take a long time with a lot of collateral damage along the way.
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Old Labs

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Just clarifying your use of the term "massage" for others.

I know the exchange of actual useful information is too much for some to bear. We now return to our regularly schedule programming -  who's the troll ;)
(Edited)
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Admiral Korbohuta

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Sounds like the best thing to do for now is lower the resolution and download your shows.
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gnrldsppntmnt

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I'll just prop my iPhone up next to the TV.  Maybe no one will notice.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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Is there any way to play those downloads on your TV? Maybe casting it from a laptop or from the tablet to the tv?
(Edited)
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gnrldsppntmnt

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Good idea with two problems (for me, anyway).  First, TV is Samsung, iPhone is Apple.  TV is not airplay compatible.  Second, laptop is Microsoft.  Microsoft only has an app for Xbox, not Windows 10, so laptop use of Disney+ is streaming only via the website.

In a homogeneous or otherwise compatible environment, though, it might be a viable workaround.
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ExSatUser

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If mp4 files, transfer from device to PC, run PlayOn server with a Roku.
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Admiral Korbohuta

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You can get a cheap Android tablet and cast it to your Samsung that way. I believe Chromecast will work with Samsung Smart TVs.
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ExSatUser

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But what about Apple streaming :)
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Old Labs

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Only if using a blue light modem, in which case it's totally awesome and doesn't matter.
(Edited)
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Homeskillet

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The blue light has never been worth spit to me unless I was real hungry and they were using it to clear out submarine sandwiches toward the end of the day.
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ExSatUser

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I have checked, but does PlayOn Cloud work with Disney plus? They only deliever 720p content. A way to ensure data is saved if they do support it
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GabeU, Champion

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It doesn't look like it.  At least not yet.  
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Probably due to it being recently launched. I think it'll take a bit for everything to go in place. A simple continue watching feature wasn't even a thing until a day ago or so
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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What color light does your modem have and how many times have you been to Disney World?
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Steve Frederick-VS1/Beam314, Champion

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4 blue and once
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GabeU, Champion

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Six white, though only five are lit and one turns red for a second on reboot.  And zero.  :)  
(Edited)